Anandaswami Tradition Yoga School
|Place of lecture delivering||Cultural Center “Enlightenment”.|
|Date||February 28, 2010|
|Licence||Creative Commons. You may copy, duplicate and spread this lecture. It’s desirable to give a reference to our site www.openyoga.ru.|
|Typed and edited by||Vita Yarotskaya|
|Translated by||Anna Polyakova|
The First Part of the Seminar
Introduction into Visualization Yoga
Well, my friends, one of the most fabulous parts of yoga knowledge – Visualization Yoga - is waiting for us. This is truly one of the most powerful mental instruments in yoga. It may be said that it is the “draught horse” of numerous practices. And today we are to familiarize ourselves with how to use it. We are also to know about difficulties of Visualization Yoga.
In any case your world outlook should change after this seminar. More over it should change practically. You will receive one more very powerful instrument for self-cognition and cognition of the Universe.
By good old tradition of the Open Yoga University we will try to set forth even the most complicated things clearly, easily and in our own words. And as usual I will draw an analogy with our everyday life to let even a man in the street understand what the matter is.
Well, my friends, we live in our wonderful world. Some time we were born here, we were little and then began to grow up. And this continues up today. Everything we perceived around us is called “surrounding”. Of course when we were little our world was closed on our brothers, sisters and intimate friends. As we grew up other objects and phenomena entered our life. We began to study, we went to work where we had to face people and different conditions.
More over the world brought us different impressions about ourselves both in childhood and at a mature age. Sometimes it opened before us as alluring country promising us the most fabulous things. Sometimes on the contrary it turned its back and chain of misunderstandings, mismatchings, sufferings and unrealized hopes and dreams fell upon us. Sometimes we imagine the world as dull working days and we waited nothing from them, i.e. the world was a chain of grey days and everything seemed to be boring. Sometimes this chain of grey days passed in the course of work engendering neither positive nor negative feelings. Sometimes undoubtedly negative events happened. Sometimes it might be simply working enthusiasm when you did your favourite work or practiced yoga. Then these days bore rather positive marks then negative ones.
I.e. the world where we live when keep awake appears before us in its very different looks. Sometimes it arouses gladness from us, sometimes – suffering, sometimes it arouses our neutral attitude. And a question appears: and what is our world? Whether it is angry or kind? Whether it is good or bad? What is this reality that we called our world?
Some people assert that the world is embodiment of grief and the more we live here the more we are disposed towards disappointment. Other people assert that the world is full of joy and happiness. Third people say that the world is striped and the compensative wave of misfortune has to go after the wave of happiness. Other people don’t say anything at all. They don’t even ask themselves “And what the world is?” It seems obvious to them to give no characteristics to it. And it happens until these or those events in person’s life would force him to give the characteristics.
So people may have the very different opinions. And some people impose their opinion on other people thinking that only they are right and others are in the wrong. There are very pessimistic people. They shout at every corner that everything goes wrong and it will go only worse. But strange as it may seem they make plans for the future as if the world wouldn’t be so pessimistic. I.e. they leave personally themselves a loophole or passage where they feel good though they assert that the world is stronghold of grief.
It is clear that sooner or later these questions “And what the world is?”, “What should we expect from it?”, “What will it bring to us?” will come to us as we are on the yoga way (I remind you that yoga is a system of self-cognition and a system of the entire Universe cognition in general).
Of course in childhood we expected any holiday, any achievement. But our youth and subsequent growing up adjusted these expectations. Now we aren’t so self-assertive in our hopes and realize that not all things come immediately to us. More over we realize that things go on not as we would like. But the question “What is the world?” appears all the same. And if they ask you “Whether the world is positive or negative?” you will give one or another answer in different periods of time under the influence of these or those circumstances.
And now get far ahead of ourselves we may give the next answer from yoga stand: “My friends, we don’t know what the world is. The world isn’t positive or negative. The world isn’t grey workaday life. The world is very obscure thing. And we don’t know what the world is”.
The World Reality and the Veil of Maya
So we can’t say that the world is sheer pessimism. But we also can’t say that the world is sheer optimism. We simply know nothing about the world. That’s because from the very deep yoga knowledge stand the world around us is the higher reality that we don’t see. This higher reality is covered with so called “maya”. Maya is a very strange thing which creates illusion in its turn.
It only seems to us that we know what the world is. It only seems to us that we can say “The world is positive” or “The world is negative” or “It is neutral” or “The world is striped (a black stripe goes after a white one and etc.)”. All these categories are inapplicable to the thing we called “the world”.
And (get far ahead of ourselves) yoga asserts that only when we attain certain higher state in yoga we will be able to cognize the world. In this higher state illusion from maya covering the reality will disappear and we will realize what the world is indeed. It is the higher state in yoga. And in point of fact this is the goal that all yogins aspire for. Only when we attain this goal the higher knowledge of the real world opens to us. There are Yogins and Yoginis who traveled this road, who attained the higher state and cognized what the world was indeed. And right they gave us this knowledge about the world that we will discuss today.
The only thing we can say is that our ordinary conceptions of our world are inapplicable to it as well as our ordinary categories. On the other hand our world is a place of the highly favorable opportunity and realization for us if I may say so. And as Yogins and Yoginis assert when we approximate to comprehension of the world then we will be caught by huge wave of happiness, ecstasy. More precisely put this comprehension of what the world really is will be higher than joy, happiness and ecstasy.
Until we don’t realize it the world is behind the veil of maya. In this time the world may come to us as something positive and as something negative. This may last for a very long time when the bad and the good come alternately. But as the higher yoga knowledge asserts all the things coming to us in this world are only reflections of our actions, aspirations, emotions and expectations.
Mirror of the World
I.e. the world around us is like a mirror in any sense. And this mirror shows our own reflection but with certain lag. Imagine a mirror showing with a lag your own reflection to you. Firstly you made terrible faces (like little children before mirror you know?) but the world didn’t react to this in any way. Then some time has passed and you decided to smile into the mirror but suddenly your first grimace has reflected and you have received it. And now you smile but somebody makes terrible grimaces for you. Then you decide to make terrible faces in reply and some time later this mirror begins to smile at you.
Little by little it leads to mess. Sooner or later you are confused and properly don’t know whether somebody will smile to you from the mirror the next moment or whether he will make terrible grimace or remain neutral. The same analogy can be drawn with the thing called “our world” or “reality”. It is just reflection of us. It is reflection of all our thoughts, aspirations and wills. So the question “What is the world” is the question of different category and from this category is the answer (whether the mirror is kind when we see smiling face or whether it is angry if somebody makes grimaces).
Very often you will meet inveterate pessimists. They tell you that the cost of living is rising again: bread has gone up, petrol has gone up, everything is bad now and everything will be only worse. There are such people. Their behavior is their defense. It is their defense reaction to stress. They will have their say and they will feel better. Somewhere in their heart of hearts they don’t believe in all these grief things because why to live in this world if you believe that everything is grief? If so then you have to die soon. But they aren’t in a hurry to die… If they tell you that the world is horrible and dark place then don’t believe them. They tell you something they don’t know by themselves.
Another situation may happen. For example you faced criminal. I remember at one time in Russia you could go to no decorous public house without seeing unpleasant mug. And I had the impression that entire world was based on criminal, that only criminal mobs are around us. But other times come and these laws change: criminal “families” shoot down each other, i.e. they destroy themselves and someone other comes to their place. This “other” isn’t better or worse then his predecessors. He is just other. And we can’t tell that our world is like radio “chanson”[*].
The First Step in Visualization Yoga: We Don’t Know What the World Is
The world is progressive where there is something “reason, kindness and eternal values”[†]. It is so indeed. But you may be not agreeing with it because you haven’t faced this “kindness and eternal values” in your life. That’s why we can’t say that the world is good, bad or neutral. The world is much more fabulous that we can imagine. And this is the first point we have to consider setting about Visualization Yoga.
We don’t know what the world is. We can discover its laws but we can’t completely understand how they work until we attain the higher state of enlightenment. And again: Yogins and Yoginis who have attained this higher state confirm it.
And immediately the next question appears. Well, the world is very fabulous and all our ideas of it come from our lack of wisdom and inexperience. Sometimes the world seems dull and uninteresting to us. But everything may change literally in a second. These transitions are so strange that they aren’t sometimes dependent on our ordinary logic. You know there is such proverb “Live and learn but you will die fool”. You may believe you are professor of philosophy and know everything about the world. But if you are real professor and have attained higher Samadhi then you will say you know nothing. I.e. and this point we can take as starting point.
So my friends, before being drawn into Visualization Yoga you have to admit that you don’t know what the world is. You were accustomed to something: for example you go to work every day. Sometimes you may be accustomed to something more firm than your boss, subordinates and routine job that you are bored with. You may have pseudo-intuitive knowledge that you know how the world is made. But no, my friends, this is a mistake. You don’t know how the world is made. This is just any very long iterative operation you are simply accustomed to. And this is the key point: everything you know about the world is just your habit.
The next question appears: and what to do with it? If we don’t know what the world is, if all our ideas of the world are just a habit then what do we have to do with all this? Yoga gladly calls us upon studying. Feel yourself like a pioneer at a desert island. Or feel yourself like astronaut landed any enigmatic planet with fantastic little animals and all sorts of secrets. Or to be closer to our life you may imagine you are the greatest scientist on the threshold of any discovery. Or you are a businessman who will discover new way to enrich himself, people and the entire mankind any minute. Imagine you have found new way of organization of production and organization of labor and quite joyful prospects that you will have more than enough money take shape. I.e. you dream about new “Mercedes” and “planes” but these are the last things in importance as compared with these opening unheard-of horizons for self-researching and self-realization.
Yoga calls us upon this attitude towards the surrounding world. You know this should be an attitude as in “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland”. Do you remember there was famous mathematician Lewis Carroll who wrote “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There”? These are very deep works. There is very logical illogicality in these works. They are often cited in physics, mathematics and natural sciences publications for many years. In western countries they estimate importance of one or another research (or scientist) by calculating how often other people quote on it. So by a number of quotations “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” may be ranked with the greatest works in physics, mathematics and so on. Lewis Carroll was able to look at our world in wide-eyed astonishment of a little girl without a habit to perceive it like adults do.
Well on closer inspection of that we call “reality” you will find yourself near in a state of Alice when she traveled in Wonderland. Suddenly you will see that your habit is just cardboard scenery before your eyes and the world hides behind them. From time to time you will be able to find a slot in cardboard scenery and to peep into it. So when you practice yoga your habit to perceive the world will be with you any time. But you will get more opportunities to peep into the slots between scenery and the world there will appear before you absolutely different.
So the next thing absolutely necessary for us if we want to near Visualization Yoga is to reject our expectations that the world will be like we got used to perceive it. I.e. we have a habit and we catch at it. Sometimes we don’t notice small wonders slipping out in our life. That’s why we should demonstrate our readiness for everything. What if they will take big and wonderful pink elephant in the street? I.e. we have to be ready for wonder. Why? That’s because if we have a habit to stay at our ordinary level of perception then we cut it off. And then being faced with pink elephant in the street we won’t be able even to notice it. That’s because if you formed a habit that wonders couldn’t exist then even the presence of wonder you will interpret as something ordinary and thus wipe it off.
Turning aside I will mention such a strange moment in yoga as superabilities. Superabilities are very strange and unusual abilities. They potentially are inside us and the higher nature laws are the reason for them. Yogins and Yoginis don’t like to show them for the simple reason that everybody has an aim that this is not a wonder but magic trick and cheating. They perceive it not like a demonstration of any higher law of nature but like “sleight of hand and no cheating”. And even if you fly in the air in lotus pose above the Red Square they will tell that this is just the next David Copperfield come in Moscow.
Strange as it may seem we formed the aim to see nothing, to hear nothing and pay attention to nothing. We hold fast onto the scenery before us. More over being faced with something that oversteps the limits of this scenery we sooner scare than rejoice. Many people aspire for different kinds of superabilities but when they face them they become scared. Why? That’s because they had usual picture of the world and now they face something different and they don’t know what to expect from it.
So we don’t know what the reality is? But we can suppose to a certain degree how it will turn to us at one or another moment analyzing karma and cause and effect law. In our own words: if you have done anything good then the good will come back to you. If you have done anything bad then the bad will come to you. If you have done anything neutral then the Universe will be neutral for you. If you smile then this smile will come back to you. There was nice animation about little raccoon. It went to a lake, made grimaces and was afraid of its own reflection. Karma works in the same way: if we do anything negative then this negative comes back to us; if we do anything positive then this positive also comes back to us. I.e. this is the law of cause and effect.
We don’t know what our fabulous University which we get used to is. But all the same it shows us light or dark sides according to what actions we have done before. So the next point is that we can forecast to a certain degree what will be in the future. This process is hampered with a fact that we don’t remember all our actions we did in the past or in our previous lives. That’s why we don’t know for sure what will happen in the future when the seeds of our actions will ripen. But we may find certain tendencies and while analyzing it we may understand to a certain degree what we did in our previous lives. For example if we aspire for something then we did it most probably before. If you feel thirst for criminal (there are even such people) then even if you realized that it is bad you did it in the past. I.e. reflection of your previous doings may come to you in the future. But instead of waiting when this negative wave will come back to you you should move in this way to neutralize this potential negative or to get ready for it. Why? That’s because got ready for this negative sometimes we don’t even notice it. Also there are more subtle practices working with this reflection.
Well we can forecast this response of the Universe to a certain degree using this law: as you sow, you shall mow. Our life is a special case of this law. If you cry and offended somebody at your work then the next time when you come to work you will see dissatisfied faces and everyone will be sulky with you. This is very quick tracking of cause and effect. It is more natural for us. But when more time pass we begin to forget what the cause is and what the effect is.
One of the Universe’s qualities is to reflect like a mirror what we sent to it. And the first conclusion comes immediately: it is advisable to sent positive “messages” to the Universe to receive this positive when it comes back. I.e. if we don’t want to live in negative Universe but are forced to live in it then we have to reverse the tendency by our positive “messages” and take the situation to the level we like.
Who Is an Observer?
Let’s do one more digression. Well we spoke about the outside world that sometimes turns its face and sometimes turns its back on us. But what can we say about our inner world? I sit down, close my eyes and the outside world seems to be non-existent. I absorbed in my feelings and emotional experiences. Something happens inside me. Digestion goes. Mentally I feel my hands and legs. I.e. I feel many thoughts and emotions turning inside myself.
Thus we think there is the outside Universe, the outside world and there is our inner Universe. We became clear that we don’t understand whether the outside world is good or bad. Our inner Universe clarifies itself through our body and our sense organs. And really what do we feel about where our body ends? Crystal-clear it ends there where nerve receptors on our skin end. And so two models of the world contradictory at first glance appear: the outside world (we don’t know how it is done) and our inner world. What can we say about our inner world? Our inner world is dependant on things came to us from without in many respects. If something positive came to us then we enjoy ourselves, we are cheerful. We close our eyes and feel ourselves gladly. And on the contrary if something bad came to us we experience negative.
Thus there is world that we can call “the outside world” and there is world that we can call “the inner world”. And a question appears: in what measure the outside world depends on the inner one? Whether our inner world depends on the outside world? Are these two worlds quite different or they are interconnected? And at last who is that observer watching and saying: “This is the inner world and that is the outside world”?
Because you know conception of such observer existence just tells us that even our inner world is outside world against this observer. Here I sit and realize that I’m sick at heart, I feel bad. But I say it from the stand of that who observes. And here we come to the next point: there is a certain observer and we identify ourselves with him. Also there is our inner world of emotions and feelings. We directly connect this inner world with that we call “our body”. And at last there is the outside world and it differs a lot from our body: our body is on its own account and the outside world is on its own account as well. Such model comes out. Imagine a small point in a circle. This point is our observer; circle is our inner world and the space around for ever and ever is our outside world. And how do they connect with each other?
It is quite evident that being faced with something negative from without we tend to become sad but it may not be true. Sometimes there are such situations: everything goes to hell, everything is defeated decisively but we are in any good state and we don’t care about it. I have got a friend. He owns a bank. I don’t remember what the bank crisis in Russia it was in succession but his bank came to ruin, it tumbled down into pieces. Do you know when a plane lands unsuccessfully its tail may fall off or something like this may happen? But its captain is sitting in his chart house; he folded his arms and watching how changeable the things are. My friend was like this captain. He observed with no worry how his very successful bank tumbled down. He even was indescribably delighted with it because he understood how this Universe is done. But he would have to be upset about his bank as its owner. So we don't have to feel bad when negative things happen with us.
What Is Above Is Below As Well
An opposite situation may be: when everything is absolutely wonderful on the outside but we are sick at heart. Our inner world may not be harmonized with the outside world. I.e. things are very strange. And anticipating things to give you an idea of what we will study I will tell you about the certain law. This law is very ancient. It can be traced in different philosophical teachings including even Pythagoreans’ teaching. This is the law of similar in the similar. This are the Hermes Trismegistus’[‡] famous tables about Things above are as they are below. By the way this is an extract from alchemic treatise.
I.e. a thing we call Macrocosmos (that is outside us) and a thing called Microcosmos (that is inside us) are evidently presented there. Or in other words: regardless this dissonance (when everything is bad outside but good inside us or in any other combinations) yoga asserts this law: there is univocal correspondence between processes progressing outside and inside us.
I have one pupil who was studying mathematics refinements. If I’m not mistaken it was complex variables. In this section of mathematics they use to draw certain picture: reference axis and a small circle with radius equal to one. It is supposed in mathematics that each point inside this circle corresponds to any point outside it. More over when mathematicians and physicists raise the question “What to do with the space outside this circle” they resort to a very artful trick. They say: “Let’s do outside point projection into the circle”. They do some manipulations with a point, get any result and then do its reflection outside. Virtually they solve the problem they wouldn’t be able to solve outside.
It is really very good analogy. The more so is because in complex variables part of mathematics there are two coordinates: one of them we can name “energy” and another – “consciousness”. From the yoga axiomatics stand everything splendidly turns out. The point is that we are like this scheme inside us. Each process going inside us finds its reflection in the outside University. Yoga asserts this. As a matter of fact there is no difference between your body and the Universe around you. More over at first glance very mystical conclusion comes out here: if you want to influence something outside and you have no chance to do it then do something inside you that will correspond to what you want to do in the outside. The same you can do inside out. I.e. we get very good instrument to influence our strange reality that we don’t understand.
Strictly speaking we don’t understand what’s happening inside us. And speaking that we don’t understand our external world (whether it is positive, negative or neutral) the same conclusion we can do concerning our inner world. Sometimes there is calmness and gladness in our inner world. Sometimes there is anxiety and uneasiness or just neutral state. And we can’t exactly say what will be there in the next moment. This is for the simple reason that your inner world and your outside world are external for you from the observer (our higher I) stand. That’s why there is no point to separate your “little and fragile” inner world from “big terrible and fierce” external world. Everything is external in respect of our observer or for those who can still determine where the outside world ends and our inner world begins.
So outside world and inner world are not two separate worlds. They are displays of one and the same world. Just by this reason the law of similar in the similar works. Influencing yourself you may get an effect in the outside world. And influencing the outside world you may get an effect your inner world. But once again: both outside and inner worlds are external as regards to what we call “observer” or “our higher I” (as it is said in yoga).
Visualization Yoga Support
Now we went up face to face to the most important point: and why does Visualization Yoga work? What does it rest upon? It just rests upon the observer that our higher I is. It is like a point of rest. Archimedes said about it: “Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth”. There is the same thing in yoga. If you have a point of rest then you will be able to use Visualization Yoga methods. You will be able to use methods of your inner Universe and outside Universe and change them as you like. It means that there is self-consciousness of observer or your higher I.
Further we get to know quite concrete practices where they call you upon feeling different emotions and states in different parts of your body. At first glance you will get absolutely fabulous results in the outside Universe. You will have the impression that the special stress is laid on these or those feelings inside you. But you have to remember that a point of rest is needed for every lever.
Suppose you want to get some heavy object moving. You take a long stick to use it as a lever. But this stick should have one more point of rest besides your hands. Otherwise it will be only useless piece of wood that will make your work heavier. And so what do you do? You put your stick under this heavy object and begin to move it. One stick’s end rests against the ground, second stick’s end rests against this object and third end rests against your hands. I.e. you need certain point of rest because you will do nothing without it. The same situation is in Visualization Yoga that we are going to examine: it is absolutely necessary to have the criterion of observer or higher I. Otherwise you will have nothing to rest upon.
In this context I want to tell you about different kinds of psychedelic, mystical, otherworldly and sectarian teachings. Their exercises also imply having these or those feelings or making some internal actions. You know they are like primitive aboriginal magic? What do I mean by primitive magic? For example you have to draw an elephant and then to pierce it through with a lance then good luck will smile upon you at hunting. Aboriginals did it from one generation to another. And many psychological teachings spread in our days look like this picture of an elephant pierced with a lance. There are so many different kinds of autogenous trainings, self- exhortations and visualizations. But as a rule they all live for a short time until people will create something new. It happens so by the only one reason: all these practices rely on this practice founder’s authority. Until this great psychologist is alive he supports his practice in any way by his authority or just by his existence. But as soon as there is nothing to rest upon by a number of reasons (for example this founder dies) this practice stops working.
The same situation is in Visualization Yoga. You should get well that Visualization Yoga that we will examine is extremely powerful and fabulous instrument. More over as soon as you will face it you will realize that your life only begins. Only a little condition: a point of rest should be there. And this point of rest is your higher I. It is not even the authority of the highest Yogins and Yoginis handed us down this higher knowledge (though his variant is also possible but we will consider it later). It is our higher I in the first place. Without it things won’t begin to move. Do you remember this proverb: “Fine words butter no parsnips”? However much you may visualize cosmic processes we don’t see for some reason that they are reflected into the outside Universe.
Our Higher I Is an Observer
We are going further. Let’s consider the notion of observer. It is clear that speaking about Visualization Yoga we imply that we contemplate something. And without clarifying the notion of observer we won’t clarify ourselves with what to look at.
Speaking about who is observer I will quote the next thing: my friends, observer is a person called in yoga “our higher I” or “Atman”. “Atman” means indivisible in the Greek language (like “an atom”). So we have our higher I which is indivisible. All the outside and inner events are the things that our Atman observes. How does Atman observe them? Atman does it by means of its sense organs. We have sense organs and they give us an idea of the University around us.
Well, my favorite example: here you are sitting at our seminar on Visualization Yoga but are you sure that you aren’t alone now? Let us suppose you have such a strange hallucination: you seem to sit at yoga seminar. More over it seems to you that you are not alone, that there are many people like you here and a man in red clothes talking something sensible. And are you sure this is not your strange hallucination? How can you prove lector’s existence? How can you prove that people sitting around you really exist? Where is any criterion that you don’t deceive yourself? You know sometimes being in strange states we may think up so many different things? Of course you may refer to your sense organs: your eyes see and your ears hear. But imagine that you have very strange hallucination and signals that you receive from your nerves are distorted under the influence of tiredness, sleepiness or anything else. So these signal are distorter before they reach your higher I and show it the real picture of the world.
A very serious question appears here: and how can we recognize the reality and tell the reality from hallucinations? This is very important question indeed. Scientists give the next answer to it: if many people see one and the same thing then it is the reality. But you may say your counter-evidence: may be all these people are just the fruits of my hallucination? May be I just imagine these people confirming my views? And I may imagine any Nobelists who will say that here is a reality. But where is criterion that these Nobelists are not your hallucination?
This is very difficult question for the first glance. But yoga doesn’t consider this division: reality and hallucinations. Yoga escapes this conflict in the next way. Yoga affirms that we should speak not about hallucination and reality as we ordinary see it but about hallucination extent. We can completely get rid of hallucination only when we attain the higher state. But we are still very far from higher states and we can say that we have relative hallucination. Thus the issue of hallucination is withdrawn by itself.
Why it is so? That’s because from out higher I stand there is no difference whether you see “the real” world or the world you thought up for yourself. We have no criteria to prove or to refute what is “the reality”. And as we don’t have these criteria we have to look for the bypasses to work with this “reality” that cannot be proved as well as it cannot be refuted.
Visualization Yoga right gives us the instruments that don’t rest upon external factor (that you can’t prove or refute) and rest only upon internal factor (it is our higher I or observer). Just by this reason Yogin or Yogini has the same attitude towards all situations in their lives. Even if someone thinks you have hallucination then Yogin or Yogini researches his / her states equally thoroughly. They do it regardless other people words because these other people may also be their hallucination. This is very good placing of accents or points of rest in the Universe around us.
Well, using your sense organs you can know about other people presence near you. Without these sense organs you aren’t able to say whether there is somebody near you or not. One more intervening question appears here: and to what extent your sense organs tell you the truth? May be they really can determine whether you are alone or with other people? And what if misrepresentation happens while a signal goes from your sense organs to your higher I? Thus it happens so that we don’t know what our outside world is as well as we don’t know what our inner world is. We have some stable picture of it but we don’t exactly know whether we have hallucination or not because there is no criterion to prove or to refute this picture of the world. And when you realize it you feel that you find yourself face to face with the Universe. Whether there are other people or not… You got used to think that they exist. But you don’t know indeed whether they are or not.
But this is only one part of yoga approach. Another part is the next. Well, you found yourself face to face with the Universe and you always see people and other beings around you. Sometimes they say that you are of sound mind and sometimes they say that you have hallucinations. But you are inclined to trust neither one nor other all the same. Why it is so? That’s because both people saying you are of sound mind and people saying you are crazy may also be your hallucination. You begin to work with this world of reality, hallucinations and imagination and all limits disappear.
How to Tell Hallucinations and Fibs from the Reality?
Well you live not only one life. And one day you begin to realize that hallucinations and reality come to you through train of things: people, events, phenomena, through your work and discharges, through your wives, children and parents, through accidental circumstances and anybody and everybody. But sooner or later you begin to feel some logic (more precisely put - superlogic). You feel that somebody tries to speak with you through all these things. Little by little you feel it more and more clearly until you come to such a strange notion for western people as “the Absolute”.
I.e. you face phantasmagoria of events and objects and you can’t recognize whether they are real or not. But they all line up relative to you and not relative to other people really existing or just thinking up by you. And through the chain of all these things you clearly feel something similar to you speaking with you. And thus you come to the idea of the Absolute. Firstly you just vaguely suspect it, and then you begin to see it more clearly. And then as Yogins and Yoginis affirm you may face the Absolute one on one. And you will feel it to be more real than any other things on the Earth. You will feel the Absolute to be incommensurably more real than all the other things, events and even the professors of philosophy.
Some people are nihilists and some people are idealists – but may be it is just the waves of thoughts on your brain surface. But you know absolutely clear that there is certain reality behind all this. Why do you know it? An approach here is like a contemporary science approach: each theory is verified by practice, by certain experiments. And you begin to find any communication language inside you. When you ask and somebody sensibly answers to you then a dialog appears between you. And you realize that someone you talk to really exists. You feel it regardless what kind of information you receive.
The Absolute Is the Second Point of Rest
And now you have to know about the second point of rest in Visualization Yoga. In your practices and experiments you can rest on someone else that we call “the Absolute”. And who is the Absolute? May be the Absolute is any very intricate law of nature knowing how to speak with us? May be it is any personality (the same slovenly individual as this poor yogin)? May be it is the super-personality, some fabulous “whew”?
But before answering the question “Who is the Absolute?” you have to answer the question “And who are you?” Are you any personality or any law of nature or anything else that is hardly expressible (as our friends-Buddhists comprehend it)? By the way Buddhists have perverted the sense of this term a lot and sometimes they talk nonsense because they departed from their ancient teachers’ doctrine that meant anything quite different by the Absolute. But it doesn't matter at all.
I.e. we need any gradation for our criteria. We won’t touch it because this issue is closer to theoretical yoga. But some moments we already can mention. Sooner or later you will realize that we can not to discriminate between our higher I and the Absolute you talk to. You can say with every reason that they have one and the same nature. In Sanskrit this equality was expressed through so called mantra of consciousness: repeating it for a long time little by little it comes home to you.
Mantra “You Are That”
You know there are mantras that you only have to repeat for a long time. But there are other mantras. Besides their repetition you have to understand their meanings and it doesn't matter what language you speak. In Sanskrit this mantra sounds the next way: “Tatsvamasi” (translated into English it means “You are that”). It is clear that it’s better to translate it into English (if you think in English) if you want to practice it. I.e. “You are that”. “You” is your higher observer seeing your outside and inner worlds. And they imply the Absolute by the word “That”.
Thus two points of rest appears. And what is between them? It is any layer separating so called “our inner world” from “outside world”. More over your inner world and outside world have mutual correspondence: influencing one world you get an effect in another. Here there is one very beautiful mathematical model. I can’t leave to see when responsible people knowing higher mathematics will find any analogy between ancient wisdom come to us from yoga and researches of modern scientists. I suspect this breakthrough will be comparable with the breakthrough of Newton when passed from general words to concrete formulas given mathematical recommendations. But everything is quite bad with mathematics. Actually real mathematics developed in the last 90 years and before this time scientists just tried to pass the desirable for reality. But of course we don’t know how it was in ancient times – may be Pythagoreans new something…
Thus two points of rest appear. Being based on these points of rest we can deal with what we call “outside” or “inner” worlds. We don’t know what our outside world or inner world is. And again we are ready for everything. We let our consciousness feel at ease. We live in a chain of similar days but we are ready for something new, light and interesting not to miss that small chance when we see this chink between two different pictures that we have before our eyes.
Well, we can work in two directions: from within (our higher I) to outside as well as from inner and outside worlds (from the Absolute) towards our inner I. Speaking yoga axiomatics language these two approaches are called “Microcosmos approach” and “Macrocosmos approach”. In yoga axiomatics a lot of conclusions are based on these approaches. A real powerful theory is based on them. As a matter of fact both microcosmos approach and macrocosmos approach rest on certain set of axioms which refer to the certain “original axiom”. This original axiom is otherworldly and beyond logic. We can’t put it into words differently than “You are that”. This axiom takes very shorter form and it is difficult to work with it.
And now we pass to Visualization Yoga. Well, we get an opportunity to influence things that we see outside or feel inside by certain methods, relations and actions. And we can change this layer being between our higher I and the Absolute.
Now I want to make a turn to allow you to catch at our narration logic. The most beautiful thing that only can appear between our higher I and the Absolute while working with our external and inner realities is called Triad in yoga. The highest yoga in this Triad is Amorousness Yoga. Why? That’s because when we are in love this layer between our inner world and outside world is within our power in the most natural way. Being in love we rest upon both our higher I and the Absolute at the same time. I.e. we have two points of rest. And it guarantee us be given everything we want.
Let’s come back and try to explain the same things but from another stand which is closer to our physical body. Well, we cognize the outside world only by our sense organs: eyes, ears, smell, touch and taste (we have five sense organs altogether). What happens further? Each physiologist will tell you that certain nerve impulses go from our sense organs on certain nerve channels and they bring information to our brain. Then our brain analyzes this information and we realize it.
Suppose we left the house and saw something big and pink in the street. Our nerves gave it to our brain and the brain says: “A-a-a, this is the pink elephant”. But how does it know this is pink elephant? It has large card file and all information it compares with its inner data. “Well, what about object form? – Monkey? – No; crocodile? – No; elephant? – yes, it’s elephant”. Do you know it is like any kind of computer? It has matched. “Then, what about object color? – Red? – No; blue? – No; pink? – yes, that’s right”. And now it is the pink elephant. I.e. there are several stages of cognition. Firstly our sense organs highlighted any object, then they gave it to our brain, the brain analyzed it and gave us final result. Our higher I looked at this final picture with a signature “Pink elephant” and we realize it is the pink elephant. I.e. this process goes in stages.
Now we will consider this situation from our body stand. We got our body from ancient times and modern scientists haven’t still rediscovered and interpreted it. Yoga calls our sense organs “indris”. So we have our rough indris (eyes, ears and etc.) and more subtle indris which are principle of sight, principle of hearing and so on. I.e. rough organs are part of subtle organs and only together they work. We can see something when rough organ of sight makes a part of subtle organ of sight. Without either subtle organ or rough organ of sight we don’t see anything. Then these indris (such a good word it is. Generally speaking Sanskrit introduces sometimes certain academicism into exposition. In any case one can show off his intelligence) pass what they perceive to the thing called “manas”. Here I use one of the numerous possible designation systems. Different yoga schools mean very different things by one and the same notion sometimes. And they also may mean the same thing by different notions. I.e. certain confusion often occurs in yoga schools. But now we won’t look into who is right and who is wrong.
For example you are sitting now surrounded with other people and you feel them. All the information from indris passes from rough indris to subtle ones and then it passes from subtle indris to the manas. And what is manas? In European languages it would be named “brain”. But a thing called “brain” in European languages in yoga philosophy is divided into three component parts of brain: one part is called “manas”, other part is called “budhi” and the third one is called “chitta”. Let’s consider them.
So all information gets into manas. Manas works like a good receptionist of a busy boss: she let only necessary people go and makes needless people to wait in turn or doesn’t let them go to boss at all with their small problems. I.e. manas filter all information reaching us. Why does it do it? That’s because if it wouldn’t filter the information then you go off your head. Now you get impulses from the entire Universe: you hear my voice, ventilator buzz or buzz of a fly, you hear somewhere a car passed by, your belly is rumbling and your ear itches, you want to sleep and you want to eat. I.e. a huge information flow pushes forward you. If to let it fully go into your brain then it will be real cacophony and you won’t know what to concentrate at. The manas function is to choose that information channel which is more important as manas thinks it to be. And it thinks it resting on its previous experience. It is very well go with instincts researched by Russian academician Pavlov[§]. If you beat a hare for a long time you will learn it to play even button accordion. And as soon as this hare hears the sound of button accordion it singles it out all the rest sounds.
The same we do. We single the things out which we think to be important and let them go inside. The second level is budhi (I call manas brain number one and budhi – brain number two). I should say you that budhi is an absolutely strange thing. It is done form a certain combination of consciousness and energy and it reproduces an exact copy of information that manas lets in. Suppose you saw a pink elephant. Manas let this information in. And an exact copy of this elephant forms in budhi. It is pink and big-eared as our sense organs said us. I.e. budhi substance takes the exact shape of this elephant by itself.
Then chitta (or the brain number three) highlights this copy in budhi. Roughly speaking the light of our consciousness highlights this object that was created in budhi on the basis of information passed from manas. And when light of consciousness highlights objects in budhi through chitta we can tell about process of cognition. Only at this moment it comes home to your higher I (observer) that you saw pink elephant. These processes go very quickly and automatically: you see something automatically, you classify it using exact copy resting upon information you saw before and then you receive final result to look at.
Well we talked about this pink elephant but whether it is in emptiness? Your indris have perceived some other objects or phenomena. Do you remember one expression from “Elephant and Pug Dog»”[**] fable: “To bark at Elephant this Pug must be a real strong mug!”? At one moment you see a pug dog near a pink elephant. Your brain preserved copy of an elephant and now it gets copy of a pug dog. Then it gets copy of a street. Everything you pay attention at forms its exact copy in budhi. I.e. everything your eyes see is inside your head in miniature. Chitta cognizes only the things being in your head. It does it using their copies in budhi.
And now we come to the quite radical, fundamental and fabulous conclusion that you never saw the reality. You saw only its copy in budhi. And chitta researches it. You don’t know what the world really is. You didn’t simply have an opportunity to look at it. The question whether the world is real or unreal arises with more importance. Why? Suppose you researched very well any object or its exact copy in your budhi. But are you sure nevertheless that your sense organs perceived this object sufficiently and lost no information? Suppose I have weak eyesight and I wear glasses. I wanted to see one thing but I didn’t see it because of my physical sight defect. And the same misrepresentations of information may be at a level of subtle sight principle. So this misrepresented information got into budhi. Do you know it may be like a censor in ancient soviet times: this scene in a movie we will cut off and that scene we will keep; this scene is politically incorrect and we should change it? I.e. we get information and budhi creates its copy. Only one thing we can be sure of is that budhi does well its work.
And a problem appears further: how to recognize what budhi has shaped? Though if you face something you see for the first time then you aren’t able to interpret it. But you have to interpret it and your brain does it by means of comparing this thing with the things it already knows. I.e. imagine this object like a pink space ship: massive space ship standing on four supports with something like a trunk. And you have never seen any pink space ships but you meet pink elephants at every step. So you will interpret this space ship like a pink elephant.
There is another moment here called “substitution”. What is it conditional on? The substitution is conditional on your previous experience and on your karma. Meeting something you get its imprints and you will live your future life resting on these imprints. And it may be so that facing something you have never met you interpret it proceeding from your previous experience.
When you interpret things preceding from your previous experience you miss a lot of information. It is the worst factor from all factors that I have enumerated earlier. Well, your eyes may see badly but you can buy glasses. Well, budhi lost something today but this information may come home to you when you sleep. Do you know about Dream Yoga? Sometimes we see dreams cast over the previous day. But as regards to interpret new things proceeding from your previous experience this is rotten.
Why it so bad? That’s because wrongly interpreting this or that object or phenomenon we make wrong decisions about the way of working with it. Well, here is the same analogy I told you earlier: we should smile but we make grimaces. Or on the contrary it would be better for us to make terrible grimace but we smile. Thus there is an illusion here. It is not enough that we don’t see the real world. More over even the information coming to us we contrive to interpret only proceeding from what we have already faced in our live. But there are so many things we have never faced…
Well, we don’t know what the University outside us is. We don’t know it, we have never seen it. And much more fabulous things go further. We are going to consider them in the second part of our seminar.
The Second Part of the Seminar
Now we pass to the second part of our Visualization Yoga seminar.
We stopped at a very exiting moment that we don’t know the real world. We know all the objects and phenomena only by their copies. And we get these copies when look at object’s “origin” (if it is possible to say so). Here we face the question of attention. More attention we pay to one or another information flow passing through our indris (more we concentrate on it) better copy is created inside our budhi.
The most important thing here is our ability to keep our consciousness on any object. Our consciousness has one very intricate quality: if we direct and keep our consciousness on any object then this object will give us (owner of this consciousness) full information about itself. I.e. cognition process goes the next way: we don’t know the outside world with its objects. We only know an exact copy of any object formed on the surface of our brain. Then our consciousness concentrates and keeps on any object. If we can concentrate our attention on any object for a long time then this process is called meditation or sannyama process. Longer we keep our attention on any object more information about it we get. I.e. we get the knowledge. Knowledge is the process of information extraction. This is consciousness’ prerogative.
But there are huge amount of these copies on our brain surface (in budhi). Our consciousness jumps from one object to another using chitta. So we get certain confusion and we can’t keep our consciousness on one object for a long time. This is one more factor muddling us. We don’t have time to get information from these copies. And as we said above it is not even known whether this is the copy of considering object or any other copy of any object looking very similar that we saw before.
There are so many moments when we loose information and don’t understand what we really see. It concerns all people including you and me. Copies of what we see and hear form in our budhi on the grounds of where we look and what we hear. Chitta considers every copy formed in budhi. Chitta stops at each of them in a fraction of a second and then it jumps further and further and further. Doing like this chitta has time to go over all copies. Processors in up-to-day computers work in the same way. Every processor does only one operation per stroke. But it does it very quickly and makes an impression that it does all operations simultaneously: processes data to display information or picture, reads whether you push a key or not, reads whether you do mouseclick or not and so on.
Chitta works like this processor. Chitta jumps very quickly from one copy to other one and so on and thus it makes the round of them all. Chitta look round everything we need. Some copies it looks round more quickly and others it looks round longer. Why? That’s because we may think about something but suddenly our stomach began to ache. Even if we keep on with something very much and our stomach ache is on the background then our observer notes it all the same. We behave depending on what we have perceived and how we have interpreted it. But as you understand this object (or phenomenon) is in constant motion. Everything is always in change. We get certain response on this object in accordance with how we recognize it. We behave depending on this response, i.e. we send proper impulses to .
Sense and Operation Organs
I remind you that yoga divides all organs into sense organs (by means of them we perceive the world) and operation organs (they make us behave in any way). Inside us this interpretation goes on the grounds of our previous experience and karma. And if we saw the exact copy of wolf going to eat us in our budhi then of course we will give instructions to escape from this place as far as possible to our operation organs. On the contrary if we see pink elephant then we may stop and give directions to be open-mouthed with astonishment and to our eyes to become rounded.
Of course I recount you everything in the very simplified way but our brain functions in this way. From Visualization Yoga stand our brain functioning interests us because of the next reason. Conception of reality or unreality boils down to brain or budhi action. And all the other sense organs become subordinate from budhi in this chain. Budhi creates copies of what sense organs tell him. And I remind you there is manas between sense organs and budhi. Manas cuts off or admits information. But in any case our brain (these three brains: manas, budhi and chitta) predominates over other organs. I.e. everything boils down to brain games.
And now imagine the next situation. Suppose your sense organs show you the surrounding world and you have its copy in budhi. But you know you have one more interesting ability and it is imagination. I.e. you can imagine any picture at the same time. And what happens then? You have one picture formed under the influence of your sense organs. But another picture that you created by means of your imagination (or your visualization) is superimposed on the first one. I.e. you visualized another picture inside you. And now you have two pictures. Which of them is more real? And which is less real? They both are equally real from the formal point of view because they don’t differ for chitta (i.e. for our higher I) researching them.
And here we face the first Visualization Yoga explanation: we can influence our reality through our imagination. The reason of this is that reality boiled down to its exact copy in our budhi. And then (as to the law of similar in the similar) these two pictures coexist with each other. They may conflict or on the contrary they may heighten each other. And of course the strongest of them will win, i.e. it is that picture you will show preference to.
Let’s repeat: we don’t know what the world around us is. We get echoes from the world around through our sense organs. These echoes were formed by our previous actions. I.e. we perceive something and undertook some actions. In some time echoes from our previous actions came to us, passed through our sense organs and we got them again, analyzed them and undertook new actions thus kicking that situation. In due course we are misled in this confusion. We don’t know whether we kick (give a signal) to the outside or not because the world is limited for us by our sense organs. We even don’t know what this world is. And we even don’t know whether the world really exists. The most intricate thing is that this question whether the world exists or not doesn’t arise at all. What does it matter for us?
You begin to work without answering this question: whether the world is real or not. I.e. we sidestep this conflict between idealist and materialist in the very refined way. And yoga doesn’t answer this question. You may think that it is material if you like. Or if you like to think that it is ideal then you may think so. What is the difference? The difference is in the results. If it is easier for you to analyze these or those life situations from the materiality stand then solve your problems from this stand. If it is easier for you to consider them from the idealness stand then act in this way. But in so doing you should always remember that we don’t know what the world around us is indeed.
And it happens so that we sent impulses to the Universe. They went away and now their echoes come back to us. Our sense organs form copies on the grounds of these echoes as our previous actions consequences. More over we interpret these copies from the stand of our previous experience. Everything taken together is called your karmic situation. You see something, hear something, feel and smell something and we interpret this information in some way. You should understand that everything you see, hear, feel or smell you formed by yourself. And even your interpretation is also conditional with your previous actions.
But you can use your imagination power to influence this exclusive circle. Suppose that this exclusive circle pulls you into more and more grievous situation. And you have an opportunity to break away from this exclusive circle; you may change your interpretation of the impulses you get. Let’s finish with theory. We are interested in practice. But before we touch practice I will tell you one more small but fabulous conclusion that yoga gives us. It is connection imagination with mantra. It gives us truly unreservedly powerful instrument in our hands.
Form and Name
Well, we said that the exact object’s or phenomenon’s copy is created in our budhi. And it is true. But yoga tells us one technical nuance here – inner budhi language. Imagine you look at a picture of your friends on the monitor. You see picture but for computer it is only set of one and zero figures written in conforming sequence. In the same way budhi has its own inner language. And when budhi receives any signal on its language it forms the exact copy relying on this signal.
Well, my friends please make this fundamental part of yoga knowledge feel welcome. On the Sanskrit it is called “Nama and Rupa” and it affirms inseparability of form and name. Each form has its name and each name has its form and they unambiguously coincide with each other. What is a name? It is a certain vibration. We perceive it like sound vibration. Somebody cries to us: “Vasja, come here” and air vibrations reach us. If we draw a diagram it will be pressure vibrations. And then this diagram, sound color reaches our ears and our ears perceive these vibrations. Nerve endings pass this signal to more subtle levels but now we won’t speak about them. Sooner or later we realize that they called any “Vasja”. We understand that any form is found behind any name. But this is for the outside Universe. As regards to our inner Universe there is quite monosemantic correspondence with each vibration passing inside our budhi or on its surface. This vibration unambiguously corresponds to the exact object’s copy formed in budhi. Once again it looks like every digital picture at a monitor: it is just a set of one and zero figures written in conforming sequence.
Budhi works in the same way. There is certain sequence of signs describing the exact object’s copy represented in budhi. Or in a different way there is any initial language. This parent language is the same for everyone having budhi. By the way the superability to understand all languages that are and will be including birds’ and animals’ languages comes from here. Sparrow’s chirping for example is perceived equally in budhi of all live beings. But that's unrealistic, that’s from myths and fantasy surrounding yoga.
As soon as manas lets this or that information from sense organs pass this information forms a vibration and this vibration is that exact copy that we have in budhi. I.e. we observe inseparability of name and form. And this is very powerful instrument in our work. Knowing the name and saying it we create its picture in budhi at least for a fraction of a second. And this picture may compete with other pictures that we receive from the surrounding Universe. I.e. we contemplate or perceive ourselves in one or another situation. And this situation makes us to take some measures (that may be frequently wrong). But we can visualize situation that we want and thus we emboss needless situation with necessary one. These two pictures begin to conflict in your brain. And the strongest wins. So you send to the surrounding Universe the impulse you imposed with your will. And the Universe begins to change accordingly to your will. Such an intricate connective happens. It is very good if we support our visualization with mantra. Thus we don’t allow this bad situation to unfold. Strange as it may seem we can rearrange our Universe governing these or those pictures with our imagination and supporting our visualization with mantras, yantras and so on.
So the Visualization Yoga theory is really fabulous. If you need one or another thing or phenomenon then you may provoke its appearance in the surrounding world mantra reiteration. This mantra creates picture in your mind and this picture influences all the rest in its turn. So the Universe adapts to you. Of course everything is more complicated than I tell you now. But my task is to give you practical moments and not pure theory. Everything is all right with theory but it requires deeper studying.
And now let’s consider the same things from the third side.
Visualization Yoga from the Yoga Axiomatics Stand
Here I will refer to other parts of yoga knowledge. Well, according to yoga axiomatics everyone has that we call “freedom”. This freedom is quite and it went to us from the Absolute. We create the Universe where we live by our displays and nobody impose anything to us. Everything we see around us we formed by ourselves with our will. We were forming our Universe long and hard from one life to another. Every our will came true. And thus you created the world where you live now. This world seems to you to be stable and firm because you formed it for a very long time no matter what. And we get accustomed to this stability and firmness. Why do we do so? That’s because we willed our world to be firm and stable for too long time. We may will something exactly the opposite. Then these two tendencies begin to fight with each other but sooner or later the last tendency will win. But it requires enough time.
According to yoga knowledge you may reconstruct your own Universe as you want. This is built in our higher I’s freedom. We live in one and the same place in one time, we obey to one and the same laws. But this fact indicates only that in the past we thought approximately equally, we acted equally and thought up something approximately equal. Each of us has small differences but the fundamental universe’s laws are the same for us. We created such conditions that brought us together here. In this sense we have the same karma. In the past we acted approximately in the same way and so now we live in the world with the same laws for us.
But we don’t know what the Universe is indeed. We don’t know whether there are other creatures that made the Universe with different laws and live in it side by side rejoicing or suffering. But the fact remains: everything you see around you you have created by yourselves. And if you want now to create something quite opposite you may do. And visualization helps you to directly see what you want to have in your Universe.
In any sense you are a sculptor. This sculptor has a big clay clod. He saw one picture as a worker snatches a stone. I forgot how this sculpture is called: a very handsome embittered worker pulls out a stone from the cobbled roadway to hurl it into the enemies. Well this sculptor has sculpted it. And then he sees by his inner view that everything in this sculptor should be different and he changes it. Do you remember the cartoon “Plasticine crow”[††] - one, two, three and something quite different has appeared? So why has it appeared? Sculptor works with his hands. But it’s enough for us just to desire. Our will is the most powerful instrument and energy, consciousness and everything else in the world adapt to it. Our freedom is unlimited, our displays are colossal and thus we can create what we want. And you have to clearly understand what you want to give the order to your will. As you understand an order is an order. Saying “A step ahead and two steps back” you only dangle hither and thither. That’s why you should will something definite and will it for a long enough time.
To Will Something Definite and Will It for a Long Enough Time
If you will give a definite order for a long time then you will create what you want to see. And it will keep existing until you will be tired of it. In this sense Visualization Yoga works directly with your will. You see terrible world. You understand that you don’t like it. That won't wash! On the other hand you realize that this is your karma, that you have created by yourselves everything you see around you (including down-and-outs, criminals and everything you don’t like). You understand that directly or not you took a hand in all these sorrow things. In any case now you have what you have merited. If you don’t like it you have to use your will to dispose of it.
You have to give a definite order. And you begin to actively visualize the world you would like to live in. Longer you visualize this new world more it superimposes the world you have done before. In due course previous world loses ground and the world that you visualize takes up predominating position. I.e. you can change the reality around you by your will only.
Visualization Is Your Universe Reconstruction Draft
I won’t continue this topic because I can give you a lot of Visualization Yoga analyses from different stands. But I’m interested in practice in the first place.
There is such a statement in yoga: as a matter of fact your visualization doesn’t differ from surrounding reality or it has no difference with the outside and inner world. And one has to know how to use it. All our visualizations separate in two parts: 1) visualizations touching the outside world and 2) visualizations touching our inner world (though as you remember both these worlds are external in respect of our higher I). Using visualization you reconstruct everything at what you concentrate your visualization. The point is: for how long you keep your visualization and how intensively? Longer and stronger is your visualization more powerful result you get.
Our higher I has a display called “prana”. Exactly our prana has created the world where we live and exactly our prana can reconstruct it. But prana has to know what to do and how to do it. I.e. it needs certain draft or plan. And your visualization is just this plan or draft in compliance with that your prana will reconstruct the world. Thus we see that we need our visualization plan and prana (display of your initial power). Of course the best variant is when we have a lot of prana and definite visualization. Then everything is a great success. But we didn’t still know how to concentrate and keep our consciousness at one picture. That’s because our visualization is not so definite and the result is worse. Or another situation may be when we have definite and strong visualization but a lack of prana – then the result is also weaker.
So speaking about Visualization Yoga we have to work in both these directions: definite visualization and enough prana.
Asceticism Is a Source of Prana
So we have to release prana. But where can we take it? From the formal point of view practicing ordinary yogas (Hatha Yoga, Krija Yoga, Pranayama Yoga, Mantra Yoga and so on) you get a lot of prana one way or another. And then you may use this prana in visualization.
There is one more way to release prana and it is asceticism. Your prana may flow away to numerous wishes by associative relations you can’t always control. Realizing it you begin to reasonably stint yourself in everything to remain your prana and not to let it flow away on your numerous wishes and accidental actions as in holes.
You accumulate prana, and then add visualization and thus everything that you planed comes true. In ancient India there was one very popular strategy using if person wanted something but it wouldn't came to him. Then yogin or yogini retired into the jungle, into the places empty of people. They practiced there and visualized what they wanted to get. Sometimes they got an incident: they wanted, visualized and received what they wanted. And then they realized that they wanted something different indeed… But where were they to go then?
The worse situation was when the asuras practiced asceticism. According to Indian mythology asuras are the demonic creatures. In their interpretation asuras were very active but spiritually deprived creatures. They wanted power and money. They wished to rule all over the world, they depressed people and didn’t even suspect any spiritual things. All Indian eposes tell that using asceticism even the asuras acquired might and thus came into power.
And all the same this might has interpretation that there is this might in everyone. Until you believe there are creatures you may govern and depress you may dream about your own power. But as soon as you are face to face with the Absolute you realize that there is no one you may rule. What the might you can speak about? This question is removed from the agenda by itself. Strange as it may seem just in this moment you receive the real might.
But let’s return to our theme. Well we need prana in the first place and our habit to visualize (or to will) what we would like to see. That’s why on the other hand we may call Visualization Yoga “practical will”. And what will this “practical will” rest upon? It will rest only upon our will: “I want to be like this and that’s all”. In other words it will rest upon our higher I.
If you attained the state (we have just mentioned it) when you see the Absolute behind all people, objects, things and events taking place then your visualization works even in this case. Your powerful visualization and address to the Absolute lead to the situation when changes pass from the Absolute stand and you are as if this is none of your doing. I.e. you rest upon your higher I or you rest upon the Absolute. “In the name of your higher I” or “in the name of the Absolute” as they would say it in ancient times. They are both the real sources of power. And also you need definite visualization of what you would like to do with this power.
What Is the Visualization Process?
And in any case what did everything boil down? Everything boiled down to visualization. You have to know how to visualize. And what is the visualization process? For example today before our seminar we visualized making of the defence field. Whether it is our imagination game? – Yes, it looks like imagination game. Or whether this is real practice? – Yes, it looks like real practice. In truth making of the defence field is one of the most impressive examples of visualization. We just perform any scenario very clearly and definitely. More we perform this scenario more our concentration extant is and thus more prana we get. I.e. with more feel we get involved into some process more we connect to the source of power and thus more influence the final result. As you remember “like father, like son” or “apple tree is determined by its apples”. So criterion of each visualization is the result that sooner or later you receive using Visualization Yoga. That’s why if we persistently practice making of defence field for a long time then you will succeed in it more and more from time to time. And this practice will act as if it would be any ordinary power in the Universe.
I won’t touch here the nature of this process. Yoga is above this analyze. Do you remember the scientists saying that there are only four interaction forces: weak interaction, strong interaction, gravitational interaction and electromagnetic interaction? Scientists admit no more energy (bioenergies, different energy flows and so on). They are honest people and they don’t say about the things they don’t know.
But yoga operates with the thing called “prana”. Prana may prove itself as Consciousness and as Energy (or differently as certain parent energy). In real world prana reflects according to consciousness needs. It may prove as any kind of concrete physical energy (electromagnetic, gravitational, weak or strong interaction). Prana may instantly turn into one or another, third or fourth kind of energy. Using technical instruments we only can register any kind of energy but we can’t see where it appears from or what it turns into this energy from.
Let’s consider more practical view. We all have our physical bodies. They are made somehow. And yoga tells us that they are imperfect though human bodies are the most perfect as compared with all other live beings existing in the Universe. Human body is the limit of development of all principles built in Universe organization. I mean that one animal is short of mind, other animal is short of sense of smell or touch. But even in human body these principles are presented imperfectly, they aren’t polished, they are in embryo sometimes. For example there are people with well developed brain but there are people with undeveloped brain as well.
Channels, Chakras and the Central Channel
Yoga calls us upon to polish our displays, our sense organs and our brain in the first place. Furthermore yoga says that what we call “our body” is not one body but a group of several bodies. These bodies are pierced with numerous channels called “Nadis”. Prana circulates through these channels and thus fastens our bodies together.
These channels “Nadis” interlace in big knots called “Chakras” or “Lotuses”. These chakras, lotuses and interlacements are pierced with the Central channel (Sushumna channel). Sushumna separates our initial Energy (Kundalini energy) from Consciousness. Our consciousness concentrates in the crown of our head. Sometimes they show it as lotus with thousand of petals. In treatise “Anandalahari” it is shown as a place flooded with light but there is no source of this light, i.e. it appears from nowhere.
This structure is a certain skeleton of how we developed and formed our bodies in the past. Something we worked better and something – worse, something we have only in embryo. More over we had time to soil some channels and centers through our actions. On the one hand we can find this dirty and clean our nadis by trial and error method. But it requires too much time.
We wish to go further using yoga methods. And ancient Yogins and Yoginis gave us the present. It is visualization of perfect body. Using this visualization right now we can create our perfect body that we would received in millions of lives. Of course we would come to this visualization by ourselves but we would need many-many lives for it.
I.e. having certain visualization or meditation we can dramatically speed up our spiritual development. There are such visualizations that help us totally reconstruct our inner world and further we will touch them.
Visualization Yoga and the Real World
We all live in real world. Someone likes it and someone doesn’t. Sometimes I just snatch at my head when realize what I have done. Do you remember the movie “Kidnapping, Caucasian Style”[‡‡]: “Well… did I also ruin the chapel?” – “No. It was ruined as far back as thirteenth century”. And when I switch on TV I think whether this was I thought up this TV, news and all the obscenities around us. Is that really was I?
Of course it is difficult to admit yourself guilty. But on the other hand there's no getting away from yoga axiomatics. And who could think it up for you? In this case everything tumbles down. Surrounding world seems to be not very joyous to us. Yoga gives us this present, i.e. visualization helping us to reconstruct our world as Yogins and Yoginis who attained the highest spiritual picks saw it. Of course sooner or later we will get closer to this world by ourselves.
It is very strange theme indeed. It is the subject of different fairy tales and myths about the mankind’s Golden Age. But not every people may understand that the past is not quite the past. The past is the past for those who have done it but it is future for us. All the inspiring works about people living in peace and harmony, in agreement and love come to us from Yogins and Yoginis gave us these mediations. I.e. if people began to meditate in this way then little by little they reconstructed their world where they lived. And more over they got tendency to meet people thinking like them. So if you begin to reconstruct your own Universe then you will get into the field of congenial souls, into the field of people going the same road as you do. Thus myths about fairylands where yogins and yoginis live in quite harmony appear. Why? That’s because this was absolutely real.
On the other hand visualization gives us an aim to seek to. All humanistic ideas that the mankind has ever know are the echoes of ancient Yogins and Yoginis teachings. They leave our world because they have nothing to do here any more and they just vacate the place… Read for example Plato’s treatises devoted to Atlantida. Atlantida’s social order Plato considered to be the most refined among other people living orders. Or familiarize yourself with works of medieval philosophers who dreamed about something higher and inspiring. Remember all numerous religious doctrines about the kingdom of heaven or different insights of the first scientists, humanists and encyclopaedists. Frenchmen in times of the French Revolution, member of the "Narodnaya Volya" (did you learn Russian history?) and more over even the terrorists-revolutionaries what did they all fight for? They fought for their ideal world image. All humanistic ideas are the echoes of visualization of the world that should be. And they aren’t always inoffensive. For example sometimes they try to embody Saint-Simon as not quite reasonable person flying in his empirisms…
But there is nothing more real then Visualization Yoga if to analyze it from the yoga stands. All the other forces in the Universe adapt to our visualizations. Visualization is a choice of your will. Sometimes they call the Earth “the big stratification factory”. They send no matter whom on the Earth and look how each person behaves. If this person has an inclination for the spirituality then they put him into one side. And if that person is interested in criminal then they put him into other side and so on. It is like the railroad network: one train is assorted to go up and other is assorted to go down...
They should to assort people. But how to do it? They can do it using people’s visualizations: you live in the world that you see. I.e. principle of freedom fully remains here. But at the same time people have power and every idea about future may inspire you to visualize ideal world that someone thought up. Read for example Ivan Yefremov[§§], The brothers Strugatsky[***] or some modern science-fiction writers and like it or not you begin to visualize what they though up. “Right” visualization raises you very high in your spiritual development but “wrong” visualization makes you circle though I can’t say that it injure you. But on the other hand he who lies down with dogs, gets up with fleas. That’s why communicate with romantic people believing in inspiring future. Why? That’s because of their faith in good future they visualize better world and thus reconstruct the world around.
But pay your attention that you shouldn’t repeat the mistakes for that mankind paid with a sea of blood. Remember idea of communism. It was nice idea but people forgot about the first, second and third yoga principles. They began to introduce it under constraint. But violence always engenders violence. As a result everything has broken down. It was so in France in times of French Revolution. It was so in Russia.
