Is Physical Disability a Hurdle on the Spiritual Path?
Are physical disabilities such as hearing impairment, paralysis or blindness a hindrance for one on the spiritual path? Sadhguru explains, whatever happens in life, you can suffer it or see how to make use of it. No matter one’s outside abilities, what is inside remains intact.
Q: You said sound can play a role in spiritual growth. But I have a hearing disability and tend to miss words. What can I do to ensure I don’t miss out on enlightenment?
Sadhguru: So, you are saved from all the accusations and comments in the world! Sound has a deeper connection with your body and mind than light and visuals. In terms of input, you are taking more into your system through your visual apparatus, but sound has a different kind of connection with your physical form and the very physicality of nature. So, if you are a little hard of hearing, is there a problem for your spiritual growth? Not at all. It is so easy for you to be silent, and silence is the mother of all sounds.
A Constant Cacophony
A lot of people have to plug their ears to experience silence, so do not complain about everything that is life. It is a blessing that you cannot hear all the nonsense and cacophony that is happening in the world. Many people, when they are out in the world, wish that they could not hear. The planet was never as noisy as it is today. Especially in the West, wherever you are, there is some machine humming all the time. Even if it is a mild noise, it can affect your system because it is not just sound, it is a constant reverberation. Un-calibrated reverberation definitely affects one’s system in a big way.
In India, if I just sit at home, it is utterly still. Here and there you hear some insects and birds, but otherwise it is just still. But generally, in developments, apartments and most homes, something is always humming. Being exposed to so much un-calibrated sound and reverberation all the time is not good. And apart from what you do hear, there are so many other sounds that you cannot hear.
These days, there is lots of research going on about how cellphone towers are causing serious ailments in people. One distinct thing we have seen is, when we were growing up in India, it was full of sparrows. Today, it is hard to locate even one in our cities. Ever since cellphone towers spread, these reverberations have wiped them out almost completely. If it can kill a sparrow, I am sure it is killing a little bit of you. If you have a bird brain, it must be dead by now!
What You Have is Enough
If you cannot hear, if you cannot speak, if you cannot smell, nothing is lost. In fact, you can become meditative much more easily, because you have a little less disturbance. If people have to turn inward, they have to control all these five senses. If one of them is cooperating by itself, make use of it. Whatever happens to you, you can either treat it as a curse and suffer it or see it as a blessing and make use of it. Please make use of it.
“Is it going to affect my spiritual process?” If you have no legs, you will do great. If you have no ears, you will do great. If you have no eyes, you will do great because you do not even have to close your eyes – just meditate. We are not wishing for those things, but if such things happen, why not make use of it? People who have all these things, are they hearing divine music in their ears every moment of their life? No, they wish they could not hear all these things. They are not putting their ears to any great use.
The problem with the mind is such: whatever we do not have, that is the greatest thing in our life, because we do not have it and we need a good reason to cry about something. If you do not have a million dollars, you cry about it. If you do have a million dollars, you will cry about the billion dollars that you do not have. This also goes for the body, with life, with everything. It is a brief life. Do not waste it complaining about some goddamn thing or the other. What you have is substantial enough.
From a social standpoint, physical debilities may be relevant because you cannot do what someone else is doing. But not in the spiritual realm because whether you are deaf, blind, mute or whatever, you still have what is inside, intact.
Editor’s Note: The “Power to Create” meditations for Peace, Love, Health, and Success (also known as “Chit Shakti”) enable each one of us to become our own alchemist, by empowering us to transform long cherished desires into reality. Try them out!