Why We Should Pay Attention!
Sadhguru looks at the importance of paying attention, and how attention is the fundamental basis to ensure success in whatever we take up. He speaks of the structure of the mind from the yogic perspective, and looks at chitta, the aspect of the mind that is connected with the consciousness. "What shape you give to your chitta, it will always manifest in the world", he says.
Sadhguru: If you’re not paying attention to what I’m saying, would you know what I’m talking? No. That’s so with every aspect of life, isn’t it? If you’re not paying attention to it, you don’t know what you’re eating, you don’t know what you’re breathing, you don’t know what’s happening. Most people will not notice the fragrance of the flowers or anything; they’re just walking through like rocks or al… let me say a bull because they want to… you know a bull is worshipped in the stock market (Laughs). So, it’s a (an?) evolutionary fallback. If you walk like a bull or a bear, you… it’s an evolutionary fallback. You’ve evolved to be a human being, taking millions of years, now you don’t want to fall back. To be human means…what is unique about a human being is – we do the same things, what the other animals do - it is just that all that the animal can do, we do the same things but we can do it consciously. That’s a big difference. And doing anything consciously will not come if the… you don’t have sufficient attention towards things that you do or things that you do not do. Especially things that you do not do – you must have absolute attention towards those, otherwise they’ll creep into you (Laughs).
So this Attention Deficiency Syndrome has happened because people’s idea of education is information. Right now the whole idea of human education system has become heaping you with information. The more information you heap upon on any mind or let’s say starting from childhood, the more he will develop aversion to attention because without knowing anything, information gives you a false feeling that you know everything. This has become a fashion now. Today if you’re invited for a dinner party,
You Google out information about the hundred billion galaxies; they’ve all been numbered and named and all that, okay? That… That 556BZ, that galaxy, you know? About that you know some information. You Google out, get these two sentences out and go to the dinner party. Whoever talks to you, they say, “How are you?” “Hey do you know about this galaxy which is a… a trillion mi… light years away which is BB…” whatever and you talk about it. Everybody thinks you’re smart. This is the whole problem with the world right now. We’re considering information…
We are mistaking information for intelligence. Once you heap yourself with too much information, now attention is a serious problem. Once you have no attention, once you have no ability to hold your attention, you have lost your ability to access your intelligence also. You just churn out the information from memory. There’s a beautiful incident. You’ve heard of Andrew Carnegie? When Andrew Carnegie started his enterprise, in a short span of time, he became so super successful and made so much money. At that time… Okay, this is not the age of Google or Facebook or Twitter where in two years they become multi-billionaires and all. Those… Those days people had to set up manufacturing, this and that, and make money which would take decades or generations.
So this guy made so much money in a short span of time. People suspected… the US government suspected he’s doing some malpractice. So they set up a… a senate investigation committee, so they questioned him in every way possible, and they found nothing wrong with his business. Then they asked, “How do you manage to make so much money and be so successful?” So Andrew Carnegie said something very simple, “See, I can keep my mind focused on something for five minutes at a stretch – five minutes. Can any of you do it?” All the senators, they thought “What’s the problem with five minutes?” And he set up an experiment. They tried to keep their attention; they couldn’t keep it for… for a few seconds – one moment here, one moment there. This is the fate of most human beings. So then he said, “You should not be running United States” (Laughs).
So, human ability… There’s something called as chitta. There’s a different… See, in English language mind is mind. Largely you’re considering the memory part of your mind as mind. In the yogic system, there are four main aspects of the mind. I’ll not go into the detail, but the memory part of the mind is of least importance. It’s the chitta which is connected with the consciousness which is most important. If you find a shape for your chitta, that shape will manifest always because it’s empowered by life-making material, which you… which for lack of words we’re using the word consciousness, that which is the basis of life. Once your mind is yoked to that, then what shape your mind takes… Mind is like a cloud, you can make it any shape – you can make it god-like, you can make it… a devil out of it, you can make a pig out of it, you can make whatever out of it, you know. It’s a nebulous thing.
So what shape you give to your chitta, it will always manifest in the world because it’s… it’s empowered by life-making energy behind it. So that is the most important aspect of the mind, not the memory. Memory is important to handle the material aspects. After all, an entrepreneur may be just trying to handle material. It’s fine but I would like an entrepreneur’s life to become an exciting adventure where he… his process of exploring new possibilities become truly new possibilities in his experience, not just economic possibilities. And that possibility is there in an entrepreneur’s life – that he can turn his entrepreneurship into a spiritual possibility and a spiritual growth or growth of the being itself, which I feel everybody should explore. That’s why we’re trying to bring a spiritual element. Success will come easy, more than anything because… Success will come easy not because of any magic, simply because you function at your full potential.
If you want to… You know there is a… in schools, they have something called as a three-legged race. Though you get three legs, you run slower; with two legs you would run faster, isn’t it (Laughs)? With three legs you must become more efficient in numbers if you just simply look at it, but this is how it is. With more eff… more information… More information means something that is not yours, you attach it to your memory and identify yourself with it. The more you do that, the less effective you become. But right now our whole idea of education is information and there is internet. A twelve-year-old child knows what is the name of the galaxy up there a trillion light years away, which is not good for him because this is not knowledge, this is not of any usefulness. This is only for boastfulness and above all, it’ll take away your ability to pay attention because the basis of attention is you realize that you do not know even a speck in the universe properly. In its entirety, you do not even know an atom – that’s why you can pay attention. If you think “I know this,” you cannot pay attention. It’s the arrogance of information which will bring you attention deficiency.