A Yoga drawn from Celestial Metaphor

  • The sun of the mind at dawn rises from the grip of not knowing.
  • The sun of the mind at dusk drops into exhausted non-attachment.

This “metaphor” was all too real in the India that gave birth to Yoga, since the light of the sun illuminates the objects conceptualized by the mind. Through the illumination of objects, the mind attaches the desire to participate, own, use and identify with objects and scenarios concerning them and other persons.

The sun seems to have a complementary relationship to both the moon and the night sky. Like the mind in the day, the moon is illumined by the sun but by night also as it passes in the night’s rotation. The sun of the mind travels through the night in deep sleep and dreams of constellations not belonging to the world of daylight. We might say the moon is like our body, still there in sleep and dreams, as a pure persistence that must return next day.

The moon embraces both day and night, speaking of the whole sky and earth phenomenon

This “metaphor” was all too real in the India that gave birth to Yoga, since the light of the sun illuminates the objects conceptualized by the mind. Just as many dramas of life take place on the thin bubble of land, water and air, the sun of the mind is drawn to the moon’s daily journey around the earth. The sun of the mind and the moon of the body are conjoined to form the person of “myself and my circumstances”. The night sky is complementary to the sun and moon as their context, and yet it looks on as if not attached, and from inscrutable depths.

Without the mind there could be no concepts and without the body there could be no experiences to conceptualize. Concepts seem to make the mind more essential yet experiences are essential for conceptualization to take place. And more importantly, how does the mind and the body know of its selfhood?

If the sun of the mind arises at dawn from ignorance into knowing and drops exhausted into non- attached sleep then, what is the purpose of this existence? Is it to be led eternally into involvement of the mind, through ever new desires associated with objects and desires? Or, is involvement a hinderance of a true self associated with pure consciousness, an avoidance of the realization of the true selfhood and its real purpose within the biosphere?

This “metaphor” was all too real in the India that gave birth to Yoga, since the sun and the moon were seen by consciousness. Their idea was that the world had to appear as it does to conform to a Total Reality. A total reality has multiple viewpoints or selves, each appropriate to consciousness. Far from projecting religious ideas upon a found world, the World we find corresponds to a reality populated by consciousness.

Two birds with fair wings, inseparable companions,
Have found refuge in the same sheltering tree.
One incessantly eats from the fig tree;
The other, not eating, just looks on.

Rg Veda 1.164.20. trans Antonio de Nicolas in Meditations Through the Rg Veda: Four-Dimensional Man. Stoney Brook N Y: Nicolas Hays 1976

J.G. Bennett recognized such visions populated by beings as strongly present in cultures in which Being was the focus rather than Function (as today), or Will1, three aspects of reality. The path of Being is not that of transcendence but rather seeks self-realization of the witness consciousness which is normally unseen. Ramana Maharshi, who often articulated such “metaphors” (as I do here), in his talks, said that this witnessing self was the source of grace and that the sun of the mind must seek that self rather than involvement. The mind returns to the body in learning to sense that which sees but is not attached.

1. Function corresponds to the knowable element of experience which shows us the world as a process which can be reduced to the working of mechanisms and apparatuses. Being corresponds to the experience of consciousness and to what things are, not what they do or how they appear. Will corresponds to that which can neither be known nor “conscious,” but only understood. Will shows us the how and why of the world, not what is going on, nor what it is; rather, what it is for. The Dramatic Universe ~ Commentary. Anthony Blake. The Enneagram #6, June 1976. Definitions can be found at http://www.systematics.org/

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