Essays (93)

Spiritual Essays by Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute, on a wide variety of topics ranging from the goal of the spiritual path, to enlightenment and liberation, psychoanalysis and ego dynamics, and even quantum physics.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 14:55

The Agni and the Ek Stiti

Written by Shunyamurti
In Sat Yoga meditation, there is a positive feedback loop between one-pointed attention (ek stiti) on the Absolute Self and the upsurge of the inner fire (Agni) in which the ego is melted into Nothingness.

The Yog Agni, the Fire of Yoga, is created in the brain by the power of will holding still in the silent center of loving awareness, the sacred Heart, the inmost nucleus of our being. This worshipful stillness soon begins to burn away the unloving shields of the ego. Meditation acts like a magnifying glass that is held still outside on a sunny day, that will soon begin to burn a dry leaf that is under it. The magnifying glass gathers together the rays of sunlight into sufficient unity that the light can function as a laser and burn through whatever obstacles are in its path. In the same way, in meditation our fixed attention focuses our psychic rays into a unity that can burn away the ego and all its tendencies—if only we can hold our attention steady for a long enough time. By focusing the rays of pure presence upon the soul itself, the egoic shell is rapidly dissolved and consciousness penetrates into the deeper levels of being, releasing the trapped energy of love and bliss.
Sunday, 20 February 2011 19:42

Education for Year Zero

Written by Shunyamurti
There is a misguided effort to plan for education in the twenty-first century, as if our dying civilization will last another hundred years. This is an example of whistling past the graveyard. It is unlikely that planetary cultural collapse can be put off past 2013, given the perfect storm of cataclysmic events that is unfolding all around us. We do our children a terrible disservice if we do not prepare them for the death of our current age and the transition to the next one—and to do it with accelerated intensity.
Sunday, 13 February 2011 18:31

This is the Mother of All Rites of Passage!

Written by Shunyamurti
When we think of creating new rites of passage, we must remember that we are in the midst of the greatest rite of passage of all time, and we are in urgent danger of failing to pass. Failure will mean the end of life, as we know it, on Planet Earth. Of course, so will success.
Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:59

Now It’s Time for Tahrir Squared!

Written by Shunyamurti
The historic revolution that had its epicenter in Tahrir Square is an inspiration to all seekers of freedom. The proof that a peaceful revolution is still possible is a great victory not only for Egyptians, but also, on the subtle plane, for the yogic archetype of ahimsa (non-violence). The echoes of Gandhi’s satyagraha movement are clear and strong. But of course not everyone is cheering. Just as, during the French Revolution, the aristocrats plotted to waylay the movement toward liberty, and just as not everyone cheered the American Revolution—certainly not the Tories or the British Empire—today’s empire is also plotting to make sure that their power elite will control the final outcome of this transition to a new Egyptian government. To bring about real tahrir (liberation), not only in Egypt, but everywhere on Earth, the peace movement will have to overcome the very source of our oppression: the human ego.

It is because of our egocentric proclivities that it is inevitable that revolutionaries morph into counter-revolutionaries, and revolutionary societies degenerate into oppressive empires. If we do not want to be yet again disappointed in the results of our courageous efforts, we must go to the heart of Mordor, and throw into the sacred fire our most precious possession: the ego’s ring of power. Only when we have sacrificed our desire for domination and control over others, in our personal lives as well as our collective political ambitions, and have liberated ourselves from the psychic forces within us that drive us toward narcissistic grandiosity and paranoid aggressivity, will authentic liberation be possible. For this, we need a revolution of consciousness. It is time for Tahrir Squared!
Monday, 07 February 2011 18:32

Further Reflections on Psychotic Knowledge

Written by Shunyamurti
(This essay is an effort to respond to comments on the previous essay, “The Ascendancy of Psychotic Knowledge,” and to carry forward the implications of the ideas expressed in that text.)

The line that separates sanity from madness has never been clear. In fact, it is not clear that such a line ever existed. This is because what passes for sanity today is in fact still a kind of madness. Even the psychoanalysts admit that normality is neurosis, a form of mental illness. They also admit that one of the most tenacious forms of psychosis is what they call normotic disease, meaning the insane need to appear normal. What if all normality is really normotic? This underlying insanity of the normal is becoming more evident every day as normal people and societies fail to adapt to reality, fail to respond to the climatic and other changes in our natural and social world that should put us all on red alert. Instead, we are being terrorized by propaganda regarding conspiracies that are themselves delusional. Reality-based discourse has become impossible.
Saturday, 15 January 2011 20:10

Aliens, Angels, Apocalypse: An Advaita Perspective

Written by Shunyamurti

To understand the true significance of the extraordinary world events that are unfolding around us, we must activate what Sat Yogis call our buddhi, our capacity for multidimensional integrative intelligence. When we do that, we become buddhas. Buddhas have access to the omniscient wisdom of the Akashic dimension and its unlimited storehouse of information. We need that information now, and thus we need to realize our buddha-nature, if we are to navigate accurately through these apocalyptic times.

