Question: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. You said that we should take away this calculation of “what about me” from our lives, but every action I undertake in life is for my benefit, directly or indirectly. Even if I try to remove the calculation, it will be because it is essential for me in order to live better. So how do I go about this?
Sadhguru: This is a very calculated question! You said you want to live better. I have seen a lady, who I knew very well at one time, wanting to go somewhere one evening, and standing in front of her elaborate wardrobe, crying and biting her nails because she is confused as to what she should wear that day. I told her, “It is very simple. You must give away all these clothes and just keep seven. Sunday this, Monday this, Tuesday this…”
I am not saying everyone should have only seven pairs of clothes. All I am saying is that if you can gracefully walk through the material in the world, it is fine. But if you are going to carry the material world on your head, possessing everything that you touch, you are not going to live better.
There is substantial scientific evidence for this. In the evolutionary process itself, only those creatures flourished that learned how to cooperate and think of each other’s wellbeing. Those which only thought, “I must survive at any cost,” did not survive. Over a period of time, they perished. If you look around, you will see, people who are thinking, “I must get this, I must get that,” they may be getting a lot of things, but you will not see joy on their faces.
Everything you possess is dug out of the planet. Unfortunately, in today’s world, most people think living better means they have to dig up everything in the planet and carry it on their heads, where if someone breaks one window in the house their heart will break. Living better is not about digging up the planet and heaping it on your head. That happens when you go to the grave. People will put mud on your head when you are dead. When you are alive you are supposed to walk upon the planet, not carry it on your head.
Our ideas of living better have to evolve, for our sake and the sake of the planet. To save the planet, people are saying you must use this kind of fuel, drive an electric car and all kinds of things. These are minor adjustments. If you really want an ecological transformation on the planet in this generation, you must turn the whole population into spiritual seekers.
They must understand that living better is not about what they possess but about how they are. If they understand this much and start living that way, there is no problem. Even if ten billion people live on this planet, which we are expecting by 2050, there will be no problem if people understand that better living is about how you are within yourself, not about the things that you possess.