Yoga, as a natural phenomenon/process of human inner evolution back to Union with the Self and divine expression, has always (obviously) been open to all people.
No one person, or even group of people, can (no matter how powerful or special their ego may delude them into believing that they are–since they are not the Absolute) be the “chosen ones,” or stop any other person’s inner evolution…Even through torture and extreme circumstances, anyone who is primed to evolve internally, connected back purely to the Absolute, will be liberated.
“Natural” occurrences within the tangible plane of existence (which one could argue are simply set in place by the Karmic reality surrounding a thing within the Absolute “bounds” of reality set in place by the Absolute) will unfold naturally/inevitably unless altered by a greater force, meaning the Absolute. And, again, no matter how much humans delude themselves into believing that their minds, thoughts, actions, and so forth (objects of the Absolute) possess Absolute power, the Truth is that an individual expression only expresses a version of absolute power as an aspect of the Absolute and there is/and will always be an actual Absolute power that is greater than anything in the limited/malleable/changeable world (that body-mind egos identify with as “I,” you, me, we, and so forth). This Absolute power is the only true power that creates and influences a higher “fate,” conditions, and the shape of things, for it’s own purposes.
As an expression/aspect of a greater awareness/consciousness, though humans have the power to shape and influence their personal reality (starting with their perceptions), and can do so to a lesser, but still powerful, extent in the collective reality through negotiated/”pooled” perceptions and Karmas, they do not have the power to change Absolute Reality itself. This is why, anyone connected to the power of the Absolute Reality is not influenced by the karmas and perceptions of the external world, and can secure their liberation despite all odds. The Absolute is uncorrupted by human destruction, ignorance, experience, and so forth, and connecting back to this power and Reality assures one’s liberation (regardless of class, color, gender, greed, age, and other limited factors).
Humans can alter and shape and create perceived reality and impact the tangible world of form through their thoughts, words, and actions (manifested reality), and they can even influence potential and latent reality, but they cannot create the Absolute Reality or ever be more powerful than it. The Absolute Reality is an unchanging, beginingless, endless, given. Humans simply exist as an expression of it (limited, although much freer than often perceived from an ego-based lens, in individual and collective form by body-minds, time, space, context, etc). Humans are, and operate, within Absolute Realty, and manifest different changeable realities depending on the conditions created by or co-created with/within existence.
A Model Of Projected Reality: Reflective Of Levels Of “Power” To Create And/Or Alter Karmic Reality (tangible perceivable/perceived reality)
Yoga, as a practical/worldly discipline that is shared with others, systematized and standardized, and modified to fit cultural and other contexts throughout time/history, therefore, has traditionally been restricted in many ways. Historically reserved, as a practice, for a very few (though some will argue about the one or two exceptions that inevitably slipped through into the conscious awareness of those within the “in group” for the reason stated above), the Yogic framework/model has often primarily focused on the perceived reality and experiences of a limited number of beings on Earth, failing to encompass the full scope of potential expressions and nuances of existence, and the greater Reality of all that is. As solid as it’s foundation is when stripped from cultural and other limiting/limited contexts, we, as a species who experience and study the phenomena of Yoga, still have work to do to evolve and grow the science, and make it a part of the greater reality of all people’s understanding of who/what they are beyond their physical bodies and minds.
Religions exist and create division, superstition, and misunderstanding in the world, for example, because humans still perceive spirituality as something separate from their day to day existence, and self. Humans still perceive spirituality as something that they focus on for special occasions and on some days of the week, or “do” occasionally as opposed to understanding that they are spiritual beings/spirit by nature and everything else is extra.
To remedy the situation, and support our species to free itself from the grips of suffering by coming out of ignorance and into its True nature, merging back into the Absolute Reality that connects to the integrated Self (a process called Yoga that we study as a science called Yoga), our work must expand. In other words, Yoga science needs to open up to “studying” and working within a more representative “sample” size within our species in order for us to gain more accurate data that validates, refines, and or disproves its already present thousands of years of “conclusions.” Variation and diversity in our sample size, that ranges from social class, to gender, cultural contexts, and so forth is needed to refine our science as an inner technology.
A Remarkable Science Plagued By The Things That Contaminate All Sciences
The science and practical discipline of Yoga as shared by others for centuries, like most things that humans touch that eventually reflects their state of consciousness/awareness, has been corrupted by greed, bias, sexism, classism/”castism,” and general ignorance. Which is why it is important that we continue to strive to develop, liberate, and purify not just ourselves individually through Yoga practice, but also liberate and purify Yoga Science and technology itself through deep, collective, intellectual and spiritual labor. We have to make it common understanding that Yoga is for all, and everyone…Well, technically we don’t have to do anything, because, as stated in our introduction, Yoga is just for all…Speaking within the realm of Yoga as a science, practice/discipline, however, doing this would be an advancement in the field.
Yoga, if one reads much of the literature and watch the discourse within the field (both in the past and in the present–although manifesting somewhat differently based on the cultural expression/context at the time), as an exclusionary practice, has been reflected in much of the philosophical thought that many use to frame their understanding of the phenomena.
This is a scientific problem, because Yoga, which at it’s core is a discipline that is aimed at facilitating the process of connecting one back to the Pure, uncorrupted Self and the oneness with all of existence, cannot leave anyone out and be True.
