The Spirit of Yoga – Your Experience Needed
There’s an ancient Indian narrative about three blind men and an elephant. To each of the blind men, the decisions they’ve reached about the Elephant is right, given sensory data and their experiences. Based on their encounter with the elephant, they may be not incorrect. The issue is forgetting their own limits and with the data itself. They’re not seeing the entire image and not because the creature is considerably bigger than they can understand experiencing the totality of the elephant. Additionally they’re forgetting their own limits, i.e., forgetting that they’re blind.
In some ways this narrative exemplifies how Westerners see the Vedic Sciences and Yoga. Our decisions appear valid, given faculties and our culture, upbringing that we normally use here in the West, yet we frequently don’t see the bigger picture. Practices like speaking of peace and oneness and chanting and praying to multi armed Gods don’t resonate with the individualistic skeptical, hip persona so continuous in the West. The Vedic Sciences and yoga are vast and deep and unable to be understood so fast. In many ways what we cannot see, and never have been exposed to taints our view. Before we close our mind to a whole way of looking at the world, it’s first shrewd to look at ourselves, to have a look at preconceptions, our own prejudices and blind spots.
One insisting it’s like another a mountain, the other a vine and a tree. If like most folks we’d make an effort to intercede and say, an elephant is a big living creature that roams the World in big groups, “hey men, is intelligent and sensitive.” But why should we be believed by the blind men? They may imagine that we’ve ulterior motives. They cannot see the matters we’re describing. They feel we’re attempting to deceive them and may be funny. Many are like distrustful of Yoga, the blind men and the deeper layers of it.
Let’s only say we’re speaking to a blind man who doesn’t believe in light. He’s just understood darkness. The world has never been seen by him. According to his expertise, light isn’t possible in dreams. Maybe we will be believed by him, but maybe not. Because it’s the encounter of sight that’s it’s own teacher there’s absolutely no real evidence potential. The same is true of God and love and everything significant in life. The blind man will not need advice and data in order to believe in light, he wants an operation or medication. He must see! No quantity of advice can convince someone to alter their fundamental beliefs and principles. Knowledge is a product of expertise, everything is a belief.
Belief is not just unnecessary for that which we don’t know. Belief is dependant on uncertainty. For sighted individuals, by way of example there’s no need to believe in the colour yellow. We’ve experienced the colour yellow. If we’ve got vision, yellow is a fact. But to a blind man, the theory of the colour yellow must be a belief because he’s got no encounter with the happenings, no factual knowledge. We’d need to refer to matters that are part of his encounter, if we were to describe the colour yellow to the blind man.
So as it pertains to the things what to say about our beliefs, we don’t know? We also are like the blind men trying to find light as it pertains to the meaning of life, or higher notions like God. Because we don’t yet understand the response we must rely on our beliefs. In the West we’re disbelieving of theories like “worship or ‘God”,” because we’re used to these theories being based on blind beliefs, which goes against our nature. We don’t need to feel psychologically enslaved in the procedure, although everyone needs to believe in something higher, something transcendent. In some manners that has been done by Western faiths and made us skeptical in the procedure. (Karma Yoga ) These are both honest and significant paths, but there’s a deficiency as it pertains to meeting the head’s demand for responses (Jnana Yoga) and the demand for appropriate techniques (Raja Yoga – Hatha Yoga) and strategies to raise our level of consciousness, to give that vital expertise of truth, not only dogma or second hand explanations.