Sadhguru: ‘Systems that were once protective can also restrict people from opening up’
Eastern Eye Staff
QUESTION: How do we become more open to spiritual possibilities?
Sadhguru: Before we look at how to become open, we must look at what is it that closes you up? There are four dimensions which, for so many reasons, could have closed. Your mind could be closed because of the influences it is subject to. Once the mind is closed, the emotions will also be within the closed circle of what the thoughts are, because your emotions are always guided by your thoughts – the way you think is the way you feel. They may not be conscious for most people, but it is so.
Also, your physical body itself may be closed and your energies may be closed. If you take two people who do not know anything about spiritual processes into a certain atmosphere or into a certain initiation, you will see that one person may respond with absolute openness and the other person, even though he mentally wants it, even if he is praying for it to happen to him, it does not happen to him. The closed-ness could be on the physical body level, or on the energy level, of which he has no awareness.
This closed-ness has happened because of the structures we have built over a period of time. These structures are what we call karmas. In India, we call them vasanas or samskaras. It means you build limited structures around you. These structures were essential for your survival, but because your whole focus was on survival, you strengthened these structures so much that after some time this structure which protected you is restricting you. You do not want it now, but you do not know how to get rid of it. It is just like closing the window to protect yourself from the sun and dust. Once the weather changes, you want to open the window but if the bolts are stuck, you cannot open it. Now it becomes desperation.
This is the situation of almost every human being in the world. Simply because of their security concerns, by responding to their own basic sense of survival in the world, their body, mind, emotions and energy created certain cocoons.
In limited atmospheres, these cocoons helped them protect themselves, but when your longing reaches for other dimensions, the same things which were protecting you are a huge restriction. When you were a little kid, your parents protected you. It was nice and you enjoyed the protection and comfort of being hugged and held in their lap, but once you grew up a little, you wanted to get off their lap and run around.
If they had continued to hold you on their lap, you would have started struggling and hating that which held you down. Karma is just like this. This is not a question of right or wrong. This was created with a certain understanding of a certain sense of wellbeing, which is limited. When that is fulfilled and your being naturally longs for the next thing, that becomes a restriction.
Whatever the spiritual processes, we start on all the levels of body, mind, emotion, and energy – so that slowly all these dimensions are handled.
But one thing easily at hand for you is the mind and emotion. Making yourself mentally open is fundamental and crucial because this is something that is immediately in your hands. Your energy is not in your hands; you do not know how to open it. Even your physical body, you do not know how to keep it open. But mind is something you can consciously open. That is why there is a lot of talk about opening the mind, not because it is the most important but because right now, that is what is most available for people.
Ranked among the 50 most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. Sadhguru was been conferred the “Padma Vibhushan”, the Indian government’s highest annual civilian award, in 2017, for exceptional and distinguished service.