Showing posts with label Yoga Of Wisdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoga Of Wisdom. Show all posts

Yogic Philosophy - Is Yoga Considered A Religion?

 



Some Christians and Jews in the West are worried about Yoga's status as an Eastern religion. 

They are concerned that by doing Yoga, they would be jeopardizing their religious beliefs. 



Is their apprehension justified?

Is Yoga considered a religion? 


The short answer to both concerns is that, rather than eroding their personal faith, Yoga has the potential to strengthen it. 

I'll provide a somewhat more extensive explanation after that. 



Let me start with Christian fundamentalism's extreme perspective, which considers Yoga as a harmful import from the East that should be avoided at all costs. 


  • Yoga is sometimes mixed together with New Age doctrines, which are considered as a threat to Christianity. 
  • True, yoga has always been linked to India's three major religious and cultural traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. 
  • As a result, numerous Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain principles are interwoven into Yoga's teachings. 
  • The concepts of karma and rebirth, as well as the belief that there are numerous deities in addition to the one ultimate Reality, are the most conspicuous instances, which are typically a stumbling block for Westerners. 
  • To begin with, there have been Yoga gurus who have denied the concepts of karma and reincarnation, and Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain deities may be contrasted to Christian and Jewish angels. 


You do not need to believe in karma or reincarnation to practice Yoga. 


  • You don't have to believe in anything other than the potential of self-transformation, that you can transcend your existing worldview and experience, and, more importantly, that you can transcend your own egocentric way of being. 
  • The premise that you have not yet reached your full potential as a human being is at the core of all types of Yoga. 


Yoga, in particular, aims to connect you to your spiritual core, your deepest essence, and that which or who you actually are. 


  • The many schools of Yoga depict this nature in different ways. 
  • You are free to let your unique experience and realization influence your thinking rather than being forced to believe in any of the established answers. 
  • Yoga has been connected with different philosophical and religious systems throughout the millennia, none of which can be considered to describe Yoga itself. 
  • Yoga, after all, is first and foremost a practical spiritual practice based on personal exploration and verification. 
  • In other words, any theory or intellectual framework is seen as secondary to direct personal experience or spiritual enlightenment. 


As a result, Yoga may and has been practiced by individuals who hold a broad range of views and beliefs. 


  • Some Yoga students believe in a personal God who created the cosmos, while others choose a metaphysics that views the world as illusory and the ultimate Reality as solitary and formless. 
  • Others, such as Theravada Buddhism's yogins, refuse to speculate on metaphysical issues. 
  • As a result, some Yoga practitioners are religious while others are not. 
  • Yoga, on the other hand, is only a tool for delving into the depths of our human nature, for delving into the secrets of the body and mind.




An Exercise In Self-Introspection



1. Consider how you feel about Yoga's original objective of freedom. 


2. Consider if and to what extent you want to use Yoga to change yourself. 


  • Make a note of everything you do to facilitate yogic/spiritual development in your situation. 
  • Then write a list of everything you do that keeps you from making significant changes. 


3. As we progress along the yogic path, great masters' insights may be a significant source of inspiration for us. 


  • Our shared inheritance is the Yoga tradition, a live record against which we may test and analyze our discoveries. 
  • What aspects of Yoga have proven to be especially beneficial to you? 


4. "Freedom is not a method, but a manner of being in the world without being of it," a subtle issue is presented in this statement. 


  • This means that human existence may be lived from the "perspective" of awareness, or, to put it another way, pure Awareness. 
  • According to a variety of traditions, one may stay as the transcendental Witness, which is the Self (dtman). 
  • As a result, the body/mind is no longer identified. 
  • This alludes to the condition of jivan-mukti, or physical emancipation. 


5. Teachers build various frameworks and use philosophical language to transmit their ideas to a particular audience while expounding essential truths founded in personal awareness. 


  • As you read through this Study Guide and The Yoga Tradition, keep in mind whether or not the teachings are context or culture-bound. 
  • In each lecture we look at, try to perceive the dynamics of various parts of yoga practice, as well as the intricacies of spirituality involved. 


6. "All roads lead to the same objective," we frequently hear, but is freedom, the purpose of Yoga, the same in every case? 


  • Or do Buddhist nirvana, Vedantic moksha, Patanjali's kaivalya, and the Bhagavad-brahma-nirvdna Gita's all refer to different realizations? 
  • There is enough evidence to suggest that these names aren't just linguistic variances. 
  • When one contrasts the notion of liberation in theistic schools to that of atheistic systems like Classical Samkhya, this reality becomes clear. 



The seventeenth-century instructor Shrinivasa Dasa, for example, offers the following extremely important statements in his Yatindra-Mata-Dipikd (8. 1 6): 


There are two types of liberation seekers: 


  1. those who seek kaivalya 
  2. and those who want moksha. 

The awareness of one's inner Self as separate from Nature is referred to as kaivalya, and it is reached via the Yoga of knowledge. 

This realization... is without the Lord's realization. 



In contrast to kaivalya, moksha is claimed to be attained via passionate devotion to God (bhakti) or unconditional self-offering (prapatti). 


  • A close examination of the scriptures of various religions reveals even more distinctions in the notions of liberation. 
  • As a result, it seems that certain historians of religion's assertion of the transcendental unity of all faiths is a theological oversimplification. 
  • At the same time, these disparate ideas of emancipation do have a common denominator, namely the realization of a degree of existence that transcends the usual space-time continuum. 
  • However, we must not lose sight of the equally important differences. 



According to the facts, there are genuine distinctions in the condition of liberty, as seen by members of various schools. 


Sages and philosophers may choose to dispute whether these subtleties represent degrees of realization fullness. 


  • What are your own views and sentiments on this crucial theological point? 
  • Do you think there's just one ultimate Reality? 
  • If that's the case, do all sages comprehend the transcendental Singularity in the same manner, and are all discrepancies in their explanations only language differences? 
  • Or do you believe that all such theories are pointless and unworkable?





