Questioner: Virtual reality has become one of the most prominent technologies in modern world. A lot of researchers are exploring this technology to bring a lot of well-being to human beings. But, currently the technology is causing a lot of issues like alter ego, escapism, anti-social behavior, and especially addiction to gaming. So, how can virtual reality be used to benefit humans? And more importantly, what is its impact on human consciousness?
Sadhguru: Well, when you use it well, you will see right now you’re using it, Sadhguru’s still in India!
See, no technology is harmful, it is just that, when human mind is in a certain level of destructive mode, every technology is harmful – everything. You can take your laptop and slit somebody’s head. Does it mean to say computers are dangerous? Suppose a few incidents happen like this, in many offices it happened – let’s say in ten offices it so happened somebody took Apple Air, and slit somebody’s head. Does it mean to say laptops are dangerous? No, human beings are stupid. Whatever comes their way, they know how to turn it against themselves. When they turn their own brains against themselves, what else do you want?
Now there are technology de-addiction centers. You know this? Like there are drug de-addiction, alcohol de-addiction, now technology de-addiction centers. Simply because we are in a compulsive mode. If we start eating, we don’t know when to stop eating. That’s a problem, big problem! Quite a big problem. If we start drinking, you don’t know when to stop drinking. If we start shopping, we don’t know when to stop shopping. If we start using the phone, we don’t know when to stop using the phone. So the problem is not of technology, the problem is of compulsiveness. When you say compulsiveness, it’s just absence of consciousness, isn’t it?
If we were conscious human beings, we would use everything for our well-being and everybody’s well-being
If we were conscious human beings, we would use everything for our well-being and everybody’s well-being. Because we are compulsive, we start doing something – we don’t know how to stop. Endlessly we will do the same silly thing. So, whether it’s virtual reality, or artificial intelligence, or anything of anything, the problem is not of technology never. Because they are just devices created by us, we are supposed to use it for our well-being – that’s the idea, isn’t it? But see most of the cutting edge technology always goes into military usage in the world. Obviously we don’t know how to use it for our well-being, we are always using it to destroy something. This has been the thing always, not just now, because we have never worked on human consciousness.
If human beings lived consciously, if the leadership in the world was a conscious leadership, the question of using technology against human well-being or the well-being of anything, wouldn’t arise, isn’t it? Technology means enhancement of our capability, isn’t it? So right now, I have a microphone – this is an enhancement of our capability, isn’t it? If I spoke without microphone, only this many people would hear, this is just an enhancement. So suppose just because I have a microphone, I start screaming. Now the problem is not of microphone. You think the problem is of microphone? “Oh, this microphone is screaming so loudly,” is it? So this is what we are talking – no technology is a problem, no matter what it is. The question is will we use it consciously? Or will we either compulsively or commercially – commerce is a compulsion right now.
We started trading like this – I have some rice, you have some chicken, we exchanged, little okay? Because I had something extra – I had more potatoes, you had more eggs, we exchanged. This is how commerce started, something excess we give it to you, what you have excess you give it to me so that you live your life, I live my life. Slowly because of our compulsiveness, we have grown commerce to such a point, that it controls every aspect of our life right now.
No technology is harmful, it is just that, when human mind is in a certain level of destructive mode, every technology is harmful
Well, the government is telling you, “Please all of you take more loans otherwise economy will go down”. Yes or no? They are encouraging you – because somebody told me, “Sadhguru you have no credit worthiness, because you’ve never taken a loan.” I thought it’s a good thing. I thought I’ve never taken a loan is a very good thing. But they’re telling me it’s a bad thing. “You have no credit worthiness, you must take some loan.” “What do I do?” “Just buy a house somewhere. Just buy a house somewhere and rent it, Sadhguru. You’ll have credit worthiness”. This is compulsiveness transformed itself into commerce, isn’t it? Well, people built a home because they want to live there. But now we’ve made this so compulsive, that commerce is eating up the planet!
Just recently, I don’t know if you saw this news, about twenty days ago, one of the Russian container carriers – a big ship a big ship something like 40,000 ton ship broke through the Atlantic ice, and they established a new route, because… I’m sorry, the Arctic ice, where they could not come. This reduces the distance to where it used to travel by 8,000 kilometers, and they’re going to save so much money, but they’re going through the Arctic ice. Because it’s thin, they’re breaking through and commercial shipping is going to happen through the Arctic. This is compulsive commerce – you don’t understand what the hell you are doing, isn’t it? Yes or no? It’s just compulsiveness! Don’t call this commerce, this is just human compulsiveness – they can’t keep quiet, they have to do something.
This is why we thought at least if we get the whole population to simply sit quietly for twenty-one minutes, planet could be saved! Even if they don’t know how to meditate! Just imagine, all these 7.6 billion people did nothing for twenty minutes in a day. This is why I’ve been saying – see, it is not human intelligence which is saving the planet, it is not human love or compassion saving the planet – it’s human lethargy, half the people are lazy, they are the ones who are saving the planet. If everybody gets fully industrious using all the technology we have, poof, in fifteen-twenty years, I think the planet will be shaved clean. Yes or no? We’re going there?
So, doesn’t matter what’s the technology – never a technology or any kind of enhancement of capability, should be a problem! Isn’t it? If human capability’s enhanced, should it become a problem? Always it’s a solution for something, isn’t it? But we make it a problem because we use it compulsively. So the key is not in holding back the technologies, the key is making human beings more conscious about how they function.