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Science, Mysticism, and the Longing to Know

By Sadhguru Email By Sadhguru
July 2013
Science, Mysticism, and the Longing to Know

Mysticism means you are in the “know” of life. What everybody else is struggling with, simply becomes an effortless play for you.

When we utter the word “mysticism,” people think of all kinds of weird things. So, what is mysticism? Whatever you are unable to perceive and understand, that is mysticism for you right now. Mysticism is just those dimensions of life that a large part of humanity has not bothered to seek and perceive.

Mysticism means to be in the “know” of life, to know the processes of life, to understand and perceive what life is about. Essentially, only what you perceive you know; the rest is all imagination. Whatever people cannot perceive right now, they are trying to imagine and believe. Belief systems have created a phenomenal amount of division in humanity. Today, all the conflict on this planet is not between “good and evil” as people try to project; it is always about one man’s belief versus another man’s belief. You believe something, I believe something else. We are bound to fight some day; there is no question about it.

We have succumbed to belief systems simply because as individuals, societies, nations and as humanity as a whole, we have not invested the necessary time, effort and resources towards enhancing human perception. Right now, the whole perception of a human being is limited to the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. Everything that you know about life is only through the five senses. These five senses are sufficient instruments to take care of your survival process, but to know life itself they are not sufficient because they do not give you a perception of the way life is. Today, there is enough neurological proof to clearly tell you that what you see is not true, what you hear is not true, what you smell, taste, and touch are not true. It is not the way it is.

We know this very clearly—what is light for us is darkness for some other creature on this planet. It is just that our sense perception has been designed for our own survival. If survival was all we were seeking, the senses would be fine. But there is something within a human being that is unwilling to settle for survival; a human being wants to be something more all the time. There is no way he can escape that. So, mysticism means you are enhancing your perception and knowing life in a deeper way.

Mysticism means you are in the “know” of life. What everybody else is struggling with, simply becomes an effortless play for you.” Modern science is arriving at a point where scientists clearly admit that they will never know; they will only be seeking. Modern science has made the conclusion, “There is no way to know. We will go on seeking, our business is just quest, but we will never know. We will move from one theory to another theory. We will propound this theory and say this is it now; after five years we will definitely disprove it.” If someone makes the conclusion that “we will always be seeking, we will never know,” then obviously they are not seeking the right way. The only reason why this means of seeking has survived is simply because of the offshoot of technology; it is because science is giving us gadgets. Otherwise any human being can see it is silly to be seeking forever and not find.

The scientist Paul Steinhardt wrote a book about the endless universe. I was in conversation with him and I said, “Mystics have been saying this for ages.” We have always been saying this is an ever-expanding universe. If you try to know the existence from outside, you will get lost in it. It is best to turn inward and know the existence because the process of creation is also happening within.

The longing to know the nature of creation, to know the nature of your existence, is the same between science and mysticism. It is just that scientists have chosen to go outward, mystics have turned inward. If you want to know the nature of creation, best to consult the source of creation that is within and approachable.


Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru speaks before millions annually around the globe, including to prominent leadership forums such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, TED, and the World Peace Congress. From ground-breaking yoga programs to projects for rural communities and the environment, Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation ( serves as a thriving model for human empowerment, which is reflected in the Foundation’s special consultative status with the UN.


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