Yoga is the original science of consciousness. It was far ahead of our current materialist pseudo-science of consciousness, the one that is looking futilely at our neurons and synapses to find the meaning and source of consciousness. Modern science is a joke when it comes to consciousness. And since everything eventually comes to consciousness, modern sciences, other than physics, are of little help to us. The scientistic mindset remains determined to deny teleology, God, and the Akashic records (or the Alaya-Vigyana in Buddhist terminology), or any other concept that would enable us to grok the fact that we are caught in a spacetime vortex that is bringing a rapid end to the world as we have known it and hurling us into a new phase and level of existence. Since the velocity of the vortex is accelerating at a mind-boggling rate, we must activate our buddhi now, while it is still possible to do so, to have an influence on the outcome of this trans-cosmic event, so that we can arrange to get spit out into a new world that is worth living in. Few of us realize the real nature of our power to influence events. This is also a result of our indoctrination into a materialist culture that is clueless regarding consciousness. So the study of the original science of consciousness, sat yoga, is essential.

By the way, the term yoga has been degraded in these end times of kali yuga to refer to a form of physical exercise. None of what currently goes under the name of yoga, which focuses on asanas and pranayamas (stretching and balance poses plus breathing techniques) was part of the original yogic science. The original form of yoga focused on the development and use of our capacity of attention in order to discover the ground of Being, referred to in Sanskrit as Sat. Once consciousness merges in Sat (which is also another name for God-consciousness), many other powers, or siddhis, can be attained. These correspond to the same attributes that physicists have discovered to function at the quantum level of reality, such as interconnectivity, the capacity to be in more than one place at a time, to convert from particle to wave form, the capacity to transcend time, and to perceive the dimension of eternity that permeates time (realizing the unity of samsara and nirvana, as the later Buddhist yogis would put it), and so on.

The immersion in Sat, a state known as Samadhi, is the goal of authentic yoga. This achievement of Sat-mind comes with the side-benefits of chit and ananda (divine intelligence and the bliss of infinite love). So it is worth the effort to become a Sat Yogi, since it is the key to happiness, wisdom, and ultimate redemption. By the way, all the current religions began as schools of Sat Yoga, but gradually, as these schools became politically powerful, they were infiltrated and co-opted by human egos with lower agendas, and eventually they were reduced to the condition of fossils, caricatures of their original form, and dogmatized into media of social control.

After the above excursus, let us return to our main topic. To re-establish the science of consciousness for the postmodern mind, which has been reduced to a condition of attention deficit disorder and thus cannot practice Sat Yoga effectively, we can still awaken and activate the buddhi by examining two well-known phenomena that have been conclusively established as real—even though mainstream scientists largely steer clear of both, fearing punishment by the inquisitors of the scientific establishment.

Friday, 07 January 2011 20:11

The Ascendancy of Psychotic Knowledge

Written by Shunyamurti

We have entered a period of epistemological chaos. The true condition of our world, indeed the very nature of our phenomenal reality, including agreement regarding the meaning of knowledge itself, is completely up for grabs. Not only are we witnessing rapid paradigm shifts and schisms within mainstream science, but also, and more dangerously, the politically motivated suppression of authentic discoveries and insights has led to epistemological blowback on every front. Every established authority has been de-legitimized. This has led to the rise of a new and unprecedented kind of discourse, which can be categorized as psychotic knowledge.

To call it psychotic is not to disparage it, but to recognize that such knowledge is produced by ripping apart the fabric of consensual reality. What pours through that tear in the discourse of conventional sanity may be brilliant with lucid transcendental insight and it may equally be speckled with nuggets of paranoid fantasy and archetypal imagery serving the narcissistic ego. It is psychotic from the perspective of the hegemonic paradigm that cannot permit multiple realities that elude the control and deny the legitimacy of the materialist construct. Coping with the accelerating explosion of psychotic knowledge, and the general contamination of the current information deluge with every sort of misinformation and disinformation, will become ever more challenging. It may, therefore, be useful to establish some guidelines that will enable us to maintain our sanity while remaining open to new horizons of possibility.

We can trace this problem back to the period immediately following the Second World War, when the government of the United States created a national security establishment and a general secrecy state. The geostrategic push to gain total hegemony over all global political actors had to remain covert.  More and more information became classified as top secret, not only in areas of normal politics, but also in the sciences. Some of this rush to restrict the flow of information was a response to the intrusion of alien spacecraft into our skies. Since the government had no adequate response to this threat, the existence of such entities had to be denied and ridiculed. Many careers of honest observers of such phenomena were destroyed by that disinformation campaign.

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