Yoga and self-realization – we are whole
We are whole beings, with many different layers or aspects or realities. Self-realisation, according to yoga, is when we become consciously aware of parts, and the sum of parts.
Modern Western, holistic disciplines such as our Western version of yoga, simplistically refers to the human being as body-mind-spirit. Yoga traditionally refers to the physical human being as “bodymind”. When we look at ourselves as such we begin to recognise, intuitively, that we are more than meets the eye, that there is more to what we see than what we think – because thinking alone, as an intellectual, mental ability or tool, fails to let us understand the magic that it is being a human being.
Yoga paves the way for its practitioners to seek greater understanding of what it calls our “true being”, who and what we really are. Yoga urges us to awaken or realise the self (as in self-actualisation), and spend our lives consciously on a journey of illumination. For yoga “self-realisation” is literally “enlightenment”. Yoga deems us as asleep, unconscious, so to speak, as long as we are ignorant of our true nature, which begins with developing our yoga practice.
Yoga awakens us, so as to evoke an experience of reality akin to a 3D experience in a movie theatre which is amore holographic like, less “flat” or 2D cinematic experience. Writing and the visual arts. for example, is to a degree intellectual, it requires a fair amount of thinking to access the deeper layers of meaning. In yoga there is a focus on non-thinking, a vital distinction which yoga calls direct perception. When immersed in meditation, breathing and practice of yoga posture the practitioner experiences a3D-like holographic experience of his or her body.
Yoga is not an intellectual pursuit, nor is it only a “doing”. The thinking mind is considered as subject to the “mindful mind”. In our “I think therefore I am” world the thinking mind enslaves the body all too easily. We “are” in fact because we think, in our bodies. Not the other way round. This is apparent in meditation, where we perceive with all our senses, using “inner vision”, not only looking and hearing and thinking about it what we see and feel, rather an extra-sensory perception that includes sensing with the entire nervous system. Yoga views “thinking” as a conceptual, intellectual interpretation of reality that limits our understanding to linear space-time reality.
Such understanding is similar to the holistic point of view when gain when we ecologically understand eco systems as interactive, inter depended parts of a greater earth, not as separate systems. A scientific example is when we accept quantum theories rather than conventional mechanical science as a greater view of reality. Medically “holographic” 3D viewpoint translates into holistic (currently usually alternative health) modalities, although in my opinion, mainstream medicine as practiced should be in support of alternative health care where possible, and when necessary, include holistic treatment.
Holism is possible when we wake up and discover that the flat or fragment reality of the current system is a matrix (much like in the Matrix movie) is a dumbed down version of the holographic 3D universe we discover on the road to self-realisation. Waking up to the reality of reality is a relative process, a personal journey of discovery. Throughout history there has been light bearers, prophets, visionaries, revolutionaries, inter-dimensional messengers, shit-stirrers, call it what you will, to challenge the ordinary world and help mankind’s evolution. Shamans and yogis, LSD in the 1960’s, as Jim Morrison exclaimed so powerfully, implored humanity to “break on through to the other side”. Quite possibly inspired by Lewis Carol, and his likely use of opium in the Victorian times, he invited Jim and all of us down the rabbit hole to explore the wonderland of Alice. In the recent 3D movie version the rabbit hole appears like a sci-fi quantum science wormhole to another universe.
All of this can be a bit scary, and sound like a big ideal or challenge. Fortunately yoga provides us a safe, non-external substance induced “doors of perception” (hats off to Huxley) entrance to experience other realities, and a holistic perspective of what is like to being human. Meditation begins with, as I like to say in yoga classes, with breathing, as life does, in our bodies, at birth, begins with the breath. Conscious breathing, or yoga breathing shows us how to wake up and become conscious through breath awareness and with specific breath practices. Yoga shows us that the practice of asana and pranyama has many functions, all with the purpose to awaken us from the fragmented reality, the disconnect from our unconscious existence that we experience as the daily grind or ratrace.
It shows us the matrix of unreality by showing us awareness of holistic wellness, and how to life mindfully to bridge the gap between yoga practice and holistic lifestyle. We may then take our insights and see why the world economy and politics is corrupt, and better understand the importance of creating our own bubbles of reality. Accessing our inner power will help us to not feel overpowered by fraudulent banking systems and corporations, and we may begin to create our own realities inside the “normal” reality. Freedom from lies begins by recognising the lie or lier. We begin the change by being the change, as Ghandi suggested. We support change not only by fighting the current slavery system held in place by an oppressive, unenlightened pharmaceutical, oil and banking trio (hence the nicknames “big pharma”, “big oil” and “banksters”), but by envisioning, and creating and alternative dimension in our daily lives, through mindful yoga practice.
This is why we begin, and end, a yoga practice with a meditation, to tune in and open up to the wholeness of creation, and then take some of it with when we return to the ordinary. It is a bit like remembering bits of our dreams when we wake up. These bits are not madness, although it may appear as such to those plugged into the matrix. Bear in mind that it serves us as yoga practitioners well to remember the yogis advice to simply not bother too much with the world, to rather just get one with our own practice. Yes, it is madness to believe the newspaper with its fragmented representation of life, just remember we cannot change that world by being opposed to it. It is important to bear in mind that the matrix, with all its power and influence, is no match for the light of consciousness. Be the change. Transform yourself, is all one has to do.
So, back to our mats and yoga practice we go, to heal ourselves, to remember, or to remind ourselves, of our true nature as whole beings. Body-mind, the yogis discovered, is the reality that kicks in when we realise that the interconnectedness of the whole means that the breath happens in the body, with a chemical reaction coming from the brain, courtesy of the greater life force, prana, courtesy of god’s grace. In this sense “god” cannot be “God”, or “Rama” or “Muhammed” or “Buddha” or the million other names of faith and religion. Or whatever else we worship as false representations, be it money, cars, houses, influence, popularity and so on and so on, ad nausuim.
In that sense I don’t have faith in god. Why should I follow religion? I also don’t think for a moment that this glorious body that I live in, let alone the magnificent consciousness that operates it, comes from the fact that I can think and perceive with my ego. In fact when I think too much I am possessed by my ego, and my intellect fragments reality because it fails to perceive the whole. It happens all the time.
That is why yoga tells us that it is impossible to understand god with the intellect, as the intellect is part of the whole, not the whole. The deception of that matrix comes about when the thinking mind becomes the master, and the body and consciousness enslaved by it and its desires, or ego. Hence the slavery system is transcended through meditation, and by grace of god, consciousness. not by reason, or debate. Although none of this is unreasonable of course. On the contrary, the insight is quite logical. The bible too warns us, by the way, that we cannot know god through the scriptures alone. We have to believe like a child, and have god in our hearts, and surrender our ego, and its greed for power, in whatever worldly manifestation.
And back I, and you, have to return to our yoga mats, again again, to breathe, move our bodies, in the understood yet mysterious ways of yoga practice, to let the mysterious force of prana awaken our body-minds, individually and collectively, to meditation and the wonders of being alive. Of course this does not mean you or I “believe in yoga” – the yogis invited us to practice yoga to allow us to journey to one-ness, to realise our own god-consciousness by the grace of god or consciousness, to grant god gods grace by consciousness, as everything that is, as all but consciousness: as prana, the life force. Go figure 🙂
As every faith, or religion, in the matrix, contains a seed of the truth, every fragment is a chip of the hologram, we have to practice, practice, practice. That means entering into communion with god consciousness through bodywork, in meditation and pranayama, and in the study of scriptures and in discourse. Call it satsang or coaching, just do it. There are more than enough tools we can utilise on our journeys to self-realisation. We prepare for this communion through our practice of yoga, on and off the mat. All roads leads to Rome, and Rome wasn’t built in a day.
One of these tools, the binaural beat music I played in the Saturday past yoga session, is interwoven with my own life path as yoga teacher and creative being. Find the blog (with Enhance Consciousness, project image at top of this page) on Binaural Beats Music to balance left and right brain hemispheres, and assist body-mind integration, with links to youtube videos and music here.
yours in yoga and light,
Monday, 2 June, 2014.