Anandaswami Tradition Yoga School
|Place of lecture delivering
|Cultural Center “Enlightenment”.
|April 10, 2010
|Yoga school address
|International Open Yoga University, Yoga School of Anadasvami tradition. Cultural Center “Enlightenment” Dolgorukovskaya str. # 29, Novoslobodskaya metro station, Moscow, Russia. Tel.: 8(495)251-2108, 8(495)251-3367. E-mail: HappYoga@mail.ru. Sites: www.openyoga.ru, www.yogacenter.ru, www.happyoga.narod.ru.
|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
|Visualization Yoga is one of yoga section that is included in fast yoga methods. What two points of rest enliven all the yoga exercises? Where is our reality? What is the real reality by itself? What should we rest upon in our life to avoid disappointments, to delight in life and to attain the higher goal? How can we tell the real results from practices from the fibs? Why it is impossible to share knowledge resulting from yoga practices with anybody? What to think about the reality? Whether the Universe deceives us? What is the nature of people perception of the world? Do we see the real world? How did the Absolute create our world? How can we properly choose our own milieu?
Today we will continue to examine Visualization Yoga. And we will begin from the moment where we stopped at previous lecture. Well I’m going to remind you in brief the main information that we talked over at our previous lecture.
The entire reality around us may be separated for convenience into our inner world and our outside world. These two worlds are closely related to each other. It is extremely difficult to delimit them: where does our inner world end and where does the outside world begin? Influencing our inner world we get a result in the outside world and inside out.
We also considered the fact that analyzing our inner world with our ordinary instruments sooner or later we come up to the awareness of our bodies’ structure: our rough physical body, subtle body and causal body. These bodies become obvious structure for people studying themselves. Getting this structure to know people realize that some groups of bodies are closer to our higher I and other groups are remote from it. There is certain gradient of feelings and reactions or that we believe ourselves to be. In the end of our lecture we came to the notion of prana presented by Energy and Consciousness. Here we get closer to the point where all our forces, our energy and consciousness issue from. I.e. we get closer to our higher I.
While similarly analyzing the surrounding Universe outside the limits of our body we broaden the horizon of our Universe. Analyzing all events happening in our outside Universe we come closer to the notion of the Absolute. It hides itself behind all the external displays that we face in our life. But it is not often easy to find it. It is rather difficult to see certain single center (the Absolute) hiding itself behind all the transient phenomena and people. But to come to the notion of the Absolute we have to will it to be at first. This is one of the strangest sides of our life: nobody will impose anything on you and I. The Absolute won’t impose itself on anybody.
At previous lecture we also discussed that as we approach to our higher I or as we realize the Absolute we get two points of rest or two sources of our forces. Further they will enliven all yoga practices. Speaking about Visualization Yoga all the exercises here (all visualizations) are enlivened with these sources of power. I.e. visualizations will work in our life and bring real results if they rest upon our higher I (or though come closer to it). There are other visualizations resting upon the presence of the Absolute. At first we willed the Absolute existence and then we cognize it. More clear we cognize the Absolute presence more quickly and efficiently will work the Visualization Yoga practices aimed at the Absolute. There are practices resting upon both our higher I and the Absolute being behind all the things surrounding us.
Now I would like to repeat this idea once again and focus your attention on it. Without understand this idea you won’t ever feel the source of power in Visualization Yoga. Sometimes we have an impression that one or another visualization works because we chose proper forms, attributes and emotions for visualization. Sometimes we properly join our visualizations with these or those feelings. And it seems to us that everything depends on forms that we visualize and on fullness of these forms with feelings inherent in common people living.
Figure 1. Visualization Practice
But it is not quite so. All the forms and their fullness with visualization are very important in Visualization Yoga but they are secondary as a matter of fact. Visualizations have to be based on the point of rest and all our feelings revolve around it. Without this point of rest visualization practices won’t work. More precisely put they will work but only in the sphere that is neutral and doesn’t touch our deepest structures. But if we want to work with the deepest structures of ourselves or with the Universe’s deepest structures and for all that we don’t realize the notion of our higher I or the Absolute then Visualization Yoga practices won’t work.
My favorite example is widely known vocational psychologies appearing just every year. Some time an autogenous training was very popular. They called people upon meditating on these or those feelings. For example a person sat down and they called him upon meditating on his hand – that it is cold or warm and so on. But time has passed and everybody forgot about this training.
Modern psychologists give us numerous visualizations with their own interpretations. But one and the same moment is observed all the time: until the author of any methods is alive his nearest pupils or patients may use these methods and get results from it. But as soon as he dies or his pupils become estranged from him for some reasons these methods stop working. And of course as soon as these methods stop working people forget about them.