Yogic Philosophy - The Yoga Of Science

 



Yoga And Science



Rather than the observable primary reality of existence, the goal of science is search for the truth. 


And, finally, without its translation into the domain of actual life, this search, in my opinion, remains unfinished. 

If not the world, science—that is, scientific knowledge—must undoubtedly change the scientist. 

In the abstract, knowledge is simply a titillation of the mind, a little stimulation of a part of our entire humanness. 




Knowledge must find expression in the body in order to be fulfilled. 




More than that, it must use the force of its truth to transform the body. 

And truth, not knowledge, is the source of all power. 

Manipulative power, such as political leverage or overwhelming influence, is linked with knowledge. 



Truth's intrinsic power, on the other hand, is transformational in the most profound sense. 


It has the ability to reshape a person in the light of truth. 



What is the truth? 

Shouldn't we be talking about truths? 

 


Truth must be unique in order to be true. 

Always.

A plurality of truths is a logical paradox. 




The practice of speaking about many truths originated from the loss of truth and its replacement with a plethora of facts. However, facts are not the same as truth. 





Only knowledge (prajna) is freeing because it bears the truth (ritambhara). 



Without conceptual blinders, truth is reality. 

To the extent that science's path is illuminated by the ideal of truth, it may lead the scientist, step by step, to the discovery of truth—not just factual truth, but the sort of truth that sees everything in context and maintains that context. 


When considering the broader context of human existence, it is necessary to examine humanity's evolutionary potential, as well as its potential spiritual destiny. 

As a result, science may serve as a stepping stone to Yoga's "evolutionary science," i.e., a spiritual discipline that allows us to realize our entire potential. 


If mastered, yoga's concentration and meditation methods reveal the mind's transcendental potential, allowing us to experience truth at the greatest level, as "ultimate Truth" (paramartha-satya). 



Recommended Reading - Unity of Nature (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1980), by C. F. von Weizsacker. 






East and West Spiritual Technologies, And Evolution 



Modern civilization is moving in the direction of external freedom. 


Free expression of opinion, affiliation, the ability to form personal connections on one's own terms, and the ability to follow a profession based on one's own qualities are all necessary for a productive and happy existence. 

But, in the end, outward freedom is egocentric, and interior freedom should not be overlooked as a spiritual equivalent. 





The defeat of desire, wrath, greed, attachment, pride, and laziness leads to inner liberation. 




The only way to achieve this freedom and give meaning to all forms of external freedom is for reason and love to come together in a happy marriage. 



1. Our modern technology is the result of humanity's desire for self-transcendence. 


  • Modern science and technology, on the other hand, are limited to the realm of relative liberty and happiness. 


2. The East's psychospiritual technique (i.e., Yoga) is aimed squarely at self-transcendence and inner growth. 


  • Answers to our most basic human problems require both wisdom and practical understanding of contemporary science and technology. 
  • The great Yogas of India are known for their wisdom. 

3. When we acknowledge their worth in regard to their respective areas of application, the two traditions, Eastern technology and Western scientific materialism, are complimentary. 





Reality and Reality Models 



1. The ultimate Reality is unfathomable to the human mind. 


  • As a result, adepts develop models to communicate their spiritual realizations to others. 
  • This is a crucial point: all teachings are simply expressions of the Truth, not the Truth itself. 
  • We must view them as models that may aid us in our quest to get a better understanding of life. 


2. Through the euphoric condition, it is possible to perceive things immediately, without the need of the senses (samadhi). 


3. Epistemology is the study of knowledge and the methods of cognition that are legitimate. 


  • One or more of these methods is recognized by India's different philosophical traditions. 
  • Only sensory perception is permitted by materialist schools, such as the Carvakas. 


4. The following three tools of legitimate knowledge (pramana) are recognized by several schools of lndian thought: sense perception (pratyaksha), inference (anumana), and revealed knowledge (shabda) Some of these instruments are given special attention at each school. 


  • Shabda—or apta-vacana—is the testimony of adepts who are able to give witness to the ultimate Reality via direct realization. 
  • As a result, it is often regarded as the most reliable source of spiritual information. 
  • The process of establishing a proper logical link between two things is known as inference. 
  • The process of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, or smelling is known as perception. 


5. Ontology, or being theory, is concerned with the broad categories of being. 


  • Most schools of Yoga emphasize ontology, relying on the paradigm provided by the Samkhya tradition, which has twenty-five categories, or tattvas, the twenty-fifth of which is the Spirit (purusha). 


6. Verticalism is a kind of worldview that stresses a "Reality" above and beyond the realm of senses and intellect. 


  • Much of Indian Yoga has been influenced by a verticalist or "ascending" tendency. 
  • This has often resulted in a simultaneous retreat from the "lower" reality of the material world, as in the case of Classical Yoga. 
  • "In, up, and out" (internalization, ascension, and withdrawal/transcendence) summarizes the verticalist viewpoint. 


7. Tantra philosophy provides an alternative to the ascending/verticalist paradigm. 


  • Tantra views Nature and Spirit as inextricably linked, and strives for completeness by integrating all levels, from the coarse physical world to the profound center of Being, Spirit. 
  • The intellectual foundations of Tantra forms the basis of advancement in the physical realm. 


8. Symbolism abounds in most of the world's mystical/spiritual literature. 


  • An understanding and study of pervasive intelligence expressed in existence should be our approach to  symbolism in general and the symbolic language used in Yoga literature.





Yogic Philosophy - The Transcendence Of The Ego




The Desire for Transcendence.





" . . . the aim of science is to become philosophy, the aim of philosophy is to become religion, the aim of religion is to seek God, and thus the aim of Humanity is to become Divine." 


- Sri Ananda Acharya,  Brahmadarfonam, p. 65.





Reaching Beyond the Ego Personality. 




1 . The impulse toward transcendence is innate and universal. 



2 . This impulse has urged seekers to contemplate the Reality beyond the phenomenal world. 


  • The following three characteristics of this ultimate Reality are almost universally recognized:

 • It is an undivided Whole, singular and complete. 

• It is of a higher degree of reality than our ordinary perception of the physical realm. 

• It is the highest good (nihshreyasa) to be realized. 



3 . Realization of the Absolute is the forte of lndia's great spiritual traditions. 


  • In the quest for ultimate freedom, India's sages and pundits have explored the scope of human experience and articulated profound and diverse answers. 
  • Thus, the spiritual heritage of lndia provides us with vast psychological and spiritual models of existence. 



4 . Yoga, in the broad sense of the term, denotes all of the practices and theories of lndia's spirituality. 


  • The purpose of Yoga is to bring about freedom from suffering, or spiritual liberation (moksha). 



5. We are essentially free. 


  • We realize this when we transcend our limited notion of self or ego (ahamkara ). 



6 . Not only do we as individuals have the potential for realizing our innate freedom, the cosmos itself appears to have a tendency to move toward the Real. 


  • Evolution seems to be programmed not only for veiling the Truth from us but also for transcendence of our limited human condition. 
  • Aurobindo Ghose, with his philosophy of integral Yoga, distinguished himself from other great mystics by incorporating modem evolutionary concepts into his metaphysics. 



7 . Art, philosophy, theology, science, and technology can all be understood as expressions of humanity's innate impulse to transcendence. 


  • These pursuits characterize the human search for and expression of wholeness, happiness, and understanding. 

 





Ego Transcendence 




When the soul itself grows quiet, and rests from its own weariness; 

When the witness releases its final hold, and dissolves into its ever-present ground; 


When the last layer of the Self is peeled into the purest emptiness; 


When the final form of the self-contraction unfolds in the infinity of all space; 


Then Spirit itself, as ever-present awareness, stands free of its own accord, never really lost, and therefore never really found. 



With a shock of the utterly obvious, the world continues to arise, just as it always has . 


In ever-present awareness, your soul expands to embrace the entire Cosmos, so that Spirit alone remains, as the simple world of what is. 


The rain no longer falls on you, but within you; the sun shines from inside your heart and radiates out into the world, blessing it with grace; 


Supernovas swirl in your consciousness, the thunder is the sound of your own exhilarated heart; the oceans and rivers are nothing but your blood pulsing to the rhythm of your soul. 


Infinitely ascended worlds of light dance in the interior of your brain; 


Infinitely descended worlds of night cascade around your feet; 


The clouds crawl across the sky of your own unfettered mind, while the wind blows through the empty space where your self once used to be. 


The sound of the rain falling on the roof is the only self you can find, here in the obvious world of crystalline one taste, where inner and outer are silly fictions and self and other are obscene lies, and ever-present simplicity is the sound of one hand clapping madly for all eternity. 


In the greatest depth, the simplest what is, and the journey ends, as it always does, exactly where it began. 










Yogic Philosophy - Svadhyaya: Yoga And The Quest For Knowledge

 



Svadhyaya - Study Of Self



Knowledge is a powerful tool. Is it, however, the case? 


This famous adage, in my opinion, is terribly inaccurate. 

Nonetheless, information that leads to self-understanding is priceless, since it is self-understanding that allows us to live a life free of the unconscious's dictates. 

And this is ultimately what Yoga and other spiritual traditions are about. 

As a result, study is seen as an essential method of self-knowledge in the Yoga tradition. 



Svadhyaya is the Sanskrit term for study, and it literally means "one's own (sva) entering into (adhyaya)." 


It denotes a careful and methodical examination of the Yoga tradition as well as one's own self. 

Both traditional knowledge and self­-knowledge are intertwined. 

Traditional scriptures contain the distilled wisdom of sages who have reached the peak of self-knowledge, and therefore these writings may help us get a better understanding of ourselves. 


Study is always a journey of self-discovery, self-understanding, and self-transcendence in the yogic sense. 

It has been a part of the yogic path from the beginning of time. 

Patanjali mentions it as one of the component practices of self-restraint (niyama), the second "limb" of his eightfold path, in his Yoga-Sutra (2.32). 



Study is an important component of Yoga's pragmatic approach. 


Although yoga does not advocate blind faith, it does emphasize the supreme necessity of true, profound faith (shraddhd), or trust. 

Belief alone will not assist us in realizing what exists beyond the conditioned or egoic self. 

Instead, Yoga has always been a very experimental and experiential practice, with research being one part of this sound methodology. 

From study, one should move to practice (yoga), and from practice to study, according to the Vishnu-Purana (6.6.2), an ancient encyclopedic Sanskrit book. 


Perfection in study and practice leads to the revelation of the ultimate Self. 


"Whoever neglects learning in his youth loses the past and is dead for the future."

- Euripedes


Many Western Yoga practitioners, particularly those with a dominant right brain, avoid research. 


They'd much prefer improve their performance in one of the two postures. 


  • However, it seems that they often miss the target because they are unaware of the appropriate environment in which these methods should be developed. 
  • Frequently, they do not have a thorough understanding of the methods. 

They may attempt to compensate for their lack of understanding by attempting to re-invent the wheel and create their own yoga practices. 


  • While innovation is admirable—after all, our whole civilization is built on it—in the case of Yoga, we would be well to be humble; after all, the Yo ga tradition can boast of at least 5,000 years of rigorous experimentation. 
  • A solely left-brained (thought-driven) approach to Yoga is similarly risky, if not entirely useless, just as a mainly right-brained (action-driven) approach to Yoga has its drawbacks. 



"Armchair Yoga" isn't a substitute for hands-on experience. 



"It is better to learn late than never."
- Shakespeare

Our accomplishments will be little if our exercise is simply nominal. 


Both theory and practice, like space-time, constitute a continuum in Yoga. 

It necessitates our entire participation, as the Buddhists describe it: with body, voice, and mind. 


