THE CALL OF THE ETERNITY
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THE MAGIC OF LIFE AND DEATH
From the time immemorial people were deeply concerned with questions of life and death. Different trends of philosophy and religion tried to find and to explain the meaning of life, and thousands of books and scientific treatises were written on this subject. Nevertheless, this question rises over and over again for everybody in spite of established stereotypes and generally accepted opinions. Everyone should decide for himself or herself, what one lives for. Of no small importance in the assertion of the meaning of life are the national traditions, religious denomination of the family, and education. Practically everyone has asked oneself that question, but because of the impossibility to find a single answer, contented oneself with an ordinary view - being a family man or a careerist, or contenting oneself with a favorite business or with satisfaction of transient desires.
Most people believe that life is given to them only once. In any case, everybody hopes to be happy in this, present-day life. People make plans, hope, and do not ponder the meaning of life in the vanity of everyday life.
Many people, when thinking about the meaning of life, come to the conclusion that they must enjoy life to the full, explaining that life makes sense only, if it brings pleasure and satisfaction.
There are people of different ages around us: one is young and strong, another grew old and suffers from different maladies, somebody has just been born, the other is coming to the end of life. Letís take the young generation - young and healthy pupils, students, some of them recently settled down to married life, in a word - whole life is in front of them.
It seems, that life is just beginning. However, twenty or twenty five years is approximately one third of life. Moreover, it is the happiest and the most carefree part of it. Nevertheless, it has flown by as a gust of wind. If you look back, everything was fine: some moments you would like to live over again, prolong them, and now enjoy them in full measure. Many people know the sense of nostalgia for the past, however, that past cannot come back - what is missed cannot be returned. Each person lives her own life, and her own problems and plans are more concrete and urgent than the global problems of all mankind. And that is understandable, since people live, mostly thinking about their urgent problems and daily activities. Everyone feels only her own I and often forgets that all people around her feel only their own I to the same degree.
Look around you: how many people there are on Earth, and each one of them feels only his or her own I the same way as you do, makes plans, dreams of the future, takes joy in life, or suffers.
Life cannot be turned back, but many people would like it so much, and not even to live it in another way, but simply to live it more joyfully and freely, without paying attention to small problems and accidents, to live the full life and not overcome it as a zone of obstacles.
Let us turn to the older generation, say, parents of the twenty- or twenty-five-year-olds. These parents also were young, made plans, dreamed of the future. Have all their dreams and expectations come true? Not at all, of course. Unfortunately, dreams most often remain only dreams. Ask the older generation, if they remember their life wellÖ For sure, they would answer that all was, as if yesterday - life has passed in a twinkling of an eye.
The young people will also live their life, not noticing passing years, and then will look back, and - as if they did not live at all. It seems, that all years are still in memory, but they have passed, and one can neither take, nor touch them. All that is left is to console ourselves with our memories, but it is a waste of time - it is not possible go back. Memories are a good thing, but it would be good to experience it all in reality. It is also possible to read a lot of books and adventure novels, and then remember oneís experience, or simply, while reading, enjoy the events taking place in a book no less than the memories of oneís own life.
Often people are afraid of the future, afraid of uncertainty, but that too will one day become a thing of the past.
Imagine how many people have lived before us...
They had their own problems, desires, plans.
Now they are no more.
Years will pass. People will live on Earth, they will feel joy, love, suffer... But we will be no more.
And this time is not far off. Since we feel only the present, don't we? Remember an episode of your life, say, five years ago. The future seemed to be far away and alluring..., but now this time has passed, as if it was never there; only the present remains, and that still remote future.
So, moment by moment, life unnoticeably passes by and comes to its end.
Therefore, judge for yourself, life is something temporary. It looks like a specter which seems to be real, a ghost which constantly slips out of our hands, and itís impossible to stop it.
Everybody, probably, had problems and fears in life. Many people spoil their lives all by themselves because of trifles.
Treat life simpler. Choose for yourself any formula, for example: "All is trifles in comparison with the End of the World" or "All is trifles in comparasion with October Revolution," or something else that is closer to your heart, but in comparison with which all your problems seem to be comically small.
For example, when you go along a forest path, you kill ants, beetles, and various other creatures in hundreds. You donít even notice it - the sun shines like a heavenly body, nothing has changed in the world, but for this small insect it means a tragedy: a living mountain has passed over and crippled it, and then left even without noticing it, leaving the poor insect to die in torments.
Life and death are inseparable. It is not important, how long you lived, not important, how you're living now - everything has a beginning and an end, everything that was born must die. Death is inevitable. In fact, only death is real and precisely determined in our life, only its date is not determined for us.
"Well, it is known, we should die, maybe even today" -......(Cicero)
* * *
In the modern society it is not accepted to speak about death, but however you attempt to leave this topic and to close your eyes, you canít escape reality - your will have to die. There are believers, and there are atheists, but, nevertheless, almost everyone is afraid of death. Many people have subconscious fear of death. They are even afraid to speak about it, moreover, to think of it. But, in any case, we should try to understand, what death is.
Let us try to imagine, what death is. How do you imagine it? The answers are usually the following:
- Well, complete impenetrable mist and silence. In short, I am not there, that's all.
All is correct, but your relatives will also die some time, and there will be no trace in this world about you, even in memories. It makes no difference, whether you lived or not. Even, if all mankind will pray for you after your death, it does not matter for you - you donít exist.
People live, make plans, desire, envy, struggle for their well-being, but they forget that it all is a trifle - death will level everybody. Whether you lived in poverty, or you were rich, you will not even remember it after death. So, a piece of advice to you - if you meet with any difficulties in your life, or if you lose heart, remind yourself about death, or, if it frightens you, about something great:
Imagine the universe..., huge and endless.
How many worlds in it, how many stars, galaxies... and Greatness.
We know nothing about it. Do we?
What does intelligence mean?
Maybe, our sun is like an atom in someone's body, just like atoms in the surrounding space, and we, people, are elementary particles.
Then, what are all our problems and lives worth in comparison with the magnificence of the infinity of space and time?
All we are is an instant that nobody will notice.