“Presence Effect” of a Practice Founder
Here we observe strongly pronounced presence effect. During last hundred years there were so many such methods but all of them completely disappeared. One may trace Visualization Yoga elements in them. But this visualization technique is very strange. Until you stay with a person devising this method it works. But as soon as you leave him it stops working. It happens so just by the reason that we need points of rest in such practices. And a person creating this practice is this point of rest by himself. And as soon as he disappears everything hangs in midair especially if these methods touch our deepest structures or causal body as it is called in yoga.
To avoid these mistakes and to avoid dependence from these methods founders we have to rely upon things that nobody can take away from us and that we will never lose. If one is to judge by the highest standards there are two things in our world that nobody can take away from you and that you will never lose: and they are your higher I and the Absolute. Even if you want very much to lose your higher I then it will be very problematically for you to do it. Of course you may will to live as if there is no any higher I in your life (with all the respective consequences for your life). But this is quite different story. You may will that you haven’t got the faintest idea about the Absolute as well. And it also will be your decision with all the respective consequences for you, i.e. you determine by yourself whom to let in your world and whom not to let in. And on the contrary if you will not to lose comprehension of the Absolute and of your higher I then you will be dependent on nobody.
Do you remember conception of every responsible yoga school? Each responsible yoga school leads its followers to the freedom. By the way sometimes to avail ourselves of these or those yoga exercises we should assume very severe restrictions. Before you idle all the day long and now yoga call you upon practicing Hatha Yoga at least forty minutes every day. It seems to be your freedom limitation. But yoga doesn’t impose anything on you. It only offers you. Availing yourselves of these recommendations you will realize that you increase you potential freedom in other spheres of life. I.e. you become freer from bad mood, bad way you feel, poor memory and other factors that restricted you in one way or another.
That’s why yoga enslaves no one person. No one yoga teacher sees even in a bad dream situation when he enslaves his pupil or other people. But very often we may see people enslavement in different kinds of systems even in systems pretending to be called “systems of self-knowledge”. As you understand conception of freedom is not made only for effect. Nothing of the kind! This conception of freedom is put into every exercise that yoga invites us to do. I.e. mechanism of all the exercises that are recommended for practicing is based on the notion of freedom.
We see further that every visualization or every work with our inner or outside worlds is initially based on two factors and they are our higher I (which nobody can take away from us) and the Absolute (that will be with you any time no matter how other people try to do something with it). If we try to rest upon anything else then of course it will bring its result. Sometimes this result is positive but it is temporary and not absolute.
And speaking further about Visualization Yoga we will consider examples when we may rest upon the forms different from our higher I and the Absolute. This may be a form of your yoga Teacher with his own qualities. And you may create some kind of a “bridge”: there is the Absolute with its qualities and if your yoga Teacher shows the same qualities as the Absolute has then you may rest upon his form and get good results. I want to remind you that the same thing works in numerous psychological trainings. You may use these or those methods (including visualizations) for attaining different goals but only in limited size. Numerous techniques that are so popular in modern world are built on this fact.
The Two Poles: the Absolute and Our Higher I
But let’s go further. We have two poles: our higher I and the Absolute. And there is that we call the reality or our inner and outside worlds between these poles. Here we speak about the reality in relative sense. But you have to mention for you fundamental proposition: as a matter of fact the veritable reality is our higher I and the Absolute. And everything between our higher I and the Absolute is very strange and relative things. You can’t absolutely rely upon them. And this space between your higher I and the Absolute is axiomatically called maya in fundamental sense of the word. I.e. everything between your higher I and the Absolute is maya. This quite clear definition is a deduction from yoga axiomatic. And I will remind you once again that we divide this layer into two parts: our inner world and the outside world.
Anticipating things I will tell one consequence from propositions that we considered above. You should realize from the very first seconds in Visualization Yoga that if you rely upon two points of rest in your life – your higher I and the Absolute – then you are in safety. But if you rely upon layer between these points of rest then you always will feel different kinds of disappointment.
Relying upon your higher I and the Absolute you won’t be disappointed no matter how you live your life. You will feel enjoyment that isn’t accompanied by suffer and sooner or later you will attain the final goal. But if you rely upon maya it is the same situation when a traveler believes in mirage existence in a desert that leads him to his perdition. You probably saw as sun rays warm asphalt in a hot day and small puddles are visible at a distance. But as you come near to such puddle you realize that there is no puddle here at all. This is just a mirage that often can be seen in cities with proper weather conditions. Being in a desert you may believe that there is life-giving water there. And you go there but there is nothing in that place. This is a very strange quality of a mirage. It moves back from you in some kind. You follow it but it always moves back.
