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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Forms of Body-Consciousness - Ego Or Arrogance

Thinking highly of one's wisdom, wealth, physique, beauty, experience, social status or family creates the delusion, "I should be loved or respected for these things." This self-love, or rather conceit, removes all sense of reality and generates many false notions. On top of that it usually backfires. Searching for respect and regard through a glorified image of myself, will not find it. It just breeds discourtesies. I think that the whole world revolves around me and should listen to my opinions. Both the "superiority complex" and the "inferiority complex" ("I am the best", or "I am no good") are forms of arrogance because the thought process is egocentric and the repeated word "I", "I", "I" is predominant. Because of internal confusion of identity, the soul wishes to find security by winning the attention of others.

The natural state is love for one's true self and others. Ego is love for the physical identity and its temporary masks. Even though we suspect we are weak, we seek to prove our strength before others. As yogis we redirect this self-love to God and through that love-bond, we are able to love all others and maintain our self-respect. We remain unaffected by praise or insult. The soul no longer sees the world relative to itself. It can see others in their own right and naturally respects their opinions. In the ego-centric state I am the "sun" and others are my "planets" but in the yogic state God becomes my "sun" and I see all others in relation to Him rather than in relation to me.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Forms Of Body-Consciousness - Attachment or Possessiveness

Pure love is spiritual. Its misplaced forms are attachment and lust. But people regard attachment as the "glue" that keeps the household and family unified. In reality, the people or things that I consider as "mine" end up as my captors binding me in a net of worries and fears. The people or things that I cling to through attachement are compensations for the insecurity of the soul to lost in matter. Spiritual love is unconditional but attached love imposes so many conditions according to the likes and dislikes of the parties involved. Instead of being the thread of happiness and unity as it is supposed to be, it is the cause grief and anxiety within any relationship.

For example, a child is born and the parents think, "This is our child, thank God." Yet if the child were to die they would weep and become lost in a maze of negative thoughts, none of which could bring back the child. In this case, the "child" is the body which has died not the soul. The parents are not the creators of the personality, the soul, but only of its vehicle. The soul is the child of God and no human soul has the right to own another through the words "my" or "mine".

In this case, as with lust, we can also see that the basic motivation behind attachment is selfishness. I place importance on a relationship only because I feel there is benefit in it for "me". In body-consciousness those benefits are illusory, transitory. A yogi clings to the attributes of God and becomes unburdened from the subtle chains of attachment to limited things and beings. He becomes unlimited, unbound. The natural state is one of comprehension and freedom and no possessiveness, or "my-ness".

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Attitude Can Influence Our Lifespan

Since we spend a major portion of our lives at a job, our attitude towards what we do influences our lifespan. Mind you, it is not what we do, but our attitude towards it which matters.

Two men were moving some stones to erect a church. When asked, "What are you doing?" One answered, "I am lifting rocks." The other said. "I am helping to create a temple for God." This visionary approach to our job, realizing the long-term impact it has on people and the world, is superior to the short-term, 'How soon can I get out of here' approach. The better approach facilitates greater motivation, accomplishment and enjoyment. These positive emotions will have a positive impact on our long-term health.

If our attitude towards work or people is negative, we will not enjoy our work and adversely undergo stress. It is not the work but the attitude which causes stress. People spend hours on their hobbies and yet never get tired.

Take from Self-Empowerment by Bridget Menezes


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