Can You Change Your Thinking?
Is it possible to change our thinking? Can we create our thoughts and emotions the way we want? Sadhguru answers these questions.
Question: My thoughts and feelings are not really in my control. So I want to know if you can change your thinking and consciously create your thoughts and emotions?Sadhguru: The mind is essentially talking about a certain bank of memory. It is this complex web of memory which gives you a certain character. This memory is being gathered every moment of your life, in wakefulness and sleep. You are unconscious of most of the memory that you gather because it is being gathered in such heavy quantities. So many things that you do so easily, something as simple as walking on two legs for example, is possible not just because of your bone and muscle, but because of the memory that you carry. The body remembers how to walk. If you forget, you cannot walk.
When we say memory, people tend to think of the mind, but the body has much, much more memory than the mind. Your great, great, great-grandfather’s nose is sitting on your face because something inside your body remembers. Your body still remembers how someone was a million years ago and it is still acting that out. So the memory of the body is way bigger than the memory of the mind. This memory is what we refer to as karmic impressions. There was a time when in India, society was trying to manage your karmic impressions. It is for this purpose that jatis, gotras and other things were started. But that has all gone now. So you have to manage it within yourself.
What kind of thoughts you have, on the conscious level, is just the memory that you have gathered on the conscious level in this piece of life, from your birth to now. This conscious memory is called prarabdha. But what kind of emotions these thoughts generate within you is coming largely from an unconscious process of memory. That memory is way bigger than the conscious memory and is called sanchita. Sanchita means the unconscious accumulation of karmic mass, which keeps on acting in its own way. It is not active in terms of manifesting itself but it is active in terms of influencing you in a million different ways. Does that mean you are all fixed and there is nothing you can change? No. It is only because of this basis that you exist. What you want to make out of yourself is still you. Destiny is not a done thing. Destiny is like the skeletal system of your body. It decides your stature but it doesn’t decide everything. How much you put onto this skeletal system is upto you.
A Question of Perspective
So can you change your thinking? Instead of looking at what kind of thoughts or emotions you are getting, just see that in the larger perspective of life you are a tiny speck of dust. In this cosmos, our galaxy is a small happening. In the Milky Way, this Solar System is a speck. In that tiny speck, planet Earth is a super-tiny speck. In that, your city is a micro-tiny speck. In that speck, you are a big man! People have lost perspective of who and what they are. A spiritual process means, even if you cannot experientially see, at least to intellectually understand your place in this existence. This is the simplest thing to get. If you get this much, a new possibility is open – you will walk differently, sit differently, breathe differently and experience life differently.
The location of Earth in the observable universe. The scale of the zooms are approximate. The image is modified from a detailed image on Wikipedia.
What this tiny speck thinks and feels is not important. But for most people, what they think and feel is more important than the fabulous cosmic dance that is happening. The whole cosmos is going on phenomenally well today, but just one thought can bother you and put you in the dumps. If you just see “What I think and feel is not so important,” if you bring this distance between you and your thought and emotion, they will become a conscious process. Once your thought and emotion become a conscious process, you are free from the karmic process in many ways. Right now, both your thought and your emotion are a compulsive process. Once it is a conscious process, suddenly you are empowered in such a way that people think you are super human. This is not superhuman, it is just being human.