Sadhguru: There is a beautiful parable in the Indian lore. A man is sitting on the branch of a tree – the wrong end of the branch – and cutting the branch. If he succeeds, he will fail. Right now, the economic engine that we have let loose on this planet is just like that. If it succeeds, we will fail. How absurd does it seem that we should pray for failure? That is where we are right now.

Most people have not understood that life on this planet is not a transaction, it is just an extension of each other. We may have transactions in society, but when it comes to life, it is a mass of life, not one distinctly separate from the other. What you call as my body is just a piece of this earth. Unfortunately, most people do not get it till they are buried.

You are a separate human being only in your psychological framework. Physiologically, you are not a separate human being. As a life force, you are not a separate human being. You are happening as one with everything else in this universe. This is a fact that physical scientists are establishing today. Physics is telling you it is all connected every moment. But that is something that one must experience. Intellectually arriving at this will make people do absurd things. If you experientially arrive at it, that is a solution.

A Meditative Leadership

I was with one of the very active environmental activists in United States and they were asking me, “Sadhguru, what is it that we must do? We’re all doing something. We know it’s not going to work.” I said, “The leadership in the world should meditate.” When we say meditate, in the West, people will ask, “What should I meditate on? Should I meditate on a tree, or the planet or the universe?” Meditation is not about something. Meditation means to de-concretize yourself. Right now, you have become like a concrete block, a separate existence from everything.

If you sit in meditation, slowly, after some time you clearly know who you are is not a separate entity. It is one with everything else. If this becomes a living experience in the leadership on the planet, it does not take much to fix this, believe me. In spite of all the damage that has happened, it does not take much. In twenty-five years, we can do a significant reversal. Before you and I fall dead, we can fix it, but it needs top-level support.

Editor’s Note: A Tree Can Save the World” is a call to action. Sadhguru outlines the role that individuals, corporates and governments can play in controlling and reversing ecological degradation, making it clear that “when it comes to ecological work, it is not somebody’s work, it is everybody’s work.”