Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians
A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.
IT'S ALL ONE
The following is an article I wrote in May for the Arizona Yoga Community newsletter, discussing disagreements between the many different yogic lineages and seeking an area of Common Ground - which happens, coincidentally, to be the title of this blog. It occurs to me that the viewpoint I express here applies equally well to the recent bickering between the Pagan/Heathen communities. I know that hard liners will not agree with me at all, but this is the way I feel about it. And since this is my blog, after all, I'm going to lay it on you! - Ted Czukor, Theo the Green
Sometime in the mid 1990's I was sitting in Carol Mitchell's Phoenix living room, complaining about the "un-yogic" way certain teachers presented their classes. I had been trained pretty narrowly by representatives of specific lineages. I thought I knew what was Yoga and what wasn't.
Carol, who was more experienced and wiser than I, suddenly began to laugh. Then, in her musical tones she said, "Why, Ted - you're a purest!" There was no condemnation in her voice, only amusement and compassion. Then she said something that I would not come to understand for another ten years: "Don't you realize that it's all the same thing?"
No, I hadn't realized that. Today, of course, it seems like a no-brainer. I mean, isn't that what "Yoga" means - Oneness? Isn't that the message of the Vedic revelation, "Truth is One, Paths are Many"?
We all know that the term "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word for "yoke" - as in, to yoke a pair of oxen together so they can pull a plow in the same direction. This refers to connecting your body, mind, emotions and spirit through single-pointed concentration on your breathing. It's hard work; it requires continual mindfulness.
But when you've been on this path long enough, you finally begin to grok that you never had to join anything together at all…you just had to wake up to the fact that everything was already joined together from the beginning! Everything truly is All One. The Yogic state is not the forced creation of something that didn't exist before and won't continue to exist unless you personally exert tremendous effort to maintain it; it is the realization of what has always existed, but was too subtle for your busy ego to accept.
When this is revealed to you, your mission suddenly starts to feel more possible. You don't have to be in control of everything! God/Goddess has provided a miraculous entertainment for you, and lovingly invites you to sit quietly on your meditation cushion and appreciate the beautiful reality of Oneness happening all around you and within you. It's All One, and you are a part of it. If you patiently wait to see what comes to you unbidden and unforced, you will be prompted to move in the direction of your dharma.
The delusion of Maya makes it appear that lots of things are different from other things. But when your vision expands to the cosmic perspective, you can see that each divergent opinion or personality is clearly just a tiny piece of a great design, a cosmic jigsaw puzzle. The Divine Playwright casts individual actors to play different roles in order to create a story. This world of form could not exist without opposites, and it is important for you to determine which role you are meant to play in the drama…but we are parts of the One great story. With this perspective, you can accept people who have different beliefs as necessary parts of the whole - without acting like them or buying into their scenarios. Let them play their parts, while you play yours.
Remember the huge Home Tree in the movie, Avatar? The Tree of Yoga is like that; so ancient and vast that yogis on your branch may have no knowledge whatsoever of what other yogis do on a far opposite branch. If you were to meet, you would probably think each other's concepts bizarre. And yet, it would be a mistake for you to conclude that you are not connected - through the roots and trunk.
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