Mankind is doomed to invent the visualization that allows it to develop. Otherwise history will simply wipe us off the face of the earth: we will create laws that will be against ourselves, i.e. we will create the hell and thus destroy ourselves. Such a nuance it is.
Visualization may be inner or outside. Both these visualizations are absolutely necessary by the reason that they are connected with each other. Using inner visualization we reconstruct our outside world. And visualization in the outside world unintentionally reconstructs our organism.
Conjugation of Visualization with the Real World
There are people coming easily with inner visualizations but they hardly cope with external visualizations. It is possible to compensate one with another. But there is one more very serious thing in Visualization Yoga and it is conjugation of visualization with the reality. This is absolutely critical point.
Imagine your new visualization as a locomotive and real world that you already have as railway carriages. The coupling is needed to let locomotive haul carriages. And without this coupling all your visualizations will turn into “Manilov’s plans”. Do you remember in Gogol’s[†††] “Dead Souls”[‡‡‡] there was such an interesting character Manilov[§§§] who always said: “My dear, it would be a good thing… to build a bridge…”?
Visualization Yoga is not yoga for the seekers alienated from the real world (as Manilov we told before). There are so many such alienated seekers now. Sometimes such seeker comes to be a student of our Open Yoga University and I ask him: “How do you help the mankind?” And he answers me that he visualizes happiness for the entire mankind. But I wonder whether somebody knows about him, whether he made himself known anyhow. I ask him: “Have you done anything real in your life to let people know at least what the happiness as you imagine it is?” But he doesn’t understand me: “And what for? We should only visualize and everything will happen by itself”.
But this is a little bit conceited point of view. It may be possible when we become enlightened Yogins and Yoginis and there is no difference between will and fulfilment of our wishes. But we have to strive for it for a very long time. And the main idea is that we shouldn’t become visionaries doing nothing except dream. And you may ask me: “And who are those dreamers created their shell in lived in it?” And I will reply you that they are all ordinary people. All the ordinary people live right in their shells. They use methods of visualization and think up their own world (or their own Universe as they believe) but they don’t raise a finger to join their visualization with the real world.
That’s why if you visualize anything then as far as one can you have to make even the smallest thing immediately come true. I.e. you should do any rite, you should do something real. If you believe that everyone should be happy and you get an opportunity to make one person happy then do it, make him happy! And then your abstract (at first glance) views will be coupled with the reality and change the world. So you need couplings between the world in your visualizations and the real one that already exists.
That’s why you will get no result without hard work on implementation things that you visualize. Suppose you decided to improve the mankind. Well do something real! Though nail into the wall for the good of all the live beings. If you don’t have an opportunity to do something real then try to compensate it somehow. For example ancient yogins and yoginis in India and Tibet had no possibilities to help people. But they sat in the mountains, visualized and in addition they created any mandala of sand or accomplished any fire rite. I.e. they did at least something real; they changed at least something though in ritual form. Do at least something real. Make your visualization to be real and not only games of your brain and fantasies.
As a matter of fact all the ancient rites that you may see in different religious systems sprang up from there. You have to enter the church and to light a candle or to do something else. I.e. it takes more than mental and you have to do something physical in addition. If you don’t have an opportunity to do real good for somebody then do though hypothetical good for them.
Do Something Real
Usually in each religion there is a list of activities you have to do. For example in the first new moon of spring pick any leaf and do these and those actions with it. The same thing touches inner visualization. If you want to reconstruct your body as you wish it to be but don’t raise a finger to practice Hatha Yoga or Krija Yoga then you don’t have a coupling and your visualization stops working. You turn into the average man daydreaming and being lost in reverie. And then severe reality intrudes upon and destroys their small worlds. And this is the next local tragedy... And well to avoid such local tragedies using visualization you have to use it from the very begging up to end. Thus if you have even the smallest opportunity to do something in reality then you have to do it. You live in material world and you need this matter to consolidate things that you visualize in subtle world. So the matter here is like a nail that everything will be held up by.
But let’s return to inner visualization. We are all men and women. But in previous lives we may had different sex. We all have different bodies. Somebody is thin and somebody is well-fed. Somebody has one peculiarity and somebody has other peculiarities but in their previous lives they might do quite different things. And all these peculiarities are the factors of minor importance. There is certain hierarchy in the factors that are more or less important for us during all our lives. And we should begin our visualization from the initial things that were common for us in all our lives.
Visualization Begins from the Central Channel
There is certain visualization construction hierarchy for your Microcosmos or Macrocosmos. Ancient yoga teachings started visualizations from so called Central channel. It is the most fundamental structure of our display in this Universe.
Well, our higher I is otherworldly and the notion of form isn’t applicable for it. Our higher I is higher than notion of form and that’s why visualization is inapplicable for it. But our higher I displays itself through its forms. In particular it displays itself through our bodies: physical, subtle and causal. And we can work with these forms.
The first our structure is the Central channel that separated our energy from consciousness. After this separation our consciousness retained in the field of crown of our head and our energy (Kundalini energy) retained in the base of our body. They are connected to each other by Sushumna channel, the first and main channel. All the other channels and centers appeared after it. And just these secondary and insignificant small channels formed those distinctive features telling a man from a woman or in particular one man from another and one woman from another. I.e. the Central channel is more fundamental thing than all later smaller channels.
And our meditation begins from the most important thing. It is visualization on our Central channel. We don’t approach to the center from the borders though such method is also used sometimes. Speaking about the fast methods we capture enemy headquarters at first and then subdue its forces and “ignorance army” (I remind you that we struggle against nothing but ignorance).
Thus we make visualization on our Central channel. Then we begin to draw the details of our displays base. I mean energy and consciousness here. May be only a very lazy person doesn’t write books about Kundalini energy. Very often people write quite nonsense. Their books are just up-to-day inventions. The problem is that very often people being unaware of Kundalini energy and even unfelt it write about it. But how can they write about something they don’t feel? You can feel Kundalini energy not until you discover it. And you can discover it not until you travel a very long yoga road. And this road required time…
Well we are given visualization on the base of our body with certain details going further. These details may be different from one school to another but the essence remains the same: there is the Earth principle and Kundalini energy is there convoluted as a snake or a dragon. I.e. everything starts from a very simple thing like a child toy. We approximately begin to realize what is there though we do not know beans about whether there is real Kundalini energy or it is just a Hindu’s idea. But strange as it may seem we are shown the place where to dig to unearth hidden treasure. Otherwise we should dig all around the Earth to find this hidden treasure. But they said to us: “Dig here” and thus they save on our time. If we use this visualization then in due course we grope for our Kundalini energy. Not to miss the mark we are given concrete advises what we should feel. And once again: we may feel real echo during our visualization or we may visualize that we feel it.
Visualization Yoga begins from visualizations and meditations on our Central channel, on Kundalini energy and our consciousness, on all numerous intermediate centers and chakras. And I will repeat myself: things are different in different yoga schools. Some schools lay special stress on any abstraction: to see any triangle, any letter or anything else you like having certain color and form. Some schools lay stress on sensory perception: for example to see any city inside your heart. There is a throne in this city where the ruler is sitting. His spouse is sitting near him and all his subjects are staying and rejoicing around them. And as a matter of fact this is also meditation method but in more beautiful words.
There is a certain succession of visualization: the Central channel -> energy and consciousness -> right and left channels -> numerous centers and their offshoots forming our bodies. All these offshoots are very useful things in definite stages in your life but the main things are energy, consciousness and the Central channel. There will be a moment when you will be able to create your bodies using only them. That’s why very often especially in Tantric schools they call us upon meditation on ourselves like on form empty on the inside. Imagine yourself as a toy blown of plastic: it has a form but it is empty on the inside. There is energy in the base of your body and there is consciousness in the crown of your head. And the Central channel pierces through the entire structure. Strictly speaking this is our bodies higher display and it is enough for our bodies functioning. I.e. this is the ideal that we will build just before our enlightenment. Then only the Central channel, energy and consciousness will remain and all other numerous centers, channels and chakras we will dissolve in these or those meditations.
But there are many other visualizations and meditations more detailed. They are used when we have a task to get one or another our body’s quality. More concrete task we have more detailed meditation we should use. So you imagine empty body with the Central channel but you should add to it some chakras for example. Meditating on them you will get some specific quality or characteristics. And this is the main body of numerous Visualization Yogas. Wishing to get any ability or superability you should meditate on certain center seeing any letters, deities or just some beautiful flowers (lotuses). There are a lot of such visualizations and they are adjusted to one or another needs. But bear in mind that the main structure rests the same.
Reconstruction of a Habitual Form
The next very important moment is to reconstruct the form you got accustomed to. For example you see yourself as a courageous man or a slender, graceful and concupiscent girl. But this is only form that you have created. And you can create more perfect form. If you visualize yourself like you would like to be then you begin to work with your form and thus reconstruct your appearance. And just as you do every visualization here you should rest upon your Central channel, energy center and consciousness center (and as a matter of fact everything is rested upon our higher I).
Working with channels and centers you change your inner structure and it is especially necessary for the third yoga principle realization. Why is it? That’s because we are full of our prana snares and diseases sources where flows of prana conflict with each other engendering pain. But in your visualizations you dissolve your body and that’s all – you don’t exist any more. And then you visualize your new body as you want it to be.
But you shouldn’t get attached to your form. According Visualization Yoga knowledge there are a whole number of forms which you should observe. You may visualize yourself to be a bird, a stone, a house and anything else you like. I.e. these are certain steps allowing you to work out some visualizations. What do you need it for? As soon as you stop clutching at your previous form you will be able to easier transform it. I.e. you create any shape and this shape helps you to quicker get rid of your hitches and ideas about yourselves.
Unfortunately we got accustomed to believe ourselves to be somebody. We would change ourselves easily without this habit to believe ourselves to be those people that we got accustomed to believe ourselves. We have to know how to change visualizations of ourselves. Who are you? Little children like this game very much: they imagine themselves to be sometimes a king sometimes somebody else, sometimes they play a horse and sometimes they play something else. I.e. they get into the role very quickly.
Generally speaking there is an occupation very close to Visualization Yoga. As you can guess it is theatre arts. If any actor arouses your interest then it means that he came very close to this art. Unfortunately actors’ level of excellence has gone down in the last time. As regards myself I can’t watch the majority of modern films. It is felt that an actor wants to say one thing but his visual ideas of himself show quite different things. Every actor is good in criminal roles where they need fight, shoot and kill people. And he does it whole-hearted as they say. But he can’t play more complicated character. Why? That’s because he clutches at his ideas of himself.
Evil tongues say that even Stanislavski[****] created his famous “Stanislavski's system”[††††] not without yoga that he took a great interest to. He researched a process of how actors got the feel of their roles. It happens from afar and very unnoticeably. But little by little the actors give a subtle portrayal of their future images through some attributes, way of thoughts and etc. And thus they formed personage’s character. Stanislavski didn’t idolize his system by himself but believed it to be any intermediate system. But nevertheless this system was canonized later.
Visualization: Imagine Yourself of an Opposite Sex
Well. Let’s return to our theme. Sometimes inner visualizations may be very strange. For example in some yoga schools a person had to visualize himself having many arms for getting certain superabilities. You must have seen Indian deities pictures where they were painted with numerous arms (for example multiarmed Shiva and so on). It looks like any extraterrestrial fantasy in different forms.
And at last the next very serious step in Visualization Yoga is to connect you with an opposite sex. Why it is so? That’s because the soul is sexless. And strange as it may seem when we clutch at ourselves as a man or a woman we block our capacity to change ourselves to a certain degree. That’s why in numerous Visualization Yoga practices yogin or yogini has to visualize himself or herself as a person of an opposite sex. And in some Tantric practices they should fully get the feel of their new shape right up to the smallest anatomical details.
Why do they have to visualize so? In this life you are a man but in previous life you might be a woman and your soul is sexless. And you have to cognize all our organization laws in all their aspects. Otherwise you will get stuck in your spiritual development. Of course if you are a woman you should visualize yourself as a man and if you are a man you should visualize yourself as a woman. But both men and women may be very different and you may choose different character types for yourself. And thus you start any phantasmagoric scenario when you create your bodies. Of course this is only in your imagination and in outward appearance you remain a man or a woman with your own nature. But if you want to develop any quality of your character then you should visualize it and thus you help it to prove.
