Get Wise Before You Get Old
Sadhguru looks at how most people unfortunately come to some sense of wisdom too late in life. He urges us to look at life now, so we can go beyond the process of life.
Sadhguru: It takes a lot of life’s experience to realize that many things that we thought were very good, turned out not to be good. When Krishna was asked, “What is the nature of truth?” he said, “What seems to be like poison is the amrita, what tastes like amrita, is the poison.” It takes a lot of life’s experience to realize this. Very few arrive at this without much pain. For most, when they arrive at it, it is too late, in the sense it anyway makes no difference anymore. So the more you hasten your experience of life, the better it is, because you realize sooner that what you actually thought was great is not so great. Has it happened to you? What you thought was really great when you were 16, or when you were 30, is not so great, actually. If you don’t let the experience happen at 30, it will happen to you at 60. That is a terrible waste of life.
A husband and wife were driving. There was a bit of a quarrel, as usual. In the excitement, he lost control of the car, hit the median, and the car turned over. In the next scene, they were at the gates of heaven. They walked in and found themselves on a fabulous golf course. Nobody was there. Then the husband asked the wife, “What do you think, shall we play a round?” She said, “Okay.” So both of them teed off and got to the green. He was just about to putt the ball, he looked around at the beautiful landscape and suddenly, he became a little irritated and despondent. The wife asked, “What’s the matter now?” He said, “If it was not for your stupid health food, we could have got here long ago.”
A torrent of wisdom
So many tricks that your body and mind carry out on a daily basis look like “the thing” at that moment. After some time, you look back and see, they were actually not very good. You could have done better without them. There are so many things like this. And we have created a whole social hype that you are supposed to get excited about everything new, everything you do for the first time – you are not supposed to look through anything.
So, like someone said, experience is like a comb that you find when you lost all your hair, or there is a vernacular saying that you find nuts to eat when all your teeth are gone. Nuggets of wisdom fall upon you when they are digging your grave. No, they must fall now. When you are young, when you are healthy, when life is ahead of you, not just nuggets, a torrent of wisdom should fall upon you. If this has to happen, there is no other way than to bring clarity to your perception. If you don’t do enough work to bring clarity of perception, wisdom is an accident. If there is no clarity of perception, you will see things the way they are not. Once you see things the way they are not, unknowingly, you will live a ridiculous life. Ten people may have joined your party, all doing the same silly things and you all may feel it is the right thing – but one day, you will know. I only hope that day is not the last day of your life. Even if you only had three days left, you could at least enjoy wisdom for three days.
Stop defending yourself against life
People are trying to gain experience. You cannot gain experience. If you live with absolute openness, experience will happen to you. If you live with walls around you, experience will not happen to you. Only if you let life happen to you, experience will accumulate. If you are guarding yourself against every little thing, there will be no experience except that of defense. Defense against what? You are defending yourself against life. That is a good strategy if you have not come here to live. But you are a piece of life – that means you have come here to live.
Those of you who lost money in the stock market or had a tiff with your husband or wife today, if you feel like dying, just close your mouth, and hold your nose for two minutes. Don’t conclude, try and see. There is something called experience. Don’t do what your mind says, don’t do what I say, do what the life within you says. What does it say?
This being wants to live. Whatever rubbish your mind is thinking up is not the reality. This being wants to live. It wants to live means it wants to experience the process of life so that you can look through the process and you can go beyond this process. If you do not look through the process, you can never go beyond the process. Either you are tangled up in the process or you are insulated from the process. Both will not lead to liberation. Liberation will only happen when you are able to look through the process. If the wisdom that people are expecting to happen to you when you are 60, happens to you when you are 16, you are sure to get somewhere. That means you are able to look through the process of life. You don’t have to go through all the rubbish – you look through it. That means you are a candidate for liberation.
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Editor’s Note: This article is based on an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of Forest Flower. Pay what you want and download. (set ‘0’ for free). Print subscriptions are also available.