The overwhelming majority of people lives, as though death does not exist at all. Anyway, all lifeís strivings are aimed at prosperity in this material world. However, everything that awaits us after death is pictured as a black abyss, not worthy of being remembered at all.
But let's imagine that after-life exists, that we have a soul, which will live after the death of the body, that we don't lose our individuality and continue to feel our being. The majority of religions and spiritual doctrines insist on the existence of the eternal soul. A contemporary person is not used to trust the word, he or she trusts only science, but the fact is, that people speaking in various languages and living in different parts of the world, on remote continents, have doctrines of after-life. However, in our usual, terrestrial life, we, as a rule, are not conscious of our soul, but let's suppose that it exists. Then, if it is correct, what all religions speak about after-life, about punishment for the sins, it becomes not so easy to live because we will be held accountable for all our actions. On the other hand, our life does not end with a black abyss and, probably, has some deep spiritual sense.
If we return to the question about the fear of death, whether there is life and death, or there isnít, it should not influence your attitude to death. Death itself is not scary. What causes fear is the uncertainty which death hides behind itself. Everyone has to solve this problem herself, choose, what suits one better, and turn the conclusions to oneís benefit. All concerns and fears in our life are because of the fear of death.
Still, is there a meaning in life? If we follow the logic of materialism, everything will be finished with death. Many people who were asked this question answered that there is a meaning in life - it is in the continuation of the human race. After your death there will be descendants left, the country, the race, the civilization..., and all this will move on the path of evolution.
People will always find some purpose, and if it does not exist, they will invent it. However, people simply try to ignore the essence of the problem. They are not asked about the purpose of all existence, but a concrete question: ďIs there a sense in this existence?Ē Probably, an average person does not have enough imagination to seize a more or less long period of time. Moreover, it is sad to realize that life has no meaning. All civilizations which existed on Earth before us disappeared. Some time will pass, and there will be no trace left of our civilization. At the end, the Earth is also not eternal, and those goals which were achieved will be of no importance. Therefore, the meaning of life should, probably, be sought on the spot, in the life of a concrete individual.
By the way, everyone can carry out such an experiment - ask his or her acquaintances, what they live for, and whether they see any high sense in life.
Here are some interesting examples:
"Why even during a short parting I am unfaithful to my wife? I love her, of course. I could abstain from sexual contacts for two weeks, but there are so many attractive women around, so why be bored, while itís possible to have some fun? And, in general, if one does not have sex, what is there to live for then?"
No comments. This situation is familiar to many of us - people find the meaning of life in every minute pleasures.
- Do I have a sense of life? You know, I do. Now I am building a cattle farm. It will need a rather big investment of money and time.
- Is there any other sense of life?
- Well, soon my son will go to serve in the army, then my daughter will grow up... I want to make them good people, help them financially.
- Well, and what is the meaning of life itself, what are you born for, what do you live for?
And these are the words of a man who is already forty! Having the most part of their life behind, people even don't think, what it is all for, where they are moving. If they can't know, should they at least think about it? But no, people are satisfied with such situation. Maybe, it indicates a lack of intellect? And who has said that man is intelligent in general? He himself? But the history of mankind shows the opposite. Let's take worldís religions, for example. From a religion of love and non-violence in response to evil people made a powerful weapon, and, by no means, a weapon of love, but a weapon of evil, hatred, greed, and fanaticism.
Crusades, medieval inquisition - there are many examples. It goes as far as praying to Christ and the saints for help in murder. But, from the canons of Christianity, it follows that a true Christian is a person radiating Sacred Love who lives only by God and is ready to offer his or her life for leading people to the Truth, for saving their souls.
Nevertheless, people do have some intelligence - otherwise, how one can explain all those tricks people use to achieve their goals. Cunning, hypocrisy, lie have no limits. People use all this so effectively, that they constantly apply it to themselves, creating sometimes several artificial personalities. In any case, animals are not capable of such self-deception, they are more honest to themselves and to the environment.
Still, let's turn to the sense of life of a concrete individual. There are many philosophical, spiritual, and religious trends which answer or attempt to answer this question. Philosophy is based on conclusions, theories and various mental constructions - therefore it can't claim to have found absolute truth, and any real philosopher will never deny the existence of a wide spectrum of possibilities. The situation is quite different with various spiritual and religious doctrines - practically every religion claims the throne of supreme and, what is most important, complete Truth.
So, what entitles each religion to proclaim its own full truthfulness? There is, probably, something in it since millions of believers can not all at once be mistaken and err. Since the time of the formation of basic religions, in the history of each religion, there were hundreds of cases where believers asserted their religion and God at the cost of their lives and painful suffering. Was their faith really so strong, that they didn't abandon it even in the face of death? What gave them so much force? From where did they draw their energy? Maybe, they had something more than ordinary faith.
Indeed, everyone comes to faith by oneís own way. For someone, it is a long process of searching, finding and disappointment, for another, it is a sudden revelation, which cannot be doubted. But what unites all believers? Practically all of them, stepping on a spiritual path, turning to God with prayers, repentance, sharing their beliefs with the people of the same faith and with others, become more and more absorbed in their belief and faithfulness. Finally, after becoming true believers, these people do not simply believe, but know. Afterwards, it is impossible to make a true believer change his or her mind or to prove to such a person the incorrectness of her views.
Each religion also has its saints, who advanced in their faith, in their knowledge of God, and in their self-sacrifice to God much further than the others. But how is it possible to know God, to know His goals and His will? It can be explained in the following way: each person, if she completely devotes herself to her business, becomes a specialist, an expert in this business. But what shall one do to obtain knowledge of God, of the whole universe, so that simple belief would develop into confidence, and confidence - into knowledge? In order to achieve this, one has to live in God, think of God, dream about God, aspire to God. Are the methods of various saints similar? What is common and what is different in their spiritual practice? And why, in spite of the similarities in spiritual experiences, there are so many different religions and religious trends? Obviously, despite the similar spiritual techniques for achieving the Truth, all spiritual knowledge obtained with the help of these practices, is incomplete.
But is there spiritual knowledge originating from the very source of the universe, for even at a superficial view on all religious, one can see that all of them are interconnected, and this connection is in the superior spiritual sphere of these religious - in God (He is the One and omnipotent), and are there spiritual practices or methods for achieving this superior knowledge? Obviously, within the framework of religions and the church, concentrated upon commandments, vows and dogmas, one can not achieve supreme knowledge.
Among the ancient manuscripts which reached our time, there are many scriptures describing the ways of comprehending God and spiritual evolution of mankind, scriptures directing civilizations on the way of spiritual development. Among them, there are the Old and the New Testaments comprising the Bible. The Christian world proclaims the Bible the book of books, ignoring other scriptures, often more ancient and spiritually richer. Thus, we know such manuscripts as the Avesta, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Buddhist Sutras, the Mahabharata with the Bhagavad Gita, and many others, which do not constitute a religion themselves, but rather impartially describe God, His manifestations in their great variety, creation and structure of the universe, and the place of man in this world. If we take the Gospels, there is much spiritual information in them, bit it doesn't make them a religion. The Gospels are only scriptures, but people who read them and interpret in their own way some non-essential details of the manuscripts create a new religion by turning some details into postulates. It came as far, that there appeared a Christian religion which denied existence of the soul and life after death. And, indeed, there are so many contradictions in the Bible, or, if you want, so much vagueness, that the Bible can be adapted to any philosophy and interpreted in any possible way. Someone even said in this respect: "Give me the Bible and I'll prove to you that God does not exist!" It is obvious, that contradictions in religions create spiritual ignorance and hide real ways of knowledge.
So, is there really a way to know the Truth, to know oneself, life and death, to know God? We can with confidence say - yes. This way is yoga. Yoga contains methods and techniques for achievement of the Supreme Truth, knowledge of oneself, oneís purpose in life, discovery of oneís divine abilities. All that is described by various religions and in various manuscripts can be known by means of this discipline.
Unfortunately, only a few people in the West know the real meaning of the word "yoga". The most well known branch of yoga is "Hatha-yoga," which aims at making the body healthy and at strengthening the vital energy. This created the impression that yogis are people capable of doing various impossible (from an ordinary point of view) things, people who can bring their physical abilities up to some inconceivably high level.
Actually, yoga is a way to God, and a yogi is a person who realized God.
But, in general, what are we talking about here? Do people really need God? Can they think of anything else besides their problems and desires? From our very birth we hear the words "God" , "love", "death," but the word "God" we use instead of a comma, even not suspecting its true meaning. Love we need only when we can profit from it. As for death, we remember about it only when we are confronted with it, and afterwards, we try to forget about it as soon as possible.
* * *
There was a time when the author of this book was a karate teacher. Once it happened that a 14-year-old girl stopped attending the training classes. So, the author decided to visit her. It is worth noting, that at that time the author still had not had fundamental yogic experiences.
- Well, tell me, what has happened to you.
- I don't know, I am in bad mood, no interest in life. In general, life has no meaning...
- Unshared love, I suppose. He is handsome, cheerful, you love him, and he doesn't notice you. It often happens in your age. A guy didn't smile, so come on drown yourself, hang yourselfÖ
- Why, he does notice me.
(I wanted to joke, but itís really about love here.)
- Well, tell me about him. Do you study in the same class with him?
- No, he lives in another town. We got acquainted in Anapa last summer.
- Then, what is the matter? You will still see him. Or, does not he write to you?
- Yes. Though I haven't replied to him yet.
- Well, you see, all this is a trifle.
- Actually, itís not so important.
Simply, thereís no interest. I already tried to end my life with poison one and a half years ago.
- Really? And why? (A chronic case. But, never mind, it can be cured. Thank God, that I came over to her and asked.)
- Well, got a bad grade at school. My mother scolded me. I was upset and swallowed the tablets.
- In general, it was not a strong poisoning. I felt nauseous and was sick for three days. Now safe and sound, but no interest again. I constantly think, what to live for?
- Is your father still alive?
- No, he died when I was seven. Just then something changed in me. I lost heart.
- You once said that you believed in God. By the way, suicide is considered to be one of the greatest sins.
- Yes, I do believe in God.
- As far as I understand, you were baptized. Tell me how you imagine God and how you understand Him. When did you start believing in Him?
- When they were baptizing me. I was eight then.
- And had you believed in God before?
- Basically, not. I didn't even think about it. And when I was being baptized, I began to believe.
- You don't say so! Well, your mother is also a believer then?
- And did you speak about God with her?
- Somehow not. She didn't touch that topic when talking with me.
- So, how do you imagine God?
- Well, I even don't knowÖ
- As a Holy Spirit who created all the universe or simply as the Cosmic Intelligence?
- No, not so. As a man who is able to do much, in general, as God or superman.
- Really? I did not expect that. And what do you think, where He is? He canít be in space, you know it yourself - people were in space and saw nothing.
- I even don't know...
- But what if I want to be with Him?
- With whom?
- With God.
-You are a joker. Did you deserve it? You throw your life in His face, life which he presented to you, and you want to remain with Him after that. He will simply send you backÖ
By the way, do you know how the bees behave when the apiary is transported to another place? When the sun sets, the bee-keeper closes the bee hives and takes them away to other blossoming plants. However, not all the bees can make it back before the hives are closed - some of them linger in the field or fly away too far. When they come back, the apiary is gone. They gather together on a tree branch and die. Bees from such hives form a whole swarm. But they don't have a queen, therefore they sit there in a lump to keep the remains of their bio-field and, finally, after two or three days, they die.
And that is a bio-field. Now imagine the universe: billions of stars, planets. They also have some connection between them. So, why would not the universe have a common bio-field, Cosmic Intelligence?
Have you ever seen a big flock of birds? The flock flies straight, then suddenly turns aside, though there was not any signal at all. Thatís universal knowledge. The birds of passage don't fly to the wintering and back separately - they would not have enough strength to do it, moreover they can lose their way. But in a flock - no problem - they become strong and know where to fly.
