What is an ideal society?

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Be Inspired / Society

from Youth & Truth Talk

Sadhguru @ Shiv Nadar University


Sadhguru, my question to you is - it feels like at every point of human history, for society there is always been this one challenge or one reckoning. In my opinion, right now, humanity's or society's issue is climate change or nuclear war. So, it feels like solving this has been society’s or the general consciousnesses main purpose. My question is, suppose humanity makes it past this very tumultuous phase we’re in right now, what would we do if we reach an ideal society where everyone is peaceful and together? What would our endgame be? What would we strive towards ?


Duration: 18 min


12 min read

What is an ideal society?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Questioner: Sadhguru, my question to you is – it feels like at every point of human history, for society there is always been this one challenge or one reckoning. For instance, for most of human history, a society’s main issue would have been to protect itself from outsiders. In my opinion, right now, humanity’s or society’s issue is climate change or nuclear war. So, it feels like solving this has been society’s or the general consciousnesses main purpose.

My question is, suppose humanity makes it past this very tumultuous phase we’re in right now, what would we do if we reach an ideal society where everyone is peaceful and together? What would our endgame be? What would we strive towards ?

Sadhguru: See look at it this way because you can’t really figure what all these people want. Look at yourself, right now you’re thinking you want to become an engineer. Let’s say, right now I make you an engineer, this moment. Then you’re thinking you need a job, I got your job. Then you’re thinking I you need a promotion, I got you. Then you think you need an award, I got you. Then you think you need wealth, I got you, right now. Everything that you can dream of I got you right now. What do you want now?

Questioner: I don’t know!

Sadhguru: I can do that for you!

Questioner: Let’s say, I want a job.

Sadhguru: Ahh?

Questioner: I was striving for a job right now.

Sadhguru: Yes. Now, we are looking at the end game, right ? You’ve got everything you wanted right now, things that you can imagine, things that you cannot imagine right now, everything you’ve got right now. What do you want right now ?

Questioner: I wouldn’t know what to do.

Sadhguru: Just look at it! When you say this what it means is, all you want in your life, what you’re seeking is struggle. To get a job it must take three years, then you will feel – wow, I got a job. Look at all the people who have good jobs. Look at them walking on the street. Are they going blissfully, dripping ecstasy ? Hello? Miserable guys, they’re getting blood pressure going to work. They’re getting all kinds of ailments, they’re freaking out. Yes? So what do you want ?

Questioner: I Don’t know anymore ?

Sadhguru: That’s good. “I do not know”, I like that. Because actually you do not know.

Everybody keeps fooling themselves at every step in their life, thinking, “What I want is – I want to become an engineer, I want to become an engineer.” It will keep you busy for five, seven years. Then, “I want job, job,” it keeps you busy for another one or two years. Then I want this kind of job, that kind of job, that keeps you busy for another eight – ten years. I want that much money, that much wealth, that keeps you busy for another twenty-five years. I want this kind of girl, that kind of girl, that kind of boy, that keeps you busy for a few years. Then children will come, I want my child to become this, this, this! Well, we are preparing for your funeral.

You need to understand, you need to understand just this – right now you may be giving all kinds of context to your life, but essentially what you call as my life right now, is just a certain combination of time and energy. Yes? As you sit here, time is rolling away for all of us. Can you roll it back? You’re an engineer. Can you roll it back? Yesterday was not fruitful, so I’ll roll it back. Can you? It’s rolling away for all of us. As we sit here what is ticking away here is not the clock. What is ticking away is our life, isn’t it? Since we came and sat here you are half an-hour closer to your grave. It doesn’t matter how young you are. You are getting there, isn’t it? Yes or no?

So, it’s a certain amount of time. And that time, nobody can manage because it rolls at the same pace for everybody. You do something, you don’t do anything, you sleep, you’re awake, you’re happy, you’re unhappy – do whatever the hell you want, it just keeps rolling, mercilessly, isn’t it? So there is energy that you call as life. This you can pitch it a different levels. If you’re like this [drowsy] – I’m talking about the classroom expression, you know? If you’re like this [drowsy], twenty-four hours feel like thousand years. But have you seen on a certain day you’re very happy, twenty-four hours puff went off like a moment. Yes or no?

So time is a very relative experience in individual subjective experiences. If you’re joyful, if you live hundred years, it feels like a few moments, it’s gone. Only miserable people will have a loooong life. Because if you’re miserable, you’ll always feel life is too long, that you will want to cut it short. But if you are joyful, the possibility that a human being holds, before you look around, it’s over, really. For what possibility this carries. So what you need to manage is your energies. Because life is a certain amount of energy. It’s not limitless, but it can be enhanced. If you function at one level of energy, what you do in ten years’ time, if you function at a different level of energy, the same thing you can do in one year’s time. So if both people live for hundred years in terms of impact and profoundness of experience, one has lived for a thousand years, another has lived for hundred miserable years. So this is all you can do.

You may think right now engineer this one, that one. These are all limited contacts you setting for yourself. Fundamentally as a life, it’s just time and energy, isn’t it? The question is what you make out of it? Do you want to make something out of it? There’s no compulsion you have to make something out of it. When I say making something out of it, is not a social phenomenon, I’m talking. What should you become in the society, that’s not what I’m talking.

Fundamentally, you have come here in terms of life is, you want to experience life. Question is how profoundly. Right now, if people want to experience life, what are they experimenting with? They will experiment [smoking], or they’ll experiment this [drinking] or they experiment something else. What they will experiment is, how to down your faculties.

