Sadhguru looks at how we go about creating an illusory shell separating ourselves from existence.

Sadhguru: Right now, though you have a carpet and a little bit of concrete between you and the earth, Mother Earth sees you as just an outcrop of herself. When she decides, she will suck you back. Don’t have any illusions about it. Whatever you may think of yourself, she will suck you back because she experiences you as a part of herself.

Even now, if you lose connection with everything that she is, she is just water, air, earth, fire, and space. And this is what you are, but you think you are different. Thought is not unique to you either. If you could build a body, it is because the earth has a body. If you can have blood circulation, the earth has its own circulations. If you have thoughts, so do the planet, the universe, and the creation. It is just that when you are too full of your own stuff, you don’t get to perceive the larger thought of the creation and the Creator. If there was no thought in the creation, how would you get it? You are just a small manifestation in this creation. It is this thought which, when used compulsively or recklessly, separates you from the existence. It is this thought, when employed irresponsibly, that makes you think you are a separate creation by yourself.

Putting things in perspective

A diagram of Earth’s location in the Universe in a series of eight maps that show from left to right, starting with the Earth, moving to the Solar System, onto the Solar Interstellar Neighborhood, onto the Milky Way, onto the Local Galactic Group, onto the Virgo Supercluster, onto our local superclusters, and finishing at the observable Universe.

Today morning, the sun came up wonderfully. The planet is spinning on time. And not just this planet – every planet and satellite in this solar system is actually spinning on time. Everything happens on time and wonderfully well – not just in this solar system – everywhere in the universe. In the whole cosmos of these billions of galaxies, everything has been in order – it is a successful day. But just one lousy little thought is worming through your mind right now and you say, “This is a bad day.” Nothing bad has happened except your lousy thought, and this lousy thought has become bigger than the whole cosmic exuberance of creation. This means you are too full of yourself, isn’t it?

When some disastrous event happens in this cosmos, I will let you know, so that you have enough reason to be miserable. Till then, you have no reason. People are so identified with their own nonsense that they can miss a limitless cosmic space and be entangled in this one lousy thought.


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Once survival has been taken care of, this is the time to break the shell and know life in its larger possibility.

All thoughts are lousy. If you perceived something fantastic, there wouldn’t be a thought in your head in that moment. So, there is some good news for you and some bad news for you. Let me tell you a little joke. A patient went to a surgeon for a surgery. The doctor said “I have some good news for you and some bad news for you.” So the patient asked, “What’s the bad news?” He said, “See, this is a very complex surgery. Even the medical text says only one out of hundred survive this surgery.” The patient just wilted away in fear. “So what is the good news?” The doctor said, “Well, the last 99 surgeries I did, all of them died.”

I will put it the other way round. The bad news is, not many people have broken this shell. The good news is that if you are willing, we will break it. I said “we.” For sure we will break it because usually, those who broke the shell left. Very few stayed back for a lifetime. Very few ever came back. I didn’t come back to break your shells. For some reason, someone fixed me in such a way that I had to come back. This is the third time around, so I have seen every kind of nut. There is a phenomenal experience behind this.

Breaking the shell

During one of the Inner Engineering program promotions, we just had a walnut with a string attached to it with a quote which says, “If you do not get out of your shell, you are just a nut.” Some of our meditators protested, “This is very insulting. Sadhguru cannot say such things.” So I said, add one more quote, “If you don’t get the humor, you’ll get a tumor.”

When you laugh, your shell breaks to some extent. It again forms but at least at that moment it breaks. If it doesn’t open up at all, your brain is as good as a tumor. It causes more trouble than tumors, believe me. Tumors can be fixed with a surgery sometimes. Your brain is more cancerous than any cancer. It will torment you through your life if you don’t keep it well.

Shell-breaking is very simple if the nut is willing. Actually, right now as you sit, everything in you is in interaction with everything else. It is only the shell of your thoughts and emotions that is making you think and believe that you are a separate entity. If you don’t understand this, just hold your breath for two minutes – you will know. Without interaction with this planet and its atmosphere, you cannot exist for a moment. And it is not just about this planet. Every subatomic particle in your system is in constant transaction with the whole existence, with the whole cosmos, with things that are and things that are not. There are dimensions of the atoms – the basic building blocks in your body – that are constantly transacting with the empty space. Otherwise you cannot exist.

The spiritual process is essentially to give you a distance between these worms of thoughts – which make you believe you are a nut – and yourself.

So the shell is easy to break because it doesn’t really exist. It is an illusion that you have created. You are the working of this magnificent creation and the source of creation – but you build a shell and think you are a nut.

Mysticism – we invent all these words because we have enshrined ignorance – exists only because ignorance is. I have become a mystic because you are a mistake. Otherwise, I am just a normal guy. Because you have made a mistake with your perception, the one who perceives everything as it is, looks like a mystic. It is as good as calling him a freako – someone different and not normal.

The biggest problem is that people are inebriated with their own thought and emotion. The spiritual process is essentially to give you a distance between these worms of thoughts – which make you believe you are a nut – and yourself. If you are out of this inebriation, there is only one way to be – to be here and to throb with the process of life. If you throb with this process of life, you will throb with the whole cosmic pulse. There is nothing mystical about it because life happens in many different dimensions. It is everyone’s right to know it, to have access to it, but you are too inebriated with thought and emotion.

Now is the time

Never before in humanity’s history was survival on this planet so organized, so simple and easy. You can just go to a store and buy everything that you need. Once survival has been taken care of, this is the time to break the shell and know life in its larger possibility. If, after having all these comforts and wellbeing, you don’t make it, there doesn’t seem to be a hope anywhere in the future, isn’t it so? Everything has been taken care of. This is the time. “No, I can’t pay my bills, I can’t do this, I can’t do that.” That rubbish is always there because even if I give you a million dollars, tomorrow you will still have more bills. You are capable of that, aren’t you?

So, this is the time to do it. When filling the belly is not such a big issue, this is the time to do it. This time in our life should not pass without knowing life in its profoundness. Once survival is taken care of for you, you cannot go on without knowing life in its full depth and dimension.

Editor’s Note: Sadhguru offers Isha Kriya, a free, online guided meditation that helps bring health, relaxation and inner wellbeing. Daily practice of this simple 12-minute process can transform one’s life.