Sunday, September 24, 2017
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September is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. As a yogi (bhakta), you establish a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. You practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.”
All of your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your constant prayer is for complete self-surrender, in ecstatic union with your Belovèd.
Is what you perceive really “out there” — at your fingertips, so to speak? Is it a reality made of matter and energy, that your five senses grasp and correctly interpret? Or is it a projection you’ve learned to construct, based on sensory and super-sensory stimulation, memory, and other information?
For thousands of years, yogis have taught that the second explanation is much closer to the truth: You continuously and interactively create the particular universe in which you live. In the last century, many neuroscientists found reasons to agree. Some quantum physicists also read their findings as proof that all being arises from consciousness. These scientists believe that your continuity of experience, especially your sense of self as “bound,” is a conditioned response — a learned behavior, a choice among possibilities.
Implications for you as a spiritual seeker are enormous: What you have learned, you can unlearn. You can, with practice, replace what you believe today with an ever-greater and more accurate experience of reality. You can move, as Swami Vivekananda said, from lesser truth to the highest truth.
In this talk we explore and compare the yogic and scientific explanations for self-awareness, and review what Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna taught about how you can realize your True Original Nature, or God.