There is the same idea in yoga touching our pursuit of illusory dreams and wishes in our everyday life. We hardly attain them if attain them at all. But even having attained such wish we stay disappointed and dissatisfied as if something most valuable escaped us. And we hurry to define a new goal. This is called running in a circle or running in a plane of samsara. On the other hand never buy our inner and outside worlds. Always rely upon the reality of your higher I and the Absolute. From the other people stand you do the same actions and lead the same life as common people do. The only difference is that with every step you become more happy, satisfied and you spiritually grow.
But let’s return to the Visualization Yoga. Now I am going to remind you about complicated moments touching the Absolute presence. We remember that our inner world and the outside world are interconnected with each other. And every impulse that we send from our inner world to the outside world reflects somehow from the outside world and comes back to us. As a result a picture of our life appears. Firstly we don’t understand it. But little by little we come up to the cause and effect law: “you must reap what you have sown”. In a different way this law is called karma law. But then we begin to realize that our world is not so simple. It is not only return of our impulses but a presence of something else. And this “something else” is just the Absolute.
It is clear that if we don’t realize the cause and effect law then we don’t understand the world around us as well. We are confused, we pursue different doubtful goals and plans and we are always disappointed.
And yoga offers us to cognize someone hiding itself behind the mirror of the surrounding world. It is very difficult. That’s why all the processes in yoga gradually go. Firstly we should work out our logic and using our logic we realize how the world around us reacts to our actions and conditions. And when we understand it we exclude all our actions, impulses and their echoes from our consideration. And then the mirror remains in its pure form. Coming up to a mirror you see your own reflection there. And now imagine that you succeeded to peep into this mirror before it showed your own reflection…
Approaching to the Absolute is very difficult. It will be superlogical knowledge. You will feel it by intuition and your logic will be able to say both “yes” and “no”. You may feel the interlocutor or the Absolute presence by your intuition through a chain of events happening in your life. But the same events and phenomena that suggest an idea of the Absolute existence to your intuition seem to be just a chain of chances (or some other laws) to our brain or logic. Here I should remind you a conception that logic can’t ruin superlogic. But logic perfectly destroys all the illogicality at the same time. So we are called to destroy illogicality. And we will never destroy superlogic. This is very important remark for the further Visualization Yoga practice.
How can we tell our flight of fancy or our stuff and nonsense from real events and real results in our life? Getting any result in Visualization Yoga practices you may set your brain (that is so cynic and trying to make everything clear) against it with every reason. If it was real experience of superlogic then your brain will come to grief on it and won’t tell your either “yes” or “no”. But if you just passed the desirable for reality then your brain will raze all your experience to the ground. In this sense yoga is very close to modern science. And yoga intersects with it in some things.
Grope for the Presence of the Absolute
Let’s go further. Sooner or later we realize that we send something to the Universe and we get only that we sent before or speaking with other words we live in the Universe where we willed o live by ourselves. And then we begin to intuitively grope the presence of the Absolute or of one more interlocutor communicating with us. In the first place we figure it out by the next fact: we can study with it. Or in other words – it is the source of knowledge whereas all the other events in our life are only our actions came back to us.
Here is the next example relating to computers. They have invented long ago a program we may communicate with and carry on a dialogue. I.e. computer is so intricately programmed that it gives an answer on every our question. And it resembles very much that any person speaks to you. And it is clear enough that shrewd businessmen immediately adapted it to different activities. For example you communicate in chat and think that you speak with real person but it may become clear that you speak with callous piece of iron. This program may engender an illusion of a youth that he speaks with beautiful blonde from his dreams. But as a matter of fact he communicates with computer. But as every program it can be cleverer than its developer. And if this developer doesn’t permanently make changes in it then it begins to repeat itself. And you can’t draw more information from it then it was built in it by its developer.
The same situation happens with all the reflections of the Universe that we engendered before. They went away to the Universe and then they came back. But as a matter of fact they carry only reflections of ourselves in the past. And they aren’t interesting from the informative point of view. But at the same time removing our reflections sooner or later we grope for this information channel. But we have to will it. Our will is the basic thing. And feeling of this channel will be the very first sign that you grope for the Absolute.
I will remind you yoga axiomatic: if we direct our prana flow or our will to the Absolute then it always begins to communicate with us at a language clear to us. I.e. little by little we come up to conception of the Absolute. And I want to make very important accent here once again: nobody in yoga teaching tries to make you believe in the Absolute existence. Yoga just gives us methods to make us able to verify this or that conception. And you verify it then there is a sense for you to go deeper in yoga. But if you don’t verify it by one or another reason then it means that may be this conception is nonviable (there is no Absolute at all) or may be you did something wrong. In any case you should analyze every result.
The Absolute will come to you if you will it. But if you close all the doors then don’t look for guests in your apartment. This is a moment of your will. You should open the doors before looking for the Absolute supposedly hiding in your room.
Figure 2. Firstly you should open the doors for the Absolute
Yoga doesn’t require faith from you. Yoga offers us to use confidence to avail ourselves of these or those exercises. And then we may confirm or refute them. But nobody requires thoughtless and fanatical faith from you.
They say sometimes that yoga is a variety of religion. But God forbid us! Religion is very powerful, good and respectable by itself. But some methods there are very original. Yoga is just a system of self-knowledge and it doesn’t pretend to be something else. But at the same time it offers us a conception of the Absolute. And we can trace the similar moments in different religions.
But let’s return to the Absolute. Its conception has no religious underlying reason. It is just our world that is very complicated. It is like an experiment. And there is a sense to speak about it only if you got proper result. And ancient Yogins and Yoginis did these experiments and they got the same answers. What were these answers?
If you study our inner world then sooner or later you will find your higher I. Studying your higher I sooner or later you will come to the conception of an interlocutor or the Absolute hiding itself behind everything. It shows through everything in this world but it is not all these things.
There is very serious moment here: directing your impulses towards the Absolute you draw information which you can’t get in ordinary life. Directing this impulse towards your higher I you draw information or knowledge as well. That’s why there are two conceptions in yoga and they are your higher I and the Absolute. You may learn relying upon yourself (on your higher I) and grasp all information that is inside you. Or you may learn yoga relying upon the Absolute. It has created everything in this world – and who knows more than the Absolute?
But let’s go further.
– How can we understand that doing different practices we are coming to the conception of the Absolute and getting any knowledge? Or how can we realize that we are coming to the conception of your higher I and getting knowledge as well?
Here there are two propositions. The good one is that “an apple tree is determined by its fruits”. If it was the Absolute display indeed then you begin to get real knowledge. This knowledge changes your life for the better and it makes you freer and wiser. The same situation happens when you come to your higher I and get knowledge from its depths. This is also verified by its consequences. It is a good new because everyone may definitely verify it in his own life.
And how can we verify it in our everyday life? For example they say to you that there is hundred millions dollars at your home. You come home, open the door and realize that there is nothing there. What does this verification show you? It shows that they deceived you. Or there may be another situation. They say you that somebody hided treasure at a wall of your house. You come back home, take a sledgehammer and break a wall. And really you find diamonds hidden there since the October revolution. Somebody hided his treasures there and ran away to Paris… I.e. you verify and see that the prophecy comes true. You may clearly and definitely be convinced of it. You may do the same verification of all your life. I.e. you may verify everything and you don’t have to force yourself to believe.
Sometimes you may face such statement that you have to force yourself to believe. For example you don’t believe that everything goes well in your life but they say that you have to believe in it. They force you to believe that everything is good in your life. They call you upon some kind of self-deception. But yoga is very far away from self-deception. It doesn’t do it because God knows where it may lead us.
It was a good new. And the bad one is the next: you may prove the existence of the Absolute for yourself but even in this case you can’t prove it to anybody else. You can’t do it not because you won’t find proper words, arguments but because it’s impossible in principle. I always tell anecdotes about it. We can’t share knowledge with other people so simply. Because if it would be so then the very first Yogin or Yogini who attained enlightenment and realized organization of the Universe would tell it to his or her pupils. These pupils would share this knowledge with their pupils and so long. As a result this avalanche-like reaction would very quickly bring the entire world to the enlightenment. But what do we see indeed? A pupil may stay all his conscious life near his teacher but not to come nearer to those peaks that his teacher attained. Somebody succeeds in it and somebody doesn’t. But only those people succeed in it who rediscovered this knowledge for themselves. Of course people may use somebody else’s words but this knowledge is only a good adjuvant stimulus for them and nothing more. This is the restriction in principle.
That’s why there is the next conclusion in Visualization Yoga. Even if you practice Visualization Yoga and get absolutely fabulous result for yourself then you won’t be able to soundly share it with other people. You won’t be able to prove it in principle. And why it is so? That’s because of the fundamental laws of our world organization. All your arguments may be analyzed and interpreted as a train of lucky chances from the brain stand. You won’t be able to prove yoga practices even to your dear wife or husband, your children or your parents, your family and friends.
For example you were lucky and your lottery ticket has won. You know that you got these or those results due to Visualization Yoga practices: you became rich, happy and free and you help people around you to become more happy and freer. But other people may say: “No. He was lucky and nothing more. He was born in the right time. He just found proper words to say… And so on”. They may find one million explications like this.
Very often people compare businessmen. One person enriched himself and he spends huge founds on the science, culture and arts or even on a house for stray piglets. And why not? Everything gets on with him. He becomes more and richer whatever he does. But another businessman goes “neither one way nor the other”. And people usually say that the first businessman was just lucky. He earlier became to do something; he had time to study something and so on. From the brain stand one may explain all your life proceeding from such notions as “a chance”, “he was just lucky” and “what does it matter?” This is by the very simple reason that many yogic exercises including Visualization Yoga exercises rely upon laws that are deeper than our logic. These are so called superlogical laws. And our brain is unable to realize them. Our brain is helpless against superlogical laws.
Well, the bad new is that even if you receive the best result from yoga practices then you won’t be able to prove to other people that you get it exactly from yoga practices. More precisely put you can indirectly prove it. You may tell them that you practice yoga or something like this. But it will be rather publicity for yoga practicing – do it and you also will be able to rediscover this way – and not a direct proof. And this is the difficulty.
Attitude towards the Reality
The next moment we have to discuss with you is an attitude towards our reality. We don’t properly realize what we are. We look into ourselves and we see some tangle of whishes, fears, hopes and some experience. The outside world is also very obscure. And we live our life doing good move at one moment and bad move at another. For example you were educated and it was a good move in your life because you better understand our world organization. You also have good job and good sphere. But if we didn’t pay attention to our self-development then we have another sphere and another destiny.
Sooner or later we face the next problem in our life similar to mathematical one: we solve a problem, get an answer then we look into the end of a textbook to see the right answer… but this right answer doesn’t coincide with your. You verify your equation and realize that you used the proper formula and proper data but you got another answer. I will remind you that in this case schoolchildren begin to criticize the textbook saying that there is a misprint there. It may a mistake there indeed but it happens very rarely. Then such pupil comes to his mathematics teacher who tells him that he changed plus with minus and that’s why the answer doesn’t coincide with the right one. And this pupil begins to realize that it only seems to him that he understand the world. But something escapes him indeed. I.e. there is some illusion or hallucination in his life.
Thus we mention that our world perception divides into two parts. The first situation is when we believe that we know something but the result shows that we don’t know it. And the second situation is when the answer coincides with our knowledge, i.e. when we get a predictable result. And we begin to realize that some part of the world we perceive as it is and other part of the world we perceive as misrepresented. Little by little this idea comes home to our brain.
Once again: it may show in sciences or hypotheses. For example one scientist may believe that the Universe is organized in one way and another scientist believes that it is organized in another way and so on. And then they have to do an experiment to avoid an illusion or mistake. There is another example from business world. Suppose you decided to earn money and go to an exchange to buy shares of any company. But what shares of what organizations should you buy? Here I mean the west countries and not our stock market that is only in embryo now. And you get a lot of information about several companies: who are their directors, what is their activity, what are their plans for the future and so on. I.e. you get a conglomerate of views and you forecast what will be with these organizations in future. And two organizations may look quite similar. But you sink into one of them and its shares go up and you grow rich. And when you sink into another organization it faces some problems, its shares go down and you are at a disadvantage. And these two types of people differ very clearly from each other: one people do fewer mistakes and grow rich and other people do a lot of mistakes and ruin themselves. I.e. there is the very serious moment to realize where the surrounding Universe deceives us.
There is only one step from this question to the next one: what is the reality and what are hallucinations? There are very common psychological tests demonstrating our hallucination degree. The history knows such facts: there is a barrel of petrol and everybody knows it. Then somebody write “Water” on it. And another person goes and through his cigarette end there without a moment’s thought. Why? That’s why two facts come into conflict: there is a barrel of petrol but it is written that there is water there. These two information flows come into person’s brain, they mix there and he makes a mistake. Or there is another example. Suppose there is red petrol barrel but it is written “Green barrel” on it. And in some times you ask a person: “You passed in that place. What was the color of that barrel?” And he answers “Green” though this barrel was red. Do you realize that this substitution of notions is faced very often? You may speak on the phone and hear the latest news round-up from a distance. Thus something from your phone talk mixes with something you hear on TV and it turns to something like a chimera which is not the reality.
Here the next question appears: and what to think about the world around us? May be surrounding world is just a huge hallucination where one things collide on other? Where is anything real and where is anything illusive? And how can I tell whether I’m sitting here in our hall full of people from neglected schizophrenia form? May be I just have this hallucination that I’m sitting in this place and delivering this lecture? Watch some strange people in the streets: they talk to themselves, they explain something to themselves and everybody dashes aside them. But try to realize that these strange people perceive the world in a quite different way.
– And how can we tell people being in their right mind and clearly seeing the reality from people living in their hallucinations?
