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Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism

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  • jla
    I will not take on the role of apologist for Yoga but I can say again: it depends on the path and style of Yoga taken and whether its been Westernized . My
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
       I will not take on the role of apologist for Yoga but I can say again: it depends on the path and style of Yoga taken and whether its been Westernized . My experience and that of friends on and off over the years has not been as described below by Tomberg. And I wonder if he really investigated it in practice and with board study or did as many do, take public examples and added esoteric insight .
       
       We must remember why we need sleep, its not just to rejuvenate the body and soul but to leave our physical body and experience the spiritual worlds and the beings there! This is done so that we do not become too bound the physical body!. To this consciously is tricky and open to discussion.
       
      On the other hand, extremes can be found in any approach. Sometimes at a certain stage of spiritual growth, being less incarnate for awhile may be what one needs. On the other hand being deep into the body and bringing in light forces may be what someone else may need. 
       
       My observations (as I mentioned before) are that the forces and energies of America rarely allow practioners to pursue Yoga in its pure forms. The spacey and ungrounded effects are usually dealt with by our unique geographic and cultural/spiritual conditions. As for higher forms of yoga, as you mention, there are critical differences between East and West . The dangers of yoga and some martial arts are legend and I have personally seen the results so-called enlightened gurus in public and pedophiles or seducers in private. Clearly awakening the lower "charkas forces" prematurely and without moral strength is highly dangerous and should not be done. And we are talking about a complete system of spiritual training in Yoga.The ancient system is probably not appropriate for modern times but the popular forms of Yoga are little more than stretch and limbering practices. Most are not interested in Gurus or ashrams anymore.
       
      If one wants to pursue a spiritual path, that is another issue. If one wants a gentle way to bring harmony to the body and engage in a physical discipline, then westernized hatha yoga can work with Western practices in my opinion.
       
       
       
      jeff
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 6:29 AM
      Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism

      Periodically on various anthroposophically oriented lists this subject
      comes up, namely what is the relationship between Yoga and modern
      spiritual life in the Cultural West.

      Always, it seem to me in any case, those who write and speak demonstrate
      not a very deep understanding of what is going on.  Routinely Jeff can
      be expected to accuse AP of some kind of prejudice against Yoga, which
      is accurate in the sense that Steiner clearly discouraged interest in
      it.

      Many people think of Yoga in the sense of the stretching exercises in
      their physical aspect, not acknowledging that physical work involves and
      effects the mind quite directly.  Certainly the breathing exercises
      effect the soul/spirit nexus, and again Steiner can probably be quoted
      as suggesting people avoid these practices.

      Perhaps the proponents of Yoga for anthroposophists should consider
      three possible realities.  One: they may not have a deep enough
      knowledge to actually make a correct judgment.  Two: The way they use
      the word Yoga is not at all what Steiner meant when he used the term.
      And, Three: There might well be excellent reasons for those involved in
      Western spiritual life to avoid Yoga.

      I will now quote below several parts of a short essay of V. Tomberg's
      published in the book Early Articles. The essay was originally published
      in Mensch en Kosmos, in Holland in 1939.  It is called: Indian Yoga and
      Christian Occultism

      "Regarding Yoga now from this point of view - that it is not just a
      theoretical world of ideas, but a practical ordering of the relation
      between spirit and matter - there arises the question as to the manner
      in which this relationship is governed.  We are faced with the question:
      What does the student of Yoga actually want to achieve?  What aim does
      his soul have in view?

      The goal of the Yoga student is to be freed from the bonds of the body,
      and essentially Yoga technique employs methods for breaking these bonds.
      These consist of a system of exercise along with a certain way of life
      which call forth changes in the human being, taking him further in the
      direction of this goal.  The transformations striven for by repeated
      exercises and the definite life style of Yoga result in the formation of
      a kind of stream of forces which come from below and move upwards in the
      human organism: from the lower body up into the head.

      "...causing consciousness to be loosened from the body ...This striving
      is a striving after freedom - but in the sense of freedom from the
      earth."

      "The practical aim of Yoga actually stands in polar opposition to the
      ideals of the representatives of Christian European Culture...For them
      the important thing is not to be freed from the earthly element, but to
      redeem everything earthly from evil.

      "The idea which forms the basis for this striving is not the opposition
      between spirit and matter, but rather the opposition between good and
      evil.

      "...The goal of true Christianity finds expression in the image of the
      Washing of the Feet from the sublime Gospel of St. John...In this image,
      the idea is expressed that the Christ impulse has the task of enabling
      the 'low' to be purified: by going down oneself into the lowest regions
      of being in order to ennoble them...

