How to Make Important Decisions in Life
On this Spot, Sadhguru looks at important decisions in life and why most of us struggle with them, from an existential perspective. He says, “Whatever you do, anyway it hurts, because you have identified yourself with so many things that you are not.” He also sends us a poem he recently penned called “Being” – “In relinquishing the non-existent journey shall you know the Bliss of Being.”
On a daily basis, people approach me for advice on decisions in their lives that they are having difficulty with – for example about career choices, marriage, children, spiritual involvement, or whether they should file for divorce or not. Let’s look at life on an existential level. The fact is that you were born alone – then you made the difficult decision of getting married. In that context, falling back into your original state is a simple decision. Only because you have identified yourself with everything you do, because you have made the other person your possession, the decision appears difficult. Even if you want to leave your body tomorrow, it is not a difficult decision. You did not exist; then, because of somebody else’s act, you came into existence, and here you are. Falling back into nonexistence is a simple decision. There are no difficult decisions in life. It is just because you are clinging to so many things that every decision creates turmoil. Otherwise, whether it is divorce or death or whatever else, it is not a difficult decision. It may matter a lot, but it is merely another step in life, which will anyway happen, one way or the other. The difference is just that you do things consciously before life forces you to do them.
The decision-making as such is not difficult. The difficulty arises because you are deeply attached to so many things around you. In Western societies, people have great difficulty in deciding whether to marry or not. They may be living with someone for years but still struggle to make the commitment of marriage, because they would have to forgo little things that they are attached to. Whatever decision you make, you have to forego something. When it comes to divorce, they also struggle with the decision, though maybe less. In India, marriage comes easy – divorce is difficult. In the West, marriage is difficult – divorce comes easy. Two different cultures, but the same underlying problem. Either way, people have difficulty in making decisions. Whatever you do, anyway it hurts, because you have identified yourself with so many things that you are not. It is like you are caught in a barbed wire fence – whichever way you move, it hurts. Because the thorns are multi-directional, and you cannot keep still and just live with whatever is there. You have to move, even though it hurts.
How to get out of the barbed wire fence? The thorns are illusory. It is only because of your identifications that so many aspects of your life which should have been a pleasure have become thorns. Your wife, husband, children, friends, and family are simple pleasures that you probably always wanted. They only have become pains because you have gotten too identified with them. Every simple process of life is hurting. If you are identified with so many things that you are not, and at the same time, you do not want anything to hurt you, it means you do not want life to happen. You are setting up a self-defeating situation for yourself. If you are not identified with your own body, you will never be identified with anybody or anything. Being with someone and creating bondage are two different aspects altogether. In being with someone, you shall build life. In creating bondage, you are seeking the death of the individual.
The meaningless journey
of life, urges you to hanker
for movement, as to stagnate
is death. To go and keep
going. But where is there to
go. When all that is, is here
within me. When time and space
are illusions of ignorance. When
the shadow of life is mistaken for life.
In measuring the length and breadth
of shadow is about crystalizing
one’s ignorance. It is not about
where to go or how far to go.
Going far is a manifestation
of life steeped in ignorance.
The question is not even about
to go or not to go. In relinquishing
the non-existent journey
shall you know the Bliss of Being