An ethical philosopher, no doubt pompous and hilariously arrogant (not that I notice any trace of arrogance) who can debate surveillance, terrorism, and mental torture from behind the veil of Sikhism’s peaceful calmness, I too can become a tad irritable.
For some time now the mercury on my irritable gauge has been steadily rising. The reason?
Allow me to woo you with the elementary orthodoxy about yoga.
You see, universities are for academic life. Letters are written in drawing rooms. Painting is done in well-lit studios. And the antiquated magic of self-analysis is undertaken in the temple of remote internal inquisition.
Let me clarify the difference between yoga and jôgā.
Typifies the kind of sex men can and do have. Non-attached, non-committed, non-emotional, mechanical ejection disconnected from oneness and/or belonging.
The slow sensual love-making women seek, appreciate and understand. Typified by belonging as opposed to ownership, where the latter is quintessential for men to feel motivated and responsible in a relationship. For a woman love-making is internal. It begins internally, exudes internality, and culminates in an intense internal togetherness, which seems for fleeting moments to be oneness. This is a unique state, whereby internal intensity begets an external expression of togetherness, evolving into oneness. That, in essence, is jôgā.
The World Wide Waffle is in fact nothing more than the slow, deliberate, repetitive stretching of a set of ligaments, muscles, and tendons. If coupled with mindful breathing, yoga can exploit the in-breath to a degree. If accompanied by normal, thoughtless, shallow breathing it brings nothing of benefit to the bio-system.
This is used to supply pran entity (not energy) for the sustenance of the body’s main organs in descending order of priority. It keeps you breathing. Not alive, just breathing. Hence, with this type of breathing you are simply behaving like an organic ventilation machine. Though conscious, you communicate like a comatose patient; you are not fully in the world. You exist, like a comatose patient, in a world of your own imagination and constraints. However, because your locomotive abilities are not constrained, you deem yourself to be living. No, you are merely existing.
Let me put it this way. You can work as a scullery maid at Buckingham Palace, but that does not grant you free and unfettered access to all areas. Nowadays, even Her Majesty probably needs a security identity card to access her own back yard! But you get my point. Shallow breathing does not allow you access to your own inner backyard, so to speak.
You, the actual you, which is utterly different from the physical you, can only be fathomed once deep, controlled and targeted breathing has been mastered.
However, comprehensive, cosmopolitan and complex breathing is only one aspect of jôgā. To access this path you need to find a master who is prepared to teach you the most difficult conundrum needed in the search for and recognition of your inner self. Masters occupy a strict hierarchical order. To the outsider they all seem similar yet opaque; where you expect transparency, what you in fact get is a mirror image of your own limitations and limited expansion.
Even if you meet a master with whom you have great empathy, the relationship may be set for disaster because you have not realised that you have in fact failed the first test of your own inner search.
And what is the first test?
During my entire life it has never failed to astonish me how opinionated, self-congratulatory and self-deluded the seekers of the inner journey actually are.
They feign humbleness, and call those people dumb whose common-sense radar is impervious to the fraudulent image they project. Armed with their fake humbleness, believing it gives them coded access to all layers of the internal pathways into multi-dimensional consciousness, they set out to find a master.
What they do in reality is to start debating and correcting the master, as if they themselves are the teacher, and the master is there to simply second their opinions and views on life.
Being opinionated and humble are two completely different things, they can’t even be said to exist on opposite ends of the same spectrum.
So, that is the first failing of those embarking on the inner search: being opinionated while passing themselves off as humble.
If, however, you do find a master and you fit their remit, then before jôgā breathing can be taught an unbelievable amount of re-alignment has to be endured, and then merged into. A new you has to emerge before the teaching can begin, and only then can the process of awakening be shared with you.
I often hear people say that in doing yoga they are searching for their spiritual self.
Before you even reach the level necessary to begin a spiritual search, you need to reconfigure your thought pattern so that you can enter religion and its layers of discipline.
From there you studiously move higher up the scale. So, your search for spirituality is cloud-cuckoo-land nonsense, a buffoon’s paradise, a delusional mirage of self-importance, the ego in full unfettered flow. All you have done is reach a point where you are witnessing your own ignorance in a full-length mirror, but you are so egotistical that you do not even recognise this. Such people are the ones who have read a few books and joined like-minded groups, and who consider themselves all-knowing without seeming to realise their own multi-scalar deficits.
So, humbleness is the prerequisite to commencing the internal journey.
If you commit to humbleness over the course of several successive lifetimes, suffering throughout as you strive to remain on the path, then a master will be assigned to you and will in fact make his own way to your door.
The master will find you.
A new relationship will begin. And through mergence controlled by the master you will be at a point where you can finally begin to learn.
The teaching begins.
The path is hard, unforgiving and painful.
The layers of personality you have to shed, the layers of attachment you have to expunge from your cherished ideals, are breathtakingly agonising.
But only then will you be ready to merge into jôgā breathing i.e. cosmic breath. The breath which is separate and utterly different from the mechanical breathing you were born with.
Now, true jôgā can begin.
Jôgā is an internal thought-sphere, as opposed to an internal mind-frame, which then invites you into the required asana. Asana is not posture, it is asana. A downward dog is not an asana, it is a physical posture, distinct from an asana.
Because only an asana will connect the thought-sphere impulse to the pressurised organs via a set amount of pran entity, to remove obstacles that lie in the path of your inner awakening.
A posture will not do that.
Downward dog indeed! The very name exposes your purpose and limitation.
Downward dog is a prime example of how the race-Europeans sully things they touch, their arrogance re-packaging what they pick up, lest their inferiority in the subject matter be revealed.
This is why yoga will never lead one into spirituality. It will only lead its practitioners into their own dark side.
Compared to full, controlled, mindful breathing, where layers of consciousness are vying for exchange with the physical portion of your bio-frame, unregulated breathing imprisons you into an ever smaller, backward, desert-like, and inconsequential life pattern.
I can but share and indicate, the rest is up to the individual.