Awareness beyond thinking

Awareness is not the same as mental awareness; it is a dimension beyond thinking, it is your very aliveness, says Sadhguru

woman sitting outdoors / concept of awareness

“Awareness” is a very vague term. It means different things to different people. When we say awareness, do not mistake this for mental alertness. Mental alertness will help you survive better. It will help you conduct your survival process in a slightly superior fashion. Awareness is not something that you do. Awareness is aliveness. Your aliveness is only because of your awareness. If you were completely unaware, would you know that you are alive? You are alive only to the extent you are aware. And to what extent you are aware, only to that extent something is in your experience.

“How do I practise awareness?” You cannot practise it. How can you practise life? If you were dead you could practise life. If you are alive, how can you practise life? It is just that right now, you are not giving much room for your aliveness to happen because you have given too much significance to what you think and feel. Your psychological process has become far more important than your life process. Why awareness seems to be so difficult is simply because we have let our minds go into endless chatter. If your mind is not chattering, awareness is the natural way to be.

The primacy of existence

People have made their thought process so important. They have even gone to the extent of saying, “I think, therefore I am.” Which do you think is true: you think because you exist, or you exist because you think? You can generate a thought because you exist, isn’t it? We want to shift the significance to the life process. You can play with your psychological process whichever way you want, but it is only because you are alive that you can think.

Once in a while, if I just close my doors and sit in a place for five days, I do not have a single thought for five days. I don’t look out of the window, I don’t read, I don’t do anything. I am simply being alive. This is such a huge phenomenon happening within you, what is there to think about? Being alive is a far bigger process than your stupid thought process.

Anyway, what can you think? You are just recycling the nonsense that you have gathered. Can you think something other than the nonsense that has been fed into your head? You are just recycling the old data you have gathered. This recycling nonsense has become so important that you can even dare to say “I think, therefore I am”, and that becomes the world’s way of life. Existence is, even without your silly thoughts.

Not thinking, just living

If you choose, you can fully be and still not think. Please see, the most beautiful moments in your life are those moments when you were not thinking about anything. What you call moments of bliss, moments of joy, moments of ecstasy, moments of utter peace, these were moments when you were not thinking about anything but were just living.

Which is more important, living or thinking? You must decide this—do you want to be a living being or a thinking being? Right now, 90 per cent of the time, you are only thinking about life, not living life. Are you here to experience life or to think about life? You want to experience life, and you cannot experience life if you are lost in your thought. It is only through perception that you experience. You cannot experience through thought. With the past experience of life, you are cooking up something in your head—that is a thought process. Whatever you think has no significance because your thoughts have nothing to do with reality. They do not mean anything. Everyone can think up their own nonsense whichever way they want. It need not have anything to do with reality at all.

Your psychological process is a very small happening compared to the life process. Isn’t being alive right now more important for you than thinking? But if I trample upon your thought even a little, you are even willing to die for it. People die for their ideas. People die for their thought. People die for what they believe in. Thought has become far more important than the life process because people have not realised the immensity of what it means to be alive.

Logic divides

Because life has been restrained within the survival activity, thought looks grander than life. But it is not so. Thought is just a small happening compared to the life process. Aristotle is considered as the father of modern logic. His logic is very simple and straight—A can only be A, B can only be B. A cannot be B, B cannot be A. Can you argue with this? Logically it looks perfect. But let us look at this.

You are here either as a man or a woman. But how did you come here? Because a man and woman came together. Now suppose you are a woman, does it mean to say your father has made no contribution to you? He does exist within you, doesn’t he? Suppose you are a man, does it mean your mother made no contribution to you? Doesn’t she exist within you? The fact is that you are either a man or a woman, but the truth is you are both. Truth is that dimension which is not logically explainable. It does not fit into logic because logic is always dividing; truth is always unifying. So Where will this logic fit into life?

If you apply your logic too much to your life, all life will be squeezed out of you. The logical aspect of the mind is useful only to handle the material realities of life. If you try to handle yourself with logic, you will be a total mess because fundamentally, if you look at your life absolutely logically, there is no meaning to it.

When you wake up in the morning tomorrow, think absolutely logically. Don’t look at the sunrise, don’t look at the birds in the sky, don’t think of someone you love, your child’s face, or the flowers in the garden. Just think logically. Now, you actually have to get out of bed—that is not a small feat. You go to the toilet, brush your teeth, eat, do some work, eat, work, eat, sleep —tomorrow morning, same thing—over and over again. You have to do this for the next 40, 50 years. Think 100% logically, without looking at your life’s experience—is it really worthwhile?

Moments of extreme logic are moments of suicide, please see this. If we think 100 per cent logically about life, there is really no reason to live; there is really no reason for you and me to exist here. But if you look at one beautiful moment of your life’s experience, suddenly everything is sparked up and you want to live. The logical aspect of your life and the experiential dimension of your life are diametrically opposite to each other. That is why you are struggling with it. If you look at life experientially, there is every reason to live. If you look at life logically, there is no reason to live.

Why does someone commit suicide? Because they refuse to look at the experiences that they have had. If they fail an examination, people commit suicide; their husbands left them, they commit suicide; they lost their property, they commit suicide. People do it for so many reasons. Let’s say, today your husband or your wife left you. If you think logically, “My whole life was to love this person and be with this person, and now this person is gone. Where is the reason for me to live?” If you go logically, you will commit suicide. But if your husband or wife is gone, maybe it is a whole new possibility in your life. Maybe things that you could never imagine will happen to you simply because you are free from one aspect of life. We do not know, but it is possible.

If you think hundred percent logically, there is really no possibility of life. Only if you know to what extent your logic should go and where it should not go, your life will be beautiful. If you become absolutely logical, there is no beauty to your life. Everything becomes bare and no good.

A dimension beyond thought

Logic is essential only to handle the material aspect of life. If you want to know the experiential dimensions of life, you will never know it with your petty thought. Even if you have Einstein’s brain, it is still a petty thought because thought cannot be bigger than life. Thought can only be logical, functioning between two polarities. That is too small. If you want to know life in its immensity, you need something more than your thoughts, your logic, or your intellect. Only if you open up that dimension, you will taste life in its larger proportion. Otherwise, you will know only the physicality of life. With thought, you can know the physical and use the physical, but you will not penetrate anything other than the physical.

It is because the world has given so much significance to Aristotle and his tribe that all the sciences have developed in the physical dimension. With this, much comfort has come. You may be thrilled about how many things your computer or the internet can do, but if you really look at it, it has not done anything to your life. It has brought comfort and convenience, but ultimately, it has not brought you any joy. It has not taken you to any higher dimension of experience or existence.

In spite of all this exploration, no new dimension has occurred to you because the instruments of exploration that you are using are too limited. They are just logical and intellectual, so there is no way you will touch another dimension of life. It is not possible. I appreciate the enthusiasm, but it is as if you were trying to go to the moon with a bullock cart. It doesn’t matter how hard you beat the bulls it is not going to get there.

If you beat the bulls really hard, may be you can climb a mountain on the bullock cart, but you cannot go to the moon. Either you learn this out of your intelligence, or life will maul you and teach you a lesson slowly.

The choice is yours.

Excerpted with permission from Mind Is Your Business by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev | Published by Jaico Publishing House

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