What is it?
What is to be Attained?
excerpts from the teachings of Eugene Halliday
Yoga is the method and practice leading to the conscious union of the individual human being with the ultimate source and origin of his being .
It aims at the awakening of the egoic-self to the real Self through the process of reflexive self-consciousness, a state of transcendent Self-awareness which confers upon the beings who attain it certain powers of adequate response and capacities of stimulus assimilation.
Without reflexive self-consciousness one is identified with the content of consciousness, with the things of the world, with ideas of the mind, with the emotional states of the psyche. One is like a man in a dream swayed and submerged in the sea of emotions and half-formed images of the world of fantasy,
To practise Yoga is to change the whole quality of one’s perception and conception of the world. It is to rescue oneself from identification with the object world and thus from slavery to the law governing that world. All freedom stands in this capacity.
Without this reflexive self-conscious freedom the word “freedom” itself is an illusion and action is merely re-action to stimuli from the world of things, the world of partials, the unwhole world of separativity and illusory processes.
The ultimate source and origin of our being is sentient and conscious. A stream cannot rise higher than its highest point. The consciousness of man cannot rise higher than its own ultimate source, and in the generality has not yet reached so high.
To become conscious of our source is to become conscious of the source of all beings and all consciousness, It is to become consciousness itself, and reflexively self-consciously so.
To confine our consciousness to the considerations of the finite objects of our five special sense organs is unnecessarily to limit its scope The sentient field is itself infinite, To concentrate consciousness fully upon a particular object within that field is to deprive oneself of the knowledge of what lies beyond that particular,
To rescue oneself from the self-imposed ignorance of the particularising consciousness one has only to remove the stress placed by consciousness upon the particular and replace it in its source.
The particularising tendency of the lower mind is a product of the over specialising activity of the five special sense organs, an over activity initially imposed on them by the external stimulus situation. This is presented in the Eden myth by the Serpent which acted on the woman, Eve (the feeling and substance side of man) and so drew into the external world his sense-organs, capturing his mind in materiality.
It does not need a great deal of thought to see that full concentration on a given finite thing deprives us of data beyond it.
The mind which merely sees separate particular things, and not their world context, is a mind deprived of universal concepts which could confer order upon his sense data.
All contents of consciousness are functions of power. To confine oneself to particular sense percepts is to deprive oneself of the energy contained in concepts of universal validity.
The particularising man, tied to separate, serially-experienced finites, functions at a low level of consciousness. He is tied to the data provided by his five special sense organs, He reacts to stimuli like an animal rather than a rational human being. Free will is to him a term with no other significance than stimulus-reaction, or taxism-response .
The generalising man has begun to free himself from particularising reactions. He has begun to see the Law which governs the world.
The universal thinker carries the work further. His intellect has lifted him to the level where universally true concepts confer upon him power to order the particular and the general.
The absolute man is the man who sees beyond the universe as a formed thing, into the laws of motion which bring it into being. He recognises the relation between these laws and the laws of his own consciousness. He sees all things as produced by motion, and motion as produced by the Absolute, and the Absolute as Infinite Eternal Sentient Power. And he knows that his own consciousness, that whereby he knows what he knows, is that Absolute Sentient Power, operating through the vehicle of his body.
He knows what is meant when it is said, the Universal works through the particular, the Absolute through the relative. The Yogi centres himself in the Absolute even as he operates through the relative.
He does not conceive himself separate from the Absolute. He says, as Christ said, “I am and my Father are one”, or “I and my Generative Power are one”.
The absolute man, the man of the Absolute, the true Yogi, is the reflexively self-conscious man who has turned his consciousness away from the particulars of the world in order to become one with the principle of their being.
For him, freed from the fixated identification with a particular finite body, there is no “outside”. All beings are WITHIN his consciousness. In leaving all things to return to his true Self he has discovered all things with himself in the Absolute from which he derived.
In losing his life he has found it.
The particularising man is the prodigal son who drove forth from his father’s house and has not yet reached the point of realising that he is eating husks with the swine,
The man who begins to generalise is the prodigal son at the point of his first stirring of awareness that he has sinned, i.e. separated himself from the Whole.
The universal thinker is the prodigal son who recognises once more that he stands in his father’s house.
The absolute man is the prodigal son sitting with his Father rejoicing in their re-union.
The reflexive self-conscious man knows these things and more. He knows that reflexive self-consciousness is the beginning and the end of the journey into time and particularity. He knows it is the beginning because the Absolute has always from eternity reflexed upon itself in its own non-difference, He knows it is the end because having lost it and entered the time process, man is driven by the Absolute to regain it. The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, are the same,
In between the beginning and the end stretches the time process, the realm of Saturn-Chronos. Within this process, in this realm, fallen man who has not yet returned, must receive the education which will bring him, the man who in leaving his source left himself, back to himself again in the supreme all power-conferring act of reflexive self-consciousness and Self-realisation.
Yoga, then, is the technique and practice for achieving the process of reflexive self-consciousness.
The Second Great Rule of Yoga – “a being knows only the modifications of its own substance – more >>