Sadhguru looks at the repetitive nature of the karmic cycle, and the three ways to approach the spiritual process.
The karmic structure in every human being is essentially cyclical. This cycle is not from lifetime to lifetime alone. If you are observant enough, you will see that events generally repeat themselves in cycles of twelve-and-a-quarter to twelve-and-a-half-years. If you observe much more closely, you will see that even within a year’s time, these same patterns are happening many times over. If you observe very, very closely, the same cycles are happening many times over even within a day. The karmic cycle actually takes force every 40 minutes. These 40-minute cycles are called galige in Kannada. So every 40 minutes, you have an opportunity to break it.
It is very important to see this. If you see that your life is just a repetitive foolish cycle, that you are doing the same cycle over and over again every 40 minutes, you would realise in two days that the way it is going is no good. If you only see the cycles once in 12 years, it will take 24 to 48 years for you to realise this is no good. And if you see the cycles once in a lifetime, it will take a few lifetimes to see this is no good.
It depends on how conscious you are. The more conscious you become, the more you see living in an unconscious cycle is no good. So, every 40 minutes, you have an opportunity to become conscious of it and to break the cycle. You want to break your present walls and go away.
Three ways to approach the spiritual process
There are three ways to approach the spiritual process. One way is, slowly, by doing the right things through a few lifetimes, you will get there. Another way is, you remain in your present circumstances, do the best you can do, keep yourself open and focused and make yourself available to the process. In the last moment of your life, we will see that it happens. Another way is, you want to know something now. You want to break your limitations now and go beyond its limitations. Then you should not be concerned about what is happening around you because many things will happen that no one will approve of. Society will not approve, people will not approve, your family will not approve since they are related to you because you were one kind of person. If you become another kind, they will not be able to relate to you anymore.
Let us say you got married to someone. They married you because you were a certain kind of person. If you become another kind, maybe it is a beautiful kind, but still a different kind, you are suddenly an alien to them. They cannot live with you unless they have the wisdom and sense to see you as a great possibility that “My partner has gone ahead. It is wonderful to have somebody who is ahead of me.” If that much sense is there, fine, but if that much sense comes, then the relationship has to transform itself. It can no longer be what it was. It has to become something else. Once you recognise that someone is way ahead of you then that relationship cannot be husband and wife, mother and son, this and that. It will become something else. So, in some way, whatever you used to value will be broken–either physically broken, or you will live in the same space but still it will change. How many people in the world are ready for that?
So, the other two options are better for a lot of people. You do the right things, be available to your Guru, and when the last moment comes, he will take care of it. Or, you are not even willing to be available, but you are willing to do a few little things. Practice some kind of nourishment for yourself so that somewhere in the future, something will happen. I do not wish that for you. Either you must break your limitations now or it must happen at least at the moment of death. I am not a patient person. I practiced impatience for lifetimes. People generally see me as an extremely patient person because my acceptance is seen as patience, but I am not. I want everything on fast forward. I don’t like anything moving slowly.
There is no mountain standing between you and the ultimate. There is nothing else but yourself–just your own mental structure. If you have to break that, we have to do something in reverse. This is a simple thing you can do: team up with someone that you don’t like. Spend time with that person, very lovingly, joyfully. A lot of things will break. But if you always team up with someone that you like–that is not good for you.
If you choose something that you like, it strengthens your personality. Learn to do things that you don’t like, be with people that you don’t like, and still live your life sensibly, lovingly, joyfully. Everything will break.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing all aspects of human wellbeing through yoga programmes, and social and environmental initiatives.