The Shape of Your Mind
On this Spot, Sadhguru addresses the dilemma of veering between opposite emotions, thoughts, and impulses in life. Why does the mind oscillate in unpredictable ways, and what is the way out of this predicament? Sadhguru says, “The most fantastic aspect of the human mind is it can change shape any moment, in any way. That only becomes a problem if you mistake shape for direction.”
Why do people feel joyful one moment and absolutely miserable the next moment? Why does that which you are longing for seem so close one moment, and in another moment it looks so far away? That is because in today’s world, no work has been done towards managing our minds. In our education system, from ABC to 1, 2, 3 to E = mc², we are only trying to load the mind with information. If you carry a little more than others, people think you are smart. If you are unnecessarily carrying a lot of things on your head, normally people should think you are stupid, but in this context, they actually think you are smart. All you have to do in today’s world is look up things on your phone and tell someone who is passing by something about the galaxy. They will say, “Oh my God, you’re brilliant!” Only the bloody phone is brilliant, unfortunately.
Information is considered brilliance – any fool can gather information. You can open a book, check, and read it out. For a long time, people thought reading a book is religion – even now many think so. Anyone who is literate can read a book. When literacy was rare, when only one man in the entire village could read, people were in awe that just looking into a book, this person was able to say so many things, whereas when they looked at the book, they couldn’t make out anything. It seemed like a phenomenon to them. Anything seems like a phenomenon to you when you are ignorant. Coming back to the current situation – what is lacking in our education system right now is that it does not address the nature of the mind, how we need to handle it, and what fundamental discipline we need to bring to it. That is the reason why in one moment, what you are striving for seems close and real, but then again, it all looks like an empty promise.
You must make up your mind; otherwise life will go waste. Every moment, your thoughts will shift from here to there, because the mind has no shape. That is the beauty of the mind – you can shape it anyway you want. Or you can keep it aside. Your body has a shape. The mind doesn’t have a shape – you can do whatever you want with it. That is the most fabulous aspect of the mind, and that is also what most human beings are suffering right now. The problem is that your mind doesn’t take instructions from you – it takes its own shape. You must make up your mind. Today is a good day. Sit by yourself and make up your mind. What is the direction of your life? And don’t change this direction for the rest of your life. Whatever you choose is fine with me. If you don’t fix the direction of your life, every day, the mind changes its shape, and you think you need to change the direction.
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If you have been at the Isha Yoga Center during the monsoons, you would have seen the clouds changing shape every moment. The clouds changing shape is not a problem. But if the wind changes direction and the clouds do not go where they need to go, then it is a problem. The same with you. Your mind changing shape is not the problem – it changing direction is the problem. Fix the direction for your life all by yourself. I’m not here to influence you on that. I fixed my direction, and it worked marvelously. Fix your direction, whatever this direction may be. After that, it should not change every day. To follow every scrap that you see here and there is not the way a human being should live. It doesn’t matter if the direction that you have fixed seems to work or not. Fix the direction of your life at a time when you are joyful, well, and clear. After that, it should not change.
If your emotion changes direction and you think, “This is not it,” don’t listen to that. If you listen to your depressions and frustrations, you will dig yourself into a hole before time. Someone else should dig a hole for you after you are dead. Why dig your own hole? This is not the time to dig a hole – this is the time to fly. The most fantastic aspect of the human mind is it can change shape any moment, in any way. That only becomes a problem if you mistake shape for direction. That is what is happening in people’s lives. If you fix your direction, you can let your mind change its shape any number of times without any problem. Once the direction is fixed, changing the shape of the mind will lead to creativity, not to depression.
A mind that can consciously take any shape that every moment demands, that mind is a stepping stone for Enlightenment. A nebulous Mind with unchanging focus or direction is the instrument of immense knowing.