Sadhguru explains why we have formed habits and also explains the importance of demolishing these patterns.
Snacking late at night, refusing all conversation or to do any work before morning coffee, and pushing the snooze button on the bedside clock are all habits that define our day. Habit formation is really any behavior that, when performed routinely, soon becomes automatic.
Habits vs Consciousness
These habits of ours may be extremely common, such as playing with your hair, and of little consequence. However, some habits can shape our lives very negatively. Smoking can lead to cancer. Binge eating can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Tailgating when driving can lead to less reaction time and an accident. Impulsive behaviors that have become routine and have developed as stress reducers can have a long-range counterproductive impact.
“Consciousness is not a bunch of thoughts or a certain level of understanding – it’s a boundless dimension.” – Sadhguru
“Once you are conscious, both unconsciousness and self-consciousness evaporate.” – Sadhguru
“Society should not determine the nature of human consciousness. Human consciousness should determine the nature of society.” – Sadhguru
“You do not have to raise your consciousness – you have to raise yourself to find access to it.” – Sadhguru
Sadhguru: Let us look at this from a different perspective. A habit is formed essentially because it brings a certain ease to your life – it makes certain parts of your life automatic. You do not have to think or consider anything about it. You can do it just like that.
Naturally, as a part of a human being’s defense mechanism, he forms a few habits because unlike other animals, we have not come with many of our traits fixed. For other animals, most of their traits are fixed. You notice just a little bit of difference between one dog and the next, between one cat and the next. They have their individual personality, but most of their traits are fixed. For us, extremely little is fixed. Almost everything is wide open for a human being. Because of this, as a child, you try to form a defense pattern within yourself where you try to create your own patterns.
Shaking Off the Patterns Consciously
Every child creates certain habits for the sake of survival. That is survival instinct. With these patterns, he can function with some ease. It is very relevant for a child. But generally, children shake these patterns off as they grow, depending upon the level of exposure and awareness you create around them. Either by exposure or with education, people will change. People change so dramatically – they go out for three years and come back, and parents cannot recognize their children anymore. Everything about them has changed because of a different level of exposure.
It is those who are fearful and constantly engrossed in self-preservation who cannot drop their old habits easily. Those who are looking for excitement, life, adventure – they will drop their habits very easily because they are always remodeling their lives whichever way it is needed for the situations in which they exist right now.
Above all, if a person takes up a spiritual path, all his habits will drop because there is no such thing as a good and bad habit. All habits are bad. They may be instruments of survival at a certain stage in your life, but once you have grown up you should not have any habit, good or bad, because a habit means you are learning to conduct your life unconsciously. That may look safe, but it denies you life in so many different ways.
Karma vs Consciousness
Spirituality is the fundamental tool to break all unconscious patterns that we have within ourselves. What we refer to as karma is also just this. Karma means you are unconsciously creating patterns for yourself, not only about your behavior, but about the way life happens to you. If people examine their lives, the very way situations happen, the way opportunities come, the way they meet people, all of it is in certain kinds of patterns. This is simply because of the kind of karmic patterns you have created.
Habit is a small manifestation of the karmic pattern. You take in a certain input and make a pattern out of it. That becomes your habit. A spiritual process means you do not want anything to happen within you unconsciously. Conducting your life unconsciously is not an intelligent way to live. Whether you picked up the habit in your cradle or in your mother’s womb or even before that, it does not matter. If you are seeking evolution, if you are seeking liberation or mukti, you have to break all your patterns – not good, not bad, but all. You do not have to wait until the grave. The grave does not break all patterns either.
Even if you go to the graveyard, even if your body is burned, your patterns will not break. That is what karma means. It goes beyond that because you do not break these patterns by losing your body. So it is extremely important that when you are alive and awake, you strive to go beyond these patterns.
Demolish the pattern and handle your life consciously. For example, I am speaking now – I can speak either habitually or consciously. That is the big difference. It does not matter if I just sit and gossip, still ten thousand people want to listen because every word is uttered consciously, not habitually. Nothing is habitual in this. Whatever may be the content of what I am saying, people still want to listen because every word is coming out consciously, and that has power. If you take every breath in and out consciously, suddenly your breath has a different kind of power. Every movement in your life, if you make it consciously, every single movement has tremendous power. If you want to know the power of life, you have to be conscious about it, otherwise it does not even exist for you.
Videos on Consciousness by Sadhguru
How to Overcome Addictions and Compulsive Disorder?
Addictions and compulsive behaviors signal that we are not able to properly make use of our mind and bodies. As humans, we have the ability to employ our minds to go beyond our fundamental needs of life. Inner Engineering improves our ability to conduct our life in the way we want it without being compelled by external influences and circumstances.
Consciousness – The Ultimate Intelligence
Sadhguru speaks on consciousness at an event organized by Visionary Women, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the status of women. Sadhguru’s talk was part of the Visionary Women Salon Series. The Salon series focuses on women’s causes and initiatives.
Young, Exuberant, Conscious
In a world of bad news, he offers a promising outlook on a budding movement of scientists and future leaders towards sustainability and raising consciousness, which he observed during his event and interactions at the prestigious Stanford University and elsewhere. He says, “I’m sure it’s not far that the entire world will be thinking and looking towards this solution.” Check out the video for Sadhguru’s complete message, including something we can do every day to widen our perception.
Tools for Consciousness:
Inner Engineering is an opportunity to raise your consciousness and to engineer an inner transformation that deepens your perception, bringing about a dimensional shift in the very way you look at your life, your work, and the world that you inhabit. It is offered as a program for personal growth and establishes the possibility of exploring the higher dimensions of life, in addition to optimizing health and success. Learn the powerful 21-minute Shambhavi MahaMudra Kriya. Inner Engineering is offered in person with Sadhguru along with teacher-led programs across US and Canada. Click here to learn more.