This creative visualization was very popular in western psychological circles. But as many other innovations it all came to nothing. Why? That’s because they have no point of rest. What can people rest upon in psychological researches? Can they rest upon its founder’s authority? But it won’t be quite enough. You can rest only upon your higher I or the Absolute. All the intermediate supports may bear you support to a certain extent but they are rather fragile. As soon as some time passed they disappear and you have nothing to rest upon. You know you may hypnotize a person but when he becomes out of hypnotize he remains for ever one. But he may really change himself only if he willed to change something by itself and does it.
So you have to fully work out all possible forms, feelings and displays that only could be in our Universe. Of course there are so many visualizations that you won’t be able to practice them all. In any case there is certain support on your Central channel regardless whether you are a man or a woman. Also there are visualizations related with energy and consciousness, visualizations related with your outward appearance. You don’t see your outward appearance and you feel a conglomeration of senses besides this form. For example you wake up in the morning and feel bad. You have something inside you that you don’t want to be there. And using visualization you dissolve these feelings, i.e. you supplant things in your budhi with other things that you would like to have.
It concerns all your sense organs: sight, ear, smell, touch and taste. You visualize as if someone is touching you or as if you catch one or another smell or hear any music or as if you feel any taste. As you understand doing so you reconstruct your inner structure. You give up dirty minor channels and thus save your time. As regards to external visualizations the situation is the same. I.e. you put a picture you would like to see over a picture that really exists now.
They say the very strange glasses appeared in the West today. These glasses are semitransparent and they correspond to a computer with two screen monitors. This computer watches where you look at. For example you go to a museum and see the Venus de Milo[‡‡‡‡] with her broken arms. But your computer using its small monitors completes her arms… They prophesy a great commercial future for such devices. The virtual world meddles in the real world.
Imagine you are coming along the street in Moscow city. You take a quick look at a building and immediately you see an advertising poster on your monitors: “Pub. Night Club. Have a good time” or “Hotel”. So you come along the streets and computer recognizes where you are and what you look at and completes the picture that you need. Or you come and see any down-and-out and you computer deletes it from your monitor.
Thus modern technical devices offer us great opportunities. And yogins and yoginis perfectly used these abilities already in great antiquity. They didn’t use mechanical devices but perfected their visualization abilities. Using modern devices you can live in the future world that will be only in thousands years.
The funniest thing is that visualization is directly joined with karma law (or cause and effect law). It is joined though through meditations but I won’t touch it now because this is the top class in yoga. We don’t have enough time for it now. But you live in certain karmic mood and you face only those phenomena which confirm your visualization. And those karmic phenomena that might destroy your visualization or take you aside from it rest in dormant state like a dormant seed that didn’t give a sprout. It is very good not to provoke karma. Understandably enough you can’t remove your karma doing so but on the other hand you won’t face its negative consequences. And you may use this pause to dig up this negative karma seed and throw it out.
A very strange thing happens. In fact your life becomes completely manageable. You get what you want to see and things that you don’t want to see you cut off from your life. You feel what you want to feel and cut off things you don’t want to have. Here I remember you that of course there is karmic predisposition. For example you may see a picture where you stand on dry land but at the same time you tread upon a puddle and become wet. I.e. there is certain horizon where a picture that already exists doesn’t submit to a picture you want to see. But in due course a picture that already exists begins to adapt to a picture you visualize. This doesn’t happen quickly. I remember you that you need prana and visualization practice for it. And at last you need any catch to let your prana and visualization work. I.e. you have to do real deals on the Universe reconstruction. If you don’t do real things then you will stay inside that horizon until your real strong karma will show.
You should stick to the next position. Imagine you come along the street and see litter lying about underfoot. And you have two variants: the first is to delete this litter from your vision and visualize the street to be clean and the second is to stoop, pick up this litter and throw it into dustbin. And of course you should choose the second way of acting. Your actions priority should always be directed to the real.
Priority towards Reality
Thus you should always have priority towards reality. In this case your visualization will go faster. Rajah Yoga is actually based on it (here I refer you to Rajah Yoga section). As Rajah Yoga teaches us if a man attained very often his goals then starting from certain time it is enough for him just to think about a goal as it begins to implement by itself.
In our Open Yoga University one thing grieves me most of all. It is when somebody did his job at 99% but forgot to finish with some trifle. For example he has typed a text but forgotten to put it into the internet. And it tells that the last tick in Rajah Yoga hasn’t done and such person doesn’t come closer to this Rajah Yoga ability.
More deals you carry out from the very beginning up to the end more is your power though as regards to visualization. It happens so because firstly you have contemplated something and then have realized your intention. And sooner or later it turns into a fact that the Universe begins to adapt to your plans at a moment you only contemplate them. Of course it comes in due course with long practice. But sometimes it happens so that people just beginning yoga practice say: “I just thought about something and immediately received an answer”. And there is no way they can realize that this is their power in part pulling up the events they visualized.
And once again: every person has fantastical riches and it is his own higher I. So long as you live in physical reality you have to do maximum you can at physical level and then your visualization will be a great success. But of course very different situations may be. For example you can’t pick up a litter by the very different reasons. I won’t call them all now. And when you can’t do physical actions you may take away this litter using visualization. You shouldn’t suffer from an offense to the eye by this disorder.
Visualization Yoga and the Third Yoga Principle
There is one more very good connection of Visualization Yoga with so called “the third yoga principle” or in other words “renunciation of suffering vow”. In this vow we affirm that nobody and nothing is entitled to cause me sufferings on the one hand and on the other hand we say that we will make all needed efforts to help other people to get rid of sufferings.
Just this bond works in Visualization Yoga. If you can help other people doing something physical you do. And if you can’t do anything you cut these things from your life as if it never has been there. The key factor here is that you have to do all that is in your power to help people. If you know only how to cut negative things from your life then you will turn into cynic. In point of fact you will lay up yourself in your shell and that will never do further.
The third principle is implemented in Visualization Yoga. It consists in a fact that you face sufferings in your inner world or see them in the outside world. And you face all these sufferings because your karma is to contemplate them. Without such karma you would never face them. You see only what you wanted to see and meet only those people you merited to meet and etc.
There is very serious accent here. If we did something bad by ourselves it means that we have to reform it by ourselves as well. How can we reform it? We should use all the affordable ways. But we created our future sufferings causes for too long. From one life to another we stick to foolishness, jealousy, greediness and etc. We did it from one life to another and so far. Feeling these emotions we did the respective deeds. And now echoes from those deeds come back to us. But this is our karma and we have to reap its fruits.
Implementation of the third yoga principle in practice is very powerful means. I.e. there are sufferings but there is no suffering person. If you become proficient in the third yoga principle then you will face very fabulous thing, I speak about the fast yoga methods. We have so many undisclosed reserves but it is still dangerous to set them in motion. It is as dangerous as to stand an untrained person at the wheel. He has barely pedaled when something happens: the plane bursts and this poor pilot rolls somewhere head over heels. Too big energies and too big potential is in this machine. And it is clear enough that nobody will ever let you in fast yoga methods (or rather in handling of an airplane) if you haven’t undergone training. These trainings are long and hard. But now there are computer simulators that simulate your handling of an airplane: as if you are sitting in a plane, as if you take off and fly and you are even shaken a little bit. You can work out your flight skill and when you sit into the real plane you will do what you have already worked out at computer simulator.
The same thing happens in Visualization Yoga. Practicing Visualization Yoga you train different living events and variants of way out of these or those living situations. More over you learn how to neutralize their consequences to the maximum. Thus you slowly approach to the third yoga principle. And if you accept the third yoga principle then your arsenal will be supplemented with the entire grandiosity of fast yoga methods. To reach it you have to train and actively work out Visualization Yoga. Why do we have to do it? That’s because firstly you work with weak energies in Visualization Yoga. Not much you visualized any picture in the outside. You don’t get your inner centers of energy and consciousness involved in this process. But if you coped with visualizations at this level then you may visualize getting more serious energy sources involved in. Speaking about fast yoga methods it will be our sexual energy and nuances of sex relationships at the first place. Mankind usually squanders its energies on sex relationships: on unjustified hopes and displeasures.
I want to remind you once again: if we direct all energy that we spend on sex with losses, on family rows and sorting out of our relationship with family and friends towards higher yoga ideals or world reconstruction for the better then we would attain everything we wish. That’s why we should set all energy sources in motion, feed them and direct towards positive tendencies intensification. But it is dangerous to do it without the third yoga principle. Visualization Yoga brings us closer to the third yoga principle. And as we accept this principle we come back to Visualization Yoga for the second time and pump visualization practices full of real feelings.
This is the second very important point. Doing one or another yoga practice you excite one or another vibration inside you and truly physically feel it in one or another center. Well you did any exercise, for example you practiced Hatha Yoga. Then you practice Pranayma or Krija Yoga (it is very useful). And you feel vibrations of these or those centers and channels inside you. And you will receive greater result if you put these feelings over forestalling visualizations. Thus you join energy with consciousness.
What the visualization is? Visualization means working with thoughts. And accent here is done on consciousness and energy only mounts this consciousness. When you face your real feelings coming from different yoga exercises it is energy and there are only few of consciousness here. During our sexual practices we are carried away with a wave of emotions and we don’t know what to do with it and where to direct our energy. But if we had proper visualizations before then in these cases your energy will go in the right way as if bearings. And this is guarantee that we will fulfill the fast methods and won’t injure either ourselves or people around us.
Now let’s take a small break and then pass to the next very important point.
The Third Part of the Seminar
As you understand Visualization Yoga opens absolutely fabulous world for us. And we are creators of our lives in this world. We force nobody but we also don’t allow anybody to impose things we don’t want on us. In any case we extend these limits a lot. Just by this reason Yogins and Yoginis practicing Visualization Yoga may live absolutely alone for many years and they need nobody. But sooner or later (as you remember) a moment when you have to come back into society comes. And in this moment you have to join your inner world that you built with the outside world that you face.
It is much more easy to do it when you live alone than when you live in society. That’s because at least less factors escape your attention when you are alone. And it is easier for you to analyze them when you are alone than when you live in society. But all the same sooner or later you will face with the most serious science, i.e. matching your inner visualization with the outside world. Practicing visualization inside our body we may imagine ourselves as any country with many cities and live creatures where we may travel by ourselves. And if a person is immersed in his inner world of visualizations he may feel himself there as in Fairyland. Visualizations on external things may also thrill you very much and you will forget about the outside world. You will be immersed into the world you want to see, in the world where you live in your dreams.
Two Points of Rest: Our Higher I and the Absolute
The top class in Visualization Yoga includes quite fabulous practices using two points of rest: system with accent on your higher I and system where accent is done on the Absolute. Following system making accent on your higher I you show your will and resolution. Following the second system you set hopes upon the Absolute and appeal to it.
There are quite fabulous practices that use these two points of rest. You may create this or that shape with your visualization and appeal to the Absolute to become apparent through it. I.e. you visualize another person and ask the Absolute to show through this person. These practices are many times higher than the others. They are put into Amorousness Yoga methods. But there are more utilitarian practices as well. They may help you to solve problems on your yoga road that have more utilitarian nature. Let’s begin with the second category of Visualization Yoga practices.
If you want to communicate with any person in the Universe or derive his knowledge then you may visualize this person and setting hopes upon the Absolute ask it to show through this person. It is affirmed in yoga that doing so you can communicate with people that live now in this world or lived here in the past. It is affirmed sometimes that you may communicate even with people from the future though it is not clear enough because there is no conception of the future. Thus the whole internal phantasmagoria happens when you communicate with this person.
In ancient Indian epos “The Mahabharata”[§§§§] there is a moment when one soldier learns how to shoot a bow. So he chose a teacher for him but this teacher denied teaching him (I won’t go into details why he did so). Then this soldier sculptured a shape of the teacher and began to worship it as if it was real living teacher. And strange as it may seem he acquired all the habits as if he learnt with real teacher.
This is a very strange thing when using visualization you create any interlocutor for you. Here are two indispensable conditions: creating the shape you want to see you rest upon your higher I and on the other hand you set hopes upon the Absolute that will show for you through this shape as you want to see it. Thus you will get quite fabulous opportunity to communicate with every person you like.
