The photo above was posted on Facebook and I shared it as I thought it was profound, James Baldwin is a great american writer. I shared it on FB and a friend commented that ” If I love you , I don’t need you to see the world the way I do” . Apart from the misreading of the original quote ( James Baldwin is not asking us to see things his way, but to see what we do not or cannot see), I think that the two quotes together represent the way of Yoga. I have long been a believer in the social role that true yoga can play in resolving conflict and have written about this with regard to the Trayvon Martin killing earlier. So I do not want to repeat myself. So, what is it that we do not see, who is doing the loving, and why should we also not care if no change occurs?
Essentially Yoga is an activity born out of love for the human being, to deliver us from our self inflicted sufferings. We suffer because we do not see the truth of ourselves, and so act out of ignorance. That truth is that we are not isolated individuals who are born and eventually die, but the stuff of which the life and reality is made of, consciousness.
We seek knowledge as part of our efforts to improve our life, to suffer less. This impulse to truth comes from the soul, which is the part of ourselves that we are rarely conscious of, but is our essence. The soul is born out of the totality.The totality loves the soul, and the soul loves us, and she calls us to see her and love her back, so that we suffer not. When we recognize the soul in us, then we realize that we are soul, and that soul is not affected by time and space, we realize our eternal nature, completely safe and free. This is Yoga. At the same time, the soul knows that we must come to her freely and without expectation, so she does not push us. She is not worried, if we do not get it this time around then perhaps the next, she is patient.
Realizing ourselves as soul, we can finally relax. As the tight bindings of the heart are unwound, we are filled with love for all creation, we feel identity with all people, all things. We merge with the Totality and recognize that Totality, Soul and Self are all the same, a fluid continuum in which all difference is only appearance.
With love and peace, Nemir