The Bhagavad-Gita (2.48) reminds us that yoga is about finding equilibrium (samatva). 


As a result, when we devote ourselves to the yogic path, we should activate both brain hemispheres. 

Let us not forget that "integration" is one of the definitions of the term yoga. 


Study is a source of pleasure for diligent students, according to the Shata-Patha-Brahmana ( 1 1.5. 7.1), an ancient text. 

It concentrates the student's mind and allows him or her to sleep well. It also provides wisdom and the ability to master life. 

What more could a person want? 




An Exercise In Self-Reflection.


1. What is your relationship with knowledge? 

  • Do you gather knowledge in the same way that some people collect trinkets?

  • Do you consider knowledge to be a path to wisdom?
  • Or do you think wisdom is a whole different animal than knowledge? 

 

2. What piece of information has had the most profound impact on you, and how has it shaped you? 

 

3. Do you believe in the concept of "objective" knowledge? 

  • Can we ever get out of our shell and see things for what they are? 

 

4. According to Alexander Pope, the appropriate topic of study should be humanity itself. What would you say to him if you were in his shoes? 

 

5. What is the difference between information and knowledge? 

  • The terms "information overflow" and "knowledge explosion" are often used. How do you feel about both of them? 

 

6. Sometimes we mean "I suppose" when we say "I know." Examine some of your basic "knowledges" to see whether you are really knowledgeable or simply making assumptions. 

  • In your situation, where do you draw the boundary between knowledge and faith? 

 

7. In religious and spiritual issues, what function do you think knowledge plays? 

  • Is it okay to accept things at face value, or should we constantly strive for perfect certainty? 

 

8. Many, if not all, Western Yoga practitioners are uninterested in studying Yoga, believing that practicing is more essential. 

  • Do you think it's possible to really practice Yoga without also studying it? 

 

9. While studying Yoga would undoubtedly provide us with useful knowledge, do you believe it may also inspire, elevate, and encourage us? 

  • What motivates you to pursue a degree? 

 

10. Do you ever have the feeling that you "don't know anything"? 

  • Or are you proud of your knowledge? 
  • Do you believe that knowledge is a kind of power?








Yogic Philosophy - Finding The Creative Purpose Of Life.




Among the other characteristics and attributes that the rules of our reason forced us to believe the Absolute was Omnipotence or the notion of All-Power. 

In other words, we are forced to see the One as the source and font of all the power that exists, has ever been, or ever will exist in the Universe. 

Not only is it often assumed that the One's Power is greater than any other Power, but that there can be no other power, and that, as a result, all manifestations or forms of Power, Force, or Energy must be a part of the great one Energy that emanates from the One. 

There is no way out of this conclusion, no matter how shocking it may seem to the untrained mind. 

If there is any force that is not from and of the One, where does it come from, since there is nothing else? Outside of the One, who or what can manifest even the tiniest degree of power of any kind? All power must emanate from the Absolute, and it must be one in nature. 

Modern science has acknowledged this fact, and the Unity of Energy—the idea that all forms of energy are, in the end, One—is one of its basic concepts. 

The theory of the Conservation of Energy or Correlation of Force is based on the notion that all types of energy are interchangeable. 

From the action of the law of gravity to the greatest form of mental force, science teaches that every manifestation of energy, power, or force is merely the activity of the One Energy of the Universe. 

Science has no idea what this Energy is in its true form. 

It contains a lot of hypotheses, but none of them are made into laws. 

It mentions the Infinite and Eternal Energy that all things arise from, but declares its nature unknown. 

However, some modern scientists are turning their attention to the teachings of the occultists, implying that it is more than just mechanical energy. 

They're talking about it in terms of the mind. 

The driving force of Energy, according to Wundt, a German physicist whose school of thinking is known as voluntarism, is something that may be termed Will. 

“Will is the dominant power of the world,” Crusius said in 1744. 

And Schopenhauer built his intriguing but bleak philosophy and metaphysics on the fundamental concept of an active kind of energy he termed the WilltoLive, which he believed to be the Absolute or the ThinginItself. 

The writer Balzac believed that the driving power of the Universe was something similar to Will. 

Bulwer proposed a similar idea, which he mentioned in a number of his books. 

Various philosophers and intellectuals have entertained this concept of an active, creative Will at work in the Universe, building up; taking down; replacing; mending; changing—always at work—ever active—under various names and styles. 

Some, such as Schopenhauer, consider this Will to be the ultimate thing—that which replaced God as the First Cause. 

Others, on the other hand, have recognized in this Will an active living force originating from the Absolute or God and operating in line with the rules imposed by Him. 

This latter concept may be found in different forms throughout the history of philosophical thinking. 

The English philosopher William Cudsworth developed the concept of "Plastic Nature," which is so similar to the Yogi concept of the Creative Will that we feel comfortable in citing a sentence from his book. 

“It does not seem so agreeable to reason that Nature, as a separate thing from the Deity, should be completely superseded or made to signify nothing, God Himself doing all things immediately and miraculously; from which it would follow that they are all done either forcibly and violently, or artificially only, and none of them by any inward principle of their own,” he writes. 

This belief is further shattered by the slow and gradual process that occurs in the generation of things, which would appear to be nothing more than a vain and insignificant pomp or a trifling formality if the moving power were omnipotent; as well as by the errors and blunders that occur when matter is inept and contumacious; which argue that the moving power is not irresistible, and that Nature is such a thing as i. 

Whereas an almighty moving force, since it could complete its task in a flash, would always do so infallibly and irresistibly, no matter's ineptness or stubbornness being able to thwart such a one, or cause him to bumble or fumble in anything. 

As a result, since neither all things are produced by chance, nor by the unguided mechanism of matter, nor God himself can be reasonably thought to do all things immediately and miraculously, it is reasonable to conclude that there is a Plastic Nature under him, which, as an inferior and subordinate instrument, drudgingly executes that part of his providence which consists in the regular and orderly execution of that part of his providence which consists in the regular and orderly execution of that part of his providence which The Yogi Philosophy believes that there is a Universal Creative Will that emanates from the Absolute, is infused with the Absolute's force, and acts according to natural principles, and conducts the active job of creation in the universe, similar to what "Cudsworth's Plastic Nature" does. 

