Children of a Future Age
Reading this indignant page
Know that in a former time
A path to God was thought a crime
adapted from William Blake
1.The difficulty of words or symbolic representation
2. No one owns yoga: yoga is universal in application
3. Where/who is the teacher/teaching and what is it’s purpose
4. Organized religion, dogma, ideology, group pride (inferiority), prejudice, condemnation, demonization, war, violence and exploitation
5. Doctrinal disputes within yoga: control and authority issues generated by traditionalists and orthodoxy who attempt to maintain and/or extend their grip.
6. Fundamentalism versus indigeneity: toward a radical fundamentalism
7. The future of rabid and radical fundamentalism
8. The problem of evil as being the denial of the law of cause and effect (karma)
"To know yourself you need not go to any book,
to any priest, to any psychologist.
The whole treasure is within yourself."
Obviously, the map is not the territory. Thus, in a nutshell, exists the difference between what is known as religion and what is known as yoga respectfully. Religion is a map written in symbolic and usually culturally prejudiced terms. It is temporal as it is written in "terms" dependent and limited to place and time at its the best, but at its worse it is usually more severely limited to culturally induced myths, illusions, delusions, provincialism, pride, prejudice, mechanisms of self deceit, comparative advantage, institutionalized fears of the past, present, and future, and similar aberrations.
Of course a map can be useful in order to finally arrive at a destination, but if the destination is God or the Eternal Present which is omnipresent, then the map has to eventually relinquish it's own self importance; i.e., it's purpose must be seen in the over all context where the map is designed to step out of the way -- when it is no longer useful. Otherwise the map, or in this case a religion, becomes dysfunctional or counterproductive winding up as an impediment or self -serving feedback loop that reinforces the one's conceit, arrogance, and delusion.
Here we again "if" the religion was not dependent upon a temporal or cultural context/bias but indeed was focused on the unbiased universal eternal that lives within all, then such a religion linking one up to one's true self would not be a distraction or corruptive influence. However we must be very clear that the religious institutions that have plagued the earth for thousands of years have not succeeded in this goal of linking man's soul to the universal creator, rather it has most often separated men, caused opposition and strife, linking people together based on creed, belief, and identity on how they differ from others -- reinforcing their separation from living Spirit.
In the case of most organized religions which have become obsessed with their own ideology and maps, one never arrives in the sacred territory, spiritual immanence, a numinous ecstatic communion with God, or even more directly put, to a direct experience of Reality as-it-is without spin or bias. In fact to claim direct contact with God (the original stated purpose of most religions) has become neatly decreed as a crime, sin, heresy, or at least a threat to the religion's self serving "evolution", thus further perverting the religions original intent; i.e., intermediary priesthoods have become mandatory and indirectness/separation institutionalized. In all such systems what is worshipped is an alien and distant God, separate from one's everyday life; existing in death, not life; vaguely glimpsed via ceremony or ritual; communicated via priests or petition; approached on holy days, in man made churches, or holy crusades; and thusly an everyday life devoid and absent of God and spirit is amplified through such institutions.
"Yoga is not a religion or a church. It requires no belief in a doctrine, no credo.All yoga philosophy is concerned with the experience of meditation and nothing else. It does not require anyone to adhere to a belief system."
Swami Veda Bharati (Pandit Usharbudh Arya), God, Himalayan Intl. Inst. of Yoga Science, Honesdale, PA, 1979
The word, religion, is a difficult one because it has so many mixed connotations. There exist many archaic meanings and many people have had some very alienating and negative experiences growing up in dysfunctional and alienating religious organizations. We will utilize the more commonly used definitions of religion.
Whereas the word, yoga, connotes an expansion and openness, indicating the activity of joining together and connecting into a greater unity or wholesomeness, while the word religion can be said to mean to constrain and bind. First let us look at it's origin.
The roots of the word, religion, come from the Latin but have nothing to do with words for god or spirit, The Oxford English dictionary says that the English word comes from the eleventh century -- AF. religiun (11th c.), F. religion, or ad. L. religion-em, of doubtful etymology, by Cicero connected with relegere to read over again, but by later authors with religare to bind, religate; the latter view has usually been favoured by modern writers in explaining the force of the word by its supposed etymological meaning. To bind to what? To read over what? It doesn't say, but if we look up the word, religate, it means to constrain like in binding a vein or constraining a group of people.
If we look up the word, relegare, the Oxford English Dictionary says:
[f. ppl. stem of L. relegare, f. re + legare, to send.]
trans. To send (a person) into exile; to banish to a particular place. (Cf. relegation 1.) †Also refl., to remove (oneself) to a distance from something.
a. To banish to some unimportant or obscure place; to consign to a place or position, esp. one of inferiority.
b. To consign (a subject) to some province, sphere, domain, etc.
c. To assign or refer (a thing) to a class or kind.
d. Sport. To reallocate (a team) to a lower division of a league. Cf. relegation 1c.
a. To refer (a matter) to some authority for decision.
b. To commit, hand over (a thing), to another to carry out or deal with.
c. To turn over or refer (a person) for something to some person or thing.
Hence "relegated, "relegating ppl. adjs.
Websters Dictionary similarly says about its etymology: "Middle English religioun, from Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back".
While its archaic meaning is: " 3 archaic : scrupulous conformity"
Not too promising. What was the Roman Emperor thinking about the meaning of religion at the councils of Nicaea, if not to further Rome's and his own political and religious authority over men. That marriage proceeded mass persecution of "heretical" Christian groups who did not share Constantine's interpretation. Jesus of course warned against this, but that is another story.
Following is the modern definition of the English word, "religion", which is in common usage:
1. a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
2. a scrupulous conformity; conscientiousness
3. a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
4. recognition on the part of man of some higher unseen power as having control of his destiny, and as being entitled to obedience, reverence, and worship; the general mental and moral attitude resulting from this belief, with reference to its effect upon the individual or the community; personal or general acceptance of this feeling as a standard of spiritual and practical life.
5 A state of life bound by monastic vows; the condition of one who is a member of a religious order, esp. in the Roman Catholic Church.
Included above are only the most common current usages. So here one identifies in adhering or conforming to an external belief system, recognizing some separate unseen power, and then residing in a state of obedience to it, rather than experiencing God directly.One judges their self worth and identity from the standards of this external system. Thus organized religions do not bind one with God or a living all encompassing universal spirit, but rather bind people to a church, constrain them to a set of beliefs, a monastic order, and a church given institutionalized identity, or in the worse case enslave people inside separate ideological cells or prisons. In that way religionism thus acts as a larger group ego, where people who have lost a direct connection with Self (as the universal all encompassing Mind), can identify as being "good" (and here's the rub) and "better" than others -- "better" than outsiders in a comparative manner who do not subscribe/conform to the religious group's customs and standards. This often leads to "us and them" mentalities unless it is made clear from the beginning that truth resides within each being, not within a church, religious order, or system. Unless great care is taken (as we will see in the chapter on Fundamentalism below), xenophobia is a short step away especially when an adherent who is rigidly holding on to church doctrine is confronted with their own illusions. masks, and sacred cows.
We all know what a religion is, we have all have direct experiences with various ones, although they all differ. They all differ in purpose and practice, yet they have these certain things in common. We really don't need a dictionary to define our experience for us or to tell us what these institutions portend or espouse. We can check them out ourselves. They all bind disparate people together, not as much to a universal living spirit, but rather to a church and a common basic belief system which is mutually upheld and constitutes the religion. Hopefully they all have an up-to-date map to God.
Yoga, on the other hand, doesn't bind individual or separate groups together (except in the ultimate sense of us All being intimately related in the non-dual transpersonal sense of all our relations). Although yoga is thousands of years old, it in its pure form has no organized institutions. Yoga meaning to join together, to link, to integrate, or to connect is thus inherently and universally expansive, What is linked, joined, and connected is the individual soul (atman) with its true self (Brahman) forming a non-dual and transpersonal co-creative inseparable whole/union. Yoga thus, not being invested as an institution or manmade organization or map, assumes that each and every external map eventually has to be discarded in every case regardless, while the territory of direct experience has to be experienced directly and unabashedly (the sooner the better). There is no need for an externally imposed system at all, although various schools have tried to institutionalize yoga (see below). In fact that has been the problem; e.g., the incessant striving to conform to an external system rather than to listen within to the innate implicate order or inner wisdom.
In authentic yoga, this is the stated goal from the beginning; i.e., that of experiential direct experience or practice, where the practice informs our cognition, rather than having the pre-conceptions impose its prejudice upon the experience. Here yoga practice leads us to the non-dual silence where the conceptual mind processes can rest. That provides the requisite space for the revealing of the great latent wisdom within us all to manifest. Such uncontrived universal knowledge exists in all forms equally (either dormant or expressed) -- as living spiritual intelligence far beyond human words or concepts. In fact one has to give up words, concepts, beliefs, and ideology to enter here, such is the sacred splendor of divine grace.
It is within this trans-cognitive context that authentic yoga practices such as authentic asana, pranayama, meditation take place, which lead the practitioner to their natural unconditioned God given state. In yogic terms, authentic yoga is designed to take us home to the sacred and magical world (paratantra) here in this very life as a liberated being (jivamukti) activating our highest creative and evolutionary potential (kundalini).
This difference between a living spirituality and the deadening effects of most institutionalized religions is a difficult subject to write about, but today it screams out to be explained, because mankind is trapped by widespread conflict, warring “belief systems”, ideology, religious systems, pride, arrogance, self righteousness, fear, confusion, and other such dualistic estrangement from nature and his true nature through learned/conditioned self impositions of cognitive/cortical limitations. It is difficult to write about because Universal Truth, Reality, I-AM-ness, or God is not limited to words or manmade concepts. It can not be found inside books or other forms of human artifice. Because it is beyond words and human concepts, beyond subject and object, beyond duality, one thus runs the risk of perverting the subject matter, limiting it, and thus magnifying duality and separateness from it.
This is the first mistake of organized religion; i.e., that Universal Truth, Reality, or the direct experience of God can be found in books (or scripture), in sacred words, ancient rituals or ceremonies, or through external adjuncts or intermediaries such as priests, popes, prophets, martyrs, saviors, gurus, or other surrogates, etc. In other words most become trapped in the map and man-made artifice, but the old maps no longer leads to a spiritual life, but rather in most cases, the opposite.
That in turn brings up two more additional points that are commonly misunderstood. In Universal unbiased Reality devoid of limited views or prejudice, God is omniscient. There is nowhere except in the artificial and alienated human mental and physical contrivances where God can not be found. In other words, only in man's delusory fabrications is God absent.
God being all inclusive, the Beginningless source as well as the everlasting never-ending, can not be the exclusive property of any one culture, time period, race, nation, ethnic group, or religion. Rather God is found in all her/his works, in all of Creation that the Creator Created. In that sacred and living world, God's eternal song sings forth from every rock, star, flower, tree, creek, and atom.
"It is through the body that you reach the realization of your being a spark of divinity. How can you neglect the body which is the temple of the spirit?"
So it a theistic error to assume that God is only outside of man, albeit God is outside of man's artificial, fabricated, and illusory mental constructs which insulate and imprison him -- which reinforces the veil which separates man from God. When God, spirit, and goodness is seen to be some where else, "outside", then a great lack and disconnection is amplified, a sense of absence and lack of spiritual meaning in one's life is reinforced, a self sense of wrongness and self loathing is embraced, the sense of original sin and guilt is established, and within this spiritual milieu there arises a neurotic need for aggrandizement or compensatory pride found in false identifications with groups, symbols, status, or need of other such compensatory mechanisms of self worth or self esteem. This is juxtaposed against the organic background of "connectedness", of a true sense of well being, self empowerment, and meaning found in one's own direct experience of sacred immanence -- as being an integral part of it.
So then the second point is that when yoga says that God is found within, that the teacher/teaching is inside, latent as the potential eternal teacher, such is stated in the non-dual and non-exclusive sense; i.e., that it does not exist inside any man or woman as something exclusive or separate; in the ego sense of being capable of being owned by any individual ego or group. SImply man, being an integral part of nature and creation, also has God singing forth from him naturally, but the man or woman who is dominated by artifice, self deceit, illusion, and falsehood has repressed God's natural love from being expressed to various degrees. God is within awaiting to express her/his love. Thus yoga is not pantheistic in the sense that there exists discrete Gods separate from each other; but rather that living spirit, as God, is inside everything as a living holographic integrative divine symphony. It is this divine dance, that the yogi dances. When man connects up with is true nature or true Self, then this magical world which has been latent inside of him flowers. As it flowers it simultaneously reveals to his "new eye" (the awakened eye) the magical and sacred world inside of all as well.
