How Can A Seeker Deal With Doubts and Laziness?
Sadhguru answers a question about handling complacency and doubts that might crop up on a seeker’s spiritual journey.
Q: I know that all the things I’ve sought in my life aren’t “it” and I know there’s something else, yet I don’t have any idea what it is and there’s all this laziness, complacency and doubt. So how do I deal with this?Sadhguru: There are two different aspects here – one thing is doubt, another thing is being complacent. Once you are complacent, laziness just follows – they are the same things with different labels. If you are burning for something, you will not be complacent, so there is no question of laziness.
But doubt is a different thing. Doubt is on many different levels. One doubt is whether there really is something called “beyond.” Some people are blessed, who believe that there is a man sitting up there and doing things! But thinking people have doubt about everything. Thinking people have doubts about the very basis of creation. But one thing you cannot doubt is your own existence. You are here. When you are here, how are you here? If you look at yourself, you will have a doubt. The more you look at your life, the more you will have doubts about everything. It is very natural for your intelligence to have doubts.
The very nature of thought is so incomplete that thought is capable of producing millions of doubts about everything. Please start thinking about every aspect of your life. You will see that it will produce millions of doubts. That is the nature of thought, because it is so incomplete in its perception.
You know, someone said, “I think, so I exist .” This is ridiculous! I don’t think, but I still exist. For most part of my life, I don’t think anything. Only when I make a conscious effort, I think, otherwise I don’t think. But I very much exist in a far bigger way than he could ever imagine, because one who depends on thought can only imagine life. He cannot live or know life.
Doubt vs Suspicion
The very product of thought is doubt. The further you try to take your thought, the more doubts it will create in your mind. One level of doubt is about creation and the nature of creation – whether this is true or that is true, whether God exists or doesn’t exist, all these kind of things. Another level of doubt for a spiritual seeker is about the methods, about the guru. The first level of doubt is healthy. The second level of doubt is very restricting. Questioning is okay. Doubting is also okay. But the problem is, doubt needs intelligence. And most people are incapable of doubt, they are suspicious.
A suspicion comes from a foregone conclusion. Doubt is simply: “Don’t know” –you are looking. If you are looking, there is no problem. When you are looking, you are open. In that context, doubt is very healthy. It is a possibility. The more you doubt, the more of a possibility you become.
If you are suspicious, you already have a conclusion, “Maybe, the whole thing is nonsense” – this is a suspicion, not a doubt. You have a conclusion already, and you are trying to work towards that conclusion. And now that you have a logical mind, a mind which is deeply conditioned by all kinds of beliefs, thoughts, philosophies and influences from the outside, you are not able to keep it aside. So, if there is a huge struggle every day about the methods that are given to you, about the person, about the possibility itself, I would say it is better you work one step at a time.
One Limitation At A Time
Wherever you are, do you understand that right now, you exist within certain limitations? If there is a limitation – a boundary – there must be something beyond the limitation? Whether the boundlessness exists or not, at least you can perceive that if there is a boundary, there must be something beyond the boundary. Right now, your spiritual process is just to work from one limitation to another limitation. You break this limitation, move into the next level of limitations. You break that and move into the next level.
You do not know whether the Ultimate exists or not. You don’t have to imagine or mentally create the Ultimate – this destroys many possibilities within you. Just see that you are existing in certain limitations right now and how to break those limitations. If you break it, you will move into the next prison – a bigger one. If you break that, you will move into the next one. As you keep breaking it, let’s see where the hell it goes. At least let’s move into a better prison. That’s all you are trying to do with every aspect of your life – just trying to take one more step, isn’t it? Even with the spiritual process, just take one more step at a time.
Some years ago, the Indian cricket team beat the Australian team in Australia, which had not happened for 22 years. I was reading in a magazine about the player – who comes from Bangalore – who scored 233 runs. When people asked him “How do you play? Do you play to win the game or the series or what?”, he replied, “I try and play one ball at a time. I’m not playing the match. The most important thing to realise when you are batting is that the only thing that decides your fate, your score, your career or anything else, is that next ball.” He said, ‘If you can do that over a long period of time, you will succeed. It is not an easy thing to do, though.” This man got it, because you can only play one ball at a time. But he says it is hard because he is trying mentally.
One Ball At A Time
So, right now, you just play one ball at a time. Right now, if your problem is you can’t stand the person who is sitting next to you – you just work on that! Don’t worry about reaching God or attaining liberation. Just work on this little problem that you have. This is the way you will grow. If you imagine something big out there, it all feels great for some time, but you are back again. Whatever you might imagine, whether you are imagining God or you are imagining Devil, life will anyway give you the works! Learn to handle life. After all, the issue is life. Only when you begin to know life and understand the limitations of life, the longing to go beyond life arises. If you are not intimately in touch with life, your longing to go beyond life is just a falsehood; all you are looking for is a drink.
Just work one ball at a time. Right now, what is your limitation, how to go beyond this. Whatever methods have been given to you, are they breaking some of your limitations? That’s all you have to see. If they are breaking, it’s fine, continue to break. Don’t worry about the ultimate. If it’s one ball at a time, doubt is no problem.
And once you see that the methods are working to break the limitations in which you exist, there will be no complacency. Once you are not complacent, there is no question of being lazy. If you are lazy, don’t go to work, do your pranayam and just relax!