Sadhguru on America’s Lack of Emotional Security

December 9, 2015

Questioner: Here in the US, we are affected
so much by divorce, and you have mentioned
previously that there are big consequences
to separating two people. What effect does a
divorce have on one’s spiritual development?
How can we address the consequences of a
divorce that has already happened? And how can
we educate people to care for each other better?
Sadhguru: A husband came home one day, and
the next day was his wife’s birthday. He said,
“Honey, what do you want for your birthday? A
BMW, a mink coat, or a yacht?” She said, “I don’t
want any of those things – I want a divorce.”
So he said, “I was not thinking of anything that
expensive.” A lot of people do not see divorce as a
bad thing. Their ideas of freedom are only getting
them into deeper and deeper entanglement.
Probably nowhere else in the world, women have
as much physical freedom as American women
have. But probably nowhere else in the world,
women are as tense, nervous, and agitated as
women are in America.
This is not freedom. This is only an idea of
freedom, which is not going well. This definitely
does not mean to say we should go back to those
tyrannical days where women were exploited. It
is just that you should have a more mature idea
of freedom – something that will work. An idea is
worthwhile only if it works and produces results.
If it is breaking people and half the population is
on anti-depressants, it is obviously not working.
It does not matter how educated and intellectual
you think you are, still emotion is a strong
dimension of who you are. When emotions arise,
they become the most powerful thing in you. Your
thoughts are not that powerful. Even if pleasant
emotions are not that strong, at least anger, fear,
and anxiety are – these are all emotions gone
If you are free of emotion, you can ignore what I
am saying now. But when emotion is an important
part of your life and you ignore this, you will
only suffer. Whether you work somewhere, do
business, or marry a rich man – somehow you
find a way to take care of your physical survival.
But even if the physical survival is happening
very well, if you are well-fed and well taken care
of – let’s say you have a BMW, a mink coat,
and a yacht – still if your emotions are trampled
upon, you cannot remain there. Therefore, it is
important to not only work towards financial
security but for society to work towards
emotional security as well. That is missing in
the US right now – not just for women, even
for men. This is one reason why America will
go down economically – because there is no
emotional security.
Right now, the community that does best in the
universities of the United States is the Indian
community, next comes the Jewish community.
Why is that? They have not come with any extra
brains – it is just that they have emotional
security. Until they are 25 years of age, till they
finish university, everything is taken care of for
them. They do not have to fight for anything.
Parents are committed to their children, and
children are committed to them in turn. They do
not have to handle any other aspect of life. That
is not so with American children. By the time
they finish university, they have already seen
three boyfriends or six girlfriends – with all the
emotional upheavals, jealousies, problems, and
struggles. Before they stand up on their feet,
they have seen too much life, which is making
them incapable.
What happens in the university need not
determine everything, but it indicates that they
are not performing well. If you randomly pick
people anywhere in the US, at least 8 out of 20
do not do anything productive. The main reasons
for that are the emotional upheavals that they
go through from the age of 12 or 13, when they
are dealing with things that they are not old
enough to deal with. As a result, no one has any
emotional security.
Today, someone claims they love you – tomorrow
morning they may go away with someone else.
This fear, both in men and women, will not let
them focus on doing anything. In the Indian
business community, by the time the boy is 21
and the girl is 18, they are married. They still
go to the university, but they are married and
committed to each other. By the time they are 23
or 24, they are into serious business, and their
life is very secure. They are bound for life – there
are no two ways about it. There is no way that
you even have to think whether your wife will be
there when you go home. Such a thing does not
occur to you because it is total commitment.
Just that one area of life being absolutely secure
gives you the ability to do something. When the
man is afraid of what will happen when he goes
out, he cannot be productive. When the woman is
afraid that the man may not come back when he
goes out, she cannot be productive.
Emotional security is an extremely important
aspect for any human being and for any
society to flourish. Unfortunately, due to a
juvenile concept of freedom, we have lost this
emotional security. That way, we are making
people incapable of many things. There may be
a percentage of the population who are strong
enough to anyway go ahead and do things, but
the majority become unstable. They are always
afraid what will happen if they do something
wrong. Let’s say you were supposed to go on a
holiday this weekend but you could not because
you had something to do, you may get a divorce
notice on Monday morning.
This may not be true in every home, but it is
happening on a large scale. It is no more an
individual but a social problem in the United
States. Such problems are there in every society
for a few individuals, but when it becomes a
major social problem, when lots of people are
facing similar issues, we have to see how to
strengthen their emotional life. Without that,
people cannot lead productive lives. Many
couples come to our programs. If the husband or
wife feels a little insecure, the first thing that will
happen is that they do not want the other one
to meditate. “What are you doing with your eyes
closed?” It is just ridiculous. You are not running
away – you are just closing your eyes. But this is
the danger – once you close your eyes, you can
go anywhere.
It is very important that a culture of commitment
is brought back. The people who built this
nation from scratch had stable lives. Without
that, they could not have built this into a great
nation because no man or woman can be truly
productive when their emotions are all freaked
out. A certain sense of emotional fulfillment is
needed for human beings to function beautifully
in life. Otherwise they cannot – unless they have
transcended these things and it does not matter
to them anymore. If someone has reached that
place in his life, then nothing matters.
One of these things must happen to people –
either they must become meditative, or they must
have emotional security. If creating emotional
security is not possible, the only way out is to
make people meditative because it will take care
of several aspects – it will settle the emotions,
people will progress spiritually, and their brains
will also work better. Right now, with all the
freedom they have, people are not having a good
life. They are leading desperate lives.
The first time I came to Nashville, I stayed in an
apartment in the center of the city. I went outside
at six o’clock in the morning, and I saw people
driving some with a toothbrush stuck in their
mouth, others were drinking coffee while driving.
They probably just got out of bed, pulled on their
pants, and got into the car without having a
shower, let alone doing Surya Namaskar. When
you live like this, your mind and emotions will
not be stable. In the name of freedom, you have
removed all the stop signs – that is how people
live their lives. It is like the Indian road scene is
happening to the American emotion. Everyone is
going somewhere, no one knows where they are
going – the only thing is they have to be free. In
the name of freedom, you lose all structures that
keep you on track.

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