The nature of existence is such that negative things in life will chase you. But for positive things, you have to strive. So, organising our life in such a way that it is conducive to what we are doing is important. For example, let’s say tonight, you partied late and ate too much. Tomorrow, if you try and get up at five in the morning, the body will say “Shut up and sleep!” This is one reason why in India, traditionally, people always ate before sunset. There are a variety of other reasons, but this is one significant aspect.
If you want to do anything worthwhile in life, one important thing is that the body should be ready for life. Only if life happens to you, things can happen to you. If life doesn’t happen to you, nothing happens to you anyway. Yoga is about empowering yourself for life. It is not about avoiding life.
By “life”, I do not mean the accessories of life. These days, when people say “my life”, they are talking about their job, their family, their home or maybe Facebook account. These are accessories. We added everything that we have added to our life—including the body and the content of the mind—believing that they will enhance our life. And that is how they should function.
Your own body and the arrangements of your life should not become like a wall in front of you. And if you don’t keep it in a certain way, they will become a wall.
You may be alive but you may know nothing about life because your entire life may go in just dabbling with the accessories of life. Life is not in its activity. It is not that we are alive because we are active. Because we are alive, we are capable of activity. If you do not experience your aliveness, if you do not know the many dimensions of being alive, life has gone waste.
All those who are only busy with activity and never experience life will be outdated soon because the robots are coming. Someday, there will be machines that will be better at doing all the things that you can do. Then we will have to “delete” you. Everything that you can gather—all your information and knowledge—we could pile that up and input it into a machine and make it work. But there is something within you that is unique to being human. If that is not on, if that is not experienced, then the machines are coming. They will think and work better than you.
It’s great if machines do all the work because then, we can just live. But if you have not learnt how to live and your work is taken, you will go crazy because you will have nothing to do. People think life is all about what they are doing. No. Life is a being. You are a being. Doing should always be according to the needs of the world. If something is needed, we will do it. If something is not needed, we will not do it.
Once, two guys were working on the roadside.
One was digging pits and another was closing the pits. They were at it continuously. A passerby noticed and asked, “What are you doing?” The first man replied, “We are actually a team of three. I’m a digger, he is a closer. The tree planter in the middle is on leave.”
All human activity will become like this if necessary consciousness is absent. Your profoundness is not in your activity; your profoundness is only in your Being. If the necessary consciousness is there, activity will happen as it is necessary. When it is needed we will act, otherwise we will sit quietly. That is how it should be.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author and poet. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2017. Isha.sadhguru.org