Yoga Philosophy: Keeping it Real

by on May 2, 2012 · 0 comments

in Thoughts on Philosophy

On a recent retreat, I wrote down a few thoughts that i wanted to share.

To learn, evolve and transcend, we use witness, comparison and our own insight. We draw on our own conclusions through previous experience. But to go beyond ourselves we have to subscribe to a practice, teaching or doctrine. Our own lives are so short,  it would seem inefficient to rely solely on our own knowledge and experience for our growth and transformation and risk leaving so many proverbial stones unturned. The question then is who or what do we subscribe to? Who’s voice? Who’s teaching? The ideals of a transcendentalist are not worldly, but the human beings that subscribe to the ideals are of this world. Thus, objects and persona  of transcendental nature are created for aspiration as aspiring to other human being is very limited and sometimes a slippery slope considering inherent faults. We must be careful where our values are placed within our ideals as some may play a miniscule role within spiritual transformation where other ideals  require a life-long subscription. Considering the relation between the human and non-human ideals, the question of the actual existence of deities and truth rooted in religious practice becomes irrelevant because our relationship to them is beyond reality. The values they represent and the paths we adhere to are rooted in the context of the immaterial. Can you touch love? Can you mass produce kindness and sell it at a profit? Can you fashion durable goods out of compassion?

Some teachings from the Bhagavad Gita that portray this idea.

One on the path of the Krishna Consciousness is dear to every living being and every living being dear to him because he cannot see anything as separate from Krishna. One with the Krishna consciousness is a servant to all. A man with controlled senses cannot be offensive to anyone. 5.7

A person of Krishna consciousness is not involve in immediate and remote causes. Doer, work, situation, endeavor and fortune because he is engaged in the transcendental service. What are important matters, are higher than the material and trivial. 5.8

A person that subscribes to this belief has already begun the method of elevating his status beyond that of the typical human condition, thus changing his perception of reality which alters the methods in which he reacts to his environment and those in it and ultimately augmenting the human condition as well as potentially affecting those he comes in contact with. The question of whether or not Krishna exists is irrelevant (the devotees belief notwithstanding.)

One who neither rejoices in the pleasant or laments upon obtaining the unpleasant. One who is self-intelligent, un-bewildered, knows the science of God, is situated in transcendence self-intelligence is steadiness of mind. Control forces of talk, forces of anger, forces of mind, forces of stomach, forces of genitals and forces of tongue. 5.20

Desires when not satiated  generate anger. Anger agitates the body.  Transcendentalist (of all cultures) typically try strenuously to control desire and mitigate or eliminate anger. Those who have control over their senses, their mind and their actions are typically more calculated in the methods of how they react externally, through words and actions towards those within their environment and also, internally towards their own bodily processes and mental faculties.

It is my opinion that any teaching, doctrine, practice or religion that encourages people to transcend their inherent condition and aspire to be either (depending on culture) our true awakened self, or saved by the grace of a higher power though moral edification moves people towards progression of the human spirit.  The important caveat is that the supporting ideals of any said belief system should transcend the human condition. This would unfortunately exclude any transient tool or deity that contains the lesser of the human  conditions such as anger, greed, jealousy, etc.  In light of these considerations, elevated ideals would seem an important factor for choosing a transcendental path, but not so elevated that one is left with only the option to simply minister, but also embody that which they subscribe to.

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