MOST people do not realize to what extent their lives moulded by memory. What a human being considers to be ‘me’ is essentially a product of the past. Your body and your mind have been entirely fashioned by an accumulation of memory.
It is past information that has determined your form, shape and biology, for instance. Consider that if a man eats a slice of bread, that bread turns, over time, into a man. If a woman eats the same bread, it is transformed into a woman. If a dog eats it, it is morphed into a dog. That’s one smart slice of bread, isn’t it? Of course, as we all know, the transformation has nothing to do with the bread, but with the memory encoded within the system that transforms the bread into a man, woman or dog.
Your very existence is an accumulation of memory. If we erase the memory, you will cease to exist! This is what this tradition meant when it spoke of karma nashana. If you destroy all memory, the very being ceases to be. That is a state of mukti because you are free from existence. Once memory, which is the basis of existence, is destroyed, you don’t have to exist anymore. This is the state of unbounded freedom extolled by seers and sages down the ages.
Even now, however, there is a dimension of intelligence within you that is free and unsullied by memory. In yoga, we call this chitta. If you touch this dimension of intelligence, you can live within this body and mind – this entire edifice of past memory – but you can be utterly untouched by it. You can remain in such a way that this memory, which gives you a certain physical and psychological structure, has no influence whatsoever upon you.
If human beings do not learn how to access this inner dimension of chitta, they will naturally seek other means of stimulation or excitement. In the age of the intellect, faith or organized religion is no longer sufficient. If people are not offered a way to engineer themselves the way they want to be – joyful and blissful – drink and drugs will become the greatest driving forces on the planet. This is already the case. Alcohol and drugs are widely prevalent in the West, and they are becoming dominant in urban India too. In another seventy to eighty years’ time, if we do not sweep the world with a logically correct, scientifically verifiable spiritual process, I believe ninety percent of human beings will turn to chemical solutions to keep themselves pleasant.
The reason for this is simple. Every human being is looking for a larger slice of life. Whether someone goes to the temple or the bar, whether someone gets doped out or meditates, all he or she is essentially looking for is a larger slice of life. The question is sustainability. Drink and drugs can be damaging. The human system cannot sustain them over a long period without destroying itself. If you want human beings to have a phenomenal experience, but without causing damage to themselves, you have to them turn inward.
What does ‘turning inward’ mean? One simple way of understanding it is that you touch chitta – that dimension of intelligence which is the very basis of your making. There is no such thing as ‘your chitta’ and ‘my chitta’. There is only one chitta. Chitta is cosmic intelligence – the source of creation. The question is only whether you as an individual have access to it.
It is chitta that keeps you alive. It is chitta that is making life happen. If you access this dimension that is the link to your consciousness, you don’t even have to wish or dream for anything. The best possible thing that can happen to you will anyway happen.
The yogic tradition has an amusing way to describe those who have touched this dimension. It is said that even God will become your slave! He works for you from now on. This is not mere rhetoric. It is true. You do not even have to wish for what you want in your life. Everything that is needed will simply happen in the best possible way. Your life in the hands of an intelligence beyond you. You have enslaved the divine.
Sadhguru, a yogi, is a visionary, humanitarian and a prominent spiritual leader (www.ishafoundation.org)