Imagine that the universe functions as one big brain. But not like our brain - we can think, do something, but we are not able to know and see what is inside us. But the Universal Intelligence is pure knowledge, not obscured by matter. First, I imagined God in such a way. But later, when I started to read esoteric literature, I learned that it was not God who was a consequence of matter, but rather that matter was a consequence of God. So, everything that we see is the energy of God. He created everything around us and He is everywhere. He is able to destroy, for instance, this building (I point to a nine-story building) and then to re-create it in an instant, and everything will be done ideally, as if nothing happened.
- Well, let Him destroy it and restore it, then I will believe that He is like you just described Him.
-(Smiling) You see, if He starts proving to everybody... For example, now He will show His power to you, then you will believe in Him, tell your friends, but they will not believe and will want Him to prove His existence to them, and so on.
- Yes, of course, I know that I am not better than others, but I would still want it...
- Relax. I see that you have understood the absurdity of your desire. Even in the Gospel it is written: "Blessed is he that has not seen and yet has believed." (John 20:24)
God has created everything. God is everywhere and nothing is outside of God.
The universe consists of seven kinds of energy. Everything we see is the seventh and densest kind of energy. But all seven energies are hidden in matter. The sixth is the ether or subtle physical. The ether double in man and in all environment determines the form. The fifth is the astral or vital energy. It is thinner than the ether, but still dense - it is possible to see it, if you want to. People with extrasensory abilities distinguish it perfectly. The bio-field or the aura consists of thin energies visible to a person with extrasensory perception.
Everything that we see and feel is God. We ourselves are also God. Now I'll explain it.
It is written in the Bible: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) You should not understand the word "Word" literally, as a combination of sounds. What is meant here by "Word" is something thinner than matter. You can neither take nor touch it - therefore this analogy is given in the Bible.
At the beginning there was pure Knowledge, Divine Consciousness. Then it started to condense and to form more material energies. This condensation was going on for tens of billions of years or, maybe, for shorter or longer period... Then, at the very end, the seventh and densest energy began to form. It gave source to all visible Universe - stars, planets, nebulae. And, at last, after billions of years of formation, material universe became suitable for life of physical organisms. But before that time, life was already developing, but it was happening on more subtle planes of existence.
So, thatís basically how life has begun. You know an approximate history of evolution of life on Earth. But the evolution discovered by scientists reflects only the development of material life, but on more subtle planes, intelligent life existed right after the formation of the planet.
Man has a soul which continues to live after death of the body - now it is also confirmed by scientists. Many medical doctors working in intensive therapy rooms collected extensive information - stories, memoirs of reanimated people about their feelings while they were clinically dead.
Now, to assert that subtle worlds do not exist is the same as to admit oneself being blind. During the recent years, our country was flooded with information about psychics, wizards, yogis, various magic and spiritual teachings, but, nevertheless, many people still doubt the existence of God or, at least, all these phenomena.
It would be unfair to label someone blind, if this person rejects all this information without considering it carefully and figuring it out to the end. Many people, having familiarized themselves with some information superficially, by hearsay, or without thinking it over, still decide to insist on their narrow materialistic dogmas. And thatís understandable. But weíll leave them where they are...
Thus: "A soul born in heaven,
Is endowed with great power.
But earthly flesh is a prison.
It covered the spirit over like an avalanche."
God created the soul of each human being. We, i.e. our soul - is a spark of God, but we received our free will, and therefore we feel ourselves as a personality, but we don't know our divine nature and live all on our own. But God created us with a purpose, He had a plan concerning us. So, this plan is that we come to understanding all by ourselves what we are and develop our souls to the divine state.
Life is a school, a testing which makes us progress. And it depends only on you, how long you will study. For my part, the sooner it finishes, the better.
You, probably, heard about reincarnation - rebirth of the soul. That is, man lives on Earth many times. In reality, thatís the way it is. All of us have lived many lives on Earth.
- Yes, but why don't I remember what was in past lives?
- You see, a new birth is a big stress, therefore you forget what was before birth. But tell me, do you remember much what happened before you were three years old?
- Almost nothing.
- So, you see, you don't even remember this life, and you want to remember past lives.
- Then what is the difference whether I lived before or not?
The material environment is short-lived. As long as we live only by the physical body, we will not live a full life. The point is, that from life to life, a living being develops spiritually (though failures are also possible), and immortal Self always remains a personality.
Imagine, that you have lost your memory: you are able to speak, but you remember nothing that happened to you in this life. Nevertheless, you didn't die and you feel yourself a personality. Your "I" remained with you.
The restoration of memory is just question of time. Under favorable conditions it will come back.
Look, how many people are around us, everyone has oneís own character and soul qualities. If the soul were born together with the body, as Christians say, then in good families, where parents try to bring up children as honest and decent people, there would always be good children, and in bad families - only criminals and villains. However, in good families, many children become dregs, and in families where parents don't look after their children, future geniuses and thinkers or simply good and sincere people are born. The matter is that in the past lives people acquire spiritual experience and bring it over to their present life in the form of soul qualities. Upbringing is also of great importance, but if the past experience is strong, then, under favorable circumstances, it can prevail over the family education of this life.
Our civilization proceeds on the way of scientific and technological development, but it is the wrong way. Of course, it brightens up life, makes it more substantial, more convenient, more comfortable, but it gives little for the soul. The soul develops in every-day situations - in emotions, desires, conflicts, love... But all this is possible without scientific achievements. Before, there was no radio, no TV, people lived with candles, but they were happy, loved and suffered. They didn't feel themselves restrained because they could not spend holidays on Hawaii - at that time there were no planes, and people did not even know about them. Tell me, please, do you strongly suffer that you can not spend vacation on the Moon or some other planet?
- Well, I didn't somehow think about it. However, I wouldn't be better because of it.
- I think so too. Most likely, in many years from now, life will be more comfortable than now, but now we perceive reality as it is and don't complain about our destiny.
Many people complain about bad conditions of their life and about poverty. Of course, it is difficult to live in poverty when your child wants to look no worse than the others, and when the mother does not have the means to afford all this. She herself would also like to look beautiful. But imagine that all people around us wear ragged clothes and live in caves... Would this mother complain about her destiny?
