The sort of science and engineering I help teach at the university has led to a world with great material comfort. The average person today lives a more comfortable life than royalty did in ages past. I’m definitely all for this, but I’m slowly realizing that if we don’t work on a sort of inner engineering, none of us will be able to enjoy the material benefits. From what I see, every life situation becomes a problem if person has not tamed their mind. If a person is poor, they suffer that. If they’re rich, they worry about all they have to lose. If they’re not educated, they suffer a lack of opportunity. If a person has a chance at a good education, the majority of students do not want to be there. If they lack a job, they suffer unemployment. Give them a job, they don’t want to go in. If they’re not married, they suffer being alone. If married, they murmur about their spouse. If they don’t have children, they’re unhappy. You give them children and they’re unhappy with the sleepless nights and all the work involved. I could go on, but I won’t. Will greater material benefits fix these problems? I can’t see flat-screen televisions, faster computers, or new iPhones fixing any of this. We’re our own problem. The mind is like a super-computer with too many knobs, buttons, and features, and people struggle to pilot the mind. They can’t properly control its energies.
A lot of it comes down to garbage in, garbage out. If you eat bad food, you get diarrhea. Similarly, if you focus the mind’s attention on garbage, you get mental diarrhea. You have to change your mental diet.
As a physicist, I like to look for the most fundamental rules behind anything I observe. When it comes to a mind that has turned on itself, the most fundamental principle is identification with things you are not. As Sadhguru points out in this video, “The mind should not be telling its own stories all of the time.” If you understand and master this principle, the mind will sit still, waiting for you to tell it what to do. It can be a real battle, but if you don’t take the time to learn this, the mind will be a constant nuisance. It won’t matter how blessed your life is, you won’t enjoy it. You’ll always find something that’s not how it should be. However, when I rid myself of these mental stories, these projections onto the world around me, life has become a quite pleasant experience.