Paramahansa Yogananda said, "Often, among churchgoing Christians, one
hears the cry, 'We are all sinners!' (One almost wonders if that isn't a
"You know, there is a distinction between Christianity and what I call,
'Churchianity.' Christianity is the original teaching of Jesus.
'Churchianity' is what his followers have made of that teaching. Jesus
Christ was crucified once, but his teachings have been crucified daily
since then by millions who claimed to be Christians.
"Why think of yourself as a sinner? Oh, it may be all right sometimes,
in the name of humility, provided your attention is focused on the
greatness of God and not on your meanness before Him. But why dwell on
negativity and limitation?
"If you want to find something valuable that has been buried under a mud
slide, won't you be thinking of that object even as you dig through the
mud? If you concentrated only on the mud, you might lose sight of your
very purpose in digging, and abandon the search."
From The Essence of Self-Realization by Paramahansa Yogananda
"Self has no religion. but its vehicles have religion. Their religion is realisation of the Self. This religion of realisation of the Self is not created by human beings, its religion is not set by man, but by God. The Realisation of the Self is a divine religion, where a hunan being goes beyond religions that are created by human beings.
Yoga is a vast subject. It is immeasurable as its subject matter - the Self. One can make a beginning though one may not know the end. There can be an end to ignorance, but there is no end to knowledge. Yoga is as deep as the ocean. when it is hard enough to touch the surface, then gauge how much more difficult it must be to know its depth."
from Yoga - A Universal Culture, BKS Iyengar, a lecture in the USA in 1979, reprinted in Astadala Yogamala, Volume I, page 81, Allied Publishers Ltd., Mumbai, 2000
Although religions may adopt yoga techniques or practices, yoga itself is not a religion. The word, yoga means to join together, to unite, to connect with, commune directly, to make whole, and/or to integrate fully and completely. As such the goal of yoga is non-dual direct communion: A direct experience with God, Truth, Reality, with our true nature as-it-is devoid of any bias, prejudice, spin, artificial programming or conditioning. Although this Universal communion can be found within the ALL and Everything (where is it that the omnipresent God does not exist?), this Universal Reality is not dependent upon disparate, separate, and discrete entities which are constantly changing manifestations. For Universal Ultimate Reality, Truth, Thusness, or God to be known experientially, we must be devoid of any bias, any temporal time/space temporal third dimensional limitation. Our minds and hearts must be fully open. This universal unbiased and boundless integration then is devoid of any separate self; rather it occurs in the complete all encompassing boundless view which has no fetter of a biased individual viewpoint – no separate “s"elf” – free from delusion or illusion – truly wholesome. This union is called in yoga by various names depending on the school, but the general description is the same.The practice of yoga (called sadhana) is to bring this realization into life -- All Our Relations.
Now some will say that this definition of yoga is the same as that for religion. Not true. Granted the root of the word, religion, coming from the Latin, means to bind together, but in actual usage the practice of Western religion does not bind one to God nor does it provide direct experience of God. Rather the term, religion, was used to bind a group together based on their common beliefs and prejudices as opposed to others. It was a binding of men's egos and as such a further rift between man and god was solidified. That type of binding together reinforced the sense of separation from the brotherhood of all beings which creates the grounds for group animosity, self righteousness, religious intolerance, moral outrage, crusades, jihads, and God sanctioned wars.
Religion as such demonizes the natural innate union of all beings, and tells men that this union with God is impossible without intermediaries such as old men with beards, saints, martyrs, prophets, books, priests, popes, and a countless amount of similar artifices. In short religion as we have it, binds men together into a common prison and isolation which appears self serving at least superficially. It is through their religion they are known as separate from other men – friend of enemy, good or bad, etc. As such religious association tends to boost group pride, lost sense of self worth, group hallucinations, and group delusion.
A common element in any religion is that their adherents let other people do their thinking for them (church elders for example). Worse they allow other people to dictate their actions (in terms of right/good or wrong/bad). This creates an unfortunate sense of dependence, self doubt, and insecurity upon an external source of authority/order, which fundamentally undermines our own sense of inner authority, inner wisdom, and confidence in following inherent awareness which no sense of religious pride can completely compensate, replace, or assuage. Adherents to external belief systems have adopted/borrowed and worse have become dependent and attached to a belief system that will never completely replace the hollowness of the absence of sacred immanence. This leaves a gap/absence that provides the foundation of the neurosis. It is through the shroud of the religious belief systems which act as a filter for living spirit rather than a lens, wherein the view of the world is distorted – wherein their meaning is derived for them (externally decreed), wherein their goodness or shame is defined for them and where their self worth or lack thereof is determined. This creates a fundamental but tenacious insecurity, because one becomes convinced that such is "reality" and identity, and thus its demise would mean "death". Thus those so addicted require external support groups and systems, not the least of which is the support from peers. Ergo those who do not believe -- who do not support the creed, are seen as non-supporters and more often than not as threats, because one's sense of self "identity" and security is intertwined with holding on to their false identification (belief). Threat to belief system is seen as threat to self.
This externalization caused by religious organizations, authoritarian belief systems, and such create a terrible insecurity in men who adopt such as faith or belief; because to even question such assumptions is explained to them by the religion is that they are being tempted by the devil – that the act of questioning itself is evil.
So we find in religions these intermediaries (priests, martyrs, prophets, popes, saints, holy books, holy laws, ceremony, duty, ritual, morals, etc which claim necessity and permanence in the meanwhile denying the practitioner direct experience of God.
Worse however not only do such religions create a dependency upon their religious dogma, ideology, structure, and priesthood to tell them what to do and how to think, but such by its very nature disengages such adherents from critical and creative thought in these matters. They become incapable of genuine spiritual inquiry and questioning authority. Through this adherence to conformity people often become defensive aggressive feeling even more insecure and threatened if new data is presented that contradicts their "belief", thus they tend to demonize or marginalize "others" who have other beliefs while insulating themselves within their own ideological social frameworks.
"Humanity has to expand the philosophy of life to enable it to rise above the narrow confines of religion, creed, and ethnic identification. To attain the next step, one has to become a member of the universal family and a worshipper of the Supreme Reality. When one understands the teaching of the Upanishads, then one realizes that life itself is a sort of worship that can shine on the altar of infinity. The hearts of all individuals should beat in one rhythm; the music of the pulse should resonate to a single melody. The time of practicing and following universality will come, and the flower of humanity will blossom. Then the humanity will share all material things as it shares the sun, air, and rain. This can be done when people determine to enlighten themselves, and enlightenment is possible here and now without the help of the word God."
Swami Rama, Enlightenment Without God, Himalayan Intl. Inst. of Yoga Science, Honesdale, PA, 1982
Authentic yoga however is based on this inquiry into Self -- into the truth of "who am I" and what is life is something that the practitioner must discover within. Authentic yoga however is not based on belief, but rather practice. Do this, try that practice, results will come. Clean the lens and you will see for yourself. Build up your eyesight and throw away the corrective eyeglasses! Such was the message of the yogis of the Great Eclectic period of Yoga from the 5th-13th century in Medieval India. Such messages however prove to be a threat of religious empires and hierarchies and such a message proved very threatening to the Moghul power structure (which was a conspiracy of church and state based on external authority). It of course decided that such eclectic yoga was a threat to its control and authority, so it was deemed “evil” and it was actively persecuted and destroyed.
"Yoga is a universal science that has risen above religion. It is a universal technique. No particular dogma is laid down, and no particular god is pointed out for your worship. Yoga does not say that you must repeat any particular name of God. Yoga only says that repetition of one of the Divine name is one of the ways of concentrating the mind. It does not specify the name or whom to worship.
Yoga is the heritage of humanity. The application of Yoga is universal. Yoga can be applied to any religion. In no way Yoga contradicts your religion or anything. Yoga is a science of man. It brings him to the supreme Experience. In each religion there is a certain spiritual content, which has direct relevance with that part of you which is your innermost essential being. The prime concern of Yoga is the spiritual Reality within you, the attainment of the spiritual goal for which you have taken this human birth. Yoga is the path to God-realisation. Yoga is the path of Divine Experience, which is the inner core of religion. Yoga comes as life-giving waters to revive that withering inner spiritual core that has been neglected and dried away. Thus, it makes your religion alive for you. Yoga restores to people the inner spiritual content of their religion.
In what way does it differ (from religion)? It does not call a man sinner. Man is God who has lost his way home, who is stumbling and running about in circles. It puts the man on the path again, shows the light, and days; "go ahead now, go straight to your home." Yoga rejects hell and heaven also. Heaven is also a petty desire. You don't want it. Yoga concerns itself with God, not heaven or hell.
The highly evolved and practical techniques of Yoga may be applied by all races, nations, castes, creeds, churches and sects. This body of practical techniques stands out distinct and entirely separate from all those metaphysical concepts in the background. Yoga transcends religion, it is supra-religious. Yoga is far removed from any dogma or doctrine. All the great Christian saints and mystics who have sincerely tried to love and worship God, and contemplate upon Him and realised their oneness with Him would be yogis. Saint Augustine was a great Bhakti-yogi and Jnana-yogi combined. Saint John of the Cross, and Saint Teresa of Avila were both great Raja-yogis."
Sri Swami Krishnananda
In yoga if the teacher and authority resides within (not in some external authoritarian structure) then how would an external authority structure claim its power and control over people? Only if people were convinced that they could not figure things out for themselves, that they were hopelessly sinful and alienated, that they needed external structures to tell them what to do and how to think, then they would be much more easily manipulated, exploited, beholden, and enslaved.
So here is where the drama between the inner teacher/teaching and the outer teacher/teaching has its origin. Such is a very empowering subject. The "teacher and teachings" drama has traditionally been misunderstood. This has been the perverse tragedy of most all great teachers/teachings.
In the beginning most religions and ideology take the living (spirit filled) teachings from the departed ancient teacher who while alive taught a living spirituality from direct experience (an inspired teaching), but then these subsequent institutions deaden those “living” teachings into a conformance to the past authoritative and external formulations of a self serving church and "correct" authoritative hierarchy (what is mostly a hegemonic oligarchy ruled for example in India by the Brahmin and Kshatriya classes). In other words a living spirituality becomes exchanged for a dead one of the past. Witness all the various organized religions of the globe. Similarly, this happened with the teachings of Patanjali, Buddha, and Jesus; i.e., that their zealous followers perverted the teachings as an exclusive temporal property of a self serving religious organization. In other words they claimed ownership and as such they expropriated the teachings while attempting to place themselves in authority and power.That “progressive” perversion of the basic teachings of an authentic teacher goes thusly.
1) Wow! That's a great teaching/teacher -- really far out -- truly inspiring and uplifting -- revolutionary – really clear and accessible -- finally the "real" truth! Wow!
2) Let's preserve it in chloroform so that we can share it with others (those not fortunate enough like us to have heard them). As such it now becomes deadened.
3) Let's protect our church organization and/or these sacred teachings from corruption by building up a strong and powerful church and dictums around it (empire building) so that these now dead teachings will never become forgotten. Thus those who have corrupted and perverted it, become the champions against corruption.
4) Let's spread "our" enlightened and “better” way to the unenlightened (and less better) heathens - to those who are corrupted, wayward, sinful, and evil. The definition of evil and sinful being that they \do not believe the way that we do or accept our religion. If they do not accept it, then the reason why is because they are evil or stupid or both and thus it is our duty to destroy evil.
Despite the original, authentic, and vital teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Patanjali, Lao Tzu and other great teachers/teachings, nevertheless churches, institutions, and empires built up built up around them attempting to manipulate people to conform to external rules and ideals rather than to find the living spirit inside themselves.
This is much what J. Krishnamurti was rebelling against in his desire to have people wake up and think for themselves. He wanted people to rely on themselves, to look within, to question their most cherished beliefs, slay their sacred cows, and by learning how to think for themselves, their self confidence would return and replace their self doubt and insecurities – their clinging onto ideology, religion, and systems of external authority. Without this ability people are not capable of freedom.
For this to happen, first children must be taught how to question authority and that means how to rebel, rather than to conform in blind blindly loyalty to ideology, dogma, belief, systems of faith or subservience to any other which includes subservience to one’s family, parents, priests, or teachers. Most parents, teachers, and priests think it is more important to impose their own learned values and standards upon their children even at the cost of this basic ability, but this is a large mistake which taxes huge transgenerational negative consequences. In fact all our children need is the ability to think things out for themselves and the accessibility to experience – the data base.
