The Divided Self

“For centuries the society has been using that strategy to destroy the integrity of the individual. It gives you ideals, it tells you how you should be. It never allows you to love yourself as you are. It creates division: you are one thing, the society says you have to be something else; you become two. Your ideal self creates a constant tension in you. Your real self also becomes a burden because you don’t want it; the society says that it is worthless: Drop it. The real is denied and the unreal is imposed. Now this is the whole misery of man: how can one ever be in bliss if the real is denied, rejected, condemned, and the unreal is appreciated, valued? “ ~ OSHO

As Osho points out in his book, “The Sacred Yes”, in living this split life, there is a lack of wholeness. The only difference between people is the degree that they are split, which is a form of schizophrenia.  Society, school, religion and family teaches division, blocking the ability to live and celebrate one’s own uniqueness. We are urged to become something different than what we truly are. This creates what OSHO refers to as “TWO in one body”.  This split is often, the source of misery, depression and unhappiness.

We go on living out the expectations of parents and an educational system that falls short of designing independent uniqueness or self-expression. Rather, we are taught the skills that serve a system focused on particular functions to maintain its growth and increase in capitol. In this place of self-denial hovering above our head and hanging in the background of our mind and thoughts, a split is created inducing a mild form of insanity.

When we accept our totality, completely embracing our unique expression, all of our moods from sadness to happiness and joy to concern, we are integrated and whole. In this place of total wholeness, Osho states that miracles come into our life. A transcendence takes place that allows relaxation to come into the body, into the mind and ultimately into all of our life activities and relationships.

From an early age we learn to fight with others in order to have a voice, to be recognized or accepted. This split inside of our being keeps us in constant turmoil and frustration with life and relationships. From parents to teachers, from co-workers and the ranks of society, rules have been imposed that keep us in an unnatural place with existence and far from our natural expression. This struggle with imposed, unnatural rules becomes the trauma that we endure and the cause for the increasing division occurring in our being.

This is another reason why I love astrology. For some reason, religion has worked hard to discredit this amazing science, especially in the modern, western world. One can read in the Bible how astrology is considered evil. I must admit, I love it and can see how incredibly liberating it can be. To be validated, recognized and seen brings great confidence and relaxation into our system and opens the door to transformation.

However it is important to keep in mind that astrology is only the first step to gaining real wholeness. Until we have gone through the motions that actually heal the split and undo the mental tapes that foster the division do we taste the true essence of self. This can only be achieved by leaving the nature of mind in the Maya behind and apply the methods of transformation through ancient science of enlightenment and integration.

In our place of comfort and what we perceive as safety and security, we close down the possibilities of a higher existence. For in the place of moment to moment, the place of insecurity, joy is actually born. This is the place of surrender that fosters an awakening, a realization. Letting go of what society has created as normal or safe, jumping into the unknown and opening to divine influence is the beginning of an ecstatic dance with life.  Allowing one’s self to surpass knowledge and conventional life, stepping into an intuitive reality prepares one for tasting a deeper state of love that was hidden from view and certainly unaware. It is challenging to gain this power of intuition through the teachings of astrology or similar types of teachings. These are mental, logical methods for gaining understanding of the Maya and lack a liberating quality or method of surrender, which is the true gateway towards the Divine.

I appreciate how Osho conveys love to be synonymous with beauty and as a tool towards integration. It is true. In a beautiful environment, our heart is widened and expanded, feeling great joy and peace inside. When we create beauty in our immediate space through tidiness, fresh flowers on our altar and placing beautiful objects around us, we feel more love, more sacredness and more divine energy in our existence bringing greater self-confidence and contentment with life. They do go hand in hand. This is the start of bridging the division in our being and expanding our potential to experience greater love.

The formula that H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda uses in his retreats for transformation is magnificently powerful in bridging the disconnected parts of our being. Following the traditional teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Vedas and Agamas, we find a split, a division in mind, thoughts and actions. It is this division that fosters all of our hardships and difficulties in life combined with blocked emotions. Do our thoughts match our words and do our words and thoughts match our actions? He conveys a method for bridging this division over a twenty-one day period, ultimately bringing cohesion into one’s system therefore, changing one’s reality, radically. As he points out, this is an essential on-going process that never ceases, to continuously clear blocked emotions through the practice of completion to bridge and align all parts of our being, clearing, healing and transforming.

Sri Aurobindo mentions that the practice of the ancient science of Yoga, is a practical psychology and method for bringing wholeness into our being. He points out that the nature of our being is two-fold: higher and lower. The lower nature acts through limitation and division, ignorance and the ego. The higher nature acts through unification and the transcendence of limitation ultimately, bringing a life divine. Yoga provides the passage from lower to higher through a transformational process.

