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.
Sat Yoga is the art of learning to relax and enjoy. Many people do not know how to relax. They do not enjoy their lives. For the vast majority of people, life is drudgery. For a great number, it is filled with fear and anxiety. For still others, their emotional state oscillates between highs and lows. Because there is no stability, enjoyment is forced and short-lived, followed by depression. Sat Yoga practice enables one to attain emotional stability—to be relaxed even when under pressure, and able to enjoy everything that life brings your way.
Many people think of themselves as spiritual. But very few seriously consider the possibility of entering into formal advanced spiritual training. In part, this is because there are few serious esoteric spiritual schools in the West. Spirituality has become confused with ordinary exoteric religion, which is centered around ritual, dogma, holy books, guru worship, and either a rigid ascetic lifestyle determined by ecclesiastical authorities, or the opposite, an erotic drugged-out free-for-all without boundaries. It is not strange that people fear being snared by a cult and being manipulated by charlatans. Such nightmare scenarios are the farthest things possible, however, from authentic ethical spiritual training in the sat yoga tradition.
A scandal haunts the world, a fact that no one dares to talk about. It is a far more profound scandal than all the political scandals that are revealed every day. The ultimate scandal concerns an incapacity we hate to admit: Humans cannot make decisions. Our vaunted free will is a sham. Our ideas are a bluff. We have no clue what to do with our lives. We have no power to navigate reality. In the most important matters, we have no ability to truly come to decisions.
The ego’s unconscious intentional structure has the logical form of a double bind. That means it can’t win for losing. This biocomputer program with a built-in bug (or strange loop) is responsible for the feeling that spiritual liberation is impossible. The subliminal double-binding instruction for most people remains throughout life the governing agenda of the censoring agency that lies between the conscious identity and the repressed infantile self-system, manipulating the interpretation of reality and enforcing its agenda through the activation of a superego voice and the deployment of a barrage of sophisticated defense mechanisms that keep the consciousness split, confused, and working against its own interests.
The basic practice of sat yoga is very simple: Just be. This, of course, is more difficult than we like to realize. If we understand why that is, then we are halfway to liberation. So let us go over the logic of the illusory bondage from which we are interested in escaping.
A few students have asked recently about my response to a popular new-age film called ‘The Secret’. I have not seen it, nor do I plan to. But because of the level of interest—and controversy—regarding its content, and the importance of understanding it correctly, I will take the risk of commenting on what I take to be its message on the basis of hearsay.