Unfortunately such has been a long hard road for most humans because modern day children's “education” is meant to make children conform to politically correct theorems, approved beliefs and values, external standards, past dysfunctional modalities, and artificially induced paranoia and xenophobia from the beginning in the form of negative programming and punishment versus the joy of discovering who one is. Such negative programming has become so widespread institutionalized, that the promulgators no longer recognize it for what it is, a means of control and subservience. This negative programming, training, and conditioning is a transgenerational perversity handed down from parent to child which has been responsible for the institutionalization of prejudice, ignorance, self deceit, and suffering.
Things probably were not much different in the ancient past; i.e., the exploitation of children, except that the level of self deceit and technology of mind control have never been more sophisticated. Such conditioning creates people who become afraid to let go of their own chains – who can not face an unstructured way of life – whoa re afraid of freedom! This is simply negative conditioning/programming based on fear -- something yoga and psychotherapy is supposed to unravel and defuse. Yoga practice is designed to break up the karma (conditioning), klesha (negative emotions), samskara (negative bio-psychic imprints), vrtti (conditioned mental patterning), and vasana (past conditioned tendencies and habits), all of which dissolve and become eliminated through effective yogic sadhana.
"Extension means creation of space. Space leads to freedom. Freedom brings precision. Precision leads to perfection. Perfection is truth. Truth is God."
Those who are already negatively programmed, whose foci of authority have become externalized and overly objectified, who are habitually spiritually self alienated, believe that “children need to be somehow controlled, or they'd either kill themselves or otherwise commit heinous crimes. This is because the adults themselves do not trust themselves, nor do they trust their neighbors. These adults believe that they must be controlled as well because they are inhibited and repressed – they have become insensitive to the world of spirit and the living God, they have become banished from the Kingdom of the Heart; they have become rended and split off from primordial love and experience it’s lack as sacred absence -- as one’s neurotic badge of misplaced faith.
All this because they have become inured not to know God or trust in the power of love. Rather they have become conditioned to find their answers and identity within the confines of their own prison – a prison that has been made for them by the authorities they have chosen or in most cases by the authority (mostly the father or the state) that they feared the most which has imposed their rule by virtue of this fear. This in turn has produced a deep anxiety and pain within man’s psyche.
Such conclusions of man’s inability to know God, Universal Truth, or Reality directly are very common and hence the anxiety is deeply ingrained. This bastardization is called religion or faith in this corrupt and perverted age. In reality such common thinking is at best cynical and nihilistic to say the least, but mostly it is paranoid, adding to man’s spiritual estrangement and suffering more than remediating it. “Man is evil and life is hell/suffering” is a generalization that does not hold up. Such conclusions say that humans are hopelessly evil, have original sin, and/or need external systems of control (like external authoritative religions and/or state systems, dictating to men how to think and behave). Granted many of today's GMO fed, junk food ridden, love starved, brutalized, ADDH, lied to, confused, and hence "normal" children have a lot of pain, but is it natural or is it created by the pre-conditions of institutionalized ignorance? Obviously it is the latter. Pain (and contraction around that) becomes the norm, but it is far from being man’s natural state; rather it is the result of man’s contrivances and artifice.
It is bad enough for a man or woman to accept that they do not know how to think for themselves, that they can’t figure things out for themselves, or that what they believe is inauthentic at its core; but it is far more annoying once a man or woman accepts that they are basically evil or bad (incapable of meeting God directly in life), then they not only lose respect for themselves, but have a need to demonize others in an attempt for attain a compensatory sense of self esteem, self justification, and comparative worth in order to avoid further self incrimination, pain, or guilt. Similarly, it is a defensive/aggressive guilt reaction, that makes people defend their own illusions, mistaken ideologies, and limitations and thus they contribute to their self-imposed slavery. These are not only the mechanisms that oppose authentic spiritual growth, but it is also the mechanism that permits mankind to justify brutality and violence toward others.
In short it is imperative that we see the role of education not to be our imposition upon the child to conform, to break the child’s natural instinct to question and think. Rather authentic education must allow the child to develop their natural curiosity and ability to rebel against subservience and domination – to have the courage to analyze the value of past ways of thinking and behaving and invent better more functional, productive, and creative responses. All that is done through first allowing the child to go through the rebellion stage. Subsequently they can establish their own values and sense of self in an organic sense – within the overall context of their own authentic direct experience.
"Yoga is an art as well as a science. It is a science, because it offers practical methods for controlling body and mind, thereby making deep meditation possible. And it is an art, for unless it is practiced intuitively and sensitively it will yield only superficial results.
Yoga is not a system of beliefs. It takes into account the influence on each other of body and mind, and brings them into mutual harmony. So often, for instance, the mind cannot concentrate simply because of tension or illness in the body, which prevent the energy from flowing to the brain. So often, too, the energy in the body is weakened because the will is dispirited, or paralyzed by harmful emotions.
Yoga works primarily with the energy in the body, through the science of pranayama, or energy-control. Prana means also 'breath.' Yoga teaches how, through breath-control, to still the mind and attain higher states of awareness.
The higher teachings of yoga take one beyond techniques, and show the yogi, or yoga practitioner, how to direct his concentration in such a way as not only to harmonize human with divine consciousness, but to merge his consciousness in the Infinite."
--Paramahansa Yogananda, in The Essence of Self-Realization
An authentic teacher is like one who opens up the windows and curtains in a dark and stuffy room and lets the sun shine and fresh air inside without magnifying her/him self or glorifying one' slown religion or or lineage. An authentic teacher is like some one who when lost we ask for directions and they point the shortest and best path to the destination that is most wholesome.
In yoga (versus religion and belief), it is assumed that mankind has inborn the potential to align up in harmony and total integration with the Divine – to directly know in what is called Gnosis or prajna. Such is mankind’s divine inheritance. When mankind acts directly from this inner heart/core space, then his/her actions are truly natural, unconditioned, uncontrived and need no moral constraint, external laws, or codes of conduct. This is called realizing one’s highest potential, the tathagatagarbha, the inherent Buddha or Christ potential within. Sometimes it is called activating one’s dormant evolutionary potential (called the kundalini).
Thus it gets down to whether or not we have the humility necessary to believe in something better, to believe in our higher potential or greater Self, in Universal Love, in living Love; or on the other hand if we believe in fear, alienation, hell on earth (heaven in death), the alien and absent God, not of the living.
Yes, this the opposition between love or aversion (aversion being two aspects of fear and hatred) – that is THE choice. If we bring children up i\to get in touch with God as living love directly, all the need for moral codes, prisons, wars, police, fear, and justified violence will become destroyed. Without such, mankind remains a dysfunctional species. Yes, it is far easier if we have tasted love or had glimpses of this universal Reality through positive experiences especially in childhood (the longer and more continuous the better). With this memory or reality intact, then we can use it as a baseline to evaluate and prioritize all our relations. The truth is that we all have this imprint, even though it’s memory may be deeply buried in many. So in deep re-memberance there is a great binding together – a coming into the realization of the transpersonal family who we really are.
Through reinforcing this reality through social structures and personal interaction with our youth, then the youth knows that exists, and so they can search it out once one realizes that “such” is what is lacking. Thus as one grows up one integrates the timeless Beginningless spirit which never dies with the sacred present in a sprit filled Reality. Integrating this continuity is another word for authentic yoga.
No, it is not a new TV, swimming pool, jewelry, junk food, or more neurotic compensatory “objects” of distraction and dissipation that will bring us fulfillment, completion, lasting happiness and contentment despite what a materialistic consumer culture teaches. Rather all we need to do is complete our spiritual destiny – to remove our alliance with illusion, falsehood, bondage, and corruption. Then the inner pains, anxiety, desires, fears, anxiety, and violence will disappear and melt away.
Although the society may hold up material or symbolic standards or rewards for “success” – as ersatz symbols of self worth or self esteem, one must become free of such external pressure and dictates, whether or not it comes from family, neighbors, “friends”, or teachers. Regarding other people's expectations of us, this must be seen as an albatross that must be tossed. First comes our own expectations of our self – getting in touch with our own feelings and deepest motivational impulses and acting in harmony with that. Anything short of that will not work in the spiritual sense. Life is short. We all need to get one (a life that is). If we don't -- hey just look around. Happiness or suffering? Hope or fear? That's how dysfunction looks!
"Life is hard because ignorance makes it so"
The Buddha (modern translation)
You know Buddha never said that life is suffering. He said that ignorance lead to suffering; while developing your inner wisdom, your Buddha potential lead to the cessation of suffering. So if one is not enlightened, yes, the first thing is to accept (and not run away from) the pain and suffering of dualistic existence. We have to start where we are and embrace it – cradle it, and heal it (if it is in need of healing). One has to see it as it is and then we can be through with it when we have gone through it completely. This process can not be rushed nor can it be escaped through intellectual tricks of self deception. Acknowledging this phase of suffering, does not mean that one has accepted something short. Rather it is the sacred numinous step on the stairway leading to an even richer immanence. Then one can move into the light and love more continuously without turning back – an attainment called in the old school of Buddhism, “a stream winner”, where we never return back to suffering but rather enter the stream and flow with it as one.
From Frames of Reference
By Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
(Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacariya)
Translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Copyright © 1994 Metta Forest Monastery
On “attachment to precepts and practices (silabbata-paramasa): fondling the good that we practice; being attached to those forms of goodness that are merely external -- for instance, observing precepts or practices by clinging simply to the level of bodily action or speech.
Examples of this attitude include such things as developing virtue by adhering simply to the precepts; practicing concentration by simply sitting like a post; not being able to free yourself from these actions, always holding onto the goodness that comes from them, happy when you have the chance to perform them in a particular way, upset when you don't; thinking, for instance, that virtue is something you get from monks when they give you the precepts; that the eight precepts are to be observed only on certain days and nights, months and years; that you gain or lose merit simply as a result of external actions associated with your accustomed beliefs. None of these attitudes reaches the essence of virtue. They go no further than simply clinging to beliefs, customs, and conventions; clutching onto these forms of goodness, always fondling them, unable to let them go. Thus this is called ‘attachment to precepts and practices.’
Such attitudes are an obstacle to what is truly good. Take, for example, the long-held belief that goodness means to practice charity, virtue and meditation on the sabbath days: Stream-winners have completely let go of such beliefs. Their hearts are no longer caught up in beliefs and customs. Their virtues no longer have precepts. In other words, they have reached the essence of virtue. Their virtue is free from the limits of time. In this they differ from ordinary, run-of-the-mill people. Ordinary people have to hand goodness over to external criteria -- believing, for instance, that virtue lies on this day or that, during Rains Retreat, during this or that month or year -- and then holding fast to that belief, maintaining that anyone who doesn't follow the custom can't be virtuous. In the end, such people have a hard time finding the opportunity really to do good. Thus we can say that they don't know the true criteria for goodness. As for Stream-winners, all the qualities of virtue have come in and filled their hearts. They are able to unshackle themselves from the conventional values of the world that say that this or that is good. What is truly good they have seen appear in their hearts. Good lies right here. Evil lies right here. Neither depends on external actions. This is in line with the Buddha's saying,
All matters are preceded by the heart,
Excelled by the heart,
Achieved through the heart.
This is what is meant by ‘Stream-winner.’
Stream-winners are like people who have rowed their boats into the main current of the Chao Phraya River, and so are destined to float down to the river's mouth and into the sea of amata -- deathless -- nibbana.”
A big topic which won’t be explored in detail here, other than to show how yoga leads to a non-dual transpersonal recognition through direct everyday experience wherein love (karuna), equanimity (mudita), ahimsa (non-violence), non-exploitation of others (asteya and aparigraha), contentment (santosha), honesty (satya), and other such behaviors are natural evolutes from this natural unconditioned state (Samadhi). In other words the premise here is that if enough people become engaged in authentic yoga, then the need for prisons, the justification for war, violence, abuse, prejudice, compensatory and comparative pride, the condemnation of others, and the abominations due to ego, to fear/desire, to ersatz compensatory attachment in short to the kleshas (afflictive emotions that stem from ignorance) will melt away by itself.Because organized religion places a wedge/wall between man and God artificially creating and maintaining a spiritual alienation/separation, such institutionalized religions act the same way as other institutionalized belief systems or ideologies, all of which maintain the fixation upon duality and separation which in turn magnifies the ache of the heart – the craving for spirit. Regardless how that craving is misdirected by demagogues, church leaders, or salespeople such distractions will never provide lasting happiness or fulfillment.
The insecurity which is created when mankind adopts an alien belief system to replace his own direct experience is great. Such manmade external systems force man to reorganize and align his nervous system around this external fount of order of which he has no control over. It causes a deep sense of insecurity, self doubt, anxiety, and self hatred, which he knows on a deep but subconscious level only increases his alienation and separation and spiritual estrangement. Because mankind has become alienated and externalized from his own innate process of self determination and feelings, he seeks such in the outer realms. Through repeated trauma and disempowering external circumstances, a chronic inner war, tension, conflict, turmoil, and frustration is artificially created complete with a demonological system of good and bad, better and worse, “we” and “them”, Because the inner life has become ignored, through pain, abhorrence, or even fear, the victim projects this inner war outside into the external world especially if a demagogue manufactures a convenient scapegoat .
If a society or culture has a majority of such spiritually alienated people, then such a external projection becomes a self propagating and self deluding mass hallucination which feeds upon itself. In that situation when one's confusion becomes challenged by the truth, the truth then is seen as a threat and a defensive pathological armoring against the truth (resistance) is built up. All the confused person has to do is to turn on their television set to obtain further instructions, while in the past one had to go to the pub or other hubs of social reprogramming and re-education which are no longer necessary.
These are the psychological and spiritual elements (or their lack) that justify and feed holy crusades, jihads, wars of extinction, self righteous genocide, the Hitlers, the pogroms, lynchings, bigotry, and the like.
The need to demonize, condemn, or brand as “evil others", too often is fed by institutions of religion, but belonging to or identifying with any organizational group which excludes others can act as an extension of the ego and pridefulness hardening the element of separation and disconnectedness. This is true for religionism as well as it is for nationalism, racism, chauvinism, and bigotry. Such pride is always the result of a lack of self esteem and self worth – a lack of authentic spiritual attainment. Thus authentic spiritual technology never condones war and violence, prejudice or exploitation of others. Despite the “words” of today’s religious organizations be they Jewish, Moslem, Christian, or Hindu they all have both justified and amplified violence and war, religious pride and bigotry – in short human suffering. Of course there are people within these religions who do not sanction such, but why are they in the minority? Why is it that they are helpless? It is because these religions are based on death – on the dead law of the past, rather than the living law of direct experience. Their reading of their law givers has become something to some idealized past to conform to and idolize, but nothing that is directly known or lived. Thus such spiritually dead people do not even feel the death and suffering that they propagate. Yes, they must wake up – waking up may be hard, but it is harder still for one to remain asleep.
If man does not come resolve his inner conflict and anxieties, he will continue to externalize such in external conflicts. If man remains asleep, he will remain manipulated. He will continue to serve as fodder for future dictators, demagogues, exploiters, and their wars.
This is just a beginning of the inquiry of what makes war, pogroms, jihads, holy crusades and other such organized murder epidemic in human populations. In short it is due to man not being able to do his own thinking for himself and thus the self hatred so generated becomes externalized and manipulated and he becomes led astray in his attempt to remedy his situation through the externalization of symbolic acting out. Such activities are dysfunctional and unproductive.
J. Krishnamurti from "The First and Last Freedom": Question 10: 'On War'
Krishnamurti: War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday life, is it not? War is merely an outward expression of our inward state, an enlargement of our daily action. It is more spectacular, more bloody, more destructive, but it is the collective result of our individual activities. Therefore, you and I are responsible for war and what can we do to stop it? Obviously the ever-impending war cannot be stopped by you and me, because it is already in movement; it is already taking place, though at present chiefly on the psychological level. As it is already in movement, it cannot be stopped - the issues are too many, too great, and are already committed. But you and I, seeing that the house is on fire, can understand the causes of that fire, can go away from it and build in a new place with different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce other wars. That is all that we can do. You and I can see what creates wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war.
An American lady came to see me a couple of years ago, during the war. She said she had lost her son in Italy and that she had another son aged sixteen whom she wanted to save; so we talked the thing over. I suggested to her that to save her son she had to cease to be an American; she had to cease to be greedy, cease piling up wealth, seeking power, domination, and be morally simple - not merely simple in clothes, in outward things, but simple in her thoughts and feelings, in her relationships. She said, "That is too much.
You are asking far too much. I cannot do it, because circumstances are too powerful for me to alter". Therefore she was responsible for the destruction of her son.
Circumstances can be controlled by us, because we have created the circumstances. Society is the product of relationship, of yours and mine together. If we change in our relationship, society changes; merely to rely on legislation, on compulsion, for the transformation of outward society, while remaining inwardly corrupt, while continuing inwardly to seek power, position, domination, is to destroy the outward, however carefully and scientifically built. That which is inward is always overcoming the outward. What causes war - religious, political or economic? Obviously belief, either in nationalism, in an ideology, or in a particular dogma. If we had no belief but goodwill, love and consideration between us, then there would be no wars. But we are fed on beliefs, ideas and dogmas and therefore we breed discontent. The present crisis is of an exceptional nature and we as human beings must either pursue the path of constant conflict and continuous wars, which are the result of our everyday action, or else see the causes of war and turn our back upon them.
Obviously what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money; also the disease called nationalism, the worship of a flag; and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a dogma. All these are the causes of war; if you as an individual belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce a society which will result in destruction. So again it depends upon you and not on the leaders - not on so-called statesmen and all the rest of them. It depends upon you and me but we do not seem to realize that. If once we really felt the responsibility of our own actions, how quickly we could bring to an end all these wars, this appalling misery! But you see, we are indifferent. We have three meals a day, we have our jobs, we have our bank accounts, big or little, and we say, "For God's sake, don't disturb us, leave us alone". The higher up we are, the more we want security, permanency, tranquility, the more we want to be left alone, to maintain things fixed as they are; but they cannot be maintained as they are, because there is nothing to maintain. Everything is disintegrating. We do not want to face these things, we do not want to face the fact that you and I are responsible for wars. You and I may talk about peace, have conferences, sit round a table and discuss, but inwardly, psychologically, we want power, posit1on, we are motivated by greed. We intrigue, we are nationalistic, we are bound by beliefs, by dogmas, for which we are willing to die and destroy each other. Do you think such men, you and I, can have peace in the world? To have peace, we must be peaceful; to live peacefully means not to create antagonism. Peace is not an ideal. To me, an ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need - food, clothing and shelter - is destroyed. We are seeking psychological security, which does not exist; and we seek it, if we can, through power, through position, through titles, names - all of which is destroying physical security. This is an obvious fact, if you look at it.
To bring about peace in the world, to stop all wars, there must be a revolution in the individual, in you and me. Economic revolution without this inward revolution is meaningless, for hunger is the result of the maladjustment of economic conditions produced by our psychological states - greed, envy, ill will and possessiveness. To put an end to sorrow, to hunger, to war, there must be a psychological revolution and few of us are willing to face that. We will discuss peace, plan legislation, create new leagues, the United Nations and so on and on; but we will not win peace because we will not give up our position, our authority, our money, our properties, our stupid lives. To rely on others is utterly futile; others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will bring peace is inward transformation which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not a withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace.
To put an end to outward war, you must begin to put an end to war in yourself. Some of you will nod your heads and say, "I agree", and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world's miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be stopped only when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself; peace will come only when you yourself are peaceful, when you yourself are at peace with your neighbor."
The core of Krishnamurti’s teaching is contained in the statement he made in 1929 when he said:
"Truth is a pathless land’. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security – religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships, and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.
Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man’s pretense that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.
Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge, which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts, he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep, radical mutation in the mind.
Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence."
When Swami Rama's teacher told him to go to the West, he did not want to go initially. He wanted to stay in the Himalayas. But his teacher insisted, saying, "You have a mission to complete and a message to deliver. The message is ours [the Himalayan masters] and you are my instrument."
Swami Rama asked, "What shall I teach to the students who wish to learn from me? Shall I convert them and teach the religions of India? Shall I ask them to follow the Indian culture?"
His teacher responded, "You foolish boy."
Swami Rama asked, "Then tell me, what shall I teach them? The culture in the West is entirely different from ours. These two diverse ways of life seem to be quite apart. How can I deliver your message to the West?"
He answered, "Though these cultures live in the same world with the same purpose of life, they are each extreme. Both East and West are still doing experiments on the right ways of living. The message of the Himalayan masters is timeless and has nothing to do with the primitive concepts of East or West. Extremes will not help humanity to attain the higher step of civilization for which we all are striving.
"Inner strength, cheerfulness and selfless service are the basic principles of life. It is immaterial whether one lives in the East or West. A human being should be a human being first. A real human being is a member of the cosmos. Geographical boundaries have no power to divide humanity.
"To get freedom from all fears is the first message * of the Himalayan sages. The second message is to be aware of the reality within . Be spontaneous and let yourself become the instrument to teach pure spirituality without any religion and culture. All the spiritual practices should be verified scientifically if science has the capacity to do to."
Swami Rama represented a living oral tradition based on direct experience and inner realization, as opposed to an academic, philosophic, religious, or intellectual system based on external knowledge. By oral tradition, it is more proper to call it a system of direct transmission which utilizes words or not. Here one's practice instructs. Silence instructs and so does the eyes (gaze), gesture (mudra), and especially the true nature of non-dual Mind. Thus spiritual practice brings us to realizing this innate living eternal teaching/teacher within. Such is not based on doctrine nor dogma, but on realizing the sacred presence of the eternal teaching/teacher.
Of course authentic yoga is far removed from doctrinal dispute as it is a system of practice -- dependent upon direct experience. But traditional orthodoxy have attempted to co-opt and expropriate yoga as a philosophy and belief system imposing their own limited self serving assumptions upon a system which lies entirely outside such a self serving hallucination. Never-the-less they persist because as an experiential direct system of Gnosis, yoga presents a direct threat to the authority and control of the Vedas, the Brahmin priesthood, experts, grammarians, and their status. Thus they have decided to own it, setting themselves up as yoga's "official" interpreters, and thus put their own spin upon it placing themselves again in the seat of authority.
We bring this boring subject to the forefront only because that is a widespread illusion fostered by the academic and religious traditional institutions. In fact no one tradition (sampradaya) or lineage of teachers (parampara) can trace themselves all the way back to Patanjali (the author of the Yoga Sutras). The best they can do is trace themselves back to a commentator Vyasa, who was Patanjali's earliest academic Vedic interpreter. Patanjali's authentic yoga does not depend on tradition or a lineage ( parampara) according to Patanjali himself, because what the yogi connects to is isvara who is the most ancient teacher of all teachers as the param-purusha. Likewise it does not belong to sruti (the oral tradition of the Vedas) nor smrti (the memorized legends of the Puranas), nor pramana (a vrtti), nor the gurukula system as it manifests today as a tradition, but rather as a living tradition of All Our Relations, where one lives continuously in harmony with the eternal guru (the param purusha) and his/her spiritual family. All this will be made clear if one studies the Yoga Sutras and also meditates. Authentic yoga depends upon inner experience or practice -- it's all found non-dually inside. This is where the authentic tradition continuously points -- this is the focus of the authentic teachings/teachers.Here we will briefly discuss samprajnata and asamprajnata (see yoga sutra 1.17 for more). Please note that samprajnata is synonymous with cognitive function, while Patanjali simply calls it a limited form of knowledge based on frontal cortex cogitation regardless if the "thinking" was done for one by long dead white men with beards within a parampara (lineage) or not. In other words in authentic yoga the authority is not inside books or the past, but inside one's direct experience of the never-ending ever-lasting. In hierarchical traditions rooted in manmade institutions and artifice it is the parampara which confers legitimacy and knowledge through the action of sampradaya )the act of passing authority on from the guru to the disciple). In authentic yoga such is not the case, hence Patanjali never mentions this nor does he mention the need for caste structure, ceremony, ritual, or other Vedic contrivances. All of which disturbed the tranquility of the Brahman caste.
The oldest extant commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is done by the Vedic and orthodox brahmin, Vyasa, around 300 AD. Although brilliant in parts, Vyasa, a traditional orthodox Hindu, made many assumptions and set the stage for the Vedic interpretation. Subsequent commentaries used Vyasa's first commentary as their base. As such a plethora of literature has become amassed in Hindu academia which share this Vedic bias. The basic fault is that Vyasa assumes that, Patanjali was not a yogi, but a philosopher, that he implied much more than what he said, and what he actually said was not what he really meant.
