Investing in Self Transformation
In this week's Spot, Sadhguru speaks about investing in self transformation and how that is the ultimate answer to many of our social woes.
R ecently, there’s been one unfortunate incident that should not have happened, and right now it’s become a national debate. Because of this horrible incident that happened in New Delhi the whole country is talking about rape.
When somebody perpetrates a violent act, they need to be punished, but still, we want a better society not just better laws. A law or a punishment is only relevant after things have gone wrong; hanging somebody is still not going to fix anybody’s life. There may be no absolute fix, but we can definitely lower the percentages of these violent incidents. Maybe there is never going to be an ideal society where no such things will happen, but striving towards that possibility is what is most important.
The moment the boundaries of your physicality become the ultimate boundaries of life, you do not experience your breath, you do not experience anything that’s happening to keep you alive. This physical body, you think, is the ultimate boundary. If societies or human beings were experiencing their lives a little more than their physical boundaries, these aggressions would simply go down just like that. It may not be completely eliminated, but it would reduce dramatically and considerably to a point where we can deal with a few offenders with punishment.
Suppose ten, fifteen or twenty percent of the population are committing crimes. Realistically, you cannot punish twenty percent of the population. If it’s one percent you may punish them, but not if it’s twenty percent. Those who are for punishment think it is a deterrent, to some extent it may be, but for most it is not; they will just try to do it more carefully and because they have taken more precautions, the level of violence may go down a little bit. Still, what’s happening in one’s mind and how it translates into life is the next step. It is happening in your mind means when there’s an opportunity it will happen in reality.
Right now, it seems, there are a number of rape video games which are very popular. These are video games commercially sold; bought in millions. Secretly people are playing these games in their homes, offices or wherever on their computers. We are nurturing a sick world; this time it happened on a bus and it happened in the capital city, so it’s big news. The whole country and the media are on. Attention was needed for this, but if it happened somewhere, in a village or a little town, it would be just one more statistic or it would not even become a statistic because nobody reports such things.
What is important is that this is not about rape; this is about what kind of human beings we are raising. Commerce has taken precedence over humanity. Commerce is not about serving humanity; instead humanity is serving commerce. It doesn’t matter what you can sell; as long you can sell it, you’re doing great and you have to scale up.
There is a lot of introspection that humanity has to do. One particular case of rape has brought the consciousness of the nation to a certain brink. Using this, it’s time that we look at the essentials of life. Whether the crime or violence or forceful acts are committed against a woman, man or a child; it’s the same thing. One is not different from the other. If we approve of one forceful act, another kind will naturally evolve out of it. This is how it starts, if you think you can force feed your child, and that force is okay, as long as you get to do what you want to do, then everything else follows. These are the off-springs of that. We don’t want to attend to or destroy the root cause of violence; instead we just want to prune the surface because right now it hurts us, but that is not a solution.
Whatever sympathies we may have for the person who has suffered, the victim, we must look for more profound solutions, more well thought out solutions. Reacting to one violence with another violence is not going to bring forth the right kind of society. And this is not happening in only one society, it is just that in some societies the law enforcement may be a little better, so it’s more contained in some societies than in others. Yes, protection by law enforcement is needed, but still a transformation where law enforcement can be limited to a small percentage of criminals is the society we want to live in. We don’t want a big segment of the population being curtailed by law enforcement alone. If there is no policeman they will do something else. It’s a dangerous situation to live in. The statistics say that most rapes happen within the four walls of the home. This never goes to the law and it cannot be contained by law. Maybe the super-violent rape like what happened in Delhi could be controlled by law enforcement to some extent but not the other things.
The solution is not in just containing it. The solution is in the transformation of the individual human being. Unfortunately, nobody is willing to invest any time or life to make this happen. Everybody wants an instant solution. Going on the streets and protesting for two days will not change the world. If the world has to change, the first thing is willingness to invest time for your own transformation. Only if you are willing to invest time for your transformation, will you be willing to invest time for other people’s transformation, because you understand the value of what it is. If you are not willing to invest time upon your own transformation, where is the question of doing anything for anybody’s transformation? If you do not know the value of what it is experientially you will never invest.
If we do not transform individual people, we just have to deal with a world full of criminals. Some will commit, some will not commit. Some will do it on the video game, some will have the audacity to do it on the street. Closeted rapist or street rapist, not very different, isn't it? Every time there is no law in a certain place, every time a war happens; what happens there, apart from the killing, is worse than the killing, almost everywhere.
These are all the same people that you live with. These are your sons, husbands and brothers. They are so nice but if nobody is watching them they are something else. Transformation means that who you are is not determined by other people’s opinions or other people’s presence. Humanity has to make an investment in this direction, if every parent invests upon their children to transform them into a more inclusive human beings - where who they are is not limited to the absolute boundary of their physicality, that it is little more, then the very way they walk and breathe; the very way they exist in this planet will be different. If this one thing happens to a human being, suddenly he’s different in every possible way.
Investing in a spiritual possibility, a possibility beyond one’s physicality is the only ultimate answer. If you want long term benefits, you must make long term investments.
In this New Year let's invest towards self transformation as that is the only solution for all that we see as problematic or troublesome. In the coming year there will be many possibilities towards self transformation because if the world has to change we need to understand that individual transformation is the most crucial thing. If we are not willing to invest on that we just have to do with what we have and much worse will come.
Many predicted that 2012 would be the end of the world. Let's end the world the way we have known it for its wars, violence, exploitation and deceit. If everyone of us strives, we can create a world full of love, light and laughter. Its time has come. Let's make it happen.