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When is the best time to embark on a spiritual journey?

By Sadhguru Email By Sadhguru
March 2023
When is the best time to embark on a spiritual journey?

These are the only two landmark events: birth and death. In between, there is drama.

Whether you conduct the drama joyfully or make misery out of it is up to you. You may think so many things, but that is all it is: thought. Many people with many emotions, thoughts, conflicts, and struggles have lived on this planet. Where are they now? Where is their drama? It is all gone. We can re-enact it in our theater, plays, and movies, but otherwise, it does not exist.

This is also true with your drama—it is time-bound. But when you talk about embarking on a spiritual journey, you are not asking, “Can I have a new role in the drama?” You are essentially asking, “Can I go behind the stage?” “Can I become the director of the drama?”

Once there was a man who was passionate about becoming an actor. So, he went to Broadway. After going through many struggles, at last, he got a role. When he came home to tell his father that finally he got a role on Broadway, his father asked, “What’s your role, my son?” He said, “I am the husband of the heroine.” He said, “My son, I hope you get a speaking role soon.”

Taking the director’s chair

When you say “spiritual,” you are no longer looking for a new role, neither a speaking role, nor a non-speaking role, nor a fighting role. You want to know how to become the director of the drama. So, when should you embark on the spiritual path? When the drama is full-on, there is a lot of opportunity to direct it. Or do you want to wait for the curtains to go down? Then, of course, you are off the stage; then there is no drama; there is nothing to direct anymore.

At different stages in your life, what looks like the ultimate thing to you, may seem ridiculous and childish to you a few years later. And it is good that this happens. Otherwise, there is no growth. To stop and distance yourself from the internal and external drama that is going on in our lives every day, and to simply look at it in a nonjudgmental way, seeing the drama for what it is without becoming part of it—that is spiritual process.


Looking behind the scenes

When I say drama, your whole experience of life—your thoughts, emotions, ideas, and philosophies—is psychological drama. Whatever you think in your mind need not have anything to do with reality. Our families, our business, our social life, so many things— it is all big drama. There is nothing wrong with the drama. It is not about one person’s drama being better than someone else’s. The problem is that you have forgotten that it is only drama. Trying to fix the drama is not the point.

When you talk about morality, ethics, and values, you are trying to fix the drama. When you talk about spirituality, you are not trying to fix the drama. You want to have a little freedom from the drama. When you want to play, you jump into it and play the drama as much as you want. When you want to step back, you have the freedom to do so. If you know how to step back from it, you are free from every karmic nonsense that you do.

Whatever you think in your mind need not have anything to do with the reality.

No matter what the nature of the drama is, to be involved absolutely when you need to be and to be able to step back when you choose to—this is freedom. Unless you know how to distance yourself from the drama, it will swallow you endlessly. The biggest illusion going on right now is your own psychological drama. You cannot fight an illusion because illusion means that it does not exist. Do not fight it—just step back. If you step back, it is done. It is going on with your support all the time. If you withdraw the support, it is gone.

Getting out of the normalized madness

What is it that human beings are suffering in their lives? They suffer what happened ten or more years ago. They already suffer what may or may not happen day after tomorrow. It does not exist, but they suffer it. So, 99 percent of the time, they are only suffering that which does not exist. Is that not a clear case of madness? The moment you start fighting with that which does not exist, you are insane.

Spiritual process means just that—you know when to step back from the drama. You are not destroying it or saying it is bad. It is just that only if you step back and look at the drama from a distance, can you direct it better. Otherwise, it is a badly directed drama going on endlessly.

Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally renowned speaker, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. (www.isha.sadhguru.org)



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