You know, United States has made marijuana legal in a few states. So, when I went to a few colleges or universities they’re asking me, “Sadhguru why don’t you pitch. Someone like you must legalize marijuana for us”. I said, “No problem, we’ll make marijuana legal, cocaine legal, meth legal. What’s the problem? No problem.” Only thing is, why is it that you want it to be legal, so that you can smoke up and come to the college right? It’s fine.

But let’s say you want to fly a small airplane, the pilot comes smoked up. You want to fly with him? Ahhhh [doubtful], because the guy is already flying without the airplane. Okay, you’re not getting the point. You need a major surgery, and the surgeon come smoked up. You want the surgery? “Oh, no.” Then you clearly understand this lowers your faculties.

I want all of you to look at this. Do you believe you can enhance life by lowering your faculties, hello? If you want to enhance this life, you must super enhance your faculties. That’s the only and only way you can enhance this life. You cannot lower your faculties and think your life is getting enhanced. What kind of stupidity is that? Simply because it makes you a little like this [in la la land]. I can make you feel like this [drunk] all the time. How is that ? No substance.

I’m always like this only. Look at my eyes I am stoned. Yeah. Never touched a substance but fully stoned all the time. Because I want you to understand this, the greatest chemical factory on the planet is here [self]. If you are a good manager of this, you can create any experience that you want from within, and also heighten your faculties. If you are having an experience, even to experience that your faculty should be heightened, isn’t it?

Is this [human system] the greatest chemical factory on the planet, most sophisticated, do you agree with me? Are there chemical engineers? So I am asking, how are you managing your system? What have you done? We gave you such a sophisticated machine, have you read the user’s manual, at least ? No. Blindly do this and then you think pumping something is going to make this better. No. Believe me, the only and only way you can enhance this life is that your faculties are super bright. The way you see, the way you hear, the way you smell, the way you taste and the way you touch – if this is enhanced, is life enhanced in many ways? There are much more to it. But I’m saying from what you know, from your experience.

Suppose you could see twice better than somebody who’s sitting next to you – is your Life enhanced? Hmm? If you could taste better than other people, is life enhanced? If you could feel better, is it life enhanced? If you could hear better, is live enhanced? On this level, you understand this, but there are many other dimensions of human faculties. If you enhance this, if you sit here, you will be blissed out simply sitting here. You wouldn’t want to touch any damn thing because just sitting here is the greatest experience of your life.

So about, what is the end game? If you had everything, what would you want? If you had everything that you can ever dream of, everything is right here. What would you want? You must think, isn’t it? I won’t supply with an answer. If you do not invest that much thought into your life, that means you’re super short sighted. Hello?

This happened to Gautama the Buddha, you heard of Gautama – the Buddha. Because of some astrological prediction that his father heard that, he may either become a great Emperor or a great sage, and he wanted him to become a great Emperor. He protected this boy and put him in a separate palace, where it’s all luxury, everything that you can dream of, everything there. Got him married to a very pretty young woman, everything on. He should not see any suffering.

But one day, he just went out. He saw one old man and he asked, “Why is this guy like this?” You know, his chauffeur, his chauffer or his chariot driver said, “Oh, everybody becomes like that after a certain time.” He said, “What me? I am a young prince, will I become like that?” He, “Yeah, everybody will become like that.” It shook him. Then he saw a man who’s suffering with some kind of disease, ailment. He said, “Why is that guy like that?” He said, “It will happen to a lot of people, who it will hit there is no prediction, anybody can become ill.” Most people think it happens to other people. No, it can happen to us. Hello? And he saw a funeral, a dead body. “What is that?” He said, “That is inevitable, everybody will die.”

Do you also know, you will also die? No because most people believe other people die. No intellectually they know, but they think they are forever. Now, you must be conscious, you are mortal. Mortal means you have a limited amount of time and energy. If you’re always conscious about this, how do you organize your time and energy, you decide. If you’re conscious about it. If you think you’re a super human being, you’re not going die, other people will die – all the best. It will come. You can realize this on your deathbed, and die.

See, people may think this is extreme – but you must go and volunteer in a hospice or in a hospital wards, where people die, and you must see, it’s very important. Very, very important. Only then you become sensitive to life, life becomes super valuable because you know, it’s a limited amount of time. If you watch this, unfortunately today in the world, over eighty percent of the people, last moment when it comes, when they die, they’re not fearful, they’re not in pain, they’re not in something else, they just bewildered. A look of bewilderment comes, because all their life they just lived their thought and emotion, they never lived a life.

This is important, you must understand – there is a psychological reality in your head, and there is an existential reality which is life. Most people are mistaking their psychological reality to be existential. Your thought and emotion has become more significant than the cosmos, isn’t it? Hello? Hmm? What you think, what nonsense you think and feel, has it become more important than the universe or no? This means you are making your creation more significant than the larger creation. This means you must suffer. If you don’t suffer, I’ll be disappointed. Yes, I will be. Because if your ignorance doesn’t make you suffer, then what’s the use of me? Because it takes a lot to come out of that trap. What is the use of somebody striving to come out of the trap of ignorance? When people can live wonderfully in their ignorance, what is the point? What is the use of knowledge? What is the use of knowing? What is the use of enlightenment? What is the use of realization? If people can live absolutely blissfully in their ignorance, what is the point? When you’re ignorant, you must suffer. And I want you to know, the greatest evil right now on the planet is not evil, it’s ignorance.

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