The sutras were not written by Patanjali for the intellectual community to expand upon, but rather it was intended for practicing yogis/yoginis. If one reads it as it was written it does not seem terse, but rather an outline (sort of like notes a student may have taken from a long term stay with a master teacher. The word, sutra, merely means thread. It is woven together with integrity nicely and I do not think it calls for Vedic authority at all to make sense out of it, just like the Hinayana Buddhist Sutras (which were quite popular in Patanjali's era) neither required Vedic nor Buddhist commentary. It has become heresy in these contrived academic systems to suggest that Patanjali was writing down a pre-Vedic indigenous tradition, albeit with the language of his time, but it still makes the most sense to me. Another similar point that may support this heretical proposal, is the further assertion that the Sad Darshana was created only after Patanjali as an attempt to expropriate yoga similar to attempts to incorporate Buddhism. Here what is being said is that Patanjali can stand independent of such institutional attempts, and if it is read in that light, the Yoga Sutras provides a much more relevant yogic message.
2000 years ago yogis did not live in universities nor in monasteries, but rather as recluses in caves and forests. Students would seek out teachers and receive individualized oral instruction (such as what supposedly Krishnamacharya, Matsyendranath, Milarepa, Nityananda, and/or other siddhas received from their teachers. Then the student was instructed to practice returning to their teacher for additional points until the sadhana was completed/mastered. Indeed in the tenth century AD when Buddhist monasteries were blooming, Naropa did not wake up until he left the monastery.
This is another characteristic that differentiates the yoga tradition from that of the monastic, brahmanical, and academic traditions. Granted benefit can be derived from some written instruction as long as it does not preclude/prevent one's own direct experience/realization. I am not saying that academics or intellectuals are somehow precluded from success in yoga, but such are separate disciplines utilizing quite different methods. One can not accomplish success in yoga exhibiting a cognitive overbalance. If I go to a grammarian for example one will receive great exactitude on language structure and meaning in an intellectual sense which may or may not be helpful, but will that mean that that grammarian is a yogi.
Have they any authentic yogic realization, do they meditate, or practice this yogic practice or that? Maybe or maybe not. In other words a philosopher, academician, intellectual, or scientist is accustomed to obtaining a certain kind of knowledge called by Patanjali, samprajnata, but such is not the kind of inner knowledge (prajna) which is transcognitive (asamprajnata) or supra-conscious that yoga is designed to provoke. The latter yogic knowledge cleanses the inner lens, so that then the seer sees (vidya) with transpersonal non-dual vision – from the trans-dimensional holographic relationship which is universal – which is free from the dualism of relationship itself, from object and subject, observer and observed, seer and the seen, etc. Thus authentic yoga culminates in the asamprajnata, nirvikalpa, nirvicara, and nirbija state of samadhi. Herein is unconditional absolute freedom (kaivalyam) found.
A philosopher may know a lot "about" one practice or another, but they may not have any direct personal realization or personal experience, but rather simply book knowledge. This is essentially what Patanjali has the forthrightness to say when he called pramana a vrtti in yoga sutra I.7. He calls pramana (conventional beliefs, authoritative ideology, politically correct dogma, and so called proven theories, thus a very real stumbling block. Specifically he calls pramana a vrtti, a conditioned mental pattern which distorts Reality and which must cease if samadhi is to be accomplished. Patanjali recognized that pramana was a severe prison of the mind and also a source of klesha (further defilements which lead to even more bad karma).
More commonly than not, almost everywhere we go, we see the common man locked into stubborn mindsets whose fixed beliefs,, ideology, and dogma have gotten there through pramana (proven theories) which is composed of the three modes of dualistic perception (pratyaksha), logical deduction (anumana), and the testimony of external authority (agama) such as our peers, authority structures, scriptures, or pre-existing conventional belief systems. Right or wrong, people whose minds are governed by pramana have stalled their spiritual evolution. In short, through pramana one sees a distorted world by filtering Universal reality via the distorted lens of following old books and leaders, the domination of frontal cortical processes of navigation, and ordinary dualistic sense perception where one’s suffering and bondage becomes locked in.
This is why Patanjali defines pramana as a vrtti) a spinning of the mind). At the same time he clearly says that the practice of yoga is to eliminate (nirodha) the vrttis. That is why Patanjali says that nirodha (cessation) occurs through practice and release (Sutra 1.12), rather than by holding onto thoughts or beliefs (pramana). For a yogi through the practices of vairagya and abhyasa all things come together -- (citta-vrtti-nirodha),. This makes perfect sense to a practicing yogi, but to an intellectual whose reality is constructed via belief systems, ideology, past tradition (parampara), hierarchical lineages, or external authority, one feels a need to elaborate and pervert the sutras out of a sense of self justification or protection because of a deep lack of self true worth at the core.
When we approach the Yoga Sutras after many years of yoga practice by asking the question what does "this" or "that" mean in light of our own personal practice, then the book comes alive for us. Here the Sanskrit acts as a supplement, as long as we do not get too carried away in the reductionist technical direction. Rather we must let practice and vairagya guide us -- even in practice. Having said that, I must also that balance between studying for example the Yoga Upanishads, Siva Samhita, Yoga Sutras, HYP, and other yogic texts, alongside the light that our daily practices reveal can be mutually synergistic. Study can be a practice by itself, but it can substitute for a practice that is practiced based. That is what distinguishes yoga from philosophy, objective curiosity, and intellectual game-man-ship. The average man is in need to remind themselves about not getting carried away too much in the dualistic mind.
Perhaps Sutra 1.7 is the best indicator of whether the translator has any yogic knowledge or not. It is a good weather vane of the divergence of the two views (academic versus experiential). Again I do not say that yogis can not be academics, but rather where does one go for proof or authority in yoga? In yoga the authority is inside in the param purusha, the eternal teacher of all the teachers.
If on the other hand if one becomes dependent upon dualistic observation through the sense organs (pratyaksha; , inference, interpretation, and logic (anumana); and authoritative scriptures and priests (agama); such as in pramana this differs greatly from going to the evidence of our own practice, experiential evidence, and direct experience on the other hand. It is my yogic understanding that has Patanjali pointing out that it is the latter is what constitutes yogic knowledge, while the former is the vrtti called pramana. So I say if we depend upon the intellectual, academic, or agamic methods in yoga, then it seems that we have our priorities confused, placing a higher value upon external systems than what Patanjali recommends. In other words is it fair to evaluate Patanjali's Yoga Sutras in terms of what he himself has rejected? Let us understand first what Patanjali the yogi has to say without bias, then if one does not like it, they are free to pursue other methods. However the religionist does not stop there, because they are insecure and hence their grip on reality appears to them as being threatened.
In other words, there is an important distinction that I would like to make; i.e., between a philosophical and religious system on the one hand where principle, authority, and belief dictate; and on the other hand, an experiential system where our experience dictates and molds our beliefs. Likewise Swami Nityananda, Swami Kripaluananda, Swami Muktananda, Swami Satchitananda, Ramakrishna, and many more were not well educated men. Their authority did not come from academia or philosophical study (not that they were against it, but rather they gained realization through experience. We have all heard that in yoga it is "99% practice, and 1% theory" from teachers. Does this have any relevance to this subject?
Sutra 1.7 is a good test in this regard, because Patanjali throughout the entire Yoga Sutra makes not one reference whatsoever to the Vedas, Vedic ritual, ceremony, caste systems, or anything specifically Hindu, albeit his Hindu traditionalist interpreters do use such terminology. You have probably noticed that I use Vyasa sparingly and for the most part not at all, because I believe he puts his Vedic spin on Patanjali. After all who should we go to for authority, what Patanjali says or what Vyasa says? Some people say that we need Vyasa, but I don't think Patanjali would agree.
Like Buddhism, the Yoga Sutras were seen as a threat to orthodox Brahmanism of the time, because it was an independent system. Naturally it came out of India and used some Indian philosophical terminology and the Sanskrit language, but it clearly stated a non-religious path independent of scripture, priest, caste systems, external authority and religion. As such it provided a threat.
This thesis is to show that many self interested power groups have historically attempted to turn their insecurities -- their compensatory pride and prejudice into "reality" and rewrite the Yoga Sutras to fit their prejudice and preference. My thesis is that this same attempt of co-option and expropriation also happened to the indigenous yoga of Bharat (ancient India) before the Aryan invasions (circa 1700 BC or so). It seems clear that some sort of expropriation of the indigenous gods and of yoga by the Aryan invaders did occur accompanied by a demonization of those who did not convert (the indigenous tribal groups and gypsies for example). Here I am referring to the Aryans associated with the Rig Veda, not necessarily their later descendents who settled in India and then composed newer "Vedic" or Brahmanical works.
The munis, recluses, and practitioners of Yoga remained an independent movement free from Vedic religious ceremony, customs, and "isms" as the sociopolitical, cultural, and language contexts shifted in the mainstream society after the invasions. After Patanjali wrote down the Yoga Sutras the orthodox felt compelled to expropriate and color it to conform to their fancy; i.e., turn it into an intellectual, philosophical, or Vedic treatise. A careful reading of Patanjali contains absolutely no such Vedic trappings. That is why in our translation we go to Patanjali as authority, not his Vedic interpreters. Although it seems to me that the logic of the Vedic interpreters is was pitiful, none-the-less it won the stamp of approval by its own authorities. However this study has been a critical one questioning such stubbornly held assumptions and beliefs. It is my thesis that confused minds and prideful arrogance kept the confusion going up until today (within unthinking non-critical circles).
Even today if the mainstream authorities are shown to be "mistaken" most people (lacking in critical thought) just conveniently ignore it. After all they do not know how to do any critical thinking of their own (thinking outside of the box). Arrogance is amazing! Old mindsets die hard, but that is the way toward self empowerment -- getting in touch with the innate wisdom -- who we really are. Isn't that what yoga is all about?
"Yoga is for all, and (it) is universal. It is not a sectarian affair but a way to God, and not a creed. Yoga is union with God, union with all. God dwells in all. The practice of Yoga is not opposed to any religion or any sacred Church. It is purely spiritual and does not contradict anyone's faith. Yoga is not a religion, but an aid to the practice of the basic spiritual truths in all religions. Yoga is for all, and is universal. It is not a sectarian affair but a way to God. To live in God, to commune with God is Yoga."
Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society
In order to understand this interpretative (hermeneutic) bias that haunts the Yoga Sutras, one must understand the traditional Indian academic's mind and their addiction to semantics, grammar, and logic. This fact is due greatly to two factors which have combined to form a powerful and authoritative influence in Indian society. The first, is that Indian authorities accept that Sanskrit is a sacred script written in Devanagari (literally the script of the Gods) is taken literally as the language of the gods. The second factor is that orthodox Indian authority also accept the Vedas (written and spoken in Sanskrit) as the ultimate authority. It is believed to be apauruseya or trans-human knowledge.
Thus if one accepts the absurdity that only past tradition (parampara) confers authority, then one is stuck in parroting the sayings of the past, unthinkingly following ritual, ceremony, and dogma without criticism in order to gain credence, acceptance, and respectability today. Such a self gratuitous and self serving attitude only serves the past status quo forces (authorities), while simultaneously corrupting and suppressing indigenous systems, critical and creative thought.
here we will take the indigenous thesis and see where it will take us. I hope that such may be of illustrative value to compare it with the orthodox and institutionalized versions. For example then in Sutra 1.15, is Patanjali saying that the study of the Vedas will bring about vairagya? No, I think everyone agrees on that. Is he saying that even that which the Vedas teach must also be given up. Yes, I think we have to agree with that (not that it is necessary to agree). Thus to take drsta-anusravika-visaya out if its indigenous context and read-in the authority of the Vedas may be common usage, but is it a perversion of Patanjali's intent? In other words do we have to always read the Sutras through a Vedic glass darkly unless of course Patanjali directly refers to the Vedas (which he never does). For instance look at the change in the common use of English words in only 50 years, let alone 2000 years! It wouldn't be correct to impose modern definitions to many such words, when their intent could be far different than more modern usage.
Vedic adherents (like most religionists and fundamentalists) accept Reality only as disclosed by the Vedas and no other method. Does this have anything to do with what Patanjali is saying here or in 1.12, 13, 14, or 16 either? Vitrsnasya is generally accepted as "free from desire or thirst. This occurs when we are no longer slaves to sensual propensities and this appears to be the clear and simple description of vairagya.
But for me the proof is in the practice of meditation as well as in asana. The number one lesson that I learned in meditation is that the mind tends to wander toward objects (seen and not seen). When I let go of the arising of these thoughts and the arising of the words -- just let them go --over and over again, eventually I am left in an empty, but very full indefinable and peaceful self supporting space which I experience in practice as a result of what I will call vairagya (as it appears to me this is what Patanjali is describing.
"Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky.
Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them.
Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly.
So don't worry about clear mind: it is always there.
When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind.
When thinking goes, there is only clear mind.
Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes,
You must not be attached to the coming or the going."
—Zen Master Seung Sahn
So in an attempt to offer an indigenous viewpoint from Patanjali's plain but profound words, rather than through the filter of Vyasa's or academia's institutionalized traditional accounts, a pattern can be traced. It is one where the alien systems attempt to extract man from his endogenous/indigenous and innate wholeness into an abstraction and alienated state wherein he feels disempowered, separated from direct spiritual experience, disconnected from the sacred, and thus dependent upon external systems of authority. That has become the perverted and self serving role of institutionalized religions. Perhaps a multi-discipline approach utilizing critical thought, grammar, history, and our own experience will combine together toward a further knowledge, refinement, and greater understanding only if the evidence of our direct experience does not become perverted but rather enhanced a thousand fold.
"The moon and sun unite
within your body when the breath
resides in the meeting place
of the two nadis ida and pingala.
It is the spring equinox
when the breath is in the muladhara,
and it is the autumn equinox
when the breath is in the head.
And prana, like the sun,
travels through the signs of the zodiac;
each time you inhale,
hold in your breath before expelling it.
Lastly, an eclipse of the moon
occurs when the breath reaches
the abode of kundalini
via the channel ida,
and when it follows pingala
in order to reach kundalini,
then there is an eclipse of the sun!
The Mount Meru is in the head
and Kedara in your brow;
between your eyebrows, near your nose,
know dear disciple, that Benares stands;
in your heart is the confluence
of the Ganges and the Yamuna;
is to be found in the muladhara.
To prefer 'real' tirthas
to those concealed in your body,
is to prefer common potsherds
to diamonds laid in your hands.
Your sins will be washed away...
if you carry out the pilgrimages
within your own body from one tirtha to the another!
who worship the atman within themselves
have no need for water tirthas
or of gods of wood and clay.
The tirthas of your body
infinitely surpass those of the world,
and the tirtha-of-the-soul is the greatest of them:
the others are nothing beside it.
The mind when sullied,
cannot be purified
in the tirthas where man bathes himself,
...Siva resides in your body;
you would be made to worship him
in images of stone or wood,
with ceremonies, with devotions,
with vows or pilgrimages.
The true yogi looks into himself,
for he knows that images
are carved to help the ignorant
come nearer to the great mystery."
Yoga Darshana Upanishad,4.40-58 trsl., J. Varenne, Yoga in the Hindu Tradition, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.
For more on the attempt to institutionalize yoga see: Making Patanjali Accessible
Perhaps the most extreme strain of religion that is based on an external manmade authority (versus the innate wisdom) is fundamentalism.
"The tantric texts often mention that all realizations come from the guru. This is true, but we have to understand that "guru" has two different levels of meaning. The relative, objective guru is the teacher who, by communicating with us in different ways, shows us how to act so that we may discover our own totality. But, on a deeper, more subjective level, our guru is none other than our own inner wisdom, our own fundamental clarity of mind....Practically speaking, there is only so much the relative, external guru can do for us; he or she cannot guarantee that we gain insight and realizations. But our inner guru, our own clear wisdom, can accomplish everything. The practice of guru yoga, therefore, is primarily a method for learning how to listen to this inner guru
Lama Thubten Yeshe from Introduction to Tantra, Wisdom Publications, rev. ed. 2001
So what indeed are the basic principles of "reality" and of life? Where is it found other than in God's creation? Can it be found in manmade contrivations? Obviously if fundamentalism simply meant to go to the basics, roots, or foundations for help, guidance or interpretation, then it seems eminently intelligent. The problems that "fundamentalism" evokes however is not only where that basis is found, but rather if it is an exclusive ownership of one culture, exclusive religion, political party, race, nation, sex, or something. The latter is really not fundamentalism, but bigotry, chauvinism, bias, and prejudice as long as it is culturally or temporally based, and it too often leads to institutionalized arrogance, racism, xenophobia, pogroms, jihad, crusades, war, lynchings, slavery, genocide, with hunts, and other acts of mass murder and catastrophe, One must not disregard man's long history in this regard.
This may beg the question, though. Where does one go for the basis, their foundation, or roots? This is what indigeneity addresses. Here however we will discuss fist how fundamentalism when based on bias (rather than on nature) actually extracts man from living spirit, from his true beginningless origin/source and hence from all of creation.if God is within then within man is ultimate goodness, Siva, the Buddha nature (Tathagatagarbha), our Christ-like true nature.
Rather today rabid fundamentalism is a symptom of the opposite. It is a result of a retreat from living Spirit--, from our innate intimate unity with God. Fundamentalism in religion is defined as the strict adherence to certain tenets found in the external authority such as scripture to be non-interpretive and uncontestable. That was seen by many as the only wy to interpret God's word, i.e., to eliminate interpretation entirely. All well and good unless one suggests that the intent of some scriptures were allegorical in meaning and were not designed to be taken literally. Or if one were to suggest that mental interpretation is always going on (the temporal mind being conditioned/programmed by temporal experiences), even if one were to imagine that they were taking the literal meaning, the temporal mind is condemned to interpret in any case (in that case only the universal mind can know itself -- only one who knows oneself as non-dual and transpersonal -- the true nature of mind, can be free from biased interpretation.
A further difficulty with "strict" fundamentalism is that a question arises whether or not their scripture is authoritative in a universal sense or if it were not written by men. This is usually taken as "faith of the creed" and to doubt that is to cast doubt on the whole religion. Thus one is considered an outsider, an outcast, or a heretic if one questions "orthodox " dogma. One must accept unquestionably the assumption that God wrote the scriptures and it is infallible i.e., that it wasn't written by men. These assumptions which can not be proven, are taken "on faith' or more as a prideful badge of one's faith -- one's identity and allegiance with "goodness", and one's "religion".
So when two or more fundamentalist religions meet based on different scriptures, communication often suffers to the point that goodness is associated with the faith/religion and evil is associated with "the other"'. But before we jump ahead there. Let's deepen our understanding of the term, fundamentalism, and see why it is growing worldwide today.
Fundamentalism is growing worldwide because people have become usurped from their roots -- that they have lost touch with creation/creator's implicate order and thus are seeking order, authority, and meaning in manmade outside systems. The more confused and frightened they are, the more they crave security, structure, external law and order, externally bestowed identity (within an external authoritarian system), and the like. In short the more disconnected they have become inside to God or living Spirit, then the more they crave it elsewhere-- through the senses in books, churches, priesthood's, and other ersatz avenues in a neurotic way. But where is the living God really?
2 : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles such in "Islamic fundamentalism", "political fundamentalism". etc.
One can clearly differentiate a fundamentalist from a non-fundamentalist based on whether or one has decided stubbornly on a specific belief structure, faith, ideology, set of moral codes, or is still open-minded toward change and learning. To the degree one is rigidly fixed to a certain ethic or moral code, identifies with their attachment, closed-mindedness, and stubbornness and confuses that with “faith” or allegiance, and thus holds pride in intolerant attitudes, is proportional to how they can be classified as a rabid or strict fundamentalist on one hand who in the most extreme sense feels compelled to demonize, attack, and marginalize anyone who does not support their own view, versus on the other hand, what will be called a progressive fundamentalist; i.e., one who believes strongly in their existing belief system as being adequate, but non-exclusive -- who is neither guarded, defensive, nor afraid of discoursing with others, but may even to some extent welcome people who are different faiths and creeds,.
If some one feels insulted, shamed, defensive, angry, intimidated, insecure, or threatened when a viewpoint or belief other than their own surfaces – if they claim “foul” or feel that they must attack, destroy, or demean the “opposition” or its messenger, then those are sure symptoms characteristics of a strict or rabid fundamentalist. Such are dominated by fear (a klesha) and doubt. Indeed, many people attempt to regain a previously lost sense of self esteem, self worth, and self respect on the basis of how many enemies they have defeated or destroyed in such a battle. Again all strict fundamentalists have become uprooted from first cause – from their basis in a living spirit – as a living spirit –as a intimate part of God’s creation which is found inside their heart and inside All Our Relations. .
I think this gets to the point, though, that to discuss things like religion, politics, or any other belief, with a non-fundamentalist or open-minded person, they will not automatically attack the opposition view or become defensive/aggressive as if there is an implicate threat or personal ongoing battle occurring, but rather they will genuinely and without guile welcome the opportunity to discuss “essential”, “fundamental” or “controversial” issues courteously in order to learn more (if such are their intent); hence the value of “dialogue”, versus attempting to crush their opponent by imposing one’s religious, political, racial, nationalist, sexist, or other wise chauvinistic views, agendas, or crusades upon others consciously or compulsively. These are obviously two extremely different ways that people of diversity may chose to interact. Of course dialogue is essential for good communication, peace, and understanding and the common ground is in the heart. Any system that pits man against man, that creates wide gaps between “us and them” most often promotes violence, war, and suffering, where spiritual organizations (bring in love, healing, happiness, and joy in All Our Relations.
A psychologist, Marshal Rosenberg started an organization called Non-violent Communication which he felt was a way to heal the conflict in both personal and international relations. His work spans marital problems, family problems, social strife, political and racial conflicts, and even war remediation work as he believes that “good” communication is key, but people are not trained or skilled in it. Thus he teaches non-violent communication.
So a good example is found in the "Bhagavad Gita", where some interpret it as a justification for war, while others as an allegory stating that war will not end until mankind has found inner peace – that their inner demons (the Kurus) have been slain. This means that people who have not learned the workings of their own mind, project their shadow world or inner demons outside unto the world as a shroud covering it. So obscured they see other people and events as being symbolic representations of their own fears, attachments, doubts, insecurities, false identifications, prejudice, beliefs, creed, and external structures to which they have become dependent and to which they cling. So when confronted in everyday life, they mistakenly interpret that are being attacked by the enemy, but the real threat is to their false beliefs.
Many fundamentalists thus are at war with what they call “liberal” interpretations of anything (that usually means interpretations that are other than their own). That is indeed a sorry state, but that is not the case of all fundamentalists. Yes, the critical reader may have noticed that the author went to the Gita for that example. Does that mean that the author is a Gita fundamentalist? Well yes, to some extent the author goes to teachings which reveal the light inside -- which illumine our night. Most often this is because our own inner light has already become dimmed or shrouded, but at other times it is merely a way of illustrating a fundamentalist interpretation (literal) versus what is often called mystical or allegorical interpretation which reveals the psychological mechanisms that have produced the apparent phenomena. .
C.A. Kernan in his essay "The Fundamentalist" differentiates between different kinds of fundamentalists, saying that all are not simply ideologues and dogmatic/intolerant bigots. He defines for example a progressive fundamentalist.
“One of the most frustrating things for a person who does not subscribe to a fundamentalist way of thinking is that having an open and expansive conversation about spirituality and God with a fundamentalist personality is virtually impossible, if possible at all. You see, the fundamentalist typically argues from one frame of reference only: his sacred text, or his sacred teacher, whatever the case may be. More times than not the sacred text is the Bible and the teacher is none other than Jesus himself.
If you find a fundamentalist thinker willing to discuss a wide array of divergent topics, while allowing and considering other references (such as scientific, theological or philosophical), then you've found a progressive fundamentalist indeed."
Actually one may classify many other kinds of fundamentalists not listed by Kernan, but that would be almost endless and rather semantic. Rather what we are more concerned with here is to show that it would be a mistake to classify yoga as a religion at all, and most certainly not fundamentalist in the common use of the word. Rather yoga joins us back to source -- back to the basics but it doesn't do so by separation, negation, nor exclusivity. It does so through love -- through uniting nature/creation, man, the universe, and Source via effective practices (sadhana). This realization naturally invokes a non-violent (ahimsa) intention and compassion.
Is not the very nature of evangelism, the crusades, propaganda, and the like acts of himsa (violence) -- attempts to coerce, force or impose one person’s views and/or life style upon the other,. In general this is what liberals call bigotry and intolerance, but fundamentalists will label opposing views “evil”. Let it be said that there can be a fundamentalist Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Sunni, Shiite, Moslem, Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, republican, green, democrat, communist, loyalist, Cossack, misogynist, chauvinist, racist, etc, their uniting factor is that they (or their belief./creed) unquestioning believe that they are right, “inerrant”, correct, good, or justified despite any evidence that is offered.
