Yoga or Jôgā

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?

Yoga.

Yes, yoga.

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.

Yoga:

Typifies the kind of sex men can and do have. Non-attached, non-committed, non-emotional, mechanical ejection disconnected from oneness and/or belonging.

Jôgā:

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.

Yoga:

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.

Shallow breathing:

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?

Humbleness.

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.

Er, no.

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.

Why 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.

Good luck!

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Contemplation, Meditation, and Samadhi

This essay comes in response to feedback on my essay (13th December 2015) entitled “Sikhs and Meditation”. It was noted that I left elements unexplained, shrouded in ambiguity. Indeed, this was deliberate because field workers at my level are constrained in terms of what they are permitted to divulge.

Field workers with my level of responsibility are tasked with aiding the development of a seeker’s inner awakening, and we do by giving indications and pointers. Seldom do we impart precise instructions. The reason for this is that we may only operate within set parameters, and to overstep our boundaries is to invite demotion – no questions asked – by those charged with examining our conduct and the content of our guidance, who may do so under disguise as seekers themselves.

So if I was vague in “Sikh and Meditation” it was intentional.

Part of the reason why those at my level are policed arises from the discrepancy between what we see and what you see. We have, at times, unparalleled access to memories encased within creation which you would normally reference as past, present and future. That which you call the future, you perceive as unfathomable, unpredictable, unformed, shrouded in unknowability though hovering like a cloud on the horizon, subject to change and react to any given stimulus.

To speak of the future is, in your conception of things, to embody unreliability. But once the future has come to pass and shifts into the category of the real, whether of past or present, you can see that which we at my level already know. Namely, the future is a precipitate of all that has happened and is happening, and more so it is implicated in – and a co-determinant of – that which forms the past and the present.

The future is not awaiting expression or fulfillment, it has already expressed and fulfilled itself.

To put it simply, the future is not a state of becoming. It has become.

The interaction and the co-existence of past, present and future (to use the categories with which you are most acquainted) is a cornerstone of Sikhism and of Vedanta philosophy. We address the pool of interactive awareness of past, present and future – that which you imagine as distinct temporalities bound by a relationship of teleology and process – as the Akashi Records.

The Akashi Records posit that past, present and future are encompassed within the frame of creation and non-creation, which contrary to the way you understand them are not distinct but are a particular kind of singularity.

We might say the same about the concepts of beginning and end – these have to be seen as a process of movement from one to the other, yet like past, present and future, like creation and non-creation, they are in fact one and the same. Beginning and end are simultaneously themselves and each other.

If I apply this to Sikhism, as a good Sikh (which I am not – recall, I am the not so terribly good Sikh!) I ought to adhere to and believe in the concept of the Akaal – the formless. What Sikhs fail to grasp is that the formless is not form-less; rather, it has a presence. In fact, it comprises a multitude of layers, a set of strata beyond whatever formless designation we impute to it in our minds.

The Akaal is not itself formlessness, but encapsulates the formless, whereupon we cognize that both Akaal and the formlessness it references are entities. They are not nothing, they are clearly something. (Note to Sikhs – this point is stated categorically in the Sri Guru Granth Sahibji by none other than Guru Nanakdevji – please locate the actual stanza).

Reverting to creation and non-creation. These are governed by karma. By this I do not mean the action-reaction, cause-effect thing you call karma, these being more accurately definitions of samskar (a sub-stratum of karma). No. Karma is the qualitative, not the quantitative, it is how the flow from a portal is governed, it is not the outflow itself. Karma governs the outflow, which when it coagulates forms creation.

To the ordinarywallahs, fixed on the notion of the social contract and our obligations within it, and to poets, who parlay the often sad and painful consequences of chasing after one’s desires, karma serves a particular and much-needed function to keep us on the straight-and-narrow as well as to romanticise the fall-out when you fail to do so.

However, the outflow which karma governs is itself already embedded in samskar, that is, it is already endowed with action-reaction and cause-and-effect, whose quantities are relative to the dilation of the portal. Hence, creation and non-creation are one complete segment of an expression from a given portal, which in turn has various dimensions, which are enclosed in zones. The zones interrupt, mingle with and travel through one another, while maintaining their individual integrity and unique vibration.

When you look out into the night sky, you see blackness, while those at my level see light. You see emptiness, we see creation and systems.

But back to “Sikh and Meditation” and the charge of vagueness that was the response of some to the essay. I deliberately and overtly glossed over the stratum of what you call meditation – but which those at my level know as contemplation, meditation and samadhi. The detail I gave in the essay was prerequisite to embarking on and achieving a state of contemplation. A starter-for-ten, if you like, where the vexed (and vexatious) relationship between pessimism and internal patriotism are explored.

You will recall that I outlined the rungs of advancement as progressing from diet-based, through thought-based and emotion-based, to the realm of humility and servility. These rungs are the reality to which you must become attuned, become one with internally, and then live outwardly, before contemplation commences.

Contemplation is not, as you would have it, internal debate of ideas and the suchlike.

Contemplation is not the place for conjecture. Conjecture must already have been gotten out of the way, dealt with, in the course of the rungs of advancement mentioned above, and through the process of attunement practiced first internally and then externally.

Contemplation is total opinionlessness. Opinionlessness is in turn the canvas on to which the depths of realism are ready to be drawn with broad brushstrokes, but one awaits intervention from another for this to happen. This other is duty-bound to you; it is their responsibility to trigger your initial entry into and beyond contemplation. They could be a person who makes an observation in passing or they could be your formal educator, a teacher whose presence is less transitory and more enduring.

My indication is that the vast majority of secular beings are not ready for contemplation let alone meditation. Many applicants sit cross-legged and announce to onlookers that they are in fact assuming the hallowed lotus posture. Sorry to break it to you, but what you do doesn’t even come close to the lotus posture. Every image you have seen of it is wrong, a falsity.

So what hope have you of entering contemplation, forget meditation and samadhi, when your knowledge of the lotus position is wrong? Especially when you do not even know that correct posture and joga (yoga as you call it) come after, and never before, one has attained contemplation, and that it is the latter that leads you into deeper inner resonance and joga ability.

Oh, and by the way, what on earth is a downward-facing dog?!?!

Idiots, certified to teach idiots, re-label postures in accordance with their own (or borrowed) brand of stupidity; and they ensure and enable the development of nothing more than inner darkness in those they purport to teach.

I cannot indicate strongly enough that meditation is dangerous.

Meditation is the pathway to your introduction to your inner light.

Meditation is the pathway to your introduction to your inner darkness.

At a secular level, you will never be able to differentiate between light and darkness. From within your present level of comprehension both are godlike.

Be warned and tread carefully.