“ I resist anything better than my own diversity.”

—Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

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Location: Columbus, OH, United States

Sunday, June 21, 2015

On the First International Day of Yoga: Connect

For the first International Day of Yoga, here's a 3 1/2 minute film, How to Find Your Organic Intelligence, of Charles Eisenstein, with a cameo by yoga. Charles says in the film: "If you do not follow that compass, if you do not listen to that experience, that's shown you the possibility of a more beautiful world, if you don't follow it, you'll kind of half-heartedly go along with the program. But, you'll rebel."

Charles wrote a Letter to my Younger Self to accompany this film.


For me this letter resonates with the words of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj. The ringing of this resonance fills me with hope.

Here are some passages from Charles Eisenstein's (CE) "Letter to my Younger Self" interspersed with words from Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj (Srila Sridhar Maharaj: SSM).

CE:
"Dear self. Your secret, lonely knowledge is true. Despite all you have been told, the world that has been offered to you as normal is anything but normal.  It is a pale semblance of the intimacy, connection, authenticity, community, joy and grief that lie just beneath the surface of society's habits and routines."

SSM:
"At present, we are quarreling in a foreign land for fictitious gain."

CE:
"Dear self: You have a magnificent contribution to make to the more beautiful world your heart knows is possible. It may not make you famous, but you have an important gift, an indispensable gift, and it demands you to apply it to something you care about. Unless you do, you will feel like you aren't really living your life. You will live the life someone pays you to live, caring about things you are paid to care about. You can make a different choice."

SSM: 
"You were born in nectar. You were born to taste nectar. You must not allow yourself to be satisfied by anything but nectar. Awake! Arise! Search for that nectar."

CE:
"Dear self: You carry a deep yearning to contribute to the healing of the world and fulfillment of its possibilities. This is your deepest desire, and if you abandon it you will feel like a ghost inhabiting the mere shell of a life.  Instead, trust that desire and follow it toward whatever service it calls you to, however small and insignificant it might seem."

SSM:
"A sweet structure begins from the point when service is added to consciousness. Service can construct a beautiful capital, a beautiful country.  It is there, and you have only to feel it, enter, and take up your appointed service. You will think, 'This is my home! This appointment feels very friendly to me. Now I have come home.'"

CE:
"Dear self: The most reliable guide to choice is to follow whatever makes you feel happy and excited to get out of bed in the morning. Life is not supposed to be a grim slog of discipline and sacrifice. You practiced for such a life in school, tearing yourself out of bed for days of tedium, bribed with trivial rewards called grades, intimidated by artificial consequences, proceeding through a curriculum designed by faraway authorities, asking permission to use the toilet. It is time to undo those habits. Let your compass instead be joy, love, and whatever makes you feel alive."

SSM:
"We can feel within our heart whether we are gainers or losers. That tasting machine is within us."

CE:
"Dear self: At a certain moment it will become necessary for you to go on a journey. It isn't to escape forever. It is to find yourself outside of whomever your conditioning trained you to be. You must put yourself in a situation where you don't know who you are anymore. This is called an initiation. Who you were becomes inoperative; then, who you will be can emerge."

SSM:
"The real substance is within, just as fruit is covered by its skin. What we experience at present is the cover, the skin, and we are making much of that, ignoring the very substance which the cover is protecting."

CE:
"Dear self: Powerful forces will attempt to make you conform to society's normality. These will take the form of social pressure, parental pressure, and very likely, economic pressure. When you encounter them, please understand that they are giving you the opportunity to define yourself. When push comes to shove, who are you?"

SSM:
"That dedication is just the opposite of exploitation. In the mundane plane every unit wants to exploit the environment, but in the plane of dedication, every unit wants to serve the environment; and not only the environment, but the real key to the life of that plane is to serve the Centre. We are living in an organic whole, so every point must be true to the organic Centre."

CE:
"Dear self: On this path, you are sure to get lost. But you are held, watched, and guided by a vast organic intelligence. It will become visible when things fall apart - as surely they must, in the transition between worlds. You will stumble, only to find overlooked treasure beneath your feet. You'll despair of finding the answer - and then the answer will find you. Breakdown clears the space for synchronicity, for help unimagined and unearned."

SSM:
"So you must not be a miser. You are to fully die as you are at present. You are to put your false self into the fire and allow the alloy to be eliminated.  The pure gold will then manifest with its dazzling colour....those alloyed things – ...so many other false aspirations – will be reduced to ashes by the fire of dedication. So die in order to live in the real world."

CE:
"Dear self: None of this advice can be sustainably implemented by a heroic effort on your part. You need help. Seek out other people who reinforce your perception that a more beautiful world is possible, and that life's first priority is not security, but rather to give of your gifts, to play, to love and be loved, to learn, to explore. When those people (your tribe) are in crisis, you can hold them in the knowing of what you know. And they can do the same for you. No one can do this alone."

SSM:
"What is home? It is where we find that we are in the midst of our well-wishers. If we do not care for our own benefit, then there are so many who will take care of us – in fact the whole environment will take care of us – and that is home."

SSM:
"The underlying principle of love is sacrifice, but sacrifice for whom? And who is the beneficiary? Love is the beneficiary. Everyone should contribute to the center, but no one should draw energy from there. 'Die to live.' With this spirit we should combine and work for real love and beauty.

"And beauty will be victorious in the world. Love will be victorious in the world."

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