Questioner: Most humans on the planet, how conscious are they?
Sadhguru: In today’s world?
Questioner: Yes. In Los Angeles. You spent time here.
Sadhguru: Let’s take the whole world. I don’t want to make a judgement of Los Angeles. In the whole world, it’s unfortunately a very minuscule percentage, minuscule. Why is this so? Why is it people are not conscious? The fundamental reason is, they have taken themselves too seriously. They don’t understand that they’re just a pop-up on the planet. They’ll pop-up and pop-out – but big fuss about that.
Why is it people are not conscious? The fundamental reason is, they have taken themselves too seriously
What is me – has become too important. ‘What is me’ means, my physical form is me, essentially, isn’t it? So, once my limitations become very important, there is no way to be conscious. You’re just becoming self-defeating in the process. It doesn’t matter how hard you try. The only, and only, reason why the entire world is not naturally enlightened is, they’re dead serious about their lives. They’ve not come to ease with their lives, they’re too serious about it.
See, I mean you’ve just been through Inner Engineering online process. If you take the very solar system, in this cosmos the solar system is a tiny spec. In that spec, planet Earth is a micro-spec. In that micro-spec, Los Angeles is a super-micro-spec. In that, you’re a big man. This is a serious problem, not a small problem. So once you create this problem, then you cannot be conscious. You can only be mentally alert, because it is all about survival. The more mentally alert you become, more you tend to become like a carnivorous animal. You know a carnivorous animal is very mentally alert, because every day he has to hunt his food.
I have spent so much time in the Jungles in India. You must see a tiger – how alert he is, how alert he is. Because if he is not alert, he is not going to get food. He’s going to die of starvation. He’s got to be super alert to earn his food. Most people think tigers can kill what they want – no, it’s very very difficult for him to get his prey, because all the herbivorous animals are faster than him, and they sweat in the body, so they can run longer. He can only do one burst. In that burst he must catch, otherwise […] he gets hot. His body gets hot, he can not go. He just sits there helplessly, because his body gets overheated. You must watch this whole game, how it goes on. How frustrated he is that he can’t get his food. He knows his energy levels are going down, and as time passes by he will become more incapable of getting his food. You should see the anxiety on his face. So, he is super alert.
This is the nature of a carnivorous animal. Once, your alertness – mental alertness – goes that way, you become like a predator. Always looking, what you can get, what you can get, what you can get. It may be in whatever levels of life that people are involved in, but all the time they’re trying to grab something, because mental alertness creates that. I’m not saying you should not be alert. But if you’re conscious and alert, then it works in a different way. But if you just ramp up your mental alertness, you will become like a hunter. All the time waiting, crouching for something.
Questioner: If I heard you correctly, many people who are pursuing consciousness end up just becoming more mentally alert. And so, how does one strive to have more consciousness but it is not something you can work at, or work towards? What is the path?
Sadhguru: See, the very question – when you say, to pursue consciousness. How will you pursue consciousness?
Questioner: I guess a higher consciousness.
Sadhguru: In which direction will you pursue?
Questioner: I think in…
Sadhguru: Because you are consciousness, isn’t it? Where is the need to pursue this? See, we can pursue certain levels of competence in the world. See, we can pursue a skill. We can pursue certain levels of competence in the world, which will make us little better with whatever we are doing. But you can not pursue consciousness.
This [self] has to come to ease, then only it will become conscious. When it becomes very alert, it becomes like an animal. So, becoming an animal means – it’s not that something wrong – but in the evolutionary scale of things, you are going backwards. See, the most significant aspect of being human is this – that you can determine the nature, the scope and the pace of your evolution, unlike any other creature. This is the most important aspect of being human, that you can determine the nature, scope and pace of your own evolution, which no other creature can determine. For them nature pushes them at whatever pace it pushes them. That’s what yoga means – tools of transformation, so that you can hasten your evolutionary process.