MUCH has been written about how the world perceives a guru. The modern world is capable of both extremes-ardent devotion at one end and open hostility at the other.
But how does a guru perceive the world? I was once asked this question at a satsang. The answer is simple. When I am walking down a street, I am capable of seeing everyone around me as a regular person-the way everyone else does. But when I sit as a guru, I don’t see any people at all. I see just outcrops of earth within which I see just small puffs of energy.
That is all you are. You imagine that you are something different. But you are no more than a mound of earth prancing around and claiming to be unique and independent. Eventually, this mound will fall back to the earth and return to where it came. That is the absurdity of the human charade.
There is, however, a dimension within you which is not of the earth. It is of a different nature altogether. As a guru, my concern is only with that dimension. I am not interested in you as a person at all.
Now this may sound like a terrible insult! But it is not so, because what you call your personality is simply a heap of limitations that you have glorified and frozen into an entity that you describe as ‘myself’. The problem is that you are trying to become special, to become exclusive-a sure-fire recipe for loneliness, fear and self-destruction.
If there was no compulsiveness within you, you would have no limitations and consequently, no personality at all! Now this sounds terrifying too. But if you were able to sit here without any compulsions whatsoever, you could do just anything you want and be just any way you want. Without a ‘personality’, you would have tremendous presence.
A few years ago, an American delegation went to China. They were depressed looking at the bustling economic activity in mainland China. When the Chinese official asked them why they were so downcast, they replied, “Our economy has plummeted by almost 35 per cent in these few years. What have we got to celebrate?” Then the Chinese official took a chair and put it before a mirror. “Do you see two chairs?” he asked. They nodded. “If I put another mirror there will be many more chairs. Now all that’s happened to you is that the mirror is gone, but your one chair is still there. What are you cribbing about? After all, you put the mirror to deceive others, not yourself!”
That is all this personality is: a mental projection, a self-manufactured exaggeration that you have begun to believe. You are collaborating in your own delusion! When your conclusions about life harden into mental structures-ideologies and philosophies, ethical and moral systems-they turn into what you call your personality. These are mere boxes, entirely of your own making.
As a guru, these boxes are of no interest to me. The spiritual process means to become like the life process. Life is seamless. It is entirely without boundaries. But the mammal mind is constantly trying to create boundaries where there are none, because the survival instinct demands it. Human beings who believe they will survive better if their boundaries are fixed are not so different from dogs that are constantly ruled by the urge to mark their territory.
But if you look at the universe, is there any boundary at all? The earth has atmospheric limits but these are operational boundaries. Your body has some operational limits too. But it is still transacting with the universe on a moment-to-moment basis. Each time you breathe, what is not you is becoming you, and what is you is becoming not you. You are a part of the living organism of the cosmos.
The true evolution of the human mind will happen only when the compulsive urge of self-preservation will drop, and human life will be ruled neither by instinct nor intellect, but by sheer intelligence.
As a guru, my only desire is to help people drop their painful self-created fences, and participate in the great unlimited seamlessness of the life process. For this is who you are. You are life itself. You are not separate from it and you never have been
Sadhguru, a yogi, is a visionary, humanitarian and a prominent spiritual leader (www.ishafoundation.org)