Why these Ups and Downs?
A seeker asks Sadhguru why his spiritual experience seems to have so many ups and downs. Sadhguru explains that spirituality fundamentally means it is about you, not about what you gathered from the outside. Spirituality will become a natural process for anyone who is seeking to move towards the core of life, and can see life for what it is.
Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. My spiritual experience has its ups and downs. Sometimes it stumbles and sometimes it's glorious. Why this variation?
Sadhguru: Oh. Spiritual experience is stumbling or you are stumbling?
Questioner: Possibly me, but I feel with all the kriya that you told me, I do it, and it is not constant, it is just that I am stumbling sometimes and sometimes it's glorious, this life is beautiful, I mean I can't even believe it could be so beautiful before I (Word sounds like met you – Unclear).
Sadhguru: See, what is a spiritual experience? Let's come to this first. You need to understand this - this body is something that you gathered slowly. Is that so? Is that so? Did you gather this? What's that sabu…, what's that sabu…, …aalu what do you call that? Hmm? That cannon ball kind of thing. Sabu…?
Sadhguru: Dana – so sabudana. (Laughter) Yesterday I was telling somebody. I was in somebody’s home and I was telling them, my first experience of sabudana, way back in the Sahyadri mountains; we won’t go there. No. (Laughter) So, this is all sabudana slowly gathered. No wonder it feels so difficult. Now this is something that you gathered. Everything that’s here is something that you gathered. Your mind is a gathered phenomena – accumulated phenomena, body is an accumulated phenomena. So what you call as myself is the spirit, if you want to call it that way. It's a very contaminated word so I generally don’t use it, but now that you’re using the word spirituality, it is the spirit. So if your life is about that, then you’re spiritual. If your life is about the body, it is about the mind, it is about what's around you, we say you are material because these are accumulated things. What you accumulate can be yours - can never, ever be you. That much is clear to us, isn't it? Yes?
So whether you gathered stones or diamonds or what, they can be yours but they can never, ever be you. So when we say spirituality, we are saying it's about you. It is not about furniture in the house. You know after some time, people treat you like a furniture. Body is like furniture for us to sit and stand, isn't it? Yes? Mind is another kind of furniture to do things. So this is not about furniture, this is about you. So spiritual process means it's about you, not about your furniture, not about your property, not about the things that you can gather and lose. So what is the experience of that? Let's not go about trying to describe, this is the experience of that. All I am saying is, it is about this. (Gestures) So why is it… why is it that furniture is there and you are missing because somewhere you don't know what you’re doing. Somebody put it in a big way saying, “They know not what they’re doing.”
This happened in Pentagon. You know Pentagon - the eight cornered building in United States? A junior office found work in Pentagon; he worked in his office for a few weeks. Then he moved his table and computer into the outside corridor and started working there. Immediately everybody was alert and sensitive, the CIA started looking at him closely, why has he moved his table and computer to the corridor. Then week after week he moved from one corner to another, one corner to another, he tried all the eight corners. Then he moved to many other places. Then, by now, full-blown CIA team was following every move as to what is he doing. Then one day he moved his computer and table into the restroom, to the toilet.
Now it became a super this-thing, they really set up a topnotch team to find out what and the only way they can spy on him is come and pee and come and pee and come and pee. (Laughter) How else? The guy is sitting in the toilet and doing his work. (Please keep the cameras down, please) So after few weeks, they found he seems to be perfectly okay. He is not doing any suspicious activity. They’re checking his e-mail, they tapped his phone and they looked into everything, they searched his house and they checked his DNA. Everything – nothing is suspicious about the guy, but the wor… guy is working from the toilet. Then somebody just took the thing and walked up to him one day and they asked, ‘Why you are sitting here and working of all the places?’ He said, ‘I tried every place in Pentagon and now I see this is the only place where people know what they’re doing.’ (Laughter)
Except for a few basic things in your life, like you’re eating through the right opening - hmm? You are trying this one? (Points to the nose?) That also they do if you go to a hospital. You definitely not trying this, isn't it? A few basic things of eating, sleeping, reproduction you’re doing it the way it has to be done. Everything else is freaked, you understand? So that is why what is fundamental – you - to come into your experience, we have to do all kinds of circus, hang you upside down. If you just do life the way it needs to be done, not the way your society has twisted you to do it, you will see spiritual process is always on, nobody needs to teach you, nobody need to do anything to you because that is you. It is not an imported commodity. It is you, isn't it? It is essentially you. Your body is imported, sabudana or whatever, your mind is imported. Isn't it so? But what is you has always been there, what is there to do about it? There is nothing to do about it. Too much sabudana, so we have to clear it a little bit.