Well this is very serious and important question. We may even say that this is the key question in Visualization Yoga. And there is the next answer: we can’t definitely say that somebody sees the reality and other person lives in his hallucinations. We can say only one thing: from the yoga stand we all live in hallucination. Some people have less degree of this hallucination and other people are deeper sunk in it. Yoga teaches us that only at the moment when we realize our higher I and the Absolute we will see the reality of the world. That’s because only our higher I and the Absolute are real things.
There is the question: and how can we tell reality from hallucination? The most interesting thing is that Visualization Yoga tries to avoid this question. We don’t have criteria what things in our life are reality and what things are just hallucinations until we attain the final yoga goal. That’s why we can’t rely upon all these things on our way towards the final goal. So let’s take such exercises where this question doesn’t appear at all. We won’t answer this question about what is reality and what is hallucination. And will these exercises bring us to the awareness of truth? Yoga answers in the affirmative this question. As a matter of fact the entire yoga and in particular Visualization Yoga is such rules set.
Well, my friends, yoga calls us upon the next attitude. We should equally carefully study all the phenomena and events that we face in our life regardless of whether they seem to you to be real or not. Sometimes person wakes up in the morning and can’t realize being half-awake whether he is sleeping or whether he has to go to work.
Visualization Yoga doesn’t require us to realize our state at every moment of time. You need only one thing: equally carefully analyze any state that you have whether it is wakefulness or sleep with dreams or sleep without dreams. Suppose that your perception has distorted under the influence of different factors. But so what? Apprehend everything equally carefully. Why do we have to do it? That’s because two real objects shine through all the things. One of them is your higher I and another is the Absolute.
That’s why this question “Whether our world is material or ideal?” or “Yogin materialist or yogin idealist” doesn’t confront yoga. Yoga tells us that our world is much more complicated than the simple conception of materialism or idealism. And we have to realize completeness of the world that is beyond expression and in special case may appear before us as conception of idealism or conception of materialism. So Visualization Yoga calls us upon very careful attitude towards any state that we go through.
Perception of the Reality through Budhi
Now I’m going to remind you the next thing coming from our bodies and brain’s structure. Everything that we see, hear, smell or feel we perceive only through our sense organs. We have our rough sense organs which pass impulses to our subtle sense organs. And these subtle organs in their turn pass information to the thing called “brain”. Our brain consists of three parts. The first part lets information flow coming from our sense organs go past inwards or doesn’t let it. If it lets it inside our brain then this information flow gets into the second part of our brain where the exact copy of this information (that our eyes supposedly saw or ears supposedly heard) will be done. And the third part of our brain research this copy inside us and sends result to the observer (i.e. our higher I). I.e. the entire world we can see by this copy formed inside the second part of our brain or budhi (sometimes we call it “brain #2). We have never seen the surrounding world in fact. Everything we know about the world around us we know by its copy in our budhi. But you have to understand that this signal may be distorted in the outside of our body and inside it as well.
There is one more unpleasant law even if we got the right copy of any object: we can recognize only those things that we dealt with before. That’s why we are inclined to interpret these objects and phenomena in frames limited with our previous experience. Everything overstepping these limits is rejected or isn’t let in budhi or is called with other words. I.e. you face any situation that is quite similar to another situation. And you are inclined to interpret and call it as the previous one. There is such a proverb: “The burnt child dreads the fire; once bitten twice shy”. The same thing happens in or life: our previous experience whatever it was hangs over our future actions. When we face any situation that is similar to any situation in the past we remember our previous experience and make any decision (to be afraid, to be glad and so on) on the grounds of it. It slows down very much our advancement.
But the statement is the next: we don’t know the world. We perceive it only by its copy in our budhi. On the other hand we have so wonderful capacity as imagination. If we imagine something then the same object or phenomenon appears in budhi, i.e. our brain #2. The brain #3 will analyze this copy. And there is absolutely no difference for the brain #3 in extraction of it: whether this copy was created on the base on information gave us by our sense organs or whether it was created by our imagination. Visualization Yoga uses this absence of difference and allows substituting of needed shapes for needless ones. Thus we can take our life into our own hands because needless shapes in our head make us do wrong actions. Pursuant to this we will get needless result. And this circle will close up. But we can break with this vicious circle visualizing needed shape inside us and substituting one shape for this new one.
Maya Separates Us from the Reality
Let’s consider this situation from the yoga axiomatic point of view. The Absolute concerns our world just as we concern our imagination. This world that we used to call the reality isn’t more real for the Absolute then our imagination for us. Sometimes they ask: “And how did the Absolute create our world?” It did it just as we create something using our imagination. I.e. we imagine something and it happens. Thus the very serious instrument appears for working with both perceivable inner and outside worlds.
Well our inner world forms ideas about ourselves. The outside world creates the picture of the Universe surrounding us in budhi. But all the same everything happens in budhi. And we don’t know who we really are or what the Universe is indeed. We have never seen the real Universe and ourselves as well. We use habitual shapes. And nobody knows what the world is in actual fact. Why it is so? That’s because there is any substance called maya which separates our higher I from the Absolute. This maya is a very strange thing.
Trying to explicate Visualization Yoga in our own words we will come to the next thing. The world around us is the total visualization that we created from one our life to another. From one life to another we interpreted things somehow and imagined something to ourselves. And we conformably sent some impulses to the Universe and they returned to us as waves of different events. Thus everything became more and more complicated. If we visualized something for a long time then it remains in future through inertia regardless of whether we visualize it now or not.
In fact we have shaped the world around us just as butter is churned from milk. And this sculptured world seems to be stable, real and firm to us. For example I take a stone and hold it in my hand. But this is only a quality of certain permanence. And this permanence is induced not by this stone nature but by all our previous life. I.e. we did some impulses and freeze the situation. But this little piece of ice is a piece of ice only for a time. And as soon as we turn off our fridge and the sun begins to shine this little piece of ice thaws and turns into water. The same situation touches our world. It seems us to be firm and having clear concepts. But as a matter of fact we just freeze this world as we would like to see it. And if we stop to freeze it then it will spread in the form of water into something absolutely fabulous that we can even say nothing about.
But we are interested in the practical side of this question. Yoga teaches us that there is single reality. It is more convenient to consider it as two points of rest: our higher I and the Absolute. Everything between them is only visualized shapes. Ones shapes are more firm because we keep them for too long and they begin to live their own life. Other shapes are “smaller”, i.e. we visualized them for a while, and then stopped and they quickly disappeared. An analogy is the same: imagine a huge block of ice frozen till -273ºC and a little piece of ice that thaw at only 0ºC. And it is clear enough that as soon as the sun begins to warm the small piece of ice will thaw sooner than the big one.
But I remind you once again that we are interested in quite other things. Using our visualization we may change the world outside us and change the world that is inside us. Everything we wish will be. But to realize what we want we need the next things: a) our will; b) concrete techniques and practices to create what we would like to see. The practical side begins here. And they prescribe us to visualize these or those objects or phenomena in the way allowing to get the result as soon as possible.
These exercises are very creative and spontaneous. For example we begin to visualize ourselves in any other shape. Here we are sitting and we have any firm picture of the world. We created it for a long time. And now we begin to mentally dissolve it and then we create a new shape. What should this new shape be? It may be as you like. For example you wish to look an athletic man. You begin to dissolve your shape as it is and create new shape that you wish to have. Or a girl wishes to be beautiful. She begins to dissolve her present shape and begins to see herself as she wants to be.
This is so simple and unpretentious practice. But my friends, this works. And I remind you once again: its results are directly proportional to your relying upon your higher I or upon the Absolute. If you rely upon any of them by 100% then you may instantly change yourself. Can you imagine that using visualization you may change your appearance very quickly? Of course according to yoga teaching you can instantly change subtle structures of your body and your physical structures are more sluggish. And it needs time to reform your cells, to change your metabolism. As a matter of fact visualization is very simple and uninteresting technique. But it remains uninteresting only until we receive no results. And as soon as you begin to get results you realize little by little the power of this method. And you change your attitude towards creative visualization.
The same thing touches the world around us. We see this world as we created it throughout long time of our lives. If it doesn’t pleasant to you then why couldn’t we change it? So we should visualize the new world that we like more. And we should base it on new principles to avoid the situation when “we tried our best, but it was a botch-up as usual”. These are we who created the world where we live after all. We willed this world to be as it is now.
What does yoga recommends at the first place? It doesn’t meddle in details of your visualized picture. But it recommends some basic principles to create this new picture. And these basic principles sound like a meditation: “May all the live beings be happy”. Since you are going to create the new world with the help of Visualization Yoga then immediately build right laws into it. Imagine that every creature in your world is happy. This is the easiest way to create the new world where you will be happy. You may think about another conception of the world: let all good beings be happy and let all the scoundrels to suffer. But the notions of “good person” and “bad person” are very relative. And one fine morning you may pass from one category to another one. I.e. the sense here is the next: some things have to be eliminated at a level of laws to avoid wrong realization of these laws in future.
We will talk about visualization techniques a little bit later. Of course there are more concrete practices. For example one should mentally dissolve the entire dirty world surrounding us and create new clean world in the mind’s eye. But we can’t still think abstractly. That’s why ancient texts give us many concrete advices to facilitate our world creation. Here I give you one example from “Anandalahari” text. There is such visualization there: “Imagine an ocean of nectar. Imagine an island of precious stones”. And this picture is already beautiful by itself: beautiful ocean, an island made of gems… “Imagine that there are the most beautiful trees, chirping birds and you can’t tear yourselves away from this picture. Imagine a palace in this island center”. Here imagine please any real fine palace and not anything modest. Imagine how it looks inside. I.e. this text gives us some step-by-step direction of your meditation.
