Articles by Ganga White
(Relativity and Consciousness - Einsteinian vs. