CONSCIOUSNESS (PURUSHA) AND ENERGY (PRAKRATI)
Samkhya philosophy views anything that is subject to change, death, decay or decomposition as being “unreal” rather than “real.” This does not mean that the objects are not there in front of us. Rather, they are not ultimately “real” in that their form keeps morphing from this to that to the other. What is considered “real” is that final substratum which never changes, cannot die, and cannot possibly decay or decompose. It is the direct experience of that “absolute reality” which is being sought. (Swamij.com)
Samkhya teaches that the natural world is created through the two principles of Purusha (consciousness) and Prakrati (energy matrix). The first element is Purusha, which is pure consciousness, and is also referred to as ‘soul’, ‘god’, or ‘universal mind’. Purusha cannot be created or destroyed, it just is. It is completely unbounded and has no attachment to outcome. The second element is called “Prakrati”, which is the material manifestation of Purusha. Prakrati is also known as ‘energy’ and generates the physical processes of creation.
These two principles are dependent on each other for creation, as consciousness without energy cannot express itself, experience order or create anything. Likewise, energy without consciousness will become chaotic, undirected and dissipate. When Purusha and Prakrati move together out of a perfect balanced state the creative process begins.
Similarly, the Tantric tradition considers the universe to be a manifestation of pure consciousness. Through the process of manifesting on the physical plane, consciousness divides into two archetypal forces: Shiva and Shakti, which seem to be separate but in actuality cannot exist without each other.
Shiva relates to Purusha – pure consciousness
While Shakti relates to Prakrati – the energy required for creation and manifestation.
Tantra describes the unification of all as the merging of Shiva and Shakti, and we as humans reach our highest level of consciousness when we unite these two aspects of ourselves.
Yoga is a way to restore our lost wholeness. Our mind and our nervous system act as a localised reflector of all pervading consciousness. The more developed and refined they are the more they reflect the qualities of pure consciousness (Purusha), love, joy, compassion and equanimity. Pure consciousness (Purusha) in the subjective part of this equation, it is infinite, non-changing and resides in perfect balance. The world of objects (Prakrati) is the objective part and is always changing, shifting and is impermanent.
The individual world we perceive is totally dependent on the contents of our minds and the state of our nervous systems. The nervous system is essentially a goal seeking mechanism and depending on the contents of our mind, what we perceive as important, the nervous system will go about paying attention to that subjective reality.
An example that comes to mind is one time I was surfing down the coast with a couple of friends – great waves, beautiful backdrop (dolphins and all), and we essentially had the whole place to ourselves. For me it can’t get much better. I paddled back out after catching a perfect wave and one of my friends complained how frustrated he was that he couldn’t get a good wave, while another just wanted to go get food as we had skipped breakfast and he was starving. We were all in the same place with the same conditions, but all had very different experiences in that moment.
If we look out and don’t like the life we see then it is something that only we created. If the contents of our mind are something like “life sucks , nobody loves me and I never get what I want” then our nervous-system will go about creating that reality. Through the process of Yoga we can move back in line with creating a life centred on well-being. If our thoughts are clear and positive and the images we see are powerful, including all the senses, then our actions which are manifested thoughts will be rewarding and successful.
YOGACOACH – CREATING FLOW
Yogacoach seeks to create a body that is aware and a mind that is embodied – our objective is to support habits that focus on well-being and pleasure and spend little time in negative states. We look to create a body/mind system that can tolerate a high amount of consciousness/energy.
We achieve this by:
- Mapping our chakra system on each level – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual
- Balancing our prana through practices to regulate the Autonomic Nervous System
- Directing our energies by setting clear intentions and setting up pathways so that they can happen
- Using the methodology of Yoga to cultivate and support a system that can channel this high energy, creating a still, focused mind, and a strong, purified nervous system
The philosophy of Yogacoach is simply to restore balance and well-being on all levels. Feeling bad, just as well-being, is a habit, and each has a distinct rhythm. We at the Yogacoach believe that through correct practice and lifestyle habits that support the rhythm of well-being, we can eventually hone ourselves to a place where well-being is our ordinary state.
DIRECTING YOUR FLOW – GETTING ON PURPOSE
HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO LOOK?
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves” – William Shakespeare
We all have a vision of how we would like our lives to look. That vision may currently be clear in our mind like a big neon sign. Then again, it may be like looking at the roof of the Sistine Chapel in the dark using only a flashlight to catch glimpses of beautiful things here and there, with no real concept of the images as a whole.
Regardless of how we currently see our life and potential, to be able to achieve our purpose we need three things:
- A clear mind
- A purified, strengthened nervous system
- Abundant, overflowing energy
Energy follows thought – as everything is energy and we as human beings have the ability to think, we play a key role in creation. With a clear mind, pure and strong nervous system and an overabundance of energy, we ourselves become a powerful creator.
Our life is completely dependent on the contents of the mind and the state of our nervous system. These concepts have been around for a long time. However, they are starting to receive more and more public recognition – even movies like What the Bleep and The Secret have demonstrated the fact that our mind is the most potent force in our lives. We invariably attract the things we focus on into our lives – unfortunately for a lot of us, we spend so much of our time focused on the things we don’t want, that that’s all we end up with. To be able to create the life that we want, we need to have a very clear focus on what it is that’s important to us, and what makes us truly happy.
