Theory into Practice
Yoga is based on a set of theories. Faith and belief systems don’t require and often discourage testing and questioning. As a result, they are limited by these restrictions. Theories, by definition, are to be tested. Our bodies, mind and breath are our laboratories in which we test the theories of Yoga.
Yoga proposes some grand theories. For Example:
Theory: Yoga links the jivatman (limited, divisible self) with the Atman (unlimited, indivisible Self)
Can we experience a state of being an Unlimited Self and what does that mean to us in the 21st century? In fairly recent times the world view of physics has changed from Newtonian Theory (action/reaction; body in motion stays in motion, etc) to Quantum Theory (everything is fundamentally connected at the subatomic level). In the former cause of action or change was the result of physical forces acting on each other. In the latter change has been proven to result from something a subtle as observation.
Change is no longer viewed as occurring from forces outside of ourselves. Deepak Chopra has famously stated, “your cells are eves dropping on every thought you think”. This underscores the importance of our thoughts on physical health and opens up infinite possibilities for affecting change on the material level according to how we clear and use our minds
But this is still limited to the finite; matter, thought, feelings, affecting the finite. Yogi’s determined that one cannot know an infinite Selfusing the finite tools of senses, mind and body. They determined that we must transcend the finite outer senses and go within to develop the faculty that allows us to connect to the unlimited, indivisible Self.
This faculty is known as intuition. Knowing what we need to know, regarding anything, when we need to know it . It is most available when we are relaxed and peaceful, but can break through in times of need or danger as well.
Intuition is not based on reasoning or analysis but often precedes these as a flash of insight that must then be “proven scientifically”. Few of us have the background to do that but the innate faculty of intuition is available when we clear the obstacles of worry, stress, and busy clutter from the mind.
Einstein’s brilliance was due to his ability to intuit great theories and then prove them mathematically. His theory of relativity was first intuited by contemplating what itwould be like to ride on a beam of light at light speed. He “felt” that as one approached the speed of light time would slow down and eventually stop and that space would collapse! He then set out to find mathematical proof with his famous equation E=mc2
We can know what ever we set our peaceful focused minds upon, is the theory of Yoga. We become that which we contemplate. The mysteries of nature and our unity with unlimited awareness, consciousness, and all of life can be revealed when we put our minds on the Unlimited Self, Atman.
Next quarter’s blog: Developing Intuition