This Creative Will is not to be confused with Schopenhauer's Will to Live. 

It is a vehicle or instrument of the Absolute, rather than a thing in and of itself. 

It is an emission of the Absolute's mind—a demonstration of its Will in action—a mental rather than physical product filled with the life force of its projection. 

This Creative Will is much more than a blind, mechanical energy or force. 

We can only explain it by pointing you to your own expression of the Will. 

Your arm moves when you want it to. 

The immediate force may seem to be mechanical, but what lies behind it—what is the force's essence? The Power of Will! All kinds of energy—all sources of motion—all forces—are expressions of the One's Will—the Creative Will—operating according to natural laws created by the One, always moving, acting, compelling, pushing, driving, and leading. 

We don't mean that every small deed is a fleeting idea on the part of the Absolute, followed by the Will extending out in response to that notion. 

On the contrary, we mean that the One activated the Will as a whole, thinking of rules and limits in its activity, the Will continuously acting in accordance with that idea, and the consequences appearing in what we term natural law; natural forces, and so on. 

Furthermore, it is thought that the Absolute manifests its Will on certain times, and that it also allows its Will to be applied and utilized by the particular wills of individual Egos, all within the framework of the One's general Law and rules, and plan. 

However, you must not believe that the Will can only be expressed via mechanical forces, cohesion, chemical attraction, electricity, gravity, and so forth. 

It does a lot more. 

In all kinds of life and living creatures, it is fully functional. 

It's all over the place. 

We identify a moving cause—usually a Pressure—behind all kinds of movement and activity. 

This is true of the mechanical forces we've been talking about, as well as all kinds of what we've been calling Life Energy. 

Now, take notice of this: the Creative Will—the Will Principle of the One—bending toward the fulfillment of the Great Plan of Life. 

Look about us, on living things, and we may see the presence of a creative force at work— building up; shaping, guiding; breaking down; replacing, and so on— constantly engaged in its attempts to create, maintain, and conserve life. 

This apparent creative force is referred to as "the Creative Will" in Yogi philosophy, and it is the topic of this lecture. 

The Creative Will is the striving, yearning, pushing forward, unfolding, advancing evolutionary endeavor that all thinking people see in all forms of life—across all of Nature. 

Effort, Energy, and Pressure may be seen at action in all forms of life, from the simplest to the most complex, creating, maintaining, feeding, and developing them. 

When we talk of "Nature's Forces" at work in plant growth and animal behavior, we're referring to that Something. 

You will be able to more clearly develop the mental notion of the Creative Will if you maintain the term and idea—“NATURE”—in front of you. 

The Creative Will is what you've been calling "Nature at Work" in the plant's development; the seed's sprouting; the curling and reaching of the tendril; the fertilization of the flowers, and so on. 

If you've ever observed growing things, you've probably seen Will at work. 

Because it is the objective expression of the Absolute's Creative Energy—Its visible Will expressed in the direction of physical life—we name this energy "the Creative Will." It's as much Will at work as the Will that moves your arm in response to its strength. 

It's not just a coincidence or a mechanical rule; it's life in action. 

This Creative Volition not only generates movement in finished life, but all movement and activity in life, regardless of the individual forms' own will.

It encompasses all of the so-called Unconscious's phenomena. 

It helps the body develop by taking care of the intricacies of nutrition, absorption, digestion, excretion, and everything else. 

It maintains the functioning and function of bodies, organs, and components. 

The Creative Will is oriented toward the objectification of Life—its outer manifestation. 

You may name this energy the "Universal Life Energy," but to those who have experienced it, it is a Will— an active, alive Will in full function and force, pushing ahead toward the realization of objective life. 

There seems to be a tremendous desire to manifest in the Creative Will. 

It yearns to be heard and to give birth to new kinds of action. 

Desire may be found underneath and in all of its expressions. 

The ever-present Desire of the Creative Will causes lesser forms to be replaced by higher forms—and is the driving force behind evolution—it is the Evolutionary Urge itself, which constantly calls out to its manifestations, "Go on; move upward." Brahma created the most beautiful female creature ever known and named her Tillotama, according to the Hindu epic “Mahabarata.” He showed her to each deity in turn, allowing them to see their awe and adoration. 

As she made her way around the gathering, Siva's yearning to see her was so strong that he acquired four faces in succession; and Indra's need was so strong that his whole body became all eyes. 

The effect of Desire and Will in the forms of life, function, and shape—all following Desire and Need—can be seen exemplified in this myth, as in the case of the giraffe's long neck, which allows him to reach for the high branches of the trees in his native land; and in the long neck and high legs of the fisher birds, such as the crane, stork, ibis, and others. 

The Creative Will discovers a yearning to generate suns inside itself, and they are born. 

Planets were flung off in accordance with the rule since it wanted them to revolve around the suns. 

It wanted plant life, and plant life emerged in many forms, starting with the highest and moving down to the lowest. 

Then there was animal life, which evolved from nomad to man. 

Some animal forms gave in to the urge to fly, and wings developed gradually, giving rise to the term "birdlife." Some felt compelled to dig into the earth, and voila! moles, gophers, and other rodents appeared. 

It needed a thinking creature, thus Man, with his amazing intellect, was created. 

Natural selection, for example, is more than just survival of the fittest in evolution. 

Although it employs these principles as tools and instruments, at the heart of them is that unquenchable urge—that unquenchable desire—that unquenchable Creative Will. 

When Lamark argued that Desire was at the root of everything and came before function and form, he was closer to the mark than Darwin. 

Desire desired shape and purpose, which the Creative Will provided via its activity. 