- Most probably, not - all people around her live like she does.
- You see, the improvement of well-being brings only new headaches. And all this comes from egoism - nothing for oneself, and nothing for the others (it feels better that way). All this comes from the ego and depends on appetite of the ego - someone is happy with very few things, and for another - a billion dollars is not enough. There seems to be some injustice. This injustice is in attachment, and attachment is already a limitation of freedom. By the way, do you know, what freedom means?
- Probably, when you may do everything you want to, when nobody controls you, and you don't depend on anyone.
- Thatís right, you gave an almost complete characteristic of freedom. Now imagine that there is a man who constantly drinks, he can't stay without alcohol, in short - he is a drunkard. Does he depend on anything?
- May be, on a bottle.
- Just so. Alcohol completely subordinated this man and doesn't let him free. It turned him into its slave. There are people who smoke. Some of them even want to get rid of it, but they cannot do it. Again, no freedom. Furthermore, people have a great deal of various habits, both harmful and useful, but if people want to get rid of even one habit, they immediately see, how hard it is. Many people proclaim personal freedom, but what is it worth when the inner slavery doesn't allow them to live freely. The destiny of all people is already predetermined from childhood. From our birth, we absorb the information of the external world, ideas, views on life, and life goals. While at school, we constantly receive information on what is good and what is bad, on what man is, and on how far the science has advanced. Having grown up, a person does not have other choice than to start working, to marry, to bear children, to work until retirement, and, finally, to die. During the period from birth to death, peopleís life differ only in insignificant details. People even think the same way. And there is no way out of this vicious circle since from childhood we were accustomed to be like everybody else - this is not allowed, that is not allowed, donít go here, donít butt in there, this is none of your business, and that you will know when you grow up... If someone wants to do something in oneís own way, this person will meet misunderstanding, blame, strange looks. The inner dependence on the standard fixed ideas does not give a person any chances to go against the flow. So, judge for yourself whether "your spirit, wrapped up in darkness, is free."
-Well, a rather gloomy picture. And what to do now?
-All depends on you. You simply have to look at life as a side observer and decide, what you live for. Do you know the fable "The dragon-fly and the ant"?
And people live in the same way, without thinking about anything, and then itís time to die. The meaning of this fable can be expressed in another way:
Young and beautiful we were,
Enjoying life and falling in love,
An endless life in front of us,
But all unnoticeably passes by.
The years pass, they canít be brought back,
And now, look - your last path.
Death has arrived, your life is has passed,
You lie in bed, so tired as never,
Eyes closed, it's getting dark,
The friends around are a few...
What are they for?
Now you are dead, the soul is the darkness.
The coffin boarded up as usual,
And showered with dirt. What a lot!
While young, you think:
ďNo, never will I die!Ē
You haven't time for looking back
The years pass. What to do?
Eye-holes will rot under ground.
What would you tell yourself then? No answer.
Tell yourself: "All is passing in this world,
The years flying by and then
No traces left, such is life!
We have forgotten all we done.
You lie in coffin. That is all".
Just in this way all people live, better to say - exist - hunt after money, career, momentary pleasures, but inside - there is nothing. And it depends only on you, how you will live - either youíll live a life without a meaning, or you will live every instant filled with great sense.
* * *
And you, do you think, you are free? Probably, every one of you found himself or herself in a situation, when your goals, ideas, dreams encountered an impenetrable barrier of public opinion and generally accepted fixed ideas. But where is the obstacle, where is the barrier to overcome? Is it outside or inside? What is a criterion of freedom - external obstacles or inner dependence? Try to answer this question yourselves. Only honestly.
Happiness. Freedom. Happiness is a state of the soul. The space of the soul is many times larger than the external space that we can possess. Freedom is also a state of the soul, but we are used to paying so much attention to the external life, we are so engulfed by it, that there is no need to speak about inner freedom at all - inside we remain beggars. "Build the castles not on the earth, but in heaven."
So, how can we achieve spiritual freedom? How to become happy? Yoga answers these and other questions, and not simply answers, but also gives methods for achieving the goal.
Yoga is not a religion, that's why it is not for everybody. In religion, it is enough to believe and to observe the commandments in order to find inner peace and become happy. Yoga goes much further - comprehension of one's true essence, comprehension and knowledge of God, mastering of inner and outer energies - that is what it leads to. On top of that, there are no rigid frameworks and principles, which religions have in abundance. But, if you want, you may stay in the framework of your religion.
True spirituality, godlike sainthood - it is the Kingdom of God in man, but not the church, clergy or a religious sect, therefore, whatever the Christians say about the possibility of salvation only through baptism, it should be noted that salvation is possible only through establishment of the Kingdom of God in oneself, or in other words, if you want - through baptism by the Holy Spirit. As for the formal procedure of baptism, it should be understood as an oath to oneself in the face of God for service to God, and not as an insurance policy against hell (you can only insure yourself against getting there by your own deeds).
ďBut the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23 - 4:24)
Nirvana, enlightenment, liberation. Many people heard these words, some know their meaning. But have you felt what is there, behind the words? All founders of religions, all great saints, in order to achieve freedom and find enlightenment, engaged in spiritual practice, lived in solitude, and only after that, having realized their true Self, having known God, they came back to people, bringing new teaching or reviving old traditions. Man is created in the shape and likeness of God, everybody has one beginning, and everybody has the potential for its achievement.
But we don't need words, we need proofs. It is better to see once than to hear a hundred times. We call on to you not to trust a single word of us but to try and feel it all yourself. However, it is a rather difficult task. To feel the energy and even to learn the contactless massage, you can in five minutes, but to enter the consciousness close to the divine... For this purpose, you need no less than a week of continuous effort.