Arguments, for example, that are concerned with maintaining certain social structures that oppress, objectify, and put people down, using man-made (and unverified) arguments about past-lives, and thought-power, to justify injustice, and destructive karmas, or just to explain the obvious that those who already have advantage in society (from whatever means they used to get it) can continue to hold on to their advantages until society shifts, which has nothing to do with understanding the Absolute Reality but instead only explains/reflects the state of ego creations within Maya (often with the motivating argument that this should be used by people to chase after objects/which is contrary to the argument that one should focus on connection with the divine), have no place in scientific/philosophical spaces that profess to be sharing knowledge of the discipline/technology of liberation. As Patanjali states in Sutra 2.5, “regarding the impure as pure,” the “painful as painless,” or the “non-self as the Self” is just plain ignorance.
Knowing this, and the shape of the pesky human ego-mind filled with vrittis, the ancient sages probably created the disclaimer that one must come to knowledge directly to avoid having new seekers be led astray in these ways by those who may prey on their underlying biases and conditioning to sell, for example, superstition and magical thinking that bind them to the objective world. The suggestion that keeps things pure and as uncontaminated in one’s personal practice/application of Yoga to one’s life/being, has mainly, therefore, been that Yogis should strive to verify all knowledge that comes from outside of them for themselves, with a pure mind/perception, that comes through practice that leads to direct intuitive understanding.
More undistorted qualitative and quantitative research is needed, not to refine Yoga as a phenomena (again, it is not something that we created, Yoga/Union is just a Reality of our existence), but to continue to deepen Yoga as a useful practice that can be uniquely catered to all individuals and contexts (at least when we write about it and share it with others).
Yoga has always been, and will always remain, as the Bhagavad Gita states, a journey of the self, though the self, to the Self. But, as a practice, it has mainly operated off of data collected and gathered from a specific and small sample size/pool, which has largely been males from certain classes, and then in certain religious/organizational contexts. This leaves much to be explored (if we look past “universal experience” assumptions, in the field, and other claims of specialness for certain groups), especially today, as mostly the physical aspect of the practice has been spreading across the globe under the title Yoga, distorting the full power and potential of the technology to help our species reduce its sufferings, being marketed to a homogenous group of people for financial, and ego-boosting purposes.
“Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That…”?
With the current culture obsessed with shortcuts, and time-saving methods to cut corners so that they get back to work to make money to “live” in modern society, many often just listen to talks, go to a few workshops here and there, do a stretch once in a while, and take their popular “Guru” media-personality’s word for it when they have serious life questions…Many type their questions into a search box on google and listen to an out of context clip, and nod their heads oblivious to the dangers of blindly following anything, until someone gets lured into a bungalow for some unwanted sexual “healing,” trapped in an abusive Haram that has a front as an Ashram, or many get burned, literally and metaphorically after spending their last dollar hoping to get “blessed” with the manifestation of “riches.”
Gatekept by men from certain castes/lineages in the past, and for a while mainly accessible to certain people with certain physical expressions, income, and other factors (although today, to a lesser extent with the existence of libraries, the internet, and so forth), Yoga as a science, like psychology and other subjective disciplines, is impure in its expression, although always pure in its essence.
The practice of Yoga, being reserved for a certain caste and sex at some point (which means that they have certain experiences and perspectives in society that are not universal or applicable for all), as stated before, then locked up only for practice in certain temples/institutions to be shared only with a few, at other points, then popularized as if marketed to/for only a specific demographic at recent points, is a breeding ground from drama, debauchery, deception, destruction, and delusion (among other words that start with the letter d). So, not surprising, people are just as obsessed with “Yogic” past life regressions today, as they were with whether they were molested as a child while forming false memories on psychiatrics’ chairs a few decades ago when new “psychotherapy” practices were being experimented with as the new fad.
In the same way, that only Freud probably fantasized about having “relations” with his mother, but made many believe that this was their problem too, many practitioners will form more distortions around “Yoga” than connection, and liberation, through it.
To avoid this fate for yourself, since this is your primary locus of “control,” and where you need to do your work/practice, here are a few suggestions that not only make Yoga accessible for you, but also safe for all simultaneously.
Making Your Practice Safe And Accessible For One And All
- Practice so that you develop the necessary inner fitness to verify “insight” for yourself, and can come to know what your connection to all that is means/is as opposed to taking another’s word for it (which may actually be excluding many, and many Truths).
- Develop, and use, critical thinking and discernment so that you don’t get led astray or create damage to yourself or others.
- Remain neutral, honest, and observant (non-judgmental without sugar-coating) to increase your awareness of what is Real and unreal, which will support you to not get swept away into magical thinking and delusion that will bind you in the world and create harm for yourself and others.
- Grow through discomfort, do what feels right, and learn to recognize pain that signals danger/damage so that you do not engage in practices that create more harm than good for you or others (remember, everyone is unique).
- Honor your individual journey, and the journey of others since everyone’s inner landscape and journey is different.
- Stay grounded in the Absolute Truth/Reality so that you are always in alignment with what Yoga is, and is not, at any given point and can eliminate clutter from your conception which may make it seem that the practice, or endpoint, “looks” a certain way.
Yoga (Union) is a powerful practice/experience, but it is not magic or a secret. As I have stated many times before, Yoga is a natural Reality that anyone can tap into. It is a Reality that is open to all who choose to come into it no matter what their journey may look like, and it is connected to an Absolute Reality of being that is safe for all to join in.
Do not let any limited narrative about who Yoga is “for” deter you from your path or practice. If you are sincere in your seeking, and have the right level of mumuksuta (intense desire for liberation), full Union (of body-mind and spirit) is here for you.
Nothing is required, and very little qualifies you, for Yoga except your willingness and passion to go all the way and clear away your distortions.
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