This Creative Will seems to be a living force—and it is—but it is not a thinking, intellectual Something in the sense that it exhibits the "feeling," desiring, yearning, instinctual phase of mind, similar to the "feelings" and consequent behaviors that we discover inside our natures. 

Evolution shows us Life continually pushing ahead toward greater and higher forms of expression, and the Will operates on the Instinctive Plane. 

The desire to go higher and forward is continuous. 

True, some species fade from view when their job in the world is completed, but they are replaced by species that are more in tune with their environment and the demands of their time. 

Some races of men deteriorate, while others grow on their roots to achieve new heights. 

Reason and Intellect are not the same as the Creative Will. 

However, it lurks underneath them. 

In the lowest forms of life, when the intellect plays a little role, the Will is active, appearing as so-called Instinct and Automatic Life Action. 

It does not rely on brains for manifestation—these lower forms of life lack brains—but rather works via every aspect of the living thing's body. 

If we study the life activity in the lowest forms of life, we may find compelling evidence of the presence of the Creative Will working independently of the brains of animal and plant life. 

The Life Principle was operating in lowly animal and plant life millions of years before brains capable of expressing Thought were created, according to the evidence of investigators who follow the Evolutionary school of thought. 

According to Haekel, no animal sufficiently evolved to have a brain existed for more than half of the vast period that has passed since biological life first appeared. 

In line with the Great Plan, brains developed according to the law of want or need, but they were not required to continue the great job of creating and preserving living forms. 

They aren't today, either. 

Despite the lack of thinking brains, the small baby and the stupid moron are able to think intelligently, and their life processes continue to run smoothly and according to law. 

Plants and lower kinds of animal life go about their daily lives in the same way. 

The expression of the Creative Will, which comes from the One Life, or the Absolute, is known as instinct. 

We can witness the Creative Will in motion as far down the scale of life as the Monera. 

The Monera are small pieces of slimy, jellylike substances—mere specks of glue with no organs of any kind—yet they perform biological life functions like feeding, reproduction, sensing, and movement, all of which are normally associated with an ordered structure. 

These beings are unable to think for themselves, therefore the phenomena is caused by the Will acting through them. 

As greater kinds of creatures are put up, this instinctive drive and activity can be observed everywhere, expressing on higher and higher levels. 

The word "appetency" has been coined by scientists and is defined as "the innate propensity of living creatures to do particular behaviors; the tendency of an unorganized body to seek that which fulfills the needs of its organism." So, what is this inclination? It can't be a rational endeavor since the low form of life has nothing to reason with. 

It's also difficult to conceive of "purposive inclination" without presuming the presence of some sort of mental strength. 

And where else might such force be found except in the shape itself? We can immediately identify the source of the strength and activity when we realize that the Will is working in and through all forms of Life, from the greatest to the lowest—from Moneron to Man. 

It's the manifestation of the Great Life Principle—the Creative Will. 

We may have a better understanding of the Creative Will by looking at its outward and apparent manifestations. 

We can't see the Will—the Pressure and Urge—but we can witness it in action via living things. 

We can't see a guy behind a curtain, but we can see him by observing the motions of his body as he pushes up against it, just as we can see the Will by watching it press up against the living curtain of forms of life. 

A few years ago, a play was performed on the American stage in which one of the acts depicted the location of departed souls according to Japanese religion. 

Although the audience couldn't see the performers portraying the spirits, they could see their movements as they pushed up against a thin silky curtain that extended across the stage, and their motions as they went to and fro behind the curtain were easily recognizable. 

The deceit was flawless, and the result was astonishing. 

It was almost as if he was seeing the shapes of formless entities. 

And this is what we can do when we observe the activity of the Creative Will: we may peek beyond the curtain of the forms of life's expression to see the moving form of the Will. 

We could see it pushing and urging here, and bending there—building up here, and altering there—always acting, always moving, striving, doing, in answer to that insatiable need and longing of its inner desire. 

Let's take a look behind the curtain and see what's going on with Will! We may now move on to plant life, starting with the instances of crystal formation discussed in our last session. 

But first, let's take a last look at the Will creating crystal forms. 

One of the most recent scientific works mentions the experiments of a scientist who has been studying the formation of crystals and reports that he noticed that certain crystals of organic compounds were "enationmorphic," that is, opposed to each other in rights and lefts, like hands or gloves, or shoes, instead of being built up symmetrically, as is typical of crystals. 

These crystals are usually discovered in pairs and never found alone. 

Can't you see Will lurking behind the curtain here? Let us search for the Will in nature. 

Consider how the seed is distributed after quickly going through the amazing evidences in the instances of insect fertilization of plants, the plant modifying its bloom to allow the entry of the specific insect that serves as the carrier of its pollen. 

Fruit trees and plants wrap the seed with a delicious coating so that insects and animals may eat it and spread the seed.

Others have a hard coating that protects the seed or nut from winter frosts, but that covering rots away with spring rains, allowing the germ to grow. 

Others surround the seed with a fleecy material, allowing the wind to move it about and give it a chance to choose a less crowded home. 

Another tree has a little popgun setup that allows it to launch its seed many feet away. 

Other plants contain seeds that have a burr or "sticky" bristles on them, allowing them to attach themselves to the wool of sheep and other animals, and therefore be carried about and eventually deposited at a location far away from the parent plant, allowing the species to disperse. 

Some plants have the most amazing plans and arrangements for dispersing the seed in new habitats where there is a greater chance for growth and development, the arrangements for this goal resembling what we would term "ingenuity" if it were the product of a thinking mind. 

Cockle burs are plants whose seedpods are covered with stickers in every direction, ensuring that anything brushing across them will pick them up. 

Each sticker has a small hook at the end that clings to anything that brushes across it, such as animal wool, hair, or clothes. 

Some of these seeds have been known to be transported to other parts of the world in wool and other materials in order to find new homes and a larger field. 

Other plants, such as the thistle, have downy wings that allow the wind to carry their seeds to other areas. 

