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(2) Magic and Yoga - Long-Lost Twins Finally Reunited!
Continuing on from the previous piece, we can now ask ourselves: Which human activity best fits the definition of transferring the properties of the Outer World onto the Inner World? We find that the practice of Yoga (the term "Yoga" I take to imply the intellectual and spiritual philosophy which originated in Ancient India rather than the physical exercises part) best fits this definition.
Consider the features of that quintessential example of the Outer World - the sky and in particular, the night sky. It is forever unchanging, utterly unaffected by any action of man or nature, overwhelming and all-encompassing in its serenity.
Could the concept of yoga first occurred to a man staring at the night sky and wondering whether his inner world could acquire the same serenity, the same constancy, inflexibility and absolute resistance to any outer or inner force.
How liberating our lives would be if the properties of the inner and outer worlds were interchanged, so that we would have magical powers over the outer world and absolute yogic control over our inner world.
Instead we are left struggling all our lives, endeavouring to swap the properties of the two worlds, trying to make our inner world stable and serene and attempting to have at least some influence on the outer world.
Is it possible that Whoever created this world either punished us for some Original Sin, set a deliberate challenge to test our resolve to persevere or played a cruel practical joke on us all by intentionally reversing the inner and outer worlds' features and thereby making our lives that much harder and complicated?
We can also see that magic and yoga are mirror images of each other, parallel processes both having the same aim - to interchange the properties of the Inner and Outer Worlds.
Note that if the above definitions of magic and yoga seem to be a little too simplistic and obvious it is only because we are so used to the way that we experience the Universe that we just automatically take it for granted that that's how the Inner and Outer Worlds are structured. We don't give a second thought that we can so easily manipulate inner objects, just as we readily accept that we do not have the same powers of control over the outer objects. But this is an area that clearly needs to be investigated and explained, rather than just automatically accepted.
Submitted to http://humanifesto.org
To be published at http://www.shivayoga.org
Next - Which Reality is Real?
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