Figure 3. Island visualization
But this picture will conflict with the outside world that you live in. Why will it conflict? That’s because there can not be two mutually exclusive shapes in budhi in the same time. And it is clear enough that when you visualize the shape of new country with good, kind and sympathetic people it automatically supplants world where we live with its foolish and greedy people that we don’t like.
It happens so because these things are mutually exclusive. The only difference is that when you visualize something positive then everything negative is supplanted from your budhi. But you finish your visualization, go out and face the same world as it was before. And it seems to you that nothing has changed. No my friends, it has changed a lot. Using your visualization you gave an impetus from your inner world to the outside one. And further all events will unfold in the way that the reflection of everything you have engendered will come back to you.
Do you remember that our inner world and the outside world are interconnected with each other as an object and its reflection in the mirror? Thus doing this mental practice you begin to change your own world and the outside world begins to change personally for you. And a question appears: and what about my neighbour? Suppose I have a stairway enclosure neighbour and our world suits him a lot. He goes to a shop, buys a bottle of vodka and gets drunk. He has his own visualization, he feels very comfortable and he doesn’t want to change anything. Or another example: suppose any criminal authority sitting and visualizing mafia seized the entire world. Everybody bring him contribution and he passes judgement. He has his own world. And how do all these different worlds may coexist?
This is very interesting situation. Our Universe is done in the way that everyone lives in his own world. And so only those people who accept this world may enter it. And if in this life your previous karma brought you and people absolutely alien to you together then in the next life you will be born in very different places of the Universe. You will gather people who share your conception of the world around you. And alien people will gather another people around them. And thus you will separate. I.e. the Universe imposes nothing to anybody. Here you may create any Universe you want for yourself without breaking other people’s free will. This is one the most fabulous and basic qualities of maya. And people living in your Universe are those people that you invited. If you conflict with them then it means that you willed one things before and now your views have changed.
Now we come to fundamental yoga recommendation for our everyday life. And it answers the question “How to choose a communication circle for ourselves?”
How to Choose a Circle of Communication?
Yoga recommends to communicate only with good people and to avoid communicating with bad people. You can re-educate nobody. Every person is free higher I even if he is mistaken. So you can’t impose anything to anybody. But it also has no sense to suffer from another’s game rules. That’s why you have to try your’s best to communicate with like-minded people and avoid communicating with unpleasant people in every way possible. I.e. you have to help your visualization already in this life. In this sense similar pulls up the similar. Things are kept together only with their karmic catches. And if we unhook them then these things belonging to different world will part. And each of these things is like a full-fledged Universe. This is very fantastical quality of our Universe.
As a matter of fact everything depends on us all the same. Wanting to turn your life into real practice you have to avoid communication with people unpleasant to you (besides visualization practices). If you find yourself among people who are absolutely unpleasant for you then get up and go away. You shouldn’t re-educate anybody. This is not your duty. Of course you may work as a police sergeant. And re-education of any hooligans group will be part of your responsibility. They have quite different world outlook and you will have to call them to order. But you are paid for it. This is your dharma. This is your duty. But getting involved with strange unpleasant universe is not your duty. And what for to be side by side with it? Everybody lives as he likes. It’s better to communicate with good people than with bad ones. This is so elementary.
At the next lecture we will consider practical moments of visualization in detail. We will touch a question of working with associative links. As a matter of fact visualizing this or that thing we establish new offshoots of associative links and our prana (Energy and Consciousness) begins to circulate through them. Thus it supports objects and phenomena that we direct our associative links to. And realizing how to competently establish, direct and take out associative links is real result of Visualization Yoga practices. I.e. you will come to the ability to establish associative links for your benefit as you consider it more quickly. And on the other hand you will be able to take out associative links from something that you dislike and that shouldn’t be in your Universe. As a matter of fact everything comes down to an ability of impregnating of your shape with prana and thus making your shape firmer. It also begins to supplant and destroy other shapes (for examples the shapes of dirty world or our ideas about ourselves). All these ideas hold up because of our associative links. The source of associative links is you and I. I.e. we maintain things that we struggle against by ourselves. And we have to know how to take out the negative associative links from these shapes to make them tumble down.
For example a tailor makes a pattern very quickly and then tacks it before to sew a suit. And then if something goes wrong he will easily pull out a thread and a suit will tumble down into the heaps of patches. Nearly the same thing happens in Visualization Yoga. If you take out associative links from the outside world then the world picture will tumble down into pieces.
Now we finish today’s lecture.