In the Introduction of Yoga Blog post, I basically asked you to throw away all your notions of what Yoga meant if it didn’t have as the core of its foundation, the following definition:
Yoga means “union”,“ to yolk” or “unite”.
What yoga seeks to do is a union of two steps: the first is to bring into union or alignment the mind, body and spirit of a practicing individual (yogi), and the second step is to, in conjunction with the tri-united aspects of the human individual, unite with The Divine, The Ultimate, The Eternal, The Creator, God – which ever word floats your boat basically!
Having said that, I think it may be a bit more intuitive to figure out why the body might not be in alignment with the mind - as in we basically do this all the time having our bodies in one place and our minds in another, concept is easy.
However, what does it mean if your mind and body are in coherence, but your soul is not in that party of an alignment?
Why would the soul be away from this integration?
In order to do this subject justice, one would have to break down the assumptions of how we view a human being, what characteristics does a human soul have, under which laws is the Soul governed, and only finally then, be able to describe life circumstances that counter this reality of the sacred human Soul.
In this post, we will be going from the most grandiose of overarching Laws that govern our planet, and in later posts, explore how we as human individuals are governed under these Laws.
During ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá travels to the west, He gave numerous talks explaining spiritual matters. His talks are extraordinary, and of course I will not be able to do them full justice, but here is what I have understood from them. ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá provided many more examples and proofs that obviously cannot all be contained in one blog post, you may reference them according to your interest.
The highlighted links have been provided so you not only have the opportunity to deepen on them, but likewise share with me any comments, thoughts, ideas, alternative insights that you have gained from them as well, I’m still learning!
No single human individual has monopoly of the interpretation of these words, it is through the clash of thought and opinion that we reach a collective agreement, a clash that produces more light and insight than heat ;)
‘Abdu’l‑Bahá describes the world as having three distinct types of laws.
Among the three laws, the natural/physical laws and the spiritual laws are fixed, man-made laws are constantly changing.
Within the natural & physical laws, you have all the basic sciences that we learned in our primary schooling, which are the laws of gravity, laws of thermodynamics, newton’s three laws of motion, any subject essentially within the fields of physics, chemistry, and biology etc.
The spiritual laws, such as prayer, the concept of the afterlife, The Divine, a Creator etc., ALL exist in the nine major religions in the world, as well as any True spiritual system of thought, they all reflect the same Truths – once you detect a certain pattern, it becomes easy to distinguish light from falsehood, to develop your wisdom and faculties of discernment, as the contrast between what is Real, and what is not becomes increasingly evident and as manifest as the sun.
In fact, the spiritual knowledge or kingdom is described as simplistically and as universally to be contained in a single ‘Point’.
In the Baha’i writings it says that, “Knowledge is” described as “a single Point, which the ignorant have multiplied.”
Photo taken from Yogiapproved.com
The ‘Om symbol’ in yoga, the dot on the top represents Purusha, the unchanging Truth, is likewise symbolized by a point.
If you were to observe, most societies govern their man-made laws, or their justice systems, or economies, according to either the natural laws - survival of the fitness, competition, consumption as the basis of human life, beauty is what attracts a mate for procreation, OR spiritual laws that dominate the spiritual practice of the country (both pertaining to the spirit and practical components of spiritual law).
E.g taking direct scriptural guidance (for the practical aspects) and setting in an exact way human forms of punishment, such as stoning for adultery, or using the spiritual kind of law to govern human life and timetable - work holidays is governed by religious Holy days, and people’s work schedule is dictated by the number of times and hours of meditation and prayer prescribed in a day, as well as periods of the calendar reserved for fasting etc.
The material life in that case is a direct reflection of the spiritual laws.
Rarely do societies NOT look at either the natural laws or the spiritual laws to set up their man-made laws, often it is a mixture of both, in fact, I can’t think of any that don’t do this, do you have an example of one country that I may not be aware of?
It’s not the most original form of thinking I feel, its kinda like you observe something in the natural kingdom, and then copy it in the human kingdom, without truly understanding certain orders and reflections on life, or worse, thinking, that human beings nature are IN direct reflection of those of the animal kingdom because we show, albeit superficial, signs of similarly - more detailed for a later post.
The same would go for certain countries that have directly taken certain stanza’s in Holy Books, and executed them across the board without wisdom or true understanding of the reasons for it, reducing it to a sheer form, and in fact, being the very reason why people not only turn away from religion, but also have zero respect or understanding for Spiritual Law.
Reflections in the Unchanging Laws: Natural & Spiritual Laws
When it comes to universal natural laws like gravity, a law that we have given it a name, as well as a unit of meters per second square, also having interpreted and studied its parameters of being able to reach terminal velocity when something has been dropped at a certain height - it is likewise the type of law that influences all other types of laws, it could even be called the ‘Mother of All Natural Laws’.
The laws of projectile motion, force, inertia, the force of attraction between two planets, ALL depend on the laws of gravity, and have g, represented by gravity in formulas, given the constant number of g=9.8m/s^2. Like our understanding of life would be PROPERLY bamboozled without this constant, it keeps all of life in order, and in accordance with our understanding and safety!
If you were to choose one day, that you don’t want to believe in the law of gravity, there are obvious consequences, no doubt. You decide that you want to test this un-belief by seeing if you could jump off a building above two stories high unharmed, you will break a leg, it is almost a promise, in fact you may have other more serious permanent damages if you were not to land on your feet.
Done. Simple, no mystery to that.
Likewise in the spiritual kingdom, there are laws as definite, as clear cut and as stabilizing, protective as the laws of gravity.
What would be the Spiritual Mother Law of All Laws equivalent in the spiritual Kingdom?
God, the Divine, the Creator.
God, the Divine, the Creator, it is irrelevant to what you call it, if you choose to call gravity by its name, or choose to call it buttercup princess, it would make no difference to the existence of its force, it would just be called another thing, the same rules of its units would apply, the point of reference would be nominally adjusted.
This is literally the same thing that happens within all the spiritual truths, the word of the ‘Mother Law of all Laws’ might change, but the Law that IS all Law does not, and the attachment to its name is what has kept us from finding this ‘point’ of universal spiritual truths, unfortunately it has been coveted and wielded for personal use and misguided by many.
It is likewise important to note here, that there are MANY MANY MANY different ways in which to reach to this point – which is why all Baha’i House of Worship are 9 sided, symbolizing the myriad of ways in which to reach this sacred Point.
It is more important that we keep our eyes on this ‘point’ rather than be commenters to each others path that we have each chosen.
Just pick something, ANYTHING that is systematic, methodical and is progressive and stick with it LONG ENOUGH to discover what IS the TRUTH and path that suits you the most, brings you the most joy, and you are able to flourish, and have a community that supports you to flourish as much as you can, both in the material as well as the spiritual worlds.
The Dalai Lama likewise gives a similar counsel, to dig one deep well is more beneficial than to digging six shallow wells.
Now that we have hashed out some of the overarching Laws that are in existence, stay tuned for we are going to explore the different Kingdoms on the Planet, and how each one is governed by which of these Laws.
Nahal Haghbin is a globally certified Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher based in China. She conducts lectures, private and group asana and consultations on Yoga in person and online. Contact her through this blog platform if you are interested. Nahal also works on scientific academic writing in the field of public health ethics and infectious diseases.
© Nahal Haghbin 2019