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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: The Blocks Men Can’t Talk About (includes Q & A)

There are blocks that men can't talk about. These blocks are keeping you from achieving your potential as men. I am going to bring them to your attention. I am not asking you to learn. I am not even asking you to listen. I am asking you to participate with me.

I am trying to bring out these blocks which you have to understand are yours. They may be partially yours or they may be totally yours but have no misunderstanding that you may be the exception. Only those who have developed themselves to live consciously can live without blocks and none of us can live totally consciously all the time. We have not been trained to do so.

Instead we have learned to be emotional. Emotional behavior and outbursts are very satisfying, and it is very, very difficult to replace them. We have been getting satisfaction from them since our childhood. Because of this we have but one intention in this human life: to continue to experience that emotional satisfaction.

You have to learn to talk to yourself before you talk to somebody else. You have never learned to talk to yourself. You have not been trained to talk to yourself and you do not understand the value of self-communication. Because you do not have this experience of yourself and you refuse to talk, the block remains. You refuse to talk and life pushes on; but practically, it is no life at all.

You are afraid to give up your emotional satisfaction, so brick by brick, you have blocked your intelligence totally out of your life. Something that was supposed to guide you, help you, relate to you, promote you, project you, sell you, give you confidence in your personality has been, forever and ever, totally blocked out by you. You cannot tolerate the fact that sometimes in order to have one thing, you must give up another. You want the intelligence and the emotions, but it can't happen. When you are intelligent, you are not emotional; when you are emotional, you are not intelligent. It is as simple as that.

When the internal block of ego communicates with emotion, it doesn't matter how wise or how great you are, you become self-destructive; and whenever your ego and your intelligence come together, you shall become successful. It doesn't matter who you are. Your ego is like the "common" wire of a toggle switch; your emotions and your intelligence are the two opposite poles. It is just a matter of blocking the current to one pole and allowing it flow to the other.

In our own understanding, in our own lives, we have a block. Though we are still children of God, we are also children of our egos. When we are children of our egos, we are afraid to even talk about our blocks. If we are not willing to talk about something, how can we get rid of it? There is a tendency in us to blame others for our faults. It is a very powerful block. It has ruined us many, many times in our life. As children we always expected to be mothered—always. When we grow up, we still want to be mothered. When things don't come through, we blame somebody. We blame somebody else because we are never ourselves.

To be very honest with you, we do not want to be ourselves at all. We always want to be somebody else, to copy somebody else, to feel for somebody else, to think about somebody else, to compare ourselves with somebody else. We judge ourselves and our neighbors by whether we are rich or poor, who is beautiful and who is not. Think about it. Take a practical look at all that and ask yourself a very honest and sincere question: Who, then, are you as you?

Master & Student Dialogue

Today we have to play a game, and it's a good one. I need someone to come forward. He may not have a block, but at least he should act like a person who has a block. I will give you a practical demonstration of what it is, how to break through it, and what it does for you through your own sensitivity. Volunteers, please.


Student: My block is that I do not trust anybody. This block has to do with my upbringing.

Yogi Bhajan: Can you believe that something in your subconscious takes away your trust? It is a very simple thing: Trust is not only trust in yourself. Trust includes trust in your intelligence, trust in your caliber, trust in your environments, trust in your psyche, trust in your penetration, trust in your intercourse, trust in the reproductive [power] of your intercourse, and overall trust in your total creativity. This is called the "assembly line" of trust.

Next comes time. You trust your past; you pick up the best. You trust your present to make it best. You trust your future to create the best. All this forms a triangle. And finally, you go inward and totally trust yourself. Then the outside world totally trusts you. The most difficult thing is when the outside world trusts you, because then you have to give and take nothing. The most vital thing in human life is when somebody trusts you and you cannot consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously break that trust. Then you are real.

Fear of Intimacy

Student: The block that I feel is a fear of intimacy. I was raised in a family that did not express itself physically, in fact, it rarely expressed itself at all. My father was almost always away making his millions. My mother was very upset about where he was making his millions and who he was making it with.

When I was in the second grade, we played a chasing game where the girls would scream with delight when caught. Then, of course, one girl didn't like it. She told the teacher, and then the principal called my father, and my father was called away from his millions to deal with my embarrassment. Without much talking, he forbade me to have any relationships with girls or women again in my life.

