In the second of two parts, Sadhguru looks at the nature of dreams, and how they tie in with the unwinding of karma.

Sadhguru: Karma is many things. We talk about the same karma on different levels, according to one’s perception right now. Karma means action. Whose action? “My action.” The first thing is to realize, “This unwinding is happening only because the winding has been done by me.” The unwinding looks oh so automatic. “It doesn’t even take my involvement. It just happens. My anger just happens, my thoughts just happen, my emotions just happen.” It does not even take an intention or involvement to make this happen. It is simply happening. It almost looks like it is some other creature doing all this. If you stay in silence for a period of time, and you just observe the way the mind is going on, it is almost like you are possessed by something else. As if it is doing its own thing. But it is only undoing your doing.

Now, is life all doing, dream all undoing? No. Life is a mixture of doing and undoing. The more unconscious you are, the more undoing is happening. If you become partially conscious, you will end up doing a lot more. If you become fully conscious, then undoing will happen very rapidly, doing will be completely held back. A partial level of consciousness always does more doing than undoing. For example, a simple peasant is simply undoing his karma. He is not acquiring too many things. He gets up in the morning, plows his land, takes care of his animals, goes about simple things that he has to do and that’s it. He is not thinking there and working out how to conquer the world. So his life is largely undoing. It is not that he does not do at all, but his doing is so much less than undoing because the nature of his life does not allow too much doing; it's mostly undoing, but once you become educated, your doing and undoing gets pretty well mixed up, you’re capable of undoing and doing at the same time.

The role of education

On one level, your thought and emotion are working themselves out in unconscious ways. On another level, you have intentions to fulfill. This is happening to people all the time. I don’t want to blame it all on education, but generally, the type of education you receive is the reason for this – it sets up strong intentions in you. Today’s education is not a process of knowing, it is not a process of realization, it is not a process of developing your body or your mind to its fullest capability. It sets up very strong desires and ambitions within you.


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This is a powerful tool for creating karma: intention. It is the volition which causes karma, not the action.

Educated people are suffering with limitless wants. They cannot eat a full stomach and happily sit and sleep. No. When they are eating, they are talking business. It is not because they have taken up the cause of the world, to create something, to build something, to make their lives or everyone's lives wonderful. No. They simply want to do more of the nonsense that they are doing because very strong intentions have been set up, without any particular purpose. This is a powerful tool for creating karma: intention. It is the volition which causes karma, not the action.

In the karmic process, the unwinding is happening because of activity. The winding is happening because of strong intentions. The more you think of yourself, the stronger your intentions become. When I say intentions, I'm not talking about great intentions - I'm talking about strong intentions. When you are in anger, you could be unwinding, but you could also be winding. You may just burst into anger and cool down. Or you can burst into anger and then create an intention: “You know what I want to do to her?” Now you will be winding in a big way. Anger is just an explosion. Anger is just an unwinding of something that has happened within you. Anger may breed hatred. Hatred is an intention. Hatred is anger which has taken on an intention. Jealousy may be an unwinding, we can say envy is an intention - it is jealousy that has taken on an intention. Now, with a certain coolness, even if you are angry, if you become hateful, you don't show your anger or hatefulness anymore. You put on a cool face and do the hot things, isn't it? Lust for example is an unwinding. Passion is winding because it is an intention.

The so-called sophisticated

If you find expression to all the thoughts and emotions that happen within you, you would come out almost brutish. To polish that, you create an intention – that’s winding. This so-called sophistication is suicide because you constantly wind faster than you unwind, because the mind becomes two-faced. On one level, it is unwinding, on another level, it has its own intentions. You will see the so-called sophisticated people – when I say “sophisticated,” I mean socially sophisticated people not truly sophisticated people – they always suffer much more than simple folk. Simple people’s anger, hatred, and prejudice find open expression. They may look crude but in terms of cunning, they are many points below the so-called sophisticated people. The more sophisticated people, initially they learn to deceive others. After some time, they become experts and they can even deceive themselves. Their intentions are not even revealed to themselves.

Education enhances that capability because of the variety of exposure it gives you without proper understanding of how the human mind functions, how it evolves, what can make it flower, what can make it turn dirty – these things are not being looked at with any profoundness. Information is simply dished out in all kinds of forms to all kinds of people. So generally, people unfortunately are making use of education to wind themselves up. In terms of the world around them, in terms of information, they may know more, but in terms of life process, educated people are generally more ignorant than the illiterate. If you go to a simple illiterate peasant’s house in India, his sense of life, his sense of his body, his sense of his physical comfort, his sense of what works with somebody and what doesn’t is so much more clear-cut and sensible than that of most of the educated communities in the world. Because he doesn’t have so much confusing thought in his mind. He is not loose in his head, which has happened to a large segment of educated people. It is not that education itself is the culprit, it is because there is no guideline as to how to make use of it for one’s wellbeing. So unfortunately, education which should have been empowerment, education which should have been clarity, has brought more confusion about the life process itself.

So wakefulness and dream – it is best that you do not distinguish between the two. I want you to see either both these states as dream, or both these states as different levels of wakefulness. This is one kind of dream, that is a deeper dream. Or this is one kind of reality, that is another kind of reality. If you see it this way, you can make both into a process of unwinding rather than winding.

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