Hatha yoga, as an historical offshoot of tantra, is concerned with the cultivation and uses of the body’s inner energy or power to transform the ego-personality of the practitioner in this lifetime. Hatha yoga wants you to change your mind – in fact, your body/heart-mind/spirit – from a condition of self-delusion and ignorant isolation to a state of cosmic understanding and participation.
To achieve this, certain methods are proposed to open the subtle channels of the body for the free circulation of pranic energy, which is then to be contained, shaped and deployed to unmask and unshackle the true self.
In this transformative process nothing is newly created: there is no progress or evolution in a Darwinian sense, either gradual or sudden. Instead one comes to re-cognize one’s own true nature, which already always was.
Over the centuries the poets have spoken to us about this:
William Blake says “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
Meister Eckhart: “The eye with which I see God is the very same eye with which God sees me.”
Theodore Roethke: “In a dark time the eye begins to see.”
Tom Waits: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
I’m not sure exactly what Mr. Waits had in mind when he wrote that lyric, but I’m going to take it to mean that in dark and troubled times like ours anybody who can really see straight without blinding himself, without double-vision, is on a truer path than most.
What all these poets want is for us to take off our blinders and see that we are alive and participating in a vibrant, juicy world – what another of the poets mischievously calls a “mutual-eating society”.
My suggestion is for all of us to open our eyes and act kindly. Here the phrase “act kindly” means to act in the recognition that we are all kindred in this life. BUT let’s give Mr. Blake the last words: “The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.” AND “ He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.”