So right now your life has become about things that you’ve gathered and not about you. Because of that, it is like this. You need to – it is no more… you know you cannot even talk about it in the world anymore because people are recognized for what kind of car they drive, for what kind of clothes they wear, for what kind of makeup they wear or what kind of implants they’ve had (Laughter) – nobody is recognized for what he is. Yes? Largely.
This happened – on a certain day, a Jewish rabbi, a priest and a bishop went on a trek in the mountains. And then they got down the other side of the mountain and they saw a huge lake and it was a hot day. They thought they’ll take a dip but they didn’t have extra clothes. Because there was nobody here in the afternoon so they thought well, fine and they left their clothes behind the trees and ran into the water, totally naked. Nobody around, so they swam around, they enjoyed being in the cool water. Spent too much time there. It was evening and they were just about to come out, they stepped out and then they saw three society ladies taking a walk on the banks of the lake. Then they didn’t want to be caught like this, pants down, they’re known people in the town. So the bishop and the priest covered themselves and they ran behind the bushes to get their clothes. The rabbi covered his face and ran. Then they found their clothes, put on their clothes. Then the other two guys said, ‘What's the matter with you? The ladies were coming, instead of covering yourself… what you should cover, why you are covering your face?’ So the rabbi said, ‘I don't know about you guys, but in my congregation people recognize me by face.’ (Laughter)
So don’t make it so complicated. Yes. As I told him don’t make too much out of yourself. Oh my spirituality, my experience, my this - don’t make spirituality like you’re growing horns. You become simply life. You’re no more a freako, you are just life. You know at one time we used to print brochures like this, ‘Isha Yoga - Ordinary to Extraordinary.’ People liked it and they came – program used to be fourteen days, fourteen evenings and as it goes, second day they’re expecting. On first day they’ll become special, nothing happened, second day we are going to gold plate them and making them special – no. Third day, then they asked, ‘Sadhguru, you said we will become extraordinary. What happened, nothing?’ I said, ‘What I said I’m keeping up my word. I said you will become extra-ordinary. (Laughter) You become more ordinary than others. Simply ordinary, just like that, just like life.’ (Laughter/Applause) The problem with life is you’re trying to be special. So you look stupid. If you’re simply ordinary, extra-ordinary, more ordinary than others, then you become extraordinary. Yes? Those who are trying to be special look like monkeys doing this and that. Just be life, you will see this is wonderful. You become a body, you become a mind, you become a society, you become famous, you become rubbish, you became all kinds of things. Just be life because that's all you are and that's all you can be. You cannot be anything else. If you just throb as life sitting here; don’t become spiritual of all the things, because usually spiritual people are the worst caricatures that you can find on the planet.
There are all kinds of idiots on the planet but the religious and spiritual idiots take the cake anywhere in the world because their stupidity is God endorsed (Laughter), you know. For a normal human being if you do something stupid today, tonight your intelligence will bother you, ‘Why did I do this?’ But if you are religious or spiritual, you can do most idiotic things with absolute confidence. Really it gives you… it empowers you like that. So don’t… we’re not planning to produce more idiots like that on the planet. Just relax your spirituality. Forget about all these big, big jargon - ‘I’m spiritual, I’m this, my spiritual experience, my ordinary experience,’ there’s no such thing. There’s just life. Are you on the surface; are you moving towards the core? That's all.