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Yoga and the Age of Magic and Information
The Age of Magic and Information
We live in a magical universe. Every facet and function and nuance of life is miraculous, mysterious and, to use a very overused adjective these days: Awesome. We associate the term magic with sleight of hand showmen, who create entertaining illusions, clever deceptions. But real magic is the magic of reality, the magic of nature and the universe. For instance the magic of a flower, the magical transformation of a seed into a plant, then into a flowerChildren see the world as magical, and they are right, it is. Adults stop noticing the everyday miracle of life as our accumulation of facts about the world replaces the awe that once filled our hearts and minds. The child may ask, “How does a plant grow from a seed?” And we would tell the child of water and soil and sunlight, careful not to confuse him with big words like “photosynthesis” and other advanced concepts that we adults understand. We equate the viewpoint of children with the viewpoint of the uninformed and uneducated. Do we really understand what we think we know?
For instance, if I was a child and asked the question, “How does blood circulate throughout the body? You would probably answer patiently, “The heart pumps the blood throughout the body, ” charmed and seduced by my natural curiosity. However, being an inquisitive sort, I would not be satisfied by that answer, “HOW does the heart pump the blood throughout the body,” I would insist. “The heart is controlled by a part of the brain that automatically sends an electrical impulse to it,’” you would say. “How does the brain do THAT” I would ask, “and how does the brain know HOW MANY times the heart should beat” At this point you would probably be looking for a piece of candy to give me or trying to find some other way to distract me or divert my attention. Any 5 year old child can bring the curtain down quickly on our mental arrogance, on our thinking we really understand how things work.
The truth is no one understands HOW these things happen. Just because we have been able to isolate and observe the areas of the brain that control autonomic functions, for instance, does not mean we understand HOW they happen. What is the origin of the electrical impulse that is sent forth from the R-Complex of the brain? From where does the spark of life originate? How does an entire plant grow from a small seed? HOW or WHY does photosynthesis work? Just because we know how to grow the plant does not mean we understand how it happens. We have observed cells and how they function, we have split atoms and recently even finished the human genome project which maps the entire human DNA sequence. Yet we have no idea why or how it happens.
Life is just as great a mystery now as it has always been, in fact more so now, as we have the technology to see and comprehend how incredibly complex life is. Sub atomic particles appear, disappear then reappear and behave in ways we do not begin to understand. The ever expanding universe reveals deeper and deeper mysteries all the time. And yet even the simple miracle of a flower opening at sunrise, or fish who return to the same river to spawn or crustaceans that mate only at certain full moons every year, how do they know? How does it all work, and WHY any of it? We are more impressed by magicians, the showmen type, who seduce us with their trickery than we are in awe of the majestic natural universe.
In simpler times, there was more reverence for the magic of nature. There was not as much intellectual stimulation as today. What was learned and observed was done so with great depth. There was time to ponder and encounter the truth directly, through the heart. To understand a flower, one would sit with the flower and observe it, feel it. Just like with a person, we must get to know a person through the heart and experience them in order to have a chance at understanding them. To understand the flower one must share its being with the flower and allow the flower to share its being too. Flowers are people too! If tomorrow you were to sit with a plant or a flower for a couple of hours, I bet your ideas about plants and flowers will be different than what they were beforehand.
Yoga and The Vedic Sciences show the simple yet profound connection to an ancient heart centered wisdom based on direct experience of and reverence for the cycles and magic of nature. They exists beyond surface explanations and dry intellectual data that dominate our thinking and ultimately leave us feeling empty and disconnected. The type of thinking that explains a flower as the natural product of soil, water, sunlight and photosynthesis. The truth is, a flower is a mystery and a miracle to be experienced. That is only possible when our being is merged with it’s being, through communion. Wisdom is a by product of experience not of information.
About the Author: Sadasiva (Sam Geppi) is a Vedic astrologer, writer and Yoga Instructor in San Francisco. He has over 20 years of Vedic Study and experience. He is a certified Vedic Astrologer and Teacher through the American College of Vedic Astrology (level 2) as well as author of "The Ascendant-108 Planets of Vedic Astrology."