Life is a dream whether we are awake or asleep. What makes it a dream is that the images are manufactured in the processing plant of our own mind. What ever we have experienced we store in our own being. It doesn’t matter much to the mind if the experience is ‘actual’ or virtual. To our mind; and ultimately to us, it is real. Life is real. According to our English dictionary ‘real’ means something actual; of this earth. This definition is opposite to the Vedantic idea of that which is real. Anything which can be perceived in earthly terms of time and measured in space is anything but ‘real’. Real, according to Vedanta is that which is eternal, limitless, and changeless and cannot be bound by time or space. Oneness is the only true reality. The aim of yoga is to realize this Oneness.
We see the everlastingness in everything that’s passing. We become that everlastingness through everything that’s passing. Life is continuously un-folding, never arriving for longer than a moment. The moment now has emerged from the moment before it. The next moment can only come from the one preceding it. Life is process. We are life, as we live.
As yogis we desire to move beyond the biological to the eternal; outside time and space, but to do that we must perfect that which is manifest within relative time and space. We need the help of the Divine Mother, Mother Nature. We are born into Nature it is our means for movement and change. Through Her blessing, we evolve. She gives us our unfolding life as a means for spiritual realization. As preparation for birth takes place in pregnancy, so preparation for the spiritual or non-biological state must be made while alive in physical manifestation. We can only move into the transcendental by going through that which is flesh and blood and seems actual. Through the experiences of life the soul evolves and becomes purified. When the soul through purification arrives in a state of sattvic balance then the self may begin to gain perception of the absolute Self.
On an absolute level there is only One, only Love, but to realize that one must awaken to the dream of relative existence. One must transcend the self as well as all other selves to know the truth of Self.
Asana practice provides the means to purify our relationships with the world of others. Patanjali suggest that our relationships to others should be mutually beneficial and be based on steadiness and joy. (sthira-sukham asanam YS II.46) Our biological systems are made of the accumulation of all our past karmas. Every thought word or deed from every relationship from countless lives can be found in our body/mind personality self at this very moment. You can find it in the movement of the muscles, bones, joints, as well as how the blood flows and the lungs breathe and certainly in how the mind thinks and the heart feels.
Individual Consciousness evolves, like a baby develops moving from concrete to abstract, dense to subtle, from diversity to oneness. Each moment in our lives presents to us an opportunity for growth. Every one we meet reflects to us something of our own limitless possibility for exploration. Without interaction with others no evolution is possible for the individual self. How we treat others will determine how others treat us, how others treat us will determine how we see ourselves, how we see ourselves will determine who we are.
To embrace each moment and each person and situation as wondrous is to move toward truth. There is no one in your life standing in the way of your happiness. Each person in your life, each moment in your life is the way to your enlightenment.
Purusartha-shunyanam gunanam prati-prasavah
kaivalyam svarupa-pratistha va chitti-saktir iti (YS IV.34)
When Self realization comes, what seems like a great achievement from an individual’s perspective is a non-event from the perspective of the Self. All the ups and downs, struggles and joys of countless lifetimes exist on a finite level only, to the eternal, ever present Self, the one who is forever free, enlightenment is a non event, as there was never ever any un-enlightenment!