For a start, so that you donít think that all this is not possible, try to feel the energy, with which many psychics work:
Sit down and relax, put the right hand, back side of the palm facing down, in front of you. Exhale, then inhale slowly. Hold your breath upon inhalation and concentrate in the area of your lungs. Imagine the air you have inhaled as a swirling cloud. Imagine as realistically as possible. Start exhaling and mentally direct the air, the swirling cloud, as a thin jet, through your arm towards the tips of your fingers. Inhalations and exhalations should be smooth, without jerks. If you do everything correctly, then, already after three exhalations, you will get a feeling of prickliness and numbness in the tips of your fingers. Then raise your hand, fingers pointing downwards, and begin slow, smooth movements of fingers. Pricking and numbness will increase. Now bring your fingers nearer to the palm of the other hand and continue smooth movements. You will feel the warmth and soft pressure.
By practicing this way, you will learn contactless massage and will develop energy sensitivity of hands. If you felt nothing, you may use another technique:
Stand up. Stretch your arms sideways at the shoulder level. Lift the palms up towards yourself with fingers straight, but without much tension. Perform smooth circular movements backwards with your palms. Do it very slowly. Almost immediately you will feel strong numbness in all fingers and strong vibration around them. It is very important to choose the speed of movement and the strength of tension of palms towards your body. Then practice finger movements, as in the first exercise.
In the course of evolution, animals of various kinds adapted to the environment. Animals living in complete darkness have almost no daylight vision, but, on the other hand, they have other organs of sense - ear and a sense of smell. In the same way, humans, being brought up from childbirth in the material environment, lose energy sensitivity. If you constantly use the energy in you life, your energy potential and sensitivity will increase.
To take possession of internal energies and to realize your essence, you need to throw away all outer personality layers which cover the soul, your divine essence. These are: emotions, desires, thoughts, concepts - all that we constantly use, all that we call our personality.
Liberation. If we consider liberation from the spiritual point of view, it is the most suitable word expressing the essence of the experience. There are different levels of liberation, but all are related to realization of oneís difference from the usual human nature, from the external personality in which one lives, from desires, conceptions, memory, in other words - from the body, internal nature, and the mind. Probably, it will be difficult for an average person even to imagine, how it can be possible, since one will be forced to reject everything that one considers oneís own "I" and values very much. Actually, itís not scary at all. On the contrary, it is the most desirable thing for your true essence, which you, unfortunately, do not realize yet. And all that you value so much, will, in any case, be destroyed after death. Death is the destruction of external covers of your soul. At first, when the body dies, your vital energy is destroyed. Then you work out your attachments in the subtle body (and the more attachments you have, the more you will suffer). Then the process is repeated in the mental body, and at last there is only your soul that is left, the soul which you were not conscious of in your life.
But the soul reincarnates from life to life in order to develop, and for this purpose, it should consciously control life and take part in it. If we were correctly brought up from our birth, it would be easy for the soul to do it. But just to the contrary, from our very childhood, we were taught to follow the external material rules, fixed ideas. We were forced to depart from the pure existence into the dry existence, which is all laid out for us. Instead of teaching children how to take pleasure in life by living in harmony with nature and with themselves, people teach them to be hardhearted, enterprising and smart.
Your soul does not need your position in society, your well-being and material pleasures. All the soul needs is to be conscious, to participate in life, and not to look for a way between your desires and plans, so that it can at least occasionally affect your external consciousness. Many people feel reflections of emotions of the soul, but then immediately push them back, justifying it by saying that itís not the time for sentimentality and emotions. But these are only reflections of the soul, but the soul itself people, in their overwhelming majority, do not realize even for an instant in their life. Emotions of the soul are: sacred love, sacred compassion, faithful service to the Divine, gratitude, and understanding. Sacred love is not love to your son or dog, though sacred love, if you have this feeling, will be directed towards them too. But you will also feel this intense love to a homeless man, a drunkard or a bandit. Realizing your soul, you will realize your divine essence, and, naturally, you will see the divine essence under the mask of a murderer or a scoundrel. You will see that a criminal doesn't realize his divine spark, while those around him who eagerly blame the crimes do not realize it either. You will see that all that we call criminal in a bandit is not his soul but the layers of external covers created under the influence of acquired experience in this world, the layers which don't see their divine origin. What you will feel towards such people is sacred compassion based on the knowledge of the Divine in yourself and in people around you. It will be compassion for the soul, which is buried under the heap of external emotions, thoughts, desires, and ideas of oneself and life. You will feel compassion for a scoundrel or murderer in the same way as for the people who are filled with anger and hatred against these criminals and who do not realize that their emotions are not better in any way and constitute a crime of the same degree against their own souls.
Having identified with the cosmic spirit above the head, one loses his personality in the boundless ocean of the eternal universe. One ceases to realize oneself as a separate person, realizing the unity of all creation, realizing the eternal source of all that was manifested. Advancing on the way of liberation, the soul acquires powers and abilities earlier unknown to man. The soul is no longer a puppet in the hands of its instruments (body, life and mind), it becomes a legitimate, conscious owner of it's destiny, not subject to influence of external factors. This is not an abstract feeling, this feeling is so concrete that in the course of ordinary life people don't feel anything similar, even physical feelings can not be compared with it.
Liberation. Liberation from spiritual slavery. These are not mere words, it is enough to feel it to realize the whole importance of this word. So that you understand it, we will describe it all on our own example.
When the author of this book became interested in religion, God, he had to read a lot of religious and philosophical literature, including the Gospels and the Koran. Encountering such concepts as enlightenment and liberation, he was always sure that he would achieve these conditions.
But enlightenment and liberation were always described as something outstanding and hard to achieve. Realizing all the difficulty of the task, he, nevertheless, was sure, that he would accomplish it if he would fully devote himself to the chosen goal.
* * *
Here follows a description which was recordered on tape three years after the described events:
"So I began to practice Pranayama in order to awaken the mystical Kundalini force (it is worth noting that later, I awakened it in two days) and went on a vegetarian diet. At that time, I knew little about liberation and what it really felt like, but I knew that Kundalini was the basis. Having brought the practice of Pranayama up to two hours per day, I indeed achieved some results - my reaction increased several times. Since I practiced karate, it was important for me. Then, I could see the intentions of a person hitting me a second before the actual hit. There was a feeling that a person in front of me was like an open book.
Approximately two months later, I began to feel Prana upon inhalation and exhalation. I felt, how the energy ran through me during Pranayama, how it increased and accumulated. I started having various mystical experiences during the evening Pranayama, such as going out of the body and separating the self essence from the body. All this was pleasant and gave the feeling of true being.
