Volume 4, Issue 2
In his song “Begin the Beguine”, Cole Porter describes that miraculous moment in time when you really experience being in a heavenly realm, even though you are still on Earth. It is one of the higher levels of the Flow state.
Lovers can sometimes shift into that place together, as if tuning across to a parallel universe of bliss just a dimensional twist away from this universe where we assume a defensive stance against endless trials and challenges whose humor we can no longer see. Rarely are the lovers intending that shift consciously, although Tantric Yogis populate much of this rare group.
Just as often it is one person alone making the shift. Again it occurs by itself without conscious intent sometimes, though great numbers of people on Earth engage in practices long ago discovered to have the effect of potentiating and bringing on that state and other levels of Flow. Yoga is the science of those practices, its purpose being the realization within inner experience of connection with divinity.
Yoga, from Sanskrit, means to yoke up, as an ox is yoked up to a wagon, or an attention node of the One Consciousness is consciously yoked up to the whole of which it is a part. The corresponding linguistic root in Latin is religare (verb), or religio (noun), meaning to bind, very similar semantically with the additional connotation of a debt or duty to repay righteously. All religions are forms of practice designed to accomplish this shift in inner state. These inner states actually exist, as has long been obvious to common sense, and as is now beginning to be validated by the skeptical reductionist science dominant in Earth thinking for the last four centuries.
The word “religion” today is not as useful in a conversation like this as it might have been. Organized religions have let people down on too many occasions due to corruption and wars and torture and molestation and God knows what else that is the obvious opposite of what religion must stand for if and when pure. The subtext of the word is therefore poisoned with that long history of going off course. The term I prefer to use as a result of that baggage is “Spiritual”.
I use the word “spiritual” in the context of the classical perspective that within what we can perceive of the whole of reality, there are two palpable aspects: matter and consciousness. We experience both and therefore common sense accepts that both exist. The remaining question is simply, “What is the relationship between these two aspects of reality?”
In that context, “experience”, “consciousness”, and “spirit” all mean the same thing to me. They are the names of the domain of reality that is not matter.
More about these thoughts — the levels of Flow state, the meaning of the spiritual levels of Flow, the practices of yoga and other spiritual methodologies, the meeting ground between the spiritual domain and science — in our next exciting installment. 🙂
My best to you all,
Watch for my new book, You Are the Universe: Imagine That, coming soon.
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