Thursday, October 17, 2013

An excerpt about Yoga

I want to slowly over the course of future posts, delve more into why Yoga is so powerful, and what exactly it is. We in the west have an extremely body oriented view- as I've heard it put "oh yes, Yoga is wonderful exercise." However, it is far more than that. As it pertains to this blog, I present the healing properties of a yoga practice in a very much body oriented fashion- "how can this help us to improve our blood sugar?" I offer this excerpt from Kirpal Singh's book Crown of Life 1970, Sant Bani Press as food for thought:

Many modern scholars, more so those with Western modes of thought, have, when first confronted by yoga, tended to dismiss it as no more than an elaborate means of self-hypnotism. Such an attitude is quite unscientific even though it often parades under the garb of science. It is generally the result of prejudice born of ignorance or a superficial knowledge of the subject. It is natural for us to attempt to relegate to the realm of superstition, phenomena with which we are unfamiliar and which defy our habitual ways of thought about life, for to study them, to understand them, to test and accept them, would require effort and perseverance of which most of us are incapable. It is not unlikely that some so-called yogin may justify the label of "self-hypnotists." But those few who genuinely merit the name of yogins are too humble to court publicity and have nothing about them to suggest the neurotic escapist. They invariably display a remarkably sensitive awareness to life in all its complexity and variety, and this awareness coupled with their humility makes all talk of self-delusion quite inapt, irrelevant and even ridiculous. For, to seek the Unchanging behind the changing, the Real behind the phenomenal, is certainly not to "hypnotize" onself. If anything, it displays a spirit of enquiry that is exceptional in its honesty and integrity, that is content with nothing less than the absolute truth, and the kind of renunciation it demands is most difficult to practice. Hence it is, that as time passes, as knowledge is gradually undermining the former philistinism is steadily wearing away. the new developments of the physical sciences have had no small share in furthering this process, for by revealin that everything in this physical universe is relative and that matter is not matter perse but ultimately a form of energy, it has confirmed, at the lower level of the yogic concept at least, the conception of the world inherent in the yogic system, giving it a scienfic validity which was earlier doubted. 

My favorite portion of this excerpt is the description of modern physical science viewing matter not as matter, but as simply energy. Such a reality breaks down all of our footing on reality, reducing everything to simply an illusion. When it comes to healing our Type 1 Diabetes, the disease itself is really an illusion. It has practical everyday implication, but as it comes to searching for healing, Yoga as a way of breaking down that barrier and controlling that energy exists as something that is not simply a "self-hypnotism" but grounded in science. 

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