In practical terms, this can be called a surrender of the ego, a challenging feat. Surrendering the ego calls for tremendous courage, unending patience and great faith in the process. Sri Aurobindo further points out that there are three stages for this transformation: the ego coming into contact with the Divine, (2) the laborious preparation of the lower nature while the Divine works to be received and the (3) eventual transformation that comes through this relationship perpetuated by one’s own will to change and evolve. This is the true workings of Yoga.

It can be daunting to follow strict methods to change and evolve, as often taught through the various teachings of the science of Yoga. However, Sri Aurobindo points out that there is “ ….sort of free, scattered and yet gradually intensive and purposeful working determined by the temperament of the individual in whom it operates, the helpful materials which his nature offers and the obstacles which it presents to purification and perfection.”

Ultimately, we have a unique process in our transformation from lower nature to higher allowing for variations in the type of path, beyond one commanded for all. There are many ways to find the Divine, yet utilizing the methods of the Yoga science that best suits one’s own nature is the best way to achieve this union within and without, from below and with above.

One will find that all experiences happening in life, in our environment are being used to shape us in some way towards the path of perfection. We see the Divine operating through the lower nature in all of our encounters, moods and reactions, obscurely through our unconscious being while in the higher nature, aware and conscious, our form becomes the instrument of the Divine’s hand.

As Sri Aurobindo poignantly points out, “All of life is Yoga of Nature seeking to manifest God within itself. Yoga marks the stage at which this effort becomes capable of self-awareness and therefore, right completion in the individual.” from Perspectives for a New Millennium, the Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo

Truly, I appreciate this paragraph from the same book: “….what nature aims at for the masses in a slow evolution, Yoga effects for the individual by a rapid evolution. It works by a quickening of all her energies, a sublimation of all her faculties. While she develops the spiritual life with difficulty…..the concentrated method of Yoga can attain directly and carry with it the perception of mind and even, if she will, the perfection of body……Yoga goes beyond Nature to the Lord of Nature, beyond universe to the Transcendent…..”

Yoga is more than bending and stretching the body in specific ways, it is an entire body of work broken down into eight categories, practiced simultaneously but starting with purification of body and the reprogramming of mind through spiritual teachings. Then, we learn how to breathe as we stretch the body in specific ways for specific results. Starting from this place brings a true state of synthesis into the being, naturally, as move up the eight rung ladder of Yoga.

As J. Krishnamurti points out in his talk given in August of 1979, recorded on video, the exercise part of Yoga, called Hatha was developed during the 17th and 18th century to create a healthy body using discipline and control. The original, ancient Yoga is Raja Yoga, to lead a highly moral life, through ethical activity. Yoga translates as “to join” meaning lower with higher. Modern yoga offered in today’s world charges money to learn how to bend and stretch the body, yet never awakens a higher energy or even the kundalini. Certain experiences can happen with the exercises yet misses the true essence of kundalini. Only when the self has surrendered completely, a different kind of energy takes place. The lower mind is in constant conflict and opposition and struggle with life. As long as the struggle is happening, there is a waste of energy. When the struggle leaves and is gone, a totally different energy takes place. You will not find this state evolving in a conventional Hatha yoga studio. Surrendering to the Divine is a highly individual, personal experience that happens in a multi-fold way and is unique to each person and happens upon the initiation of an enlightened master – in ways unimaginable and often, outside of the physical plane.

The true teachings of Yoga is a full body of work designed to transform the entire being, bridging the lower with the higher and ultimately transforming the lower completely.  It is not just exercise, it is so much more.

Spending great amounts of time figuring out the mind through intellectual sciences is such a waste of energy. The mind is full of delusion and trickery, false assumptions and easily influenced by the environment where it is sitting. It’s an endless chase to try and understand nor can one even begin to grasp its wild nature, intellectually. If one is integrated, whole and undivided as the true teaching of Yoga provides through the art of surrender, then life has a blissful quality that leads one out of the shackles of Maya and into the flow of heaven. Surrender to the Divine is a highly intuitive path filled with joy.

It’s true that when we are seeking to understand the nature of a person, by looking at a few basic details in astrology, we find how one operates in the program. It’s very simple. When we are ready to leave the program behind and enter into a state of surrender, Raja Yoga is the way to freedom and out of the grips of the Maya.

May your chosen path lead you into a blissful, healthy state of integration and wholeness.