Other seeds, due to their unique shape and structure, have the ability to tumble and roll around the ground for vast distances. 

The maple seed has a strange structure, similar to a propeller screw, that whirls the seed into the air to a distance of a hundred yards or more when the wind hits the trees and looses it. 

Other seeds have floating equipment, allowing them to move hundreds of kilometers via stream, river, or rain washes. 

Some of these seeds not only float, but swim as well, thanks to spiderlike filaments that wiggle like legs and push the tiny seed along to its new home. 

“These small things, making excellent progress through the water, are almost hard to believe that these tiny objects, making good progress through the water, are truly seeds, and not insects,” writes a recent writer of these seeds. 

The Venus' Flytrap's leaves fold inwards to imprison the insect attracted by the delicious juice on the leaf, three highly sensitive bristles or hairs alerting the plant that the insect is touching them. 

The following is a description of a strange plant from a recent writer. 

“On the banks of Lake Nicaragua is to be found an eerie product of the botanical world known among the locals as ‘the Devil‘s Noose,' he adds. 

Dunstan, the naturalist, found it while walking along the lake's beaches many years ago. 

He was drawn in by his dog's screams of agony and fear, and he discovered the animal restrained by black sticky bands that had chafed the skin to the point of bleeding. 

These bands were the branches of a recently discovered carnivorous plant known as the 'land octopus.' Flexible, black, glossy, and leafless, the branches exude a viscid fluid.” You've probably seen flowers that close when touched. 

You may recall the Golden Poppy, which shuts as the sun sets. 

Another orchid has a long, thin, flat stem, or tube, approximately an eighth of an inch thick, with an aperture at one end and a succession of fine tubes where it meets the plant. 

When the plant needs water (it usually grows on the trunks of trees overhanging swampy areas), it slowly uncoils the little tube and bends it over until it dips into the water, then sucks up the water until it is full, then slowly coils around and discharges the water directly onto the plant, or its roots. 

The procedure is then repeated until the plant is happy. 

When there is no water beneath the plant, the tube travels this way and that until it finds what it is looking for, much like an elephant's trunk. 

When the plant's tube or trunk is touched when it is stretched seeking water, it becomes very sensitive and quickly coils up. 

So, what is the source of this living action? The plant does not have a brain, therefore it could not have reasoned out this procedure or even acted on it using reasoning processes. 

It has nothing with which to ponder to such an extent. 

Behind the curtain, the Will is going this way and that, accomplishing things. 

Duhamel was a French scientist who lived in the 1800s. 

He grew beans in a cylinder that looked like a long tomato can on its side. 

According to nature's invariable law, he waited until the beans started to sprout and send out roots below and shoots upward. 

Then he shifted the cylinder around a little, rolling it over an inch or two. 

He rolled it over a bit more the following day. 

Every day after that, I'd roll it over a little more. 

Duhamel shook the dirt and growing beans out of the cylinder after a while, and what did he find? This, that the beans, in their effort to grow their roots downward, had kept on bending downward a little each day, and in their effort to send shoots upward, had kept on bending upward a little each day, until at last two complete spirals had formed—the one spiral representing the roots ever turning downward, and the other representing the shoots ever bending upward. 

How did the plant know which way to go? What was the driving force behind the movement? You may glimpse the Creative Will behind the curtain once again! In order to reach light, potatoes in dark basements have sent out roots or sprouts extending twenty to thirty feet. 

To access water, plants will shoot out several feet of roots. 

They are aware of the locations of water and light, as well as how to get to them. 

Plant tendrils recognize the location of the stake or cable and stretch out to wrap themselves around it. 

Untangle them, and they're discovered twined around it the following day. 

When you move the stake or rope, the tendril follows. 

Insect-eating plants can tell the difference between nitrogenous and nonnitrogenous food and will take one or reject the other. 

They understand that cheese has the same nutritious qualities as the bug, and they accept it despite the fact that it feels, tastes, looks, and feels nothing like their usual meal. 

Instance after case may be presented and referenced to demonstrate the Will's functioning in plant life. 

But, as amazing as many of these instances are, the simple activity of the Will as shown by the plant's growth is as amazing. 

Imagine a small seed sprouting and drawing nutrition from water, air, light, and soil, then growing upward until it reaches the size of a large tree, complete with bark, limbs, branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit. 

Consider this miracle and what the strength and character of the Will that produces it must be. 

Examining the sidewalks of suburban cities and parks reveals that the developing plant has the power to shatter large stones and lift large slabs of pavement. 

A story in an English newspaper claims that four gigantic mushrooms removed a massive block of paving stone on a busy roadway overnight. 

Consider this Energy and Power display. 

This amazing ability to exert force, motion, and energy is essential to the Will, since motion is the consequence of all physical change and development, and motion is only possible because of force and pressure. 

Whose force, energy, strength, and motion are we talking about? The Wills are here! We can see this continuous and steady push and pressure behind biological forces, as well as inorganic forms— always a representation of Energy and Power— on all sides of us. 

And all of this power is contained in the Will, which is nothing more than a manifestation of the All Power—the Absolute. 

Keep this in mind. 

And this force shows itself not just in terms of development and everyday motions, but also in a variety of unexpected ways that even contemporary science finds puzzling. 

What allows certain birds to fly straight into a strong wind with no apparent movement of their wings? How can buzzards float in the air and accelerate without using their wings? What is the reason for the motions of tiny organisms without moving organs? Listen to this story told by Benet, a scientist. 

He claims that the Polycystids move in a unique way—a kind of sliding motion to the right or left, upward, backward, sideways, stopping and resuming, fast or slow, as it pleases. 

It lacks locomotive organs, and no movement can be observed in the body from the inside or outside. 

It just glides. 

How? How do eggs become chickens and then pass on to higher animal life? What is the power of the egg's germ? Is it possible for a microbe to think, plan, move, and develop into a chicken? Is it possible that the Will is at work there? And what is true in this instance is also true in the birth and development of all animal life: every animal life begins with a single germ cell. 

How did this happen, and why did it happen? There is no question that the germ cell contains a kind of mental energy. 

And that mental force is the ever-present Creative Will. 

Listen to these remarks from renowned scientist Aldous Huxley. 

“The more familiar a student of Nature gets with her operations, the less surprised he becomes; yet of all the perpetual marvels she presents to his observation, probably the most deserving of his admiration is the growth of a plant or an animal from its embryo,” he adds. 

Examine the egg of a common animal, such as a salamander or a newt, that has just been deposited. 

It's a tiny spheroid that reveals nothing but a structureless sac containing a glairy fluid and retaining grains in suspension under the finest microscope.

Strange possibilities, on the other hand, lay latent in that semifluid globule. 

Allow a modest amount of warmth to reach its aqueous cradle, and the plastic matter experiences fast and purposeful alterations that can only be compared to those made by a master modeller on a formless lump of clay. 

The bulk is split and subdivided into smaller and smaller parts, like an unseen trowel, until it is reduced to an aggregation of granules that are tiny enough to form the newborn organism's finest fibers. 

Then it's as if a delicate finger traced out the line that will be occupied by the spinal column, and moulded the contour of the body, pinching up the head at one end, the tail at the other, and fashioning flank and limb into due salamanderine proportions, in such an artistic way that, after watching the process hour by hour, one is almost involuntarily possessed by the notion that some more subtle amorphous morphology is in the works. 

“As life progresses, and the young amphibian terrorizes his insect contemporaries in the waters, not only are the nutritious particles supplied by its prey (by the addition of which to its frame growth occurs) laid down, each in its proper spot, and in due proportion to the rest, so as to reproduce the form, color, and size, characteristic of the parental stock; but even the wonderfu Cut off the legs, tail, and jaws individually or all at once, and, as Spallanzani shown long ago, these parts not only come back, but the new limb is built on the same type as the ones that were lost. 

The new jaw, or leg, is that of a newt, and never by chance that of a frog.” The real functioning of the Creative Will of the Universe may be seen in this paragraph from Huxley, moving behind the curtain—and a pretty thin veil at that. 

And this amazing work is going on all the time all around us. 

Every second, miracles are performed; they are so frequent that we don't see them. 

Is the Will at work in our bodies? Without a doubt. 

What helped you grow from a single cell to adulthood? Did you do it with your head or your heart? Isn't it true that everything was done without your knowledge? Only when things go wrong, as a result of breaking a law, do you become conscious of your internal organs. 

Despite this, your stomach, liver, heart, and other organs have been working nonstop, day and night, to build you up, mend you, feed you, develop you into a man or woman, and keep you healthy and strong. 

Is this something you're doing for a purpose or out of your own volition? No, it's the Great Creative Will of the Universe, Universe, operating in and through you as a manifestation of the One's purpose and power. 

It is the Creative Will of the One Life unfolding in you. 

This isn't all, however. 

Every power, energy, and principle contains the Creative Will. 

The principle of the Will controlled by our individual brains is the energy we call mental power. 

We may see a glimpse of the tremendous mystery of Mental Force and Power, as well as the so-called Psychic Phenomena, in this remark. 

It also unlocks the door to Mental Healing. 

This isn't the place to go into great depth about these stages, but consider them. 

This Universe's Will Power, in all of its forms and phases, from electricity to thought power, is always at Man's disposal, within limitations and according to the rules of the Universe's Creative Will. 

Anyone who learns the rules of any force has the ability to utilize it. 

And every force may be utilized in a positive or negative way. 

And the closer we come to the One Life and Power in terms of knowledge and consciousness, the bigger our potential power will be, since we are moving closer and closer to the source of All Power. 

We hope to be able to teach you how to become closer to this One Life, of which you and all living things are just forms, shapes, and channels of expression operating under the Creative Will, in these lectures. 

We hope that this lesson has awakened in you the awareness of the Oneness of All—that we are all parts of the one encircling oneness, whose heartbeats and pulsations may be felt even on the outskirts of the circle of life—in Man, Monad, Crystal, and Atom. 

Attempt to sense the inner essence of Creative Will that exists inside you, and to realize your full inner oneness with all other forms of life in it. 

Try to remember that “all the living world is just humanity in the making, and that we are but part of the All,” as one contemporary writer put it. 

Also remember that glorious vistas of future unfoldment stretch themselves out before the awakened soul's gaze, till the intellect fails to comprehend the wonderful sight. 


We will now draw your attention to the CENTRAL THOUGHT of this essay. 

In the universe, there is only one power—one energy—one force. 

And the One Life manifests itself in the form of Power, Energy, and Force. 

There can be no other Power since there is only One from whom Power may be derived. 

And there can be no manifestation of Power other than the Power of the One, since there is no other Power. 

The One's Power manifests itself to us through the natural laws and forces of Nature, which we refer to as the Creative Will. 

The inner moving force, desire, and pressure that underpins all forms and shapes of Life is known as the Creative Will. 

The Life Principle or Creative Will is constantly at work in every atom and molecule; in every monad, cell, plant, fish, animal, and man; This is the Creative Will in operation, which we may refer to as instinct or nature. 

All power, energy, or force—physical, mechanical, or mental—comes from this Will. 

And all of the Force we utilize, whether consciously or subconsciously, originates from the One Great Power Source. 

If we could only see properly, we'd see that behind us lies the Power of the Universe, waiting for us to utilize it intelligently, under the direction of the Will of the All. 

There is nothing to fear because we are manifestations of the One Life, from which all Power emanates, and the Real Self is above the effect because it is a part of the Cause; however, over and above—under and behind—all forms of Being, Matter, Energy, Force, and Power is the ABSOLUTE—ever Calm; ever Peaceful; ever Content. 

Knowing this empowers us to embody the spirit of total trust, faith, and confidence in the goodness and ultimate justice of That which is the only Reality that exists. 

May you be at peace.