There’s an insider marketing locution that goes something like this, “we sell em’ what they want, and give em’ what they need.” I love this phrase.
Rather than viewing it cynically, as an example of the manipulative nature of the corporate-political machine, I choose to see it as an opportunity for insight into the nature of self. Is this turn of phrase a revelation into our mind-ego naiveté? Perhaps, anything we “do” as a function of our thinking mind (of our wants and desires) is only a mirage masquerading the true function of said “action.”
Perhaps, underneath our wants and desires, exists a realm of cosmic (or karmic) necessity—a realm that is actually in charge of what we do — despite all appearances otherwise.
Yoga In The West
When I contemplate the rise of yoga in the west, I can’t help but see a correlation here. We step on the mat with the impression that yoga is in the best interest of our physical or mental selves. “I want to be more fit. I want to have peace of mind. I want to be flexible and feel good about myself.”
Yet, perhaps the reality of the rise of yoga in our lives, is actually indicative of the presence of a pulsating need, slightly hidden from view, directing our interests—a need that addresses the source of our suffering. Perhaps, the rise of yoga is a subconscious reaction to our collective exhaustion towards the cultural imperative to reduce life to a narrowed set of expectations and perceptions.
Perhaps, yoga (an ancient tradition) is reaching new heights of mass potential in modern times because it was destined for this very moment—a moment of crisis to which yoga is perfectly suited.
The Need To Return To Center
I believe this is true. I believe the gig is up. Millennia upon millennia of human-human, human-nature, human-self separation, the extreme edge of human suffering, is motivating a profound return to center.
I can’t look around at the happenings of our world and think any differently. Yoga represents a yearning, a cry for help into the soul of the universe petitioning for a lifeline out of the mundane, oppressive reality we’ve created for ourselves. To respond to the claim of the title, yoga brings us closer together simply by showing us we’re already there.
When we step on the mat, we engage in a proven, ancient, and sacred practice of unification. It is a melding of universes—the universe of our physical reality (that of our senses), the universe of our mental-emotional body, and the universe of our spiritual truth. Though the western mind searches for proof of this claim—to arrange facts to validate one’s sense of the real—yoga’s offering touches a deeper realm, and extends beyond the capacity of the mind.
Cognition must heed the way to direct experience. And what is the direct experience of yoga? What is the need that reaches beyond our desire for yoga?
Keep showing up and you’ll see.