Yogi Bhajan: Intimacy, to him, is like climbing into a snake pit. Intimacy, to him, is not intimacy as you understand it. It is supremacy of somebody over him. It is love without trust. Love without trust is like a river without water. You can name it. You can feel it. You can draw it. But you can't drink out of it. Just trust—not because you want to or you don't want to. Just trust and suffer, rather than not trust and suffer.


Student: My specific block has to do with a regular practice of sadhana in particular, and being able to establish an ongoing discipline in general. I would like to be able to say I am going to do something and do it, and continue to do it over time. I can't think of a lot of historical background to explain why I have this problem.

My experience of not getting up in the morning is kind of like a little boy pouting, a brat. "I don't have to and I'm not going to, so there." Of course, I am the only one who's losing. It is really frustrating. In my work I am supposed to help people who have problems, and yet I have this very specific thing that I want to accomplish and I can't do it, even when I focus on it and work on it and try lots of different approaches.

Yogi Bhajan: Do you like an unclean home?

Student: No

Yogl Bhajan: Then why do you like an unclean mind?

Student: I don't.

Yogi Bhajan: Then clean it every morning. That's all there is to it. I don't like my unclean mind. I know I have to face a day; and I know a lot of people are going to have to call on me. I have to inspire a lot of people. There is nothing in it for me, and yet there is a lot in it for me, because people trust me. If you trust me and I do not keep your trust, I am betraying myself. I know that I cannot afford to betray myself; therefore, I want to keep myself clean. I want to do my job, and I know that if I do one wrong job, they are going to hang me, sue me; they are going to say, "You said this!" I don't want to hear that.

So sometimes I get up at 2:30 instead of 3:30 and I meditate. I don't care. I have become so habitual in doing it that I don't go flat at all. One day, somebody gave me a Tab cola and I didn't drink it for a while. I let it bubble and then it became flat. Then, when I started to drink it, someone picked it up and said, "It's flat." I said, "What does that mean?"

"When it goes flat, you don't drink it."

Well, when I go flat, nobody touches me. So I have to be bubbly all the time. I learned from Tab. If Tab can become a teacher, I think we can learn from everything. You have to be bubbly. Something must come out of you. Just remain bubbly and clean your mind every morning. You will never be bad.

You have gone through the worst. I want to congratulate you. A person of normal caliber would have gone flat. I intentionally didn't help you. I prayed for you, but I didn't come out and directly help you.

Fear of Failure

Student: The block that I am working on is fear of failure. The primary motivating force in my life has always been fear. I have always had a lot of pressure placed on me by my family to be a star. I had all these opportunities.

Yogi Bhajan: A star in the sky or in Hollywood?

Student: An achiever, a super-achiever.

Yogi Bhajan: You mean like Michael Jackson who doesn't get one night of sleep?

Student: I don't know if they thought of me as Michael Jackson, but....

Yogi Bhajan: Have you ever understood that all that we earn or possess or have title to is going to be left here in the end?

Student: I sort of understand that. Yes.

Yogi Bhajan: What do you mean you sort of understand that?

Student: I understand, but it doesn't keep me from wanting to do it.

Yogi Bhajan: So you want it badly. Really? Then be calm about it. Sit down and show this entire brotherhood how calmly you can sit. Put your body in a straight line. Don't blink your eyes. Calm down. You want it badly, right? Then want badly to be calm. Want badly and be calm about it. Feel good? Thank you.

The underlying idea of all these men's courses I am teaching is extremely personal and very selfish. It has been ground into me that the time has come to do my best, by any means, to clean you out so that you can stand out and feel who you really are, and not stand out like a donkey with a load of blocks on his back. Otherwise, people will see that your tracks are very deep and your hooves are very fine, but your "upper story" will be empty. You'll be called empty headed. Most people are empty headed. They go down the pathway making the same mistakes again and again.

Be straight and to the point. The greatest secret of life is, touch your own self. You know the phone company's slogan, "Reach out and touch someone?" I say, "Touch yourself and you will be picked up."

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

[Man to Man: A Journal of Discovery for the Conscious Man]