THE YOGI CONCEPTION OF LIFE.
IF we study the action of mind upon mind, of mind over matter, of mind over the human body, we may realize how "each man is a power in himself"—to use Mr. Randall's phrase in his beautiful book on psychology.
Life is demonstrative: it speaks with a million, million tongues. Life stands for Light and Love. Contemplation of Death, which is really a change, will not lead to Happiness.
All-stagnation is death. Humanity is a moving mass, and this is true of it as regards single units as well as of the collective whole.
Stop we cannot. We must go forwards, which is "God-wards" or there is the backward line of progress—which is IGNORANCE.
Spasms of activity catch hold of us and push us onward and, similarly, fear, weakness and worry, the triple weapons of our Old Friend, the Devil, catch us in their deadly grip and "crib, cabin and confine" us.
We all are preparing to live, day in and day out. Is it not so? The body ages; the soul is ever on the alert.We all are trying to grasp life in its proper perspective, to get a clear view of the goal ahead.
Some say "I am for enjoying life;" some say, "It is a bad mixture of heaven and hell, for the most part, hell;" others stand on neutral ground and say, "Let us make the best of a bad bargain. Since we are here, it is no use grumbling. This world is for our education."
Right. Move we must. It may be progress forward or progress backwards.
Life is a series of awakenings. Ideas dawn upon the mind from time to time, are caught up by brain and body and find physical expression as acts. Our outward life with its environment is fitted to our inward development. Wealth, position, fame, power,—all these are the simple expressions of individual character. This is not a platitude. Look and see for yourself.
It is quite necessary that we should pass through certain experiences, that we rise from ideal to ideal. We create our own fate. Our sufferings, our joys, are so many projections from ourselves. We alone are responsible for them.
Like the silkworm we build a cocoon around the soul and then feeling "Cramped," we set to loosening the bonds.
Enjoyment is not, ought not to be the goal of life. Sense-enjoyments end in satiety and exhaustion. Power and self, riches and all that riches mean, may tie
us down to a narrow sphere. But in the long run we do come to know that happiness is not in them. This is a tremendous truth, yet God mercifully screens it from us till we are prepared to receive it.
What remains then? Man wants happiness. He rushes from one thing to another to grasp it, only to find everything slipping through his fingers. Let none deny it. "The aim of philosophy is to put an end to pain." All pain is caused by IGNORANCE. Apply the saving remedy of KNOWLEDGE, and PAIN vanishes at once. This is a great fact and all young men ought to stamp it well upon their minds.
While we are upon this phase of our subject, it may be worth while to go farther into these important facts of life—PLEASURE and PAIN.
Our thoughts and actions are the forces we send out of ourselves. All life is expression. The soul of man is trying to see itself in everything. How did the different organs of the body come into existence? How did man get his eyes, his ears, his nose and so forth? How does the growth of things proceed on the subconscious plane of existence? The soul willed to see and it saw, willed to hear and it heard, willed to smell and it smelt. That is the right explanation.
Take a subject, throw him into a hypnotic trance, lead him into the deepest state possible, give him vigorous suggestions that a steady increase is taking place as to his physique, repeat the suggestions twice every day for a few months and you will have put pounds of
flesh on his form. If you know anything of these things at all, you will be hardly astonished. A striking case once occurred: Some frivolous students of Aberdeen held a hypnotic seance. A friend of theirs was hypnotised and made to go through certain illusions. Then a wet towel was put upon his neck and it was suggested to him that a sharp knife had been drawn right across his neck to cut his throat and that he was dead. It was such fun! The students danced for joy. But what was their surprise when they found the man was stone dead. It taught the eternal truth—what man thinks that he is, that he shall be.
Now, man is trying to express himself on the different planes of his being by appropriating to himself different vehicles of expression. When he meets with opposition, an obstacle, he chafes like a caged lion. Load the limbs of a man with fetters of iron and see the result. It is really this—when we can push forward without opposition, it causes pleasure, a sense of happiness; when we are held back it causes pain. Place good food before a healthy man. See how he likes it. It is because he knows that he is making an addition to himself. It brings on a sense of "MORE-NESS" and pleasure follows. Of course there are higher grades of this sense of "MORE-NESS." Some ancient doctors defined passion as an accession of strength due to the surcharge of arterial blood in the veins. All pleasure is from STRENGTH, all pain from WEAKNESS. There can be no question as to this fact.
There is a fire burning. Heap coals. The more coals, the brighter and steadier the flame. All obstacles are really "coal" feeding the "flame" of the spirit. They spur a man on. The vibrations of pain are often blessings in disguise. They drive the lesson home. The effect is not different from the cause. Both are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. Painful results grow out of deeds that clash with the interests of the DIVINITY WITHIN—which is for FREEDOM.
"Lord, I want nothing—neither health, nor beauty nor power. Give me FREEDOM and I am content." This is Jivan mukti. This is the highest ideal of life. Thinking of the little pleasures of the senses has brought us to this: to dance, to laugh, to weep, and before the tears are gone, to begin over again. Look at my condition. Slave of the flesh, slave of the mind, wanting to have this, that and what not. DARKNESS BEHIND—DARKNESS AHEAD. Such is the wail of IGNORANCE.
Get rid of it, O! My Friend. It is your greatest, direst enemy. Let the LIGHT of KNOWLEDGE dissipate this DARKNESS of IGNORANCE. The Lord above is our refuge. He alone is STRENGTH. "In Him we live and have our being." Where seek you for your ideals. Here it is. FREEDOM—You are rushing to it, and so am I. Welcome everything that helps you, yea, compels you, to strike one more blow in the noble cause of EMANCIPATION. "Can a marble figure brook the blow that an iron mass can bear.""Know, slave is slave, caressed or whipped. . . . Fetters, though of gold are not less strong to bind."
Thus, let us work it out. Let us cut short this show of five minutes with death and decay as its sequel. We shall go beyond this to the ONE SOURCE, GOD; and there is PEACE.