It is clearly enough that every practice is characterized by its fruits. How can we tell real practice from fruitless imagination game? My friends, we can do it only by the practice consequences. And the consequences of good practice will be the same as if you communicated with the real person (in ordinary words).
Thereby we have an opportunity to get in touch with Yogins and Yoginis – ancient teachers – handed us down yoga knowledge even if we have never seen them. At first glance this practice is very strange indeed. But it never remains you in solitude even if you live at a desert island not even to mention a cave in Himalayas or somewhere else.
Preparation for Amorousness
We can also use this practice in our everyday life. And on your inner perception monitor you may put the world with people that you invited using your visualization over the real world with its ordinary people being around us. I won’t keep telling all findings coming from this practice and pass on to the yoga top class that may be observed in Amorousness Yoga.
According to Amorousness Yoga you can fall in love only when you touched with the essence of your higher I (with the essence of the Absolute). As soon as it shows for you through one or another person you fall in love with this person. Though it comes from the Universe and doesn’t depend on you there are very long practices to prepare yourself for amorousness. In the capacity of these exercises we are given the next visualization practices.
If you are in waiting for amorousness then you visualize your amorousness object (a youth or a girl) as vividly as it is possible. And then you ask the Absolute to show for you through this object that you have created using visualization. If everything goes right then you prepare yourself for amorousness very quickly and thus very quickly you pass to the second stage of Amorousness Yoga.
In truth there is one peculiarity attended by real people. You have to practice with real people and it will help you better visualize the shape that you want. Suppose you are a youth and you want to create a shape of a girl. So you ask another girl to become a base for your shape and then you ask the Absolute to show through this shape. And further you begin to work out communication with this visualization object through which the Absolute is showing for you.
As you understand you should have two points of rest. On the one hand you have to create this shape and you need to make efforts to do it and on the other hand you have to set hopes upon the Absolute to let it show through this shape. Also from time to time you have to practice with real person (a youth or a girl) to catch the nuances of interaction with this person. These are very powerful practices. These practices were formerly closed and only today they begin to make them public.
In continuation of the subject you may live with a person close for you (your husband or wife; your boyfriend or your girlfriend) but don’t feel intimacy in some aspects. In this situation you may use the next practice: communicating with this person you invite the Absolute to show through him and then you communicate with the Absolute. It is clear that this person doesn’t mention it because it is mental process. Thus you find a moment of misunderstanding and remove them.
Then you do this practice continuation: you join your visualized wife (for example) with you real wife. This is a practice when you don’t see the difference. Why do you need it? You should do it by the simple reason that your real wife is intimate for you because she is a gleam of the Absolute for you. And arguing with her or having violent frictions means that your maya if very strong. This maya screens the reality from you. And doing this conjugation practice you combine your visualization model with real one not to lose touch with the reality.
As you understand these practices are very powerful. From time to time people are so immersed in them that become self-sufficient. As it is said in ancient texts: why do I need real woman if I have my inner woman? In truth they meant Kundalini energy by this woman. But this statement works in different senses. Or why do you need any external man if you have inner one? And strange as it may seem taking up this position you stop clutching at other person.
Sometimes we clutch at other person because of jealousy or fear. And we don’t realize that doing so we provoke his opposite reaction: to spurn us from himself. All these situations are conditional to our karma. It is good if we have so called “unaffected island” where we can hide ourselves in case of karmic disagreements. This “unaffected island” presence lets us gain time and solve disagreements more wisely, rationally and in a friendly way. We can love another person and to serve him only from the stand of power. We can’t do it from the stand of downtroddenness: “Where am I to go now without this person?” or “I will feel bad and lonely” or “I’m afraid he/she is unfaithful to me”. So many different fears we may have. But as soon as a fear appears there is no freedom. And we are slaves without freedom. As it is said in a song about slaves “It is better to die free than to be a slave all your life”. So we are doomed to go out of this dependence one way or another. We can deal with other people only from the excess stand.
Interaction from the Excess Stand
Sometimes this practice helps us to untie the most tangled relationships between a man and a woman. There are such interactions that can’t be untied in current life. There are such interactions when a man and a woman should die and be born again to become more tolerant and not to use manipulation in their relationships with their partner.
What do we see when one person begins to convulsively clutch at another person? Why does a person do so? We do so because we feel dependence on another person. And these situations should be solved from independence point of view. So this is very serious practice too. In your world you may create many like-minded people, friends and even amorousness, i.e. that youth or that girl through which the Absolute shows to you. Visualizing in this way you help the Absolute.
These things are considered in detail in Amorousness Yoga. But the sense rests the same: to realize such visualization you should simultaneously rest upon your higher I (observer) and on the Absolute showing through the events phantasmagoria that we face in our life. Now I refer to Amorousness Yoga: when you fall in love it absolutely doesn’t matter for you whether your loved one is physically near you or he/she is at the Alpha Centauri. In amorousness state even the awareness of this wonder becomes the greatest reward for you.
Doing Visualization Yoga practices you get absolutely fabulous opportunity to communicate with people in your imagination as really as you communicate with real people. It is very strange effect and it is practically impossible to explain it using our ordinary notions and life experience. More exactly put it looks like schizophrenia especially as because practicings see sometimes non-existent people and it seems they communicate with them. I.e. we may imagine irresponsible, silly or morbid people. Or you know sometimes it looks like delirium tremens when a person sees non-existent people and begins to speak with them as if they were real?
All the mental illnesses are only side effects of mental disorders. Some brain areas connected with information receiving may be affected by different reasons. If so an exact copy of non-existent creature will be formed in such person’s (for example an alcoholic) budhi and this person will see real creature in his own Universe.
But in any case you have to clearly tell ravings of a schizophrenic speaking with any invisible creatures (spirits and so on) from the very powerful practices of Visualization Yoga. Sometimes Visualization Yoga really looks like “controlled schizophrenia” as medics would say. But the word “schizophrenia” has a tinge of something morbid. All the more it is considered as a side effect of some diseases from yoga stand. You know there are such diseases when people begin to hear better or worse as a side effect of them but they have nothing to do with schizophrenia.
Difference between Visualization Yoga and Schizophrenia
Why do I speak about it? That’s because first reaction of western people when they faced Yogins and Yoginis practicing Visualization Yoga was: it was only schizophrenics’ crowd doing something. But as you remember there is only one criterion here like in science and it is the result. You hardly will be able to get any sense out of schizophrenic what the revelations he doesn’t see (even if Karl Marx[*****] by himself comes to him and begins to teach him “Capital”[†††††]) after his fit. He will remain schizophrenic all the same.
But a person practicing Visualization Yoga and thus decides to tune in for Yoga Teachers and then coming out from this state becomes new. He enriches himself with knowledge. Before his practice he didn’t have this knowledge but it came to him during his practice. Outside observers can’t see what happens during this practice in principle. They can’t take a place of the higher I getting this experience. That’s why it is very difficult to tell dolt who roam around, see revelations and talk profusely from practicing yogin or yogini.
This theme is very old. It was often occurred in different kinds of religious organizations and sects. But every decent religious organization is very careful with all kinds of apparitions. At one moment one adept saw the great saint prophesying something but at another moment another adept saw something different. And the misgiving always appears: and what did they really see? Speaking about India where all people are twisted on religions (there's nothing Hindus like better than adopting any religion) they always see Shiva or Krishna or somebody else. And always feeling of misunderstanding appears: whether it is just a neglected form of schizophrenia or anything else.
It would be easier for you to look into these questions from Visualization Yoga stand. Yes, overwhelming majority of such people are real schizophrenics, they are unbalanced people crying about their revelations at every corner. But it may be real experience that a person had indeed. Doing this or that rite he may think about any deity and involuntarily do visualization. And sometimes it happens so that the Absolute really comes to him through his visualizations. Such experience may shake this person to the innermost of his heart and he will remember this experience for all his life. And it is not necessary to analyze in this case whether the shape with that he communicated was in his mental or in the real world.
Why doesn’t it matter? We have already spoken about it. We don’t know what our real physical world is. We would be glad to cognize it but we can’t grip its essence. At least so strange things may be when different people tune in for any wave, their visualizations have repercussions and they together see one and the same thing. I.e. these things are very strange and tangled. They aren’t so as they seem to be at first glance. That’s why if somebody tells you that he saw other people or somebody like it then don't be in a hurry to laugh because you never know how many wonders may be in this world.
Of course most of all I’m interested in practical moment from the stand of ordinary people. Well you get absolutely unlimited opportunities to research our reality using visualization methods. If you do everything right then you can take your reality cognition to the level when you communicate with visualized people as if they were real or as if a youth in love met at last his beloved girl.
This practice is very useful in ordinary everyday life. Why is it? This youth or this girl works out means of communication with the Absolute though using visualization. And when he or she will meet real girl or youth in the flesh they won’t be inclined to do many awful mistakes conditional to their karma. That’s because every your action is conditional to your previous experience but practicing Visualization Yoga methods you take certain pause.
Suppose your husband or wife doesn’t please you with something. But you have an opportunity to communicate both with visualized wife-Absolute (or husband-Absolute) and your real wife (or husband). You may cognize the greatest secret consisting in that there is no difference between your real and visualized spouse. Thus you compose karmic differences between you and your spouse from your side. And if in this moment your wife or husband does the same practice then an effect is greater and more serious.
To Reach Woman’s Potential
Practicing in this way you smooth over the differences in your relationships with the real world at the expense of visualized world. And when you worked out something in your visualizations you can change the real world. Or in a different way: suppose you want to see some qualities in your wife but you don’t see them and your wife simply doesn’t know that she has them. You may visualize needed qualities in your practices and then put your visualization over real wife. Thus you help her to change herself. And one more very serious moment: here you don’t transgress her freedom because she may accept it or not.
You know such situations when a person would gladly accept something but he doesn’t simply know that it can be so are very frequent. The most distressing situation is in the West. Women there are closed. They don’t believe in themselves. They are put into a corner and they are always afraid of a trick. And they immediately feel fear. They dread to lose husband or lover and they feel jealousy. More over all social workloads burden lie heavy on the women: they have to bring up children, to feed husband and etc. I.e. they are more attached to our material world. And all the disorders of material world put much more pressure on woman than on man.
Why is it so? A man has more developed aspect of Consciousness. He more soars in his thoughts and empirisms. And if we really want to change our physical world then at the first place we have to help women to reach their potential. But there is no such culture in our society. Women bore all loads on their shoulders from one generation to another. And now a woman copies her female friends or other women’s behavior. Sometimes she doesn’t simply know whose example to follow. The greatest luck is if any yoga teacher – yogini - is somewhere near. Then willy-nilly a woman begins to copy an independent way of thinking and life of this goddess-yogini.
But to meet such yogini seems to be impossible in our corner of the world. Then the accent is made on men. Just a man has to visualize a woman fully reached her potential and then put this shape over a woman intimate to him: his wife, his girlfriend or his lover. Thus he will help his woman to reach her potential. This is purely practical moment: without feeling fear, jealousy and waiting of a stroke we immediately will come to a new level. And further such woman who reached her potential will reach the potential of millions and billions men around her.
But men often throw up their hands as regards to help women to change themselves. Sometimes it seems impossible in principle for men. But Visualization Yoga offers the first step and it is active reconstruction of the Universe where we live. I want to remind you once again: every visualization has to be connected with the real world. That’s why when we can do something real (speaking about a woman I mean to reach her potential) we have to do it.
That’s a nice topic. Well my friends now we finish the third part of our seminar.
[‡‡] “Kidnapping, Caucasian Style”, also known as “Prisoner of the Caucasus, or Shurik's New Adventures” (directed by Leonid Gaidai) is a Soviet comedy film dealing with the theme of bride kidnapping.
[††††] Stanislavski's system is an approach to acting developed by Constantin Stanislavski The system is the result of Stanislavski's many years of efforts to determine how someone can control in performance the most intangible and uncontrollable aspects of human behavior, such as emotions and art inspiration.
[*****] Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 – 1883) was a German philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, and communist revolutionary, whose ideas played a significant role in the development of modern communism and socialism.