Get Out Of Your BMW – Alexander Muller Interviews Sadhguru




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Alex: You're looking really cool. Sadhguru: Because the weather is also pretty cool out here (Both laugh). Alex: So, what is your work about? Sadhguru: I have no separation as to what's my life, what's my work. Profoundness of experience and impactfulness of your activity – this is all there is. That's why Inner Engineering and that's my life – Inner Engineering. Alex: Sadhguru, when did you suffer the last time? Sadhguru: But I've never really had any personal suffering. Sadhguru: Namaskaram, Alex. Alex: Hey, Sadhguru. Nice to meet you. (Sadhguru laughs). How are you doing? Sadhguru: I'm doing great. I'm here outdoors. I'm sorry... The way I'm dressed because very sunny out here. Alex: Yeah, you're looking really cool to be honest. Sadhguru: (Laughs) Because the weather is also pretty cool out here (Both laugh). Alex: Yeah, you're at the Grand Canyon, right? Sadhguru: Yes, just outside the National Park at the Grand Canyon. Alex: To be honest, it's not so often for me to talk to a guru and when I was thinking about a guru, I'm thinking somebody being in India, being in the temple. And now, there is a guru in front of me sitting at the Grand Canyon in California, doing a motorbike tour and wearing really fancy sunglasses. What kind of guru are you? Sadhguru: (Laughs) No, just the shape of the sun. Nothing fancy about it. The sun is round, so I thought best to wear something round to protect myself. Very sunny out here. Alex: So, your entire life you have an amazing impact on people. Today, many people following your ideas about leadership, about self-development, about coaching. So, what is your work about? Sadhguru: What's my work about? I think it's better you reframe that question as what is your life about? Because I have no separation as to what's my life, what's my work, what is my this and that. I just have life. So... so have you and so have everybody, you don't have anything other than your life. The only thing that you have is life. Rest is all imagination. Right now, because a few things are collapsing because of the pandemic people are thinking their life is going away. Unfortunately, a few, you know, a million people have lost their life. That's a different matter. People have lost their dear ones. That's a different matter. Rest is all our making. The only thing we have is life. So how to make this life happen at its peak every moment? Everybody has known some peaks. People have known peaks of happiness, joy, competence, you know, ecstasy, compassion, love. Everybody has experienced this at some point. But the problem is sustainability. They're not able to sustain it. They hold those moments as cherished moments as if (Laughs) rest of the time they're not capable of it. This has happened simply... see, suppose... because you are German, I'm saying this, suppose you guys... you're making good cars. Let me acknowledge you. I'm also driving one (Laughs). Even my motorcycle is German right now. So, you're making good machines. Suppose you're... you make a motorcycle or a car which starts once... only once a month it starts, rest of the time you can't start it. You will junk it or no? So right now, people are like this – once in a way they are in their peak, rest of the time they're down, simply because they have not engineered themselves properly. So my work and my life is about helping people to engineer themselves so that they are at the peak of their experience. Because when it comes to life, there are only two things what you call as my life – profoundness of experience and impactfulness of your activity – this is all there is. Without profoundness of experience, impactfulness of activity is hugely crippled. Without a strong experience within you, you cannot impact the world in a big way. So, activity is about impact, life is about profoundness of experience. People may think, "No, that's not what I want. I want money, I want family, I want love, I want children, I want wife, I want husband." Well, all this you want only because you believe it will bring some profoundness of experience. So that's what I'm saying. How you do it is up to you. But profoundness of experience and impact in the activity that maximum impact that we can create with activity is all there is in life. For this, you need to be a well-engineered machine, and that's my work. That's why Inner Engineering and that's my life – Inner Engineering. Alex: How do I get profoundness experience to have that inner strength in me? Sadhguru: See right now, your whole experience of life is limited to five sense organs. What you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you taste, what you touch. From this, you have gathered data. From that data, you're thinking things up. Right now, from where you come, in Europe, too much significance has been given to human thought. In the yogic culture, we don't give any significance to your thought, but we are very, very interested in the quality of your attention, because human attention is the most important thing. It is human attention which opens up doors. Most significant discoveries and realizations in the world happened when people had a very keen sense of attention. See, for example, all these things happened in Europe, so I'm taking European examples (Laugh). An apple fell – apples were always falling. An apple fell, somebody was attentive, not thinking, just attentive, and laws of gravity. Well, a man tired of his work went and got into a bathtub. Water overflowed, you have laws of flotation. A coffee kettle boiled over, there you have the steam locomotive or steam engine. Like this, most significant scientific discoveries also happened when human beings had the attention, not thought process, because thought is just recycling of your existing data, nothing new will come out of it. Thought is a way of exploring the permutations and combinations of what you already know. You cannot know something new with your thought process, but attention can open up any door. If your attention is keen enough, intense enough, and can be sustained, there is no door in the universe that cannot be opened for you. Alex: So yeah, how do I get that state? I mean, Albert Einstein already said, "You don't solve a problem where you created it." So how can I change that? Sadhguru: Well, we sent you Inner Engineering online program. I heard you did only one or two sessions; paid no attention (Both laugh). Alex: No, already three, already three out of seven, yeah (Both laugh). And I really enjoyed it. I just started this week. Sadhguru: See today, people are carrying attention deficiency as a badge on their sleeve. They say, "My attention is only two minutes, one minute." Well, if you have no attention, you will not know life, because involvement can happen only with attention. Where there is no involvement, there is no life. Anything for that matter. The food that you eat, the people who are around you, the work that you do, or anything in the universe, where there is no involvement there is no experience of life. Involvement will not come without attention. Attention is needed. With thought, you always go away from what is there. You're in this place, you're thinking something else. When you go to that place, you will be thinking about this place. This is the nature of the thought, because thought is just recycling of the memory that you already have. Alex: So how do I get on another level. Not to thoughts, to experience, to feel, to create my life. Sadhguru: There are four more sessions (Both laugh) _____ (Unclear). And to assist... to assist that, there are practices. Once you bring the necessary practices, you need to create a little distance between yourself and your psychological drama, yourself and your physiological drama. Why this distance is needed is, what you call as my body or your physiological structure is an accumulation of the food that you've eaten. Or in a way it is a piece of the planet that you've are gathered. Most people don't get this when they are alive. Only when you bury them, they seem to understand they are part of the planet. Till then, they don't get it. But actually, you're just a piece of the planet. It's the food that you've eaten here. So, it's an accumulation. What you accumulate can never be you; it can only be yours. So, this body belongs to you, but it's not you. But that's not how you experience it right now. You experience it as myself. Similarly, all the content that you have in your mind is also accumulated over a period of time through the sense organs by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, we have gathered information. What you acquire can belong to you, cannot be you. So, if you create a distinction between what is you and what is not you, or in other words, if a little bit of space arises between you and your body, between you and your mind, then you're free from this entire process. Now you can conduct your body and mind according to your will. See, your body and mind are supposed to take instructions from you, but most of the people see, ninety-five percent of the human suffering is because of their own mind, all right? Most human beings are suffering their own intelligence. To give you this level of intelligence, it took millions of years of evolution, and now people are suffering this. Now they want to soak their brains in alcohol every weekend, so that, you know, it doesn't work for two days, and it gets some relief. Problem is that your own intelligence has turned against you because you never paid attention as to how to take charge of your own faculties. People are suffering their own thought and emotion. People are fifty, sixty years of age, still they have not figured out how to handle their thought and emotion. When will you figure it out? When? At the end of your life? It's time. This is what Inner Engineering is about. At least your body and mind should take instructions from you. For this, a little separation is needed. Probably at the end of this seven sessions, you have a practice called Isha Kriya. Otherwise, it's just directly available on the app free of cost. People can do this kriya. It will help you to create a little distance between yourself and everything that you've accumulated in the form of body and the psychological structure. Little space, this is the end of suffering, because the only two types of suffering that human being know is physical suffering and mental suffering. Once there is a little space between you and that, there is no such thing as suffering. Only when there is no fear of suffering, will you walk full stride in your life, otherwise every step is half a step. I feel this fear of suffering has crippled human genius, has crippled human competence, has crippled a variety of possibilities that human beings could be, simply because always the question is, "What will happen to me? What will happen to me?" What will happen to me means what? Will I end up suffering? That's what it is about. Alex: Yeah, it sounds too easy to overcome yourself and to understand that you are more than your own body and this helps to stop suffering. Can you give us more details? Why is it so important to understand that, and what does it really mean in that, that you really are more than your body? What are we at the end of the day when we are more than our bodies? Sadhguru: See, this is crazy. Now, you're asking me what you are. Now, this is a big problem (Laughs).See, if you don't know what you are,whatever you do will be wrong, isn't it? See, for example, right now, you're using technology. I don't know whether you do it yourself or somebody else is doing it for you. Let's say the camera which is sitting in front of you. Somebody knows how to handle that. How do they know how to handle it, because they know how it works, what is the engineering behind it, what it is, so they know how to use it? Because of that, you and me are talking efficiently. Suppose that person who handles your camera doesn't know what is what, and he handles it. It not only will not work, above all, in three days it will be ruined. This is what is happening to human beings. They're just ruining themselves because they don't understand the fundamental mechanics of what this human mechanism is. Without knowing what this is, if you try to deal with such a sophisticated machine... Do you agree with me this human mechanism is the most sophisticated and complex technology on the planet? So, when you are given such a thing, you must at least read the user's manual, isn't it? So, what we are calling as Inner Engineering is a kind of a user's manual, how to deal with this. If you know how to operate this, this is the most fantastic machine. Human intelligence should be a solution for everything but human intelligence has become the biggest problem. What people are suffering... See, if I'm with you Alex and I'm suffering, I can say I'm suffering because of you. Always, people are doing this to each other. But I'm sitting here alone in Grand Canyon (Laughs) and if I'm suffering, obviously I'm in bad company, isn't it (Laughs)? If people are alone and suffering... people are alone and suffering all over the world. This means what? That you're in bad company. So what should you fix? This is the first thing you should fix. Before touching the world, this must be fixed. Alex: So, you're working a lot with meditation and yoga. How does yoga or meditation helps make that point? Sadhguru: See, when you use these words yoga, meditation in the west, it's become so distorted. It's hard to correct the original definition. The word yoga means union, not twisting and turning. I don't know what sort of yoga they're doing in Germany. What sort of yoga that's happening in United States scares me because it's all become like a sport – twisting, turning, doing this, doing that. It's not about that. It's about union. What is union? Is it true that right now we are breathing? Both of us are breathing, isn't it? So, what you exhale, the trees are inhaling. What the trees exhale, you're inhaling. So, I'm saying there is already a union with everything around you. We can go this... we can take this into subatomic, you know, particle level. We can talk about atomic energy and see how the whole universe is connected. Now, the problem is it's not in your experience. Right now, you think you are a small cubicle by yourself and you feel oppressed by the rest of the creation, not understanding the rest of the creation is sustaining you every moment. So, yoga means what is already true, you realize and you begin to experience. You begin to experience everything is one. I just used this simple process of breathing with trees, and started a movement with which millions of trees have been planted right now, where the green cover in this particular state has gone up by seven to eight percent in the last eighteen to twenty years’ time, simply by people experiencing that what we exhale the trees are inhaling. One half of my breathing apparatus are actually hanging out on the tree and it's a fact, but people don't experience it that way. When you experience everything as yourself, then you're in yoga. How you get there is up to you. Inner Engineering is a scientific methodology as to how you can remove the barriers which is not allowing you to experience that. So, these barriers are systematically removed, because these barriers are installed by you out of the fear or out of the instinct of survival. See, there are two fundamental forces ruling a human being. One thing is the instinct of survival. When the instinct of survival is up, you want to build a wall against the world. But there is also another dimension within you which wants to expand. Whoever you are, whatever you are, you want to be something more than what you are. If that something more happens, you want to be something more. This goes on endlessly. Even if I make... your name is Alexander. Suppose according to, you know, your namesake's ambition, I make you the emperor of this planet, will you be fulfilled or will you look at the moon and the sun and the stars and the galaxies? (Overlapping conversation)You will look at it, isn't it? So, you have a longing. This is not installed by anybody... instilled by anybody. This is not a teaching or a philosophy. This is a natural longing in a human being to expand limitlessly. If you want to expand limitlessly, can you do it physically? If you try to do it physically, you will end up as a disaster like Alexander the Great, because half the world conquered, a miserable man and in the end, an Indian mosquito kills him, all right? That too a female mosquito kills him (Laughs). Because trying to physically expand will lead to a disaster. So, once you understand your expansion or your desire is not about something more, it's about all, it is just that it's coming in installments in your mind. But actually, if you sit here and look at it, what would be absolutely fulfilling for you? You want to expand limitlessly. Limitlessness or boundlessness is not possible in the very nature of physical life, because physicality always happens with a defined boundary. If there is no defined boundary, there is no physical sense. So, there is something within you longing to experience life beyond physical nature. Your tango with physical world is only because of the body that you have gathered, isn't it? It's only because of the body that you’ve gathered you have a certain relationship with the physical world, otherwise you have no relationship with the physical world. So physical body is very necessary to walk this planet, but it is your vehicle. It is like you got into your BMW. I'm using the word BMW because these are the three traps – body, mind and the world. You get involved and entangled in this. You drove your BMW, but somewhere you want to get out of the car, isn't it? You don't want to live in the car for the rest of your life. As a vehicle, it may be a good vehicle, but when time comes you must get off. Right now, that ability you've given up. Inner Engineering is a process to give you this, that if you sit here, your body is here, your mind is there, what you is a little away from these two things. Once this happens, this is the end of suffering. Once there is no fear of suffering, once you're joyful by your own nature, not because of something else, only then you can truly unfold your genius. Right now, I see that human genius, human competence, human ability to do things is simply being crippled because of the fear of suffering. Alex: Sadhguru, when did you suffer the last time, and how did you deal with that? Sadhguru: (Laughs) When did I suffer the last time? I don't think I've suffered. I've suffered with other people, but I've never really had any personal sufferings because when I was young, before I was twenty-five years of age, largely everything worked the way I want. I was successful with what I was doing. Here and there small mishaps, but I didn't care what happened because when you're young, you know, you don't much care. If one thing goes wrong, another thing will happen. So, I don't think I have any... I'm not qualified to say that I have deeply suffered, so I am like this. No. I've experienced other people's suffering as my own many times, many, many times. But otherwise, I made myself like this, what happens within me is determined by me. If what happened within you is determined by you, would you choose suffering or joy? Alex: Joy. Sadhguru: I also made the same choice (Both laugh). Alex: You know it sounds so easy when it comes out of your mouth that we only need to understand that, that we only need to understand that we are more than our bodies. Can you give us more ideas Sadhguru: No, no.Understanding is not good enough. You need to experience. If it becomes experientially true, everything will fall into place. Right now, we are trying to intellectualize everything. No.Intellect is not capable of that. Intellect is... would you like a sharp intellect or a blunt one? Please tell me. I'll bless you. Alex: Sharp. Sadhguru: Sharp. So, you understand intellect is like a knife. It's a cutting instrument. So, for cutting it is good. You can dissect everything with your intellect. The sharper it is, the better it is. But suppose you want to stitch something,but you have only a knife and you stitch with your knife you know what is the result. That's all that's happening to people right now. The more they use their intellect, the more distorted they're becoming. Tell me, whether educated people are suffering more or uneducated people are suffering more in the world? Uneducated people suffer if they don't have food, if somebody tortures them, torments them. Educated people are on self-help. They torment themselves all the time because they're trying to do everything with a knife. Let's say a speck of dust got into your eyes, and you try to remove with your knife. You know what happens to you (Laughs). Alex: So, I know that you care about, a lot about nature, about our environment, and that you are maybe a bit scared about what happens over the next years or decades. Can you give us some ideas what you're seeing out there, and what do you think how we can save, so to say, our nature, our humans future? What is necessary? Sadhguru: One immediate thing that needs to be attended to is the soil degradation. I was... one of the UN agencies, they asked me, "Sadhguru, what are the three things that we must act upon immediately?" I said, "The three things are soil, soil and soil." Because the soil degradation is doing you know, biodiversity loss at a pace that we cannot replace. If this continues for another thirty to forty years, then the losses that will happen to us is incalculable. We have never seen anything like that, those kind of things will happen. Probably first it will happen in tropical lands, most probably. We could be wrong, but most probably it could happen in tropical lands. So, people who are living in temperate climates think it is not going to affect them. Anyway, others are going to die. That will make it easy for them to go and conquer those lands or exploit those resources or whatever. These thoughts are there in people's minds, unfortunately, because they want land minus the people. There are many ambitious people who are thinking on those lines. So, soil is one thing.On an average there is about thirty-nine inches of topsoil. This soil, in the last fifty years' time, had degraded phenomenally simply because it's not under shade, there is no vegetation, everything is plowed, and you know, farmed or constructed upon. So, if we do not take care of the soil health, the richness of the soil will directly determine the richness of our lives, because this body is just the soil that we walk upon. This body is not