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RE: Breathing Exercises

Jul 07, 1996 10:05 PM
by Maxim Osinovsky

On Mon, 8 Jul 1996, Jerry Schueler wrote:

> >So you are right saying that "you will never find union with the
> >Self until you silence the body and personality", but silencing the body 
> >and personality is not in itself sufficient for the union in raja 
> >yoga--it is a preparation for preparation for preparation for the union.
> 	Consciousness is always focusing somewhere.  Silence
> the lower self, and it automatically focuses in the higher Self.  But
> without preparation, it may seem only like a blank coma.  What
> is actually discovered, when you do this, is that the union is already
> done, and has been from the beginning.

If such is your personal experience, I acknowledge it and respect it. 

However, I am not happy about your terminology. This may be my semantic 
but I am used to discriminate between consciousness and its target. In 
phenomenological philosophy--yes, consciousness ALWAYS has a 
target, by their definition of consciousness. But in many varieties of 
spiritual philosophy consciousness is supposed to work like this:

(i) if its content is something having 'name and form' (i.e. some object 
of the rupa world), then there is subject-object duality, and 
consciousness DOES focus on something or somewhere.

(ii) if, however, its content is something without form (arupa), then 
there is no subject-object separation, and consciousness knows its 
content directly, by identifying with it.

Accordingly they discriminate in raja yoga two stages of samadhi:

1. samprajnata samadhi--samadhi in which there is a sense of the form 
although it may be very, very subtle form;

2. asamprajnata samadhi--(asamprajnata = no awareness of duality [of 
subject and object])--formless samadhi.

This subject is covered in two books by Franklin Merrell-Wolff, 
especially his second book, "The Philosophy of Consciousness Without an 
Object." The tile is self-explanatory.

Since it is generally assumed that the higher self is beyond time, space, 
and other Kantian attributes of the form (rupa) world, one cannot focus 
one's consciousness in it--one identifies one's consciousness with it.

Perhaps it is just a matter of choosing appropriate words, which in the 
final count is a matter of conventio, but I prefer to believe that my 
terminology is more mainstream than yours.


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