Four months later, the conditions of practice changed, and I often had to break my day schedule. Therefore, the experiences gradually stopped. Then I began to lead a life quite unfavorable to my Yoga practices. It concerned both work and personal life. I was losing much vital, mental, and physical energy. Gradually I lost everything that I acquired with the help of my practices and Pranayamas, all was gone. However hard I tried to practice, the experiences did not come back.
Half a year later, I realized that if it would continue any longer, I would absolutely degrade, but I aspired very much to achieve spiritual perfection. I changed my external conditions and resolutely started the practice.
At that time I encountered the book of Satprem "Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness." There I met with a new direction of Yoga. The book did not talk of the ascending Kundalini force, which I wanted to awaken, but of the Divine Shakti - the force which was not rising from the base of the spine but descending from above, through the crown of the head, completely filling the body and doing oneís Yoga. It meant that one only had to surrender oneself to the Divine force. I was intrigued by that and became interested in that Yoga. The book gave a very detailed system of meditation - how to meditate. The meditation is very simple - you need to calm your mind, thoughts, emotions, stop thinking. Gradually, when you stop these internal movements, the force begins to descend from above and fill you with its energy.
I had a very strong inspiration after reading that book, therefore I firmly decided to engage in that Yoga. My first attempts to stop thinking were, naturally, unsuccessful. It was indeed very difficult, just what the book had said. That was, I realized, what I had to do with. All that was rooted in me for twenty years, what I used to do every day, every minute, every second - that was, I constantly thought of something (oneís thoughts cannot stand still) - all that was not going to leave its position and surrender. And to overcome it, I had to apply very strong aspiration, maximum concentration, and constant strong-willed effort. Thanks to my inspiration and purposefulness, I could, at last, after three days, stop my thoughts. At that time I had just a suitable job (I had quit my old job but I got a new one where I had to sit and stare at the wall). I was sitting in an armchair, a journal table in front of me. I had an opportunity to read books and to stare at the wall (it promoted meditation very much). After several unsuccessful trial attempts, I yet managed to stop the thoughts after three days of constant effort. To meditate, I tried constantly, but I spared five minutes at the beginning of each hour for maximum effort. At last, after three days, I noticed, that I was not thinking about anything for five minutes, no thoughts appeared. I was simply relaxed and looked inside myself, throwing out all appearing thoughts, which, at the end, disappeared completely. After five days, during meditation, indeed, an energy started descending from above. It was so soft and smooth. It filled all my body, it was very pleasant. I realized, that I had achieved that stage, the initial stage in Integral Yoga.
For about a week I continued meditations, stopped thoughts, tried to avoid any internal movements, to be attentive, and looked inside myself. The book said, that once the silence of mind was established, one had to learn to expand oneís consciousness. I began to imagine a huge, infinite, constantly expanding universe. The universe was expanding, and my consciousness was expanding together with the universe. I imagined, how my consciousness was expanding in all directions millions of light years every second. I started to constantly keep the image of expanding space in my head, in my consciousness. Gradually my consciousness left my body and really started expanding.
I stopped feeling my body. At first, I felt strong energy in my body and around it. Gradually, I ceased to feel that energy - it simply merged with the energy of the Universe. I began to feel that my body was all the universe. When I was outdoors and looked at people, at the world around me, I looked through my body but I looked from above. That is, I was no longer a human being - I had no thoughts, no emotions, no memory of my present life or thoughts of the future life. I had no desire to do anything. I was, at the same time, in the static and in the dynamic condition. I constantly expanded, but my soul did not go into movement, it was calm and serene. A real huge world settled in me. I looked at people and saw that they were inside me. Looking at buildings, the sky, the horizon, I saw that I was many times more huge than the horizon, many times larger than the sky, I was above of all that. My consciousness expanded up to the size of the Universe, I felt it with all my essence. And really, I looked at all as if it was seen with the eyes of God. Then I realized, or more exactly, I found enlightenment. I began to realize very clearly, not in the way that I simply knew it, but in the way that it was my very essence, that I always existed and that I would always exist, that I had never been born and that I would never die, that is, that I was eternal. It was my very essence, it was not my idea, it was my feeling of all creation.
When I looked at people, who thought, laughed, grieved, overwhelmed by their thoughts, emotions, external life, I saw that they were, just as me, particles of the Universe, particles of God, that they could achieve the same condition as me, that they were same brothers and sisters, but they were still distinguishing that you were you and I was I. I saw how people were seized with their petty life, how senselessly their deeds and actions were in this transitory world. Huge energy of compassion rose in me. The wave inside of me simply piled up my eyes... and I immediately sank back into meditation. When I looked at people and concentrated on their sorrows or joys, I saw them filled with all emotions, thoughts, a wave of compassion surged in me. If I had not held it, tears would have burst from my eyes, I felt it. I had the time to stop it and went into deep meditation. Tears started to appear, but quickly dried up, therefore nobody noticed it. From outside, I looked like a zombie - my glance was empty because I constantly concentrated on the inner world. I looked at the world as if with the eyes made of glass, I saw everything, but did not distinguish anything, my glance did not fix on anything. For example, when I crossed a street, the cars rushed past me, but I did not notice them. Most likely, I saw with side vision that they drew near, but it did not cause any reaction. Once, I was nearly knocked down by a car, though I saw it coming near. Then I realized that I had to go out of deep meditation when crossing a road or in other dangerous situations, otherwise I wouldn't last longer.
