Tag Archives: consciousness

Depends how you look at it

I stepped into a bright sunny morning on Kensington a few weeks ago; it had just been raining for three days. A chipper fellow sitting on a bench reading the news-paper said good morning to me immediately. I returned it and asked him how he was on this beautiful morning. “Miserable, how can anyone be happy in this rotten country. And you?” he asked. “Oh, I’m good, how could anyone be miserable on a morning like this. Toronto’s been great to me.” I replied. His response was: “It all depends on how you want to look at it.”

He was reading the news and thinking about business, I was looking up at the bright blue sky anticipating an aimless wander thru the city. He was standing between the past and the future. I was in the moment. Nature and beauty are natural techniques for attaining the moment. We all know this. Awe too functions in this way. So does excitement. We kinda loose control of ourselves and forget about the past and the future and we are hardy able utter a “wow.”

In yoga we want to have this feeling internally. The same wow we have for a majestic mountain should be felt when we stand before Ourselves gazing at the majesty of our own minds; our inner levels of consciousness. That’s where it’s all coming from: the perception, the mountain; the past and the future undoubtedly.

Or where else is it coming from? A question for everyone to ponder. And then where does it go?

So many thoughts arising and then passing away. It’s the ones we grab hold of that cause problems. These are the ones that dominate our thought and lead our perception away from what’s really going on. It’s not just the moment that’s happening, but our desires and our capabilities are continually fulfilling themselves. We are being fulfilled we just don’t see it. Our “true paths” are no different than the normal course of our fate; what differs is how we look at it.

This is where self-knowledge comes in. If you know what you really want from life and what you’re really willing to put effort towards, as well as knowing the pattern of your luck, you will get exactly the thing you expect. Awareness!

Inner awareness begins to blur: the line between inner and outer. From where does it all arise and to where does it go? The thought? The past and the future?

Some mornings we cant see the sky because we’re too busy looking at the news or planning our days. The sky isn’t in us so we just don’t see it. If it’s in us, if it’s what we were expecting, what we’re looking for, bam, it will be there as plain as day. You can’t miss it if you’re looking for it, but if you’re looking for other things, the sky won’t even exist.

It all depends on how you look at things!

Knowing and Overcoming Karma

At first glance Tantra and Astrology appear to be at odds with each other: astrology confirms the hand of destiny while Tantra confirms the freedom of our will. An astrological birth chart is none other than a map of how we are bound in our human condition. Tantra is the map of how to overcome the bounds of the human condition.

The very nature of Vedic Astrology is to look into the intricacies of exactly how we are individually bound by our karma and desires, our communities and even how we expend it all. The Vedic birth chart is said to be the body of Kala Parusha, kala means time, while Parusha indicates an individual soul. As an embodied soul in time we are subject to the veils of maya and the physical realities of karma.

Such is life. This is why they say to let go of it all and remain in the moment. The karma you are here to experience will happen with or without your worry or plan. Tantra teaches us to shift our awareness away from the objects of our lives and focus instead on the awareness itself.

This is where purity comes in. We have to wash away the impurities of our senses. Objectivity is the main impurity. This subject-object relationship we have with the world: us and them, me and you. The objects basically just muddle up the purer experience of just being aware of seeing.

When we start seeing in this way we start seeing things as really are. Almost every eastern philosophy has a different way of explaining this, Tantra often says that they are incomplete and would lead only to inertia. Tantra fills everything with divinity of consciousness rather than relegating it to mere illusion while setting divinity apart from the reality we experience in a day to day way.

There are 36 elements in the Tantric worldview. Beginning with the five gross elements of earth air fire and water the elements get subtler and subtler: objects sounds, gunas (the famous elements of Ayurveda), thoughts, mind, memories, kinetic and potential energy. Tantra teaches us to experience these subtler and subtler energies.

An astrology could be said to be a chart of how these subtle energies are working in our lives. From a karmic point of view there is little we can do. But by working with the subtler energies Tantra teaches many ways we can use these energies as the naturally manifest in objects to improve our lives and get what we want.

In the material world we are bound by the laws of karma; the spiritual world is quite a different matter once we learn how see that it’s essentially a spiritual world we are living in; we begin to see how we are absolutely free.