Natural and Spiritual Evolution

The currently predominant concept of Western Science regarding our evolution can be succinctly summarized in this way: We are individual flesh-robots powered by selfish genes that are trying to survive in a hostile or at least indifferent universe. We are pitched against similar bio mechanoids of the same and other species who are attempting to survive by outsmarting others in competing for limited resources. If we do manage to outsmart others and procreate then our genes may outcompete the genes of others and flourish. We may continue to do that until we are struck by a comet, or suffocate in our own waste, or are killed by the supernova of the sun. If we are really lucky then we’ll survive until the entropic engine of the universe runs out of energy and all lights go out. Finish. Either way Armageddon will get us earlier or later.

The problem with that belief (as with all other beliefs) is that we will create and shape the world and our reality according to this belief. And it is a very, very negative belief.

If you think for a moment about the current state of humanity including permanent warfare, violence everywhere, competition, rise in mental disorders, breakdown of social structures and community, the entire wealth of society being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, chopping down of the rainforests, accelerated extinction of species, melting of the icecaps, poisoning of the oceans and atmosphere, (and the list goes on), IS IT REALLY SUPRISING that we are manifesting such a society if our collective belief is that we are selfish-gene-powered flesh-robots seeking to maximize advantage over other individuals? It does not look surprising to me. In fact I would think that our current desolation is the LAWFUL RESULT of such an awful belief.

Now you might be upset that I label the theory of natural evolution as a belief. Think twice! Nuclear physicist and nobel price laureate Niels Bohr stated that our laws of nature do NOT DESCRIBE THE UNIVERSE AS SUCH BUT OUR KNOWLEGE OF THE UNIVERSE. In other words they are statements about ourselves and NOT STATEMENTS ABOUT NATURE.

The ancient sages understood this and saw the human mind not as a realizer of the truth but as a creator or co-creator of reality. What you think about yourself will eventually become true. In the Gita (17.3) there is a stanza that says: “yoc chraddhah sa eva sah”, meaning, “whatever a person thinks with great conviction that verily they will become.” In the Yoga Sutra (2.36) we find the stanza satya pratishthayam kriyaphala ashrayatvam, meaning “for one established in truth, nature must change its course to accommodate his thoughts”. Similarly in the Bible we find “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

If we bring this all into context we realize that our perception and ideas of reality shape that very reality. If we believe that we are conniving, competing biomechanoids then our current world is the result. We then must take responsibility for our thoughts and perceptions and choose them according to their result.

To think in such a way is in alignment with all the major wisdom traditions of human history. A survey and brief collation of their beliefs reveals something along the lines of this:

The whole universe and all beings are the crystallizations of divine love, beauty, intelligence and freedom. The more we can bring ourselves into alignment with this divine intelligence that expresses itself through everything in time and space, the more we can become a conduit through which the Divine can become itself through us.

All beings are made in the image and likeness of the Divine and therefore are inherently divine. Because we are made thus, we are made free and are thereby also free to not live in alignement with the sacred and with nature. The world is in its current state because we as a humanity have used our freedom to turn away from love, intelligence and beauty. If we can let go of our concepts and ideas about the world and ourselves and listen again to this ancient-most voice in our hearts we will learn that our nature is nothing short of ecstasy. If we re-accept this “original covenant”, our thoughts, words and actions will fall in alignment with divine and natural law and our world and society will manifest accordingly.

How this could look like is expressed in the Biblical metaphor of the Garden of Eden or the Puranic metaphor of the Golden Age (Satya Yuga).

If we want this to take place we must take responsibility for our thoughts and beliefs. To do so means to make ourselves available for spiritual evolution.

About Gregor Maehle

Gregor Maehle started his yogic practices over 38 years ago. For almost two decades he yearly travelled to India where he studied with various yogic and tantric masters. Gregor spent 14 months in Mysore, India, and in 1997 was authorized to teach Ashtanga Yoga by K. Pattabhi Jois. Since then he has branched out into research of the anatomical alignment of postures and the higher limbs of Yoga. He obtained his anatomical knowledge through a Health Practitioner degree and has also studied History, Philosophy and Comparative Religion.

Gregor lived many years as a recluse, studying Sanskrit, yogic scripture and practising yogic techniques. He has published a series of textbooks on all major aspects of yoga. His mission is to re-integrate ashtanga vinyasa practice into the larger framework of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga in the spirit of T. Krishnamacharya. He offers trainings, retreats and workshops worldwide.

Posted in Ecology, Mythology, Society/ civilisation, Yoga Philosophy.

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