Thus blind rabid strict belief or unquestioned faith/loyalty is in general characteristic of fundamentalism. However when such is combined with aggressive or rabid fundamentalism, then great strife and many other abominations can occur. Then besides a progressive fundamentalist or rather a tolerant one who just believes in literal truth of a ideology, there also exists rabid and active persecution fundamentalism. Some fundamentalist dream of a fundamentalist empire – a pure absolutist state where all other ideologies or races are wiped clean, and everyone upholds the same values and beliefs. Such was the mentality of the Catholic Church during the dark ages, Nazis Germany, and most other super race/super religion or over mind supremist “us and them” ideology.
So on one hand, the word fundamentalist as applied to a rabid fundamentalist is nothing short of a closed-minded, intolerant, and prejudiced bigot , but one can ask how did this person become programmed to be who he has become because obviously he was not born such and it is not a genetic trait (or at least one hasn't’t found the genome for fundamentalism yet). The deeper question is how our society uproots one from nature, creation, love, the heart/core of life -- living spirit? Then we can put an end toward such corruption/distraction.
One can characterize fundamentalists easy enough, but it is more valuable to identify the psychological characteristics and etiology of a fundamentalist; i.e., what holds him together, what forces created his insecurity and dogmatic rigidity, makes up his personality and psychic complexes, and mostly what makes him threatened and hateful? Are fundamentalists merely traumatized, exploited, ripped off, manipulated, and abused people who have been created by the very demagogic oppressors who lead them to identifying and objectifying an external evil and persecuting “that”?
To answer that question, all one has to do is to look at the subject’s personal programming/conditioning and that includes their early family life. In general, the fundamentalist is not encouraged to think for themselves or if they are, they become afraid to do so or feel it is beyond their capability. Such people crave order, structure, something “objective” to hold onto and to follow like laws, moral dictums, codes of ethics, authoritarian figures, a sacred book, or other ersatz identities and realities to replace the inner rend.
Why is this? This is because a pre-existing previous trauma has occurred in the past, and the young child or even a traumatized adult feels helpless, overwhelmed, and incapable of their own feelings or self authority. Their basic meaning in life, self worth, and hence self confidence and self esteem has been stripped away, confused, obstructed, or at least disrupted and disorganized. Then they being “lost”, insecure, fearful, and perhaps angry are ripe candidates for an external structure which promises two ersatz compensatory replacements.
1. fundamentalism promises a highly structured predictable order and meaning in life.
2. it tells them who they are and what is expected of them.
3. (optional) it tells them who to respect and whom to hate, fight, or demonize i.e., it gives them a ready made objective system of good and evil – hence they become good as long as they follow the program. i.e., participate and tow the line.
Fundamentalism as an ersatz external authoritarian structure thus serves to organize and unite a trauma victim’s nervous system externally. Although this is a great disservice to the subject, it appears attractive to what appears a hopeless confusion, anguish, pain, inner chaos, confusion, and self doubt.
Since one never obtains true self worth in such ersatz neurotic systems, there is always more striving, more dissatisfaction, increased frustration, and anger eventually unless it is TREATED”. So alongside rabid fundamentalism the need for neurotic outlets increase, so the organization then channels these in aberrant psychopathological (and may I add socio-pathological) ways (lynchings, war hysteria, pogroms, self righteous crusades against “the evil others”, etc.)
One becomes disturbed and impatient when incoming messages from the environment disclose the game that one is playing or when the “lie” or mask is lifted one becomes afraid and often resists such aggressively. The truth then becomes branded as a lie. This aberration can take on extremes of pathology in trying to prove one’s self worth, in fighting holy wars, in a willingness to die in martyrdom for the holy cause, and the willingness or even rage to kill others for the cause. Succinctly then the more one has become dependent upon the external structure for self identification and security, the more one clings to it and can not even conceive for a moment the demise of a such structure. The more one is confused and whose inner wisdom/order is obscured, the more they will cling to external ersatz systems. Thus an increase in confusion equals a decrease in inner wisdom, and an increase in fundamental thought. Such fundamentalism is rising, because people in general are estranged from nature, creation, and source (creator) creator they are more confused than ever.
However true fundamentalism if we take the word as meaning as going back to the basics, as adherence to the foundation of all life, or our living roots is akin to the idea of indigeneity. How more fundamental can one get than being indigenous? To this end the word, radical (which means the root or basis), can also help define yoga as the radical fundamentalism (not that it is in current usage yet). Or what would radical yoga look like?
Existing at the opposite end of the spectrum from rabid or strict fundamentalism, the radical fundamentalist process begins first with the creation of the free/independent thinker who grows up being encouraged to think independently and critically -- to explore, question, observe, and listen, versus to conform, obey, and become a slave. Such people are not coerced into accepting dogma or creed, but rather their natural spiritual curiosity is given full reign and expression. Such is encouraged not punished or repressed. Such people are not forced nor desire to jump through hoops, memorize and conform to party lines, nor limit their acquaintances and experiences within the same "safe" box or mold that one’s ideological group or chauvinistic family has set aside for them. Free thinkers having been encouraged to think for themselves first must go through a purification phase where any accumulated biased and prejudiced views as a result of their negative conditioning are questioned and exorcised. One's mind is made their own, purified, and clarified, and thus becomes the instrument to disclose the inner universal mind.
Radical, is derived from the root, radish.
Oxford English Dictionary:
A. adj. Of or pertaining to a root or to roots.
1. a. radical humidity, humour, moisture, sap: In mediæval philosophy, the humour or moisture naturally inherent in all plants and animals, its presence being a necessary condition of their vitality. So radical heat.
b. Of qualities: Inherent in the nature or essence of a thing or person; fundamental
2. a. Forming the root, basis, or foundation; original, primary.
3. a. Going to the root or origin; touching or acting upon what is essential and fundamental; thorough; esp. radical change, cure.
b. radical reform, a thorough reform; esp. as a phrase of English politics in the end of the 18th and early part of the 19th century.
c. Hence radical reformer = radical n. 5. Also radical reformation.
d. Politics. Advocating ‘radical reform’ (see sense 3b above) or any thorough political and social change; representing or supporting the extreme section of a political party; hence, in more recent use (orig. U.S.) left-wing, revolutionary.
e. Characterized by independence of, or departure from, what is usual or traditional; progressive, unorthodox, or revolutionary (in outlook, conception, design, etc.).
f. Special collocations in senses 3d and e, as radical chic, the fashionable affectation of radical left-wing views or of dress, style of life, etc., associated with such views; also transf., those who embody such an affectation; radical feminism, advocacy of radical left-wing views designed to counter the traditional dominance of men over women; hence radical feminist adj. and n.; radical left = New Left; radical right, extremist conservative or fascist views favouring group action to protect or re-instate certain social traditions.
B. n. (elliptical or absolute uses of the adj.)
a. A root; a word or part of a word which cannot be analysed into simpler elements.
b. A radical letter (see 5b above).
2. a. A basis, a fundamental thing or principle.
Thus authentic yoga which is directed removing the corruptive influences while integrating with creation, the body, and creative spirit is an effective viable remedy and alternative from organizing one's traumatized nervous system around an external manmade manipulative structure, because authentic yoga tells us to look inside, and find the intelligent source of the one who is looking, the true essence of unalloyed consciousness, and then organize around that innate wisdom of the living nervous system -- the living Spirit within which manifests as our Christ-like or Buddha nature .Within one finds the secret unity of the macrocosm and microcosm -- THAT Great Eternal within, is inside of All. -- Love manifests spontaneously in All Our Relations.
But first one must thoroughly go through this rebellion/purification stage. Then mere rebellion/purification is finished. Then the free thinker learns the inner path to tap the omnipresent creative thinking/creativity (based on their openness created by the sharpened and clarified questioning stage). Here we can say that the innate inner wisdom (prajna) is let free by first utilizing inner discrimination (viveka) which was developed in the questioning/rebellion stage. Hence the more mature, wise, peaceful, and secure beings have no need to hold onto ideology, external authoritarian systems, rigid structure, predictability, or dogma because the law is written in their hearts and they are connected to it intimately in All Our Relations.
Just the existence of the free and independent thinker naturally poses a psychological threat to the rabid fundamentalist, so the fundamentalist finds cause to persecute them.
But beyond the one mind is the open heartmind, where one has looked inside to the workings of their own mind and have been able to drop the shroud entirely. One no longer is haunted, but now sees clearly. Here we mean that they see deeply – they live inside All Our Relations as All Our Relations. The barriers are gone and they have no need of further barriers or manmade filters, boundaries, or limitation. These people, the Ongwhehonwhe, have natural love because they exist in unity without separation in a transpersonal non-dual deep inter-connectivity with the universal eternal here and now.
Yes, spirituality is not a retreat from life, an aversion, a neurotic insatiable indulgence, a dullness, delusion, or dualistic escape from something, but rather it is a union – a Divine embrace with Universal Consciousness. Indeed pure spirituality is not purely esoteric (except that most people do not understand it), rather our actions reflect our consciousness and karma, and hence any spiritual teaching which truly changes our consciousness and/or karma will most certainly transform our actions. The spiritual message of of yoga then is clear, to slay the ego and his armies (kleshas) of ignorance, desire, fear, hatred, anger, violence, arrogance, self righteousness, greed, self deprecation, jealousy, doubt, and all the rest.
In the word's of Sri Aurobindo:
"A day may come, must surely come, we will say, when humanity will be ready spiritually, morally, socially for the reign of universal peace; meanwhile the aspect of battle and the nature and function of man as a fighter have to be accepted and accounted for by any practical philosophy and religion."
Here Sri Aurobindo is not saying that conflict, strife, violence, and war are to be justified or sanctioned, but rather it is to be understood as emanating from a lack of spirituality within the social modalities and values of the people.This occurs because man has not yet come to grips with "self" and in his confusion his actions create suffering. Fighting, conflict, tension, stress, violence, and suffering will surely end when man fully awakens to his evolutionary potential. then true and lasting happiness can be said to have abounded.
In All Our Relations!
As this disconnection from nature and the true nature of mind increases within man's HeartMind, so too will there be an increase in religious and political rabid fundamentalism. As rabid political and religious fundamentalism increase, so too will there be an increased disconnection from nature and natural systems. At that time mankind will attempt to destroy and poison his own air, water, food, body, and other habitat and species. This true psychopathology as evidenced in widespread ecocide and genocide are upon us today. The reverse of this process may be called radical fundamentalism where mankind actually goes back to his roots, to a viable creation story, to creator, and to All Our Relations!
To sum up, yoga in its pure form can come pure vanilla, without any creed, dogma, or belief system. It is mainly a vehicle or means that can transport one on the path to spirit. It is transportable anywhere on the planet and can be cut and pasted into existing religious structures to revitalize them if so chosen. Basically the practice (sadhana) of yoga brings the practitioner (sadhak) into union with the creative source of consciousness. From there the practice is over. That's all authentic yoga does.
What is more fundamental than source? Nothing. If Source is the beginningless uncreated creator of all, then the act of creation is her work; i.e., creation. Thus by knowing creation fully we can trace it back to its creator. In fact creator exists here and now in creation. In yoga we call that the instantaneous abiding of siva/shakti (tantra) or the simultaneous awareness of the non-dual abiding of absolute and relative truth (Buddhism).
So then fundamentally speaking the foundation of all life can be found simultaneously within ourselves as well as in all living things. This "Self" is transpersonal and non-dual, it is not ego, not separate, and has nothing to do with the statement that any one individual is a god. No, this universal consciousness is not found "elsewhere" other than the all inclusive integrity of All Our Relations, and especially never in the exclusiveness of within physical manmade buildings like temples or tirthas, manmade books, holy places, or individual men or women no matter how inspired/inspiring. These latter can "reflect" universal truth and can act as an aid, but only if they are not taken as substitutes for or distractions from the all inclusive transpersonal non-dual truth. Rather when we truly seek for the treasure of treasures, seeking the transpersonal universal non-dual truth, we can only see it when our own eyes are sufficiently open, So teachings such as yoga which are designed to open up our innate wisdom eyes must be placed foremost on our agenda if we are to fundamentally change our lives to honor life and consciousness and by doing so participate in the great turning of the tide of man's psychopathology.
Ideally we would like to think that all religions point to one God and that they all lead toward it without singling out any troubles nor emphasizing the differences between religions or spiritual techniques (thus avoiding further fanning the flames of religious strife which has been considerable), but in all honesty that isn't my own experience; i.e. not all religions give the same results. Perhaps God realization was the original intent of the spiritual founder of some religions, but really one has to look at religious phenomena like the founding of the Catholic Church by the Emperor of Rome or the doctrine of Original Sin, or even when Judaism in 500 BC declared that the time has passed that it was possible to commune directly with God or to become a prophet. Indeed religious doctrines differ widely and many have narrowed their goal considerably since their original founding father/mother.
