Spiritual leader tells Dubai audience people must shun “limited identities” of race or nationality to adopt bigger worldview
Dubai: Conflict is a consequence of harbouring a “limited identity” of ourselves, which creates a confrontational outlook, famous Indian mystic Sadhguru said during his talk in Dubai on Friday.
Sadhguru, who is the founder of Isha Foundation, told thousands of attendees at the ‘Mystic Eye’ event that “whatever of wars you have seen, it is only the playing out of a limited identification”.
Sadhguru, often regarded as a spiritual leader in contemporary times, explained that many people’s outlook is too narrow, restricted to their religion, nationality, or race. Addressing 6,000 people, who came from all walks of life, at Festival Arena, Sadhguru said the human intellect only works in harmony with “whatever you identify yourself with”.
He mentioned the partition of India and Pakistan as an example where a narrowing of people’s identities — into “Indians” and “Pakistanis” — led to conflict.
Sadhguru said that, now more than ever, people need to place themselves in a “big identity” — of humans, all at peace with one another as well as with the cosmos.
He said the “misunderstanding” about the nature of the human intellect has also contributed to widespread unhappiness. Sadhguru said the intellect is like a sharp knife that should only be wielded by “steady hands”, lest it becomes a tool for discord, as opposed to a purposeful tool. He added that “information” should not be confused with “intelligence”, describing the former as primarily a set of memory-based facts.
Sadhguru said the modern-day education system is largely failing to bring happiness to people because it ignores “other dimensions” of the intellect and aspects that make humans what they are — the most sophisticated “machinery” on earth that needs the correct “user’s manual”.
To illustrate his point, he mentioned the example of a car, which will not drive safely or properly “if you try to drive it on only one wheel”.
“You need something more than ‘education’ to bring people together,” Sadhguru said.
In the US, for example, he said there was a new, emerging trend where ‘educated’ couples are taking up separate residences right next door because “they cannot stand each other” if they spend too much time together. “You can meet each other, if you wish, on the weekends”.
The conflict and isolation, be it between countries or individuals, is also a manifestation of people regarding themselves as “the centre of the universe”.
He added that people should rid themselves of the “ extra weight” of “self-significance, pride and ego” so they can “fly to the greatest possibilities” humans are capable of, if they can only realise their true potential.
“Can you brush that off for me? Then we can do some Mystic Eye today,” Sadhguru said. He mentioned yoga as one way of reaching “within ourselves” so we function in harmony with nature, as opposed to against it.
Sadhguru explained that people, in simplest terms, are just “time and energy”, describing life as “ticking away”. He emphasised on the need for using the time people have on earth to achieve a balance, “manage your energy”, to ensure “it’s you in union with the universe”, not “you versus the universe — a bad combination”.
Sadhguru said most people are living in a “terrible state of slavery” by “locking themselves inside a room and throwing away the key”. He was drawing parallels between prison life and our inner lives, saying “freedom” was the “highest value” treasured by mankind.
Sadhguru, who does not belong to any particular tradition, said most people have “locked themselves in” into an exclusively racial, religious, or nationalistic way of seeing themselves and regarding anybody different as “us versus them”.
Friday’s four-hour talk, which had a break, was also shown on giant screens inside the venue, with Sadhguru taking the stage in his typical fashion, resting on a bench and wearing his signature turban and flowing attire.