I did not feel myself a human, the consciousness was not as that of a human being. The feeling was as if I had been sleeping all my life and, at last, woke up. I was not in the body. I was in the Universe, but at the same time I had no thoughts. The process of thinking itself occurred in a quite different way. That is, I had no thoughts, no emotions. People are used to putting their thoughts in words. If the thoughts are not put into words, these thoughts go unnoticed. As I did not think about anything and had no emotions, thinking occurred instantly. I simply gained knowledge all at once, knowledge of something. When I looked at people, I did not need to think or say anything inside my mind, so and so, and to draw any conclusions - I simply knew at once. In fact, it occurs for all people, but people are accustomed to using their mind, which puts everything into words, crunching everything. If it is not crunched, not put in words, people simply do not notice the idea itself. Perhaps, they notice it, but very vaguely, on the periphery of their consciousness, but when the mind shapes it in words, people start to know. But it is a much longer way, and it takes very much energy. And I simply knew, saw and knew. I simply was an existence, pure in itself. At that time, I could not say "I", I was no more as such, I was fully dissolved. My perception of death became different. It appeared to me as something wonderful, the most marvelous in my life. I felt it near and expected it as a beloved bride. I thought with bliss about the time when I would leave this sheath. At that time, I was ready to die at any moment. I was ready to die at any second, and I felt that my consciousness would not interrupt for a second, even if I would be knocked down by a car. I had such a stable consciousness which could not be broken either by thoughts, or by emotions, either by those of myself, or of somebody else. When I was going by trolley-bus, somebody could push or hit me, intentionally or unintentionally, while pushing forward in the crowd. Not only did not I have any emotion, but even not any likeness of emotion or a shadow of any thought. I was as stable as the Universe. Therefore I felt, that if I would die, my consciousness would not interrupt for a second.
At the same time I gained a continuous consciousness. When I went to bed, having been in meditation for the whole day, filled with energy and extended all over the universe, then, because of the meditation, I could not fall asleep. But I had a fixed idea, that I had to sleep for eight hours, so I left meditation and energy and returned into my body. Meditation stopped, and at once, from all sides, thoughts attacked me. I felt that those thoughts were not mine. I felt that thoughts were in the house where I lived, in the town where I lived, all thoughts of all people creeped in my head, they attacked me like aggressive rats. My mind was catching up with all that it missed during the day of silence and quietness. This was my feeling. I closed my eyes, relaxed myself, and there was no any transition from the waking state to sleep. I remembered everything thoroughly from the beginning. When I went to bed, closed my eyes, such an intensive and saturated dream began, that it looked like a super action movie, and it did not interrupt for a second during all the time of sleep.
I clearly remembered, right from the moment of going to bed, since I closed my eyes, how that dream started. I remembered every minute of that dream, from the beginning to the very end. But there was no end as such. In the morning, the alarm clock rang, there was no transition from sleep to wakefulness, I simply opened my eyes with clear consciousness. At night, while sleeping, I heard everything that happened outside and inside me. I simply turned off the alarm clock, stood up, and washed myself. My sleep, not interrupting for a second, continued in my consciousness. I brushed my teeth, washed myself, and, at the same time, continued watching the dream which had started at the beginning of the night. Then I had my breakfast and started to calm my consciousness. In principle, it was already quiet, but that dream, or astral (call it as you want), was before my eyes, though I was separated from it. In about five minutes, I went into meditation and in the energy, expanded my consciousness, and again - a day-long silence. It continued for about two weeks. Two weeks of daytime bliss and two weeks of night adventures.
I was fed up with these adventures indeed, and began to realize that something was wrong there. Moreover, I nearly fractured my hand during karate training, while beating the punching ball with my fists. I stopped feeling my body and could no longer adjust the force of the blow - while training, I did not leave meditation. Because of all this, I decided to stop my meditation practice for a while and to practice only karate.
In about four days, I left meditation (during that period it continued automatically) and returned to the usual human consciousness. Even after stopping the meditation, I was able to still the consciousness and thoughts, enter into the energy and to expand my consciousness endlessly.
After two months I dislocated my arm in the elbow. The elbow sprang out since I fell on it with the whole weight of my body. There was strong pain. I had the elbow set back on its place and the arm put in plaster. By the way, an interesting side of the matter - after falling down and hearing the grinding sound, I thought that I had broken my arm and supposed that I would become disabled as the arm would be broken in the elbow. The grinding sound was terrible, I heard it and felt it distinctly. An idea flashed across my mind: "Now I shall engage in Yoga and meditation, now nothing shall stop me." But it was found that it was not a fracture but a very strong dislocation. At that time, in order to avoid pain, I was leaving my body, expanding my consciousness, but there was not enough energy in the body. Moreover, the pain was so strong, that it pulled me back, therefore I stopped meditating and decided to wait until the arm would heal.
In a month my arm was all right, practically nothing remained except slight pain, which completely disappeared after some weeks. My hand was well again, I tried to go into the meditation and, to my horror, realized that I could not go into it, that is, I became an ordinary man, I could not stop the thoughts and leave my body. In just one month I lost everything. It was almost a tragedy for me, I could not feel the energy, could not be as before, I became an ordinary man. I was strongly shaken by this because I was sure that, having achieved my goal once, I would be able to restore all without efforts. But it turned out, that it was not so - I had spent too much time in external consciousness. However, there was still knowledge and confidence that all that could be restored of my own accord. But I was too young and decided to build up some life experience. For some half a year after that, I still had a strong feeling of isolation from the reset of the world. I lived as a man, but was other-worldly. I lived apart, looked at the world as from the side, I noticed the years flying by - the first, the second, I precisely saw the time from the side, I was an observer, who did not take part in that life."
This story will be continued, but before returning to his Yoga, the author had to acquire a lot of mental knowledge. He was even a Buddhist monk during one year, studied other Yogas. It canít be said that that time was wasted, but nobody knows. All is in God's hands...but we have a choice.
* * *
The choice is all our's. We can keep living, pretending that nothing has happened, that God is all by himself, and we are all by ourselves. Not even feeling our soul, we feel quite all right the way we are... Or don't we? After so much seeking, so much contemplation, did we finally find some imperfect peace and shelter in the material world. But, maybe, we have buried our soul behind all the false concepts of "I", so that we don't hear it any more?
The choice is all yours - what to live for and what to strive for. But don't forget that any step towards God, towards the Truth, will never go worthless, and all world's reaches can never substitute the wealth of the spirit. You are free as a wind. You can live a full life, advancing towards the highest goal, or living from occasion to occasion, wasting one more life. Eternity is all in front of you, and you can either become one with it or die.
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