Sadhguru Says: there is no such thing as good habits and bad habits. All habits are bad. Because habit means you’re unconscious, and you have learned to function in an automated way. That means you don’t do things consciously.
Good habits and Bad Habits – Sadhguru Speech
You must understand that. There is no such thing as good habits and bad habits. All habits are bad. Because habit means you’re unconscious.
Do you think only bad habits are unconscious? No. Even the so-called good habits. Habit means, you have learned to function in an automated way. That means you don’t do things consciously.
For example, is brushing your teeth in the morning a good habit or a bad habit? There are two ways of brushing your teeth. Because you’ve been regimented to brush your teeth, you get up Or because you wake up, you’re very sensitive, if you open your mouth, you’re conscious enough.
Most of the time, you’re not conscious enough, only other people know. This is a very strange thing. There is the apparatus, the olfactory apparatus, which have a sense of smell, right above your mouth. But you don’t get it, others get it five feet away.
That means you’re unconscious, isn’t it? Yes? If you’re conscious you would still brush your teeth. Till you come to such a place, when you open your mouth in the morning it smells like fragrance, you become like a flower, till that happens, you must consciously brush.
If you consciously brush, on different days or different morning sit may need different lengths or different amounts of brushing.
Not every day, brushing is same requirement. But because you’re regimented, “Three minutes, I must wear my teeth out”.
If you were conscious, on a particular day you would brush as it is necessary for that day. That’s how it should be.
On a particular day, you would eat as it is necessary for the body, you would sleep as it is necessary for the body.
You would do everything consciously. But now, it’s a habit, everything is a habit. What time you should go to bed, what time you should wake up, what you should eat, what you should not eat everything by prescription.
This is called slavery. Your doctor tells you or your slave master tells you what you should eat today. I don’t see what’s the difference. Why is it that you do not know what this body needs today?
Because of no consciousness, everything by regimentation, by habit. Habit is regimentation, isn’t it? It’s only by regimentation you become habitual.
So in this, you have also identified something as good habit and something as bad habit. What to do?
Is there something called as bad unconsciousness and good unconsciousness?
That’s what you’re saying. When you say, “I have a good habit”, you’re saying, “I’m unconscious in a nice way”. It’s like … saying, “I’m dead in a nice way”.
Because the fundamental difference between being alive and being dead is being conscious and being totally unconscious. Being partially unconscious is being partially dead.
You’re trying to practice the posture and the state of what it means to be dead. Do not fix any kind of habit. See, the idea of withdrawing into retreats, coming to a spiritual space is just this to find space where you can do everything consciously.
When you were in a race, you could not be conscious, you got mad and you somehow fixed some habits through which you managed to go through your daily office routine.
When you come to a spiritual space, this is what you’re supposed to do that you watch what is the requirement of your body.
- What is the requirement of your mind?
- What is the requirement of your emotion?
- What is the requirement of your energy?
- What does this life need, what does it naturally long for?
To consciously watch this! Once you consciously know that this is what it is longing for, then there are no two ways about it.
Otherwise, you think you’re on the spiritual path because of me, that’s a crime against me. If you’re unconscious, it’s a crime against yourself.
But you’re doing something that you think is spiritual because of me, that’s a crime against me. You better do crime against yourself, not against me.
So, how do I get rid of habits?
You don’t have to get rid of habits. It is like. What you’re asking is, “How do I get rid of my unconsciousness?” When you use the word “un”, we are suggesting not an existence, isn’t it? Consciousness is.
When consciousness is not there, that is called un-consciousness. How to get rid of something that does not exist?
I’m saying you’re playing a trick with yourself. It’s like, suppose your room is dark. How to get rid of this darkness? Kick it out. Hmm? All of you together, I’m sure you can kick out of the darkness.
You will get into an insane effort. You’ve been on it. This insane effort to get rid of unconsciousness. No. To get rid of darkness, you just have to light it up.
If you light it up, darkness is gone because darkness is not an existence by itself. It’s just the absence of light.
Similarly, unconsciousness is not an existence of itself. It is just the absence of consciousness.
- If you become conscious, do you have to fight with the unconscious?
- If you’re conscious, do you have to fight with unconscious habits?
No. So you need to work on consciousness, to become conscious. “Oh, what should I do?” You should not do unconscious things.