different from the soil that we walk upon. All life, from microbial life to insects to worms, to birds, plants, animals, trees, human beings, over eighty percent... eighty-five percent of the life is sustained by this thirty-nine inches of topsoil. If we take care of this, as an emergency measure, other things can be addressed. It'll give us time to address other things. But if soil degradation happens and desertification happens across the world, then all these others things like sea, air pollution, water pollution, these things can be dealt with very quickly with policy changes and a determined effort. Within a few years, you can fix it. But soil regeneration will not happen in a few years. It's a long-term process. If we start now, in twenty-five years we can have a richer planet soil-wise and that will lead to richer life on the planet, biodiversity on the planet. Because human beings need to understand, worms, insects, birds, animals, trees, everybody has a role to play in our life. If tomorrow morning all the microbes disappear, the life will end right now. If all the worms disappear, in about one-and-a-half to two years, life will end. If all the insects disappear, in four to six years life will end. But if all of us, human beings disappear, planet will flourish. We must understand what is our role here, what is the significance of our presence here. Alex: I expected an answer on consciousness from you. Sadhguru: See, human consciousness is very important if you want to fix any of these things This is not going to happen without this. As a part of this, we have started a movement called Conscious Planet. All of you who are in this leadership process must join this thing. We want you to own this movement, because this is not my individual movement or not my organization's movement. This has to be owned by everybody. The idea is to make at least sixty percent of the voting population in the world conscious as to what are the five things that must happen in their countries, what are the two, three things that should never happen in their countries. We are working on this. We are trying to bring in all the world's political parties in the democratic countries to be part of it, to make sure in every nation on the election manifestos of every political party at least the number two item must always be ecology. If this happens, then policies will change, budgets will come in, government machinery will fall behind it, only then there's a real solution. Otherwise, you and me can talk as much as we want. Without government machinery, budgets and policy changes happening, there's no real change. Alex: For these difficult COVID times, you started an initiative. You already talked about your Inner Engineering course, and I promise you I will do the last four chapters as well. And you have a free offer for all... Sadhguru: You must do a practice called Isha Kriya which is available on the app itself, free for everybody. You and your friends should do this because this will give you a little space between you and your mind, so that your physiological and psychological dimensions of life will come under your control. It's very, very important to do that. If you have a good car, you must be a good driver too, otherwise it will be a mess, (Both laugh) isn't it? Alex: You have a free offer for all, for everybody who is now caring for the people out there – policeman, but also every healthcare professional. So, the whole greater community, everybody who's listening now, is invited to do your Inner Engineering course for free and I'm very thankful for your initiative. And everybody who's not a COVID warriors, but interested in as well, you have a special offer right now which is fifty percent off, and I really can recommend it. And I'm very thankful for making that possible, Sadhguru. Sadhguru: Thank you very much. All the best to whatever endeavors you're taking up, because this needs a sustained effort from everybody. You are all the next generation of people. You need to be focused on what we create in this world during our time. This is our time on the planet. What significant things we'll do, what wonderful things we will do, or what horrible things we will do, is just in our hands. This is our time on the planet. We must make this the best time ever in the history of humanity. Alex: May I ask you one last question, Sadhguru? Sadhguru: (Laughs) Tell me. Alex: You have a lot of volunteers which are working for your Isha Foundation. They're helping people. We also educate people to get coaches, greater coaches. What is your best advice you give people who help other people to develop their own potential to serve others? Your best advice? Sadhguru: See, the best thing you can do is, is not by advice, it's not by teaching that somebody will change around you. The best thing is that you must become an inspiring human being. Inspiring human being means you make yourself in such a way that ten people around you aspire to be like you. They must see you as the ideal. And when you make this kind of a person, you must also estimate and see the kind of persona that you are exhibiting, is it for a large scale well-being. There may be no absolute well-being. There may be always somebody who argues, "This is all bad," that's always there. But in your consciousness, have you fixed this, that you as a person is a conscious person who structures yourself in such a way that you are for maximum well-being on the planet? And, that will naturally be inspiring. If you act in an inspiring way, if you live in an inspiring way, people around you will naturally grow up to that. Thank you very much. Alex: Thank you, Sadhguru. Have a good time in California. Was a pleasure. Thank you.