- What is our dream or purpose in life?
- Where do we see ourselves going or doing?
- What type of life do we want to have?
When we are able to get clear on that direction and maintain that focus and start thinking in images, we will become a very powerful creator. We begin to create the life we want, and consciousness or energy will draw the circumstances into our reality for that to occur. As we become more of a conscious creator in our own life, and also have a nervous system that can support a high level of energy, then we start to tap our highest potential as a human being and are more easily able to experience states of happiness, compassion and equanimity.
OUR WORLD IS A MENTAL CONSTRUCT
1. When we are not aware of our TRUE NATURE: When activity of all levels of mind has been transcended (1.2), we experience pure consciousness (1.3). However, the rest of the time, mind flows towards the many sensory experiences we have, as well as towards the streams of memories and fantasies. The existence of the external world and the memories is not the problem. Rather, the pure consciousness mistakenly takes on the identity of those thought patterns. In this way, we incorrectly come to think that who we are is one and the same with these thoughts. The solution is to separate the seer and the seen (2.17), the experiencer and the object experienced, and this is the theme and practice of Yoga.
2. Consciousness wraps around mental objects: When a metal sculptor wants to make a mould, he might first make a plaster statue then form the clay mould around that statue. Later, that clay becomes the mould for pouring the liquid metal. The process of the clay taking the form of the original plaster model is the meaning of the seer or Self appearing to take on the form of the thought pattern stored in the mind-field. When pure consciousness wraps itself around the mental object it encounters, it only appears to take on the identity of that object. It is a sort of mistaken identity that results.
3. Gold and clay: Gold is melted, reformed, and fashioned into many different ornaments. Yet, it remains gold. Clay is pushed and pulled and twisted, and shaped into many different bowls or other objects. Yet, it remains clay. However much consciousness shapes itself into the many objects stored in the mind field that consciousness remains pure, standing alone. That consciousness, itself lacking any form, is described as having the nature of existence, consciousness, and bliss.
4. It is always a mental object: The object around which consciousness wraps itself is always an inner, mental object, even though there may be an external object being perceived through the senses (Indriyas). If you see and smell your favourite food (or most offensive object), it is the memory of that experience, the mental object that is being triggered and brought to the surface. Even if you have never experienced this particular object before, it is presented through the eyes and nose (and other senses) to the mind field, as if on a movie screen, which the seer can then watch. The experience itself is between the inner witness and the presented object, and that presented object might come either through the senses or memory (or subtle realm, internal awareness). The significance of this is that we need to work with our inner awareness in relation to mental objects. In other words, we need to train our own mind and senses. – Swamij.com
CO-CREATION – THOUGHT AND FEELING
In the yogic model, one of the first things created when Purusha and Prakrati come together is our individual consciousness. This individual consciousness is expressed in the way that we operate and interact with the world around us. Whether we believe it or not, human beings are part of one unified whole. Regardless of whether we live in the city or the country, work in an office or on the land, we are in fact part of the one system; we have been created through the union of Purusha and Prakrati. We are made up of over 70 trillion cells organized in such a way that the body we inhabit is its own self-regulating ecosystem, and when we align ourselves with all around us, we experience optimal health.
Unlike animals, humans possess the ability to think and feel. We have complex nervous systems that allow us to express our individuality. Because of this, we are able to co-create within our environment and it is up to us to create a world that mirrors the harmony and balance that is inherent in all of nature. Humans have successfully created the artificial world – buildings, roads, and cities, modes of transportation, computers, and technological advancements. The creation of much of this artificial world has come at the expense of the health of our planet and its other inhabitants (animals, marine life, and plants).
We are unwittingly redirecting our future on the planet through poor choices and many of our choices are destroying the natural world, our environment and ultimately the future of life as we know it on our planet. We are using up all the Earth’s resources, polluting our air and oceans, poisoning our food and drinking water, and wiping out species of plants, animals, fish and insects that are vital to the delicate ecological balance of our ecosystems. We are seeing the effects of this through recurring natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms as the Earth attempts to restore balance to herself. Humanity has reached a tipping point where we need to start making better choices for our environment and for ourselves – our co-creation must move towards a unified intention to support the natural world. As individuals it can be challenging to understand our role in the larger picture … but if we begin to realize our interconnectedness with all, that we are not separate from the Earth but part of it, and that each individual man, woman and child has a responsibility to create the world we live in, we will start to co-create for a harmonious future.
If we start to take small steps to improve our relationship with ourselves by stilling the mind, purifying and strengthening our bodies and nervous systems and connecting to the underlying flow of unity, we will begin to make better choices over all for our environment and for ourselves. We will put our power of co-creation to work in ways that will support the world we live in, which will in turn support us.
DISCONNECTION AND ENVIRONMENT
When we are unaware of our connection to our source or TRUE NATURE, we feel a sense of separation, and isolation from our surroundings. The world around us seems unimportant and this leads us towards actions that don’t respect and acknowledge the interconnectedness of all life. We create an artificial world where we are in disharmony within ourselves and with our environment, and we are unaware of the impact we are having on the world around us.