Because the essence of life is being conscious. You know that you’re alive only because you’re reasonably conscious, isn’t it? Yes or no?
You’re fast asleep. Do you know you’re dead or alive? Do you know? No. Why? Because you’re not conscious. When you’re not conscious, you do not even know whether you’re dead or alive, isn’t it?
Now you know that you’re alive because you’re somewhat conscious. Now, we just have to raise the wick a little bit to become more conscious. That’s what we’re working on. There are many things, which has gathered inertia.
Your physical body that’s why the 5:30 drum in the morning. Your mind has got into its own habitual patterns that’s why me torturing you with all this.
Your energies have followed the requirement of body and mind and they’ve gotten into their own patterns that is why the sadhana. The idea is to break the cycles of unconsciousness and become conscious.
When you become conscious, it looks like you’re in unknown terrain, suddenly everything seems to be difficult. When you were going habitually, it looked like everything was easy but.
See, when I went into the Coimbatore prison. When I went there to conduct a program, almost twenty-five… twenty-four, twenty-five years ago, I just observed this is something a whole lot of people are seeking in their life, prison life because this is a place where somebody always opens the doors for you and they close it for you, they turn off the lights for you, they do everything for you, you don’t have to do anything, really.
Food comes bang on time always, by the second, I’m telling you. Tun means food is ready. Everything is great in this prison. I thought this is a great place.
Only thing is it’s enforced. But this is what a whole lot of people are seeking systems in their life. Yes?
When it is done to you, you will suffer it, I’m telling you. When it is done to you, you’ll suffer it. Actually, for a whole lot of people, prison life is far more organized than what they dream of in their life.
It’s far more efficient, far more nutritious and most of them are very fit and healthy. But if you enter the prison, there is suffering in the air.
Not once, I have been there hundreds of times to various prisons not once have I stepped out of the prison without tears in my eyes because there is suffering in the air.
The pain in the air is unbearable. Because one thing that a human being suffers most is a lack of freedom. Not lack of comfort, not lack of wealth, not lack of this and that.
Once freedom is taken away, a human being suffers immensely. Everything is correct. Prison life is far more comfortable than going to work and coming back, getting stuck in the traffic, going through all these problems.
You are a state guest, you know. Really! If you’re looking for a comfortable, no surprises kind of life. If you suffer every little thing, everything shocks you, everything makes you go through stress and tension, prison life is perfect.
Everything is in order, no surprises, everything is just right. Even the menu is written down next seven days, what’s the menu, it’s there and it goes by that, nothing more, nothing more…nothing less.
One bean more means somebody will be taken to task. Everything is correct. Those who are looking for a correct life, prison is the best place. But a human being will suffer immensely when everything is correct. Yes or no?
Everything is correct but no freedom people will suffer this immensely. So, you need to understand, habit means you have caused a little prison of your own and you will suffer this after some time.
Initially, it looks like efficiency. After some time, It is imprisonment. Prison is in many ways an epitome of efficiency, isn’t it?
But efficiency is not what this life is looking for. This life is looking for expansion. This life wants the freedom to expand, always.
I was talking to one of these management specialists from America, a very well-known man let me not mention the names.
So, he was propounding all his management principles, which if which looked like a prison cell to me bringing order to everything, so that it’s efficient.
See, there are two ways of looking at this. There is a manicured garden, which looks very perfect. There is forest, which looks like chaos.
But, the manicured garden, if you don’t manage it for one month, it’s finished. There’s no garden left. A forest has managed itself for a million years and still going on. Which is more efficient? Which is more orderly?
Forest is far more orderly and far more efficient. But it is not fitting into your logical framework, that’s all.
This is what enlightenment means, that from being a manicured garden, you become a forest because it sustains upon itself.
It doesn’t need anything from outside. Nobody need to water it, nobody need to manure it, nobody need to come and trim it.
Everything happens within itself. Yes or no? If you leave it for a million years it’ll still be there. Only if you meddle with it, it may go away.
Otherwise, it will sustain itself because it is an efficiency of chaos. We call something chaos not because it is inefficient, we call something chaos because it doesn’t fit into our logical framework.
So habit means you have become a slave of your own logic and after some time. The moment you form a habit, it is unconscious, isn’t it? So, what you need to get rid of is not habits.
You have to become conscious. If you become more conscious and you’re not unconscious, then there is no such thing as a habit. You will do what’s right for you now.