Placing young children in such narrow religious institutions at a young age and then subjecting them to religious propaganda can really create many severe problems in the future. At the healing center where I lived for many years, too many people were unraveling their early childhood negative programming of which necessitated much "religious" deprogramming. I'm not just talking about religious ideology or intellectual deprogramming in forming a positive attitude toward the body, self, nature, and life, but exorcising and reprogramming the psyche’s basic emotional feelings of lack of self worth, identity, negative sexual feelings, complex guilt, anger, and hatred. Preacher sons and daughters seemed to be the worse sufferers.
Some religions encourage critical thought and some do not (mostly). Most provide structure (some strict) and too often pat answers that are dysfunctional, self serving, and pathological (for example look at the long term and widespread institutionalized pederasty of the Catholic Church, but has anything changed)? Here I am not singling out Catholicism per se, but rather pointing out an ongoing cycle of continuous human suffering that has yet to be stemmed through methods of the past. By understanding the dysfunctional mechanisms, man learns, becomes free from unhealthy unconscious propensities, and thus functionality is liberated.
The dysfunctional mechanism occurs when people feel disconnected from their foundation (say in modern urbanized society). A sacred absence is thus established (the rend from god or love). Once that hollowness is created, then in turn it creates a compensatory corrupting urge to or neurotic need, which either further lust or religious structures promise relief/refuge or safe haven. Both are external answers leading outside the gates of man’s body and mind, whereas indigenous solutions tells man that the answer he seeks is inside – inside of his heart and all All Our Relations.
The sad truth is that the greater this disconnect/rend from nature and true nature of mind INSIDE, then the more people will seek to compensate for it OUTSIDE, in external authoritarian structures or other such ersatz promises.
Many people today who have become very frightened and have thus reacted by craving external structure, law, and order to replace their lack of inner order and inner wisdom. Such people have lost touch with their inner wisdom, intuition, healthy instinct, and the like and do not meditate or practice yoga. They want to know what to do and what to think in terms of morals, codes of conduct, ceremony, how to pray, and how to think (as if some one else, an ersatz parent, or book can tell them that).
Yes, so called “adults”! In a sense it is a “good” sign that they want to know, but it’s where they are looking (outside for the answers) which may make their situation even more unstable. The best spiritual service a religion can do is help one find universal spirit inside and then it will show up in All Our Relations
Is not that the basic question in spirituality (versus religion)? And yes it is this basic connection which when lacking, creates the fundamentalist, one who is looking to go back to the fundamentals. But where is that? Inside of course. So we have a slight problem on the planet where people are seeking it outside in manmade structures which claim divine authority.
However, where are our roots in life? Muladhara (root chakra) or in some book dictated by a political leader (Emperor Constantine of Rome)? Is life rooted in nature and does nature support life or was Jehovah the captain of a space ship which left off alien humans onto the earth to rape and plunder her? Is spirit inside or locked up in a scroll or church or the exclusive province bequeathed to an elite? These are questions that every true seeker must answer deep within their own hearts, utilizing the sharp sword of viveka. .
Socio-psychological conditions thus can not be separated from the rise of fundamentalism for example as there is a direct cause and effect relationship. This is obvious both in the Middle East and in the US, but one can witness this same cause and effect phenomena in India, the old USSR, Africa, and China as well.
Yes, I don't see how anyone can say that this does not really affect us strongly every day. Just as the World Trade Center 911 crashes affected the US and the world in a specific and powerful way, so too has the crusades affected millions in the past, and so too will similar psychopathological mechanisms affect our future even more so until enough people are brave enough to deconstruct and liberate themselves from these mechanisms which heretofore have claimed sacred-cow or evil status depending on what side of the fence on sits.
On the other hand we can simply try to ignore such far reaching events, hope for the best, or simply blame it on the devil! This is the key that locks the sleeping child inside their own safe prison of denial. That door must be opened to allow a happy light to shine through. Rather consciously approaching the subject of widespread denial, throwing light on it, so it is understood, rather than feared and denied (as a defensive mechanism ignored) is the key to understanding why man becomes locked into transgenerational ignorance (avidya) and suffering. A deep dark subject to be sure, though necessary to enlighten.
Most children have hope invested in some external “good” force that would save mankind (like mom and dad or the good priest, etc. But maturity demands that we no longer ask: “How could God permit such violence and suffering – such abomination". Where is god if not within you and I? In an age of equality and freedom, if we don’t acknowledge her inside, then how will she manifest and express herself? Mankind now has to wake up and realize their Christ potential, their Buddha nature, -- their evolutionary potential (kundalini) or be sick and die. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the planet!
So a question is asked of man. How does fundamental raw love – God universal consciousness and evolutionary force manifest as a healing force on earth and through the human form (body)? Certainly not through violence (himsa) nor through lies (asatya). How do we manifest and know our brothers and sisters if not through loving kindness, being in the heart – through heart. Love is the only option and more love and more… purifying as we go. Love and peace is not collapse but strength. It doesn't mean that we give up our ability to question and think creatively (outside the envelope so to speak) and to be in our own truth even if it some other people have attachments that we should not speak the unspeakable truth -- what they prefer to remain taboo, secret, or hidden.
Most people mince their words in self serving manners, whereas the truth and spontaneity suffer and is compromised/corrupted. There falsehood and deceit, and ignorance reigns Falsehood resides in fear and because of it. Fear is the domain of cowards or rather the traumatized and wounded.
Some people just insist upon a very neat little world where nothing is amiss or out of place (denying the reality of war, violence, murder, institutionalized ignorance, and suffering as a whole), but for humanity to proceed to evolve, it is far more functional to face it rather than to blame it on some external “evil” (which is the propensity of many religions). Such transference provides quick relief, but does not provide complete nor functional resolution, rather it occludes further self understanding and liberation.
In other words a critical distinction is being made between offending people who are attached to illusions “on purpose” (as if there is an intent to offend them), or on the other hand to intend TRUTH (to be in and to live our truth -- satya) unfailingly, regardless -- no matter what other people’s reactions may be. This type of offensiveness of course is purely mental (in the eye of the beholder) , an insult contrived by the ego to defend its pre-existing low sense of self esteem. This key defense mechanism of the ego reveals the ego mechanism of denial (ignorance) which has prevented self realization, enlightenment, and mankind’s participation in his inherent evolutionary potential.
Now is the time to break free. The door is now open. If such people who we are afraid to offend, are our parents, our bosses, our mates, or peers, then being in our truth may have negative consequences to our social contracts, but we are also free to change who we hang with, so that no situation will restrict our freedom to our truth without feeling inhibited by the overall mass illusion nor forced into conformity and conventional temporal illusion.
Future life on the planet as well as our own spiritual evolution (subtle though it may be) depends on whether or not we participate in the corruptive cycle of de-evolution – of psychopathology and disparate fragmentation and decay; or on the other hand if we participate in conscious union – in realizing our inherent evolutionary potential reclaiming our home in nature and creation and in the intelligent evolutionary order of life giving natural systems – our true nature, buddha nature, the Christ within.
So it seems clear that today spiritual beings are charged with being, manifesting, and expressing peace, truth, love, and light. Remember the truth part as that is essential and universal -- it is reality.
Because radical fundamentalism demands that we go to the root essence of any problem or any situation, there is no room for denial (which is another name for ignorance). At this fundamental level which forms the basis of all that is, then instead of ignoring what-is, the radical fundamentalist seeks out first or fundamental cause; i.e., what is most often called, God, but in fact is the Great Integrity of all that is and all that is not is -- an all inclusive everything, not based on any separate thing.
On the other hand most organized religions and especially rabid fundamentalism as defined above are based on church doctrine and/or belief systems without regard focused intent toward leading the "believers" into a direct experience of God. In fact that direct experience is often declared heresy or "illegal" because it threatens the status quo of the church leaders -- it threatens its so called "holy" structure and mandate which of course is to promote itself rather than the truth.
In that perverted twist of rabid fundamentalism the truth or reality itself becomes a threat and thus this self protective ideology forms around it to protect the "believer" (the holy) from reality (which is now demonized). Anyone who has been a minority in a country with dominant rabid fundamentalists know first hand this phenomena.
The salient point here is that the rabid fundamentalist or ideological dogmatist, who not knowing causes, but only symptoms will in their self perpetuating denial and ignorance label everything that they do not understand or appears threatening as "evil". The existence of "Evil" explains to such people why "bad" things happen while "good" is why "good" things happen. Pretty simple, right? Such people live in a shadow world of symbols haunted by their inner demons. They react by treating the symptoms, rather than addressing the causes. If they were able to address the causes then they might be able to eliminate the "evil" and to perpetuate the "good" (read become functional versus continue to be dysfunctional) . They do not see what they are doing, because they are armored/insulated against it (protected by the ideological pride/belief systems as outlined above). It is inside this morass of blame, evil, fear, and confusion where one's identity suffers greatly. One becomes in need for self aggrandizement as a result of this pre-existing lack of experiential direct meaningful connections with living sacred spirit, here and now on the planet, and in daily life. in this latter situation life is meaningful and full; one has direct intimate experience, voyeuristic or symbolic neurotic relations no longer hold sway. Here intuition, wisdom. and one's self nature shines forth expressed as true confidence, and thus there are no self esteem "problems". is expressed
Such people live in a shadow world occluded by unclear thinking, reactive fear, and unresolved inner conflicts that they continuously sublimate or dissociate from. When one is confused, one feels threatened and too often people take refuge in the darkened caves of man's contrived ideology which dysfunctionally strangles/fragments humans even further from their inherent wellsprings. People who suffer from diseases based on an alienated soul, such as found rabid fundamentalism, then, according to indigenous cultures, are treated with remedies which "restore" them to a healthy relationship with their fundamental roots, thus activating their creative and evolutionary functions again. This is the healing that truth and reality offers where clear thinking and functionality lay.
In indigenous cultures, healing, functionality, creation stories, identity, truth, and "reality" are all inextricably intertwined. In fact one cannot separate them with any degree of integrity as their separation is the foundation of man's alienation from nature and spirit. Such thought forms are symptoms of corruptive thought patterns which are not based on Reality.
For one who lives in indigenous time and space, the whole universe is sacred and all beings have christ potential (Buddha nature), but for some one who lives in the shadow world, then having ignored the causes, "evil" takes the blame, scapegoats, demons, and devils exist. For those people who have had their world stripped from its inherent goodness, who walk in a world of sin (original sin), who no longer believe in themselves nor a living God, they are suffering in a tortured confusion, conflict. stress, turmoil, tension, and pain -- a world of inherent evil which is self perpetuating, but of which they are fighting against in the name of "good". Such tensions are projected upon what people do. If this dark shroud/veil is present or not, depends on our identification with integrity on one hand, or corruption on the other. Although ideologues and religionists like to use the symbolic words, good and evil, to explain "reality', those dualistic words in itself are indicative of the superimposition of a pre-existing corruptive framework of values that are fundamentally separated from any firm foundation, The very framework of imposing moral values, ethics, religious codes, sin/merit, or good/evil are in itself fundamentally dualistic and representational, but the radical fundamentalist wants to get to the core/heart -- God and abide in that. To a dualist there may appear to be a war of "good" and "evil", but to a spiritual being, God's ineffable truth reigns supreme -- all things are-as-they-are in their inherent truth as All Our Relations and there is no need for blame, fear, hatred, or projection. For one whose inner conflicting emotional afflictions have become resolved in the field of inner illumination and wisdom, then their external actions are no longer governed by such but rather reflect that Light and Love -- it emanates from such symbolically as Light.
Indigenous people live in the heart -- the core. They remain focused on it. From such, a self effulgent clarity self originates. Inherent harmony self arises. Love and peace are self expressive -- they are symptoms/ma infestations of a radical and fundamental truth expressing itself so at best they signal toward an omnipresent Universal Reality free from temporal fixations -- all-ways here.
In All Our Relations!
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Yoga is not a Religion, by Swami Rama (an excerpt from "Enlightenment without God"
Making Patanjali Accessible
The Eternal Yoga Teachings/Teacher: How to Contact your Inner Teacher
Is Buddhism a Religion?
Hatha Yoga Asana Practice: An Energy Body Approach
Return to HeartMind Yoga Home Page
A Yogic Introduction to the Yoga Sutras
The Guru and the Light Inside by Swami Rama
The Rescuing Hug