Should you listen to your head or your gut?
Sadhguru looks at how the idea of "gut feeling" came about, and discusses how we can find a balance between utilizing or discarding information.
Sadhguru: Gut is not the most intelligent part of your body. It’s full of shit (Charles Assisi laughs). It’s a fact (Both laugh). It’s not the most intelligent part of your body. This feeling from your gut (Laughs) has come because when you’re faced with a n… certain level of indecisiveness, fear will come. When fear comes, it begins to function in your gut because fear and bowel movement are very connected. That’s why we say, “Shit scared” (Laughs). They’re very connected – I’m telling you (Laughs). So, when a… indecisiveness and a little bit of trepidation or fear enters you, there will be movement in your belly. Don’t think it’s an intelligent movement but at the same time, when a certain amount of…
Fear means you perceive danger. When that comes, you become alert. When danger is there, a whole lot of people experience lot more alertness than they ever know in their whole life. Did you ever cash your… crash your car or motorcycle or at least fall off a mor… bicycle? So if you’re just about to crash something, or you’re just about to fall off the roof, those few moments when you thought you’re going to fall, if you fell maybe you wouldn’t live, but when you thought you’re going to fall, those few moments you will see they will live up in your memory like this – always. After thirty years you still remember that one incident because it’s so bright because you were so alert in that moment. So danger brings alewt… alertness or your perception of danger brings alertness. Because of that alertness, you may see little better than what you would have seen otherwise. So that is how this gut thing has come. But believe me, gut is not the most intelligent part of your body. I would better… It’s better to use your brain (Laughs).
So when you use your brain, there is a certain level of intelligence, which tries to work through a situation by your own intelligence and of course there is information from others. One should be able to weigh these two. “In every situation I’ll do my own thing” will be foolish. “In every situation I will do what somebody else taught me” is also foolish. There is no perfect balance between the two. It depends on the nature of activity we are doing and also the level of intelligence that you have and the level of information that you have. How much of information that you have is reliable or is your intelligence more reliable than the information that you have is… there is no perfect judgment of this. It’s different for each individual and it’s different for each situation.
Charles Assisi: It’s a finely hols… honed skill is it?
Sadhguru: No, no, no. It is not a… Okay, you can say it’s a certain skill but I wouldn’t say a skill because people think they can learn it. If it’s a skill, it can be taught. This is not something that you thau… that you learn from somebody. This is something that you slowly evolve. How much of… To what extent is your intelligence more reliable than the existing information? This is something that you arrive at your own judgment.
Charles Assisi: That’s a tough call to take, right?
Sadhguru: (Laughs) It’s not a tough call to take. For me when it – in my life – whatever information comes, I just first dismiss it and just look at it from my own intelligence. If my own intelligence is not able to find its way, only then I look at the other information because I don’t want to clutter myself with that information and prejudice my intelligence of looking at it in a particular way. I want to simply look at everything the way it is. If it doesn’t work, if my intelligence is not sharp enough, doesn’t have a way to pass, then only I look at other people’s information. Everybody need not follow this mode (Laughs). It’s… It’s individual and it’s different for each situation; in every situation it’s not so. When I’m strage… driving in a strange country, I… usually it’s a lady’s voice and the GPS says, “Turn left,” I turn left. “Turn right” – turn right. Whatever she says – I don’t use my intelligence (Both laugh), okay. So it’s a judgment that you make depending upon the area of function (Both laugh).
Charles Assisi: Right (Laughs), that’s a nice analogy.