      "While the objective of Indian Yoga is to create a stream of 'fire
      power' from below upward in the human organism with the purpose of to
      experience the liberation of ones' own soul, so in Christian Occultism
      the main objective is to create a stream of 'light power' which works
      from above downward.  Meditation and other spiritual exercises of
      Christian Occultism have the task to allow the light which is kindled in
      the head to stream downward so that the unconscious life of human urges
      and instincts may be illuminated and ennobled."

      There is more, and I urge any with an interest to try to obtain a copy
      of this book.

      warm regards,
      joel


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    • evlogite
      Hi Jeff: In the Christian Hermeticism of the book Meditation on the Tarot, there are quite a number of indications about the breath and respiration. In fact,
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
        Hi Jeff:

        In the Christian Hermeticism of the book Meditation on the Tarot,
        there are quite a number of indications about the breath and
        respiration. In fact, the author of this work returns again and
        again to the Christian yogic practice of the Jesus Prayer. Another
        example he gives is the work with the bija mantras, where he gives
        the updated, Christian form of the mantras. A lot of it has to do
        with our intention and the goal of the practice.

        However, my sense for breath exercises and physical postures are
        that they are *just a stage* of development that we pass through in
        order to operate from a higher vantage point (higher mental plane, in
        traditional Theosophical terminology). There things are directed by
        intention and a whole new schooling is undertaken. Thus the exercise
        of physical respiration isn't an end in itself, but a preparation
        *for the great game*. Respiration can then take place on a more
        encompassing (vertical)level.

        Sometimes we can find that such things are valuable and should not be
        dismissed out of hand without experiencing both their usefulness and
        limitations to our personal paths, of which each of us has his/her
        own. On a personal note, it has helped me to appreciate more the
        ongoing heritage of earlier traditions and their present day
        practitioners.

        evlogite

        --- In anthroposophy@y..., "jla" <pacbay@a...> wrote:
        > I will not take on the role of apologist for Yoga but I can say
        again: it depends on the path and style of Yoga taken and whether its
        been Westernized . My experience and that of friends on and off over
        the years has not been as described below by Tomberg. And I wonder if
        he really investigated it in practice and with board study or did as
        many do, take public examples and added esoteric insight .
        >
        > We must remember why we need sleep, its not just to rejuvenate the
        body and soul but to leave our physical body and experience the
        spiritual worlds and the beings there! This is done so that we do not
        become too bound the physical body!. To this consciously is tricky
        and open to discussion.
        >
        > On the other hand, extremes can be found in any approach. Sometimes
        at a certain stage of spiritual growth, being less incarnate for
        awhile may be what one needs. On the other hand being deep into the
        body and bringing in light forces may be what someone else may need.
        >
        > My observations (as I mentioned before) are that the forces and
        energies of America rarely allow practioners to pursue Yoga in its
        pure forms. The spacey and ungrounded effects are usually dealt with
        by our unique geographic and cultural/spiritual conditions. As for
        higher forms of yoga, as you mention, there are critical differences
        between East and West . The dangers of yoga and some martial arts are
        legend and I have personally seen the results so-called enlightened
        gurus in public and pedophiles or seducers in private. Clearly
        awakening the lower "charkas forces" prematurely and without moral
        strength is highly dangerous and should not be done. And we are
        talking about a complete system of spiritual training in Yoga.The
        ancient system is probably not appropriate for modern times but the
        popular forms of Yoga are little more than stretch and limbering
        practices. Most are not interested in Gurus or ashrams anymore.
        >
        > If one wants to pursue a spiritual path, that is another issue. If
        one wants a gentle way to bring harmony to the body and engage in a
        physical discipline, then westernized hatha yoga can work with
        Western practices in my opinion.
        >
        >
        >
        > jeff
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Joel Wendt
        > To: anthroposophy@y...
        > Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 6:29 AM
        > Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism
        >
        >
        > Periodically on various anthroposophically oriented lists this
        subject
        > comes up, namely what is the relationship between Yoga and modern
        > spiritual life in the Cultural West.
        >
        > Always, it seem to me in any case, those who write and speak
        demonstrate
        > not a very deep understanding of what is going on. Routinely
        Jeff can
        > be expected to accuse AP of some kind of prejudice against Yoga,
        which
        > is accurate in the sense that Steiner clearly discouraged
        interest in
        > it.
        >
        > Many people think of Yoga in the sense of the stretching
        exercises in
        > their physical aspect, not acknowledging that physical work
        involves and
        > effects the mind quite directly. Certainly the breathing
        exercises
        > effect the soul/spirit nexus, and again Steiner can probably be
        quoted
        > as suggesting people avoid these practices.
        >
        > Perhaps the proponents of Yoga for anthroposophists should
        consider
        > three possible realities. One: they may not have a deep enough
        > knowledge to actually make a correct judgment. Two: The way they
        use
        > the word Yoga is not at all what Steiner meant when he used the
        term.
        > And, Three: There might well be excellent reasons for those
        involved in
        > Western spiritual life to avoid Yoga.
        >
        > I will now quote below several parts of a short essay of V.
        Tomberg's
        > published in the book Early Articles. The essay was originally
        published
        > in Mensch en Kosmos, in Holland in 1939. It is called: Indian
        Yoga and
        > Christian Occultism
        >
        > "Regarding Yoga now from this point of view - that it is not just
        a
        > theoretical world of ideas, but a practical ordering of the
        relation
        > between spirit and matter - there arises the question as to the
        manner
        > in which this relationship is governed. We are faced with the
        question:
        > What does the student of Yoga actually want to achieve? What aim
        does
        > his soul have in view?
        >
        > The goal of the Yoga student is to be freed from the bonds of the
        body,
        > and essentially Yoga technique employs methods for breaking these
        bonds.
        > These consist of a system of exercise along with a certain way of
        life
        > which call forth changes in the human being, taking him further
        in the
        > direction of this goal. The transformations striven for by
        repeated
        > exercises and the definite life style of Yoga result in the
        formation of
        > a kind of stream of forces which come from below and move upwards
        in the
        > human organism: from the lower body up into the head.
        >
        > "...causing consciousness to be loosened from the body ...This
        striving
        > is a striving after freedom - but in the sense of freedom from the
        > earth."
        >
        > "The practical aim of Yoga actually stands in polar opposition to
        the
        > ideals of the representatives of Christian European Culture...For
        them
        > the important thing is not to be freed from the earthly element,
        but to
        > redeem everything earthly from evil.
        >
        > "The idea which forms the basis for this striving is not the
        opposition
        > between spirit and matter, but rather the opposition between good
        and
        > evil.
        >
        > "...The goal of true Christianity finds expression in the image
        of the
        > Washing of the Feet from the sublime Gospel of St. John...In this
        image,
        > the idea is expressed that the Christ impulse has the task of
        enabling
        > the 'low' to be purified: by going down oneself into the lowest
        regions
        > of being in order to ennoble them...
        >
        > "While the objective of Indian Yoga is to create a stream of 'fire
        > power' from below upward in the human organism with the purpose
        of to
        > experience the liberation of ones' own soul, so in Christian
        Occultism
        > the main objective is to create a stream of 'light power' which
        works
        > from above downward. Meditation and other spiritual exercises of
        > Christian Occultism have the task to allow the light which is
        kindled in
        > the head to stream downward so that the unconscious life of human
        urges
        > and instincts may be illuminated and ennobled."
        >
        > There is more, and I urge any with an interest to try to obtain a
        copy
        > of this book.
        >
        > warm regards,
        > joel
        >
        >
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy
        > Unsubscribe:
        > anthroposophy-unsubscribe@y...
        > List owner: anthroposophy-owner@y...
        >
        >
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        Service.
      • jla
        Theosophy of the Rosicrucian (now called Rosicrucian Wisdom) - I believe there is some reference there; Guidance in Esoteric Training:Max Heindel s
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
          Theosophy of the Rosicrucian (now called Rosicrucian Wisdom) - I believe there is some reference there; Guidance in Esoteric Training:Max Heindel's descriptions in Questions And Answers Vol 1 or 2 on How Adepts prolong life downloadable from Rosicrucian.com, and I believe there was some mention of this process in Esoteric Cosmology or the Temple Legend or the History and Contents of the School of Spiritual Science.. As usual, without a card file of quote sources, its tough to recall exactly. 
           
          Jeff
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Bill
          Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 10:11 PM
          Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism

          Jeff,

          Do you remember where Steiner talks about this?

          Bill

          jla wrote:
           
          Wouldn't dividing the breath into its component elements encompass
          both alchemy and yoga?

          Regarding the fear of yoga methods:
          Yes, there are dangers, but they can be part of an Anthroposophical
          path, IMHO.

          evlogite
           
          I would say, absolutely- that any esoteric breath work that takes on this function is alchemy. Both Steiner and the Rosicrucians mention that at a certain stage of inner growth and initiation, breath control and cadence control is introduced to ultimately change the mix of carbon dioxide in the blood. Advanced methods supposedly are taught actually allow the initiate to separate the carbon element from carbon dioxide, free it for use and infuse it into the cell life of the body for longevity and minimal dietary intake. The tradition of breatharans in the East and among some saints and nuns in the West may reflect this process but its done unconsciously by most.
           
          I don't see how the early stages of this practice (pre-initiation and without direct advanced instruction)  would lead one to discover applications to mechanical principles or technology applications. I think the post earlier on Keely and sympatric force of thinking and will may be closer to this.

          Jeff


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