Saturday, June 14, 2008

Change your destiny with Yoga - part 2

Are you able to do nothing, to just be with yourself? Or do you immediately reach for the TV remote, or a book, or a friend, or some other ‘busy’ task in order to escape being with yourself, so that you won’t actually have to think about yourself or your life? I know I do sometimes, so I am not speaking from some lofty perspective. We have so many ways to ‘entertain’ or ‘distract’ ourselves these days, that all too often we neglect thinking about how we feel, where we are going, what’s important to us. We go through life half-asleep, half-aware. But we are aware enough to know that we are not happy, that ‘this’ is not ‘it’. Or perhaps we carry on regardless until some great life-shattering event snaps us out of our slumber and forces to look inside, for once. And when we get to know ourselves, perhaps for the first time, then we can perhaps see what it is we really have to do.

Man simply does not know his own soul and the principles and forces at work deep within it. He does not know the source of his thoughts or the source of his wishes, and chained down by the ignorance of his own being, he cannot control either himself or his destiny. In the same blind way in which he follows his animal instincts and urges, fate buffets him to and fro like a rudderless ship in a storm. On the other hand, when one has learned to recognize the various levels at which life goes on within his self, and learned to control himself, he is also able to control his fate…
But let us not wait until we are struck by the blows of fate! On the contrary, let us set out consciously and on our own initiative along the trail of self-knowledge and self-control! We will soon find out that with every step along the way our destiny is more and more inclined to obey our will…
Just as people in the West have developed technology to a very high stage, their brothers in the Orient, after a long painstaking, patient search in the field of human psychology, have solved the greatest puzzle of all: Man!

From ‘Yoga and Destiny’, by Elisabeth Haich and Selvarajan Yesudian. See also the post ‘Karma does not crush’.

Photo by Gregor Buir

2 comments:

footiam said...

Could that mean that a person is not vain?

Alex Stewart said...

That's another good point. Does the West's lack of concern with the self mean people are all saints? No, not more than the East's greater knowledge of the self means people are all vain. I think the author is saying that on the contrary in the West, despite scientific progress, people follow their desires blindly and reap the karmic consequences. In the East, study of the self and the laws of Karma has been more pronounced and successful and thus the West has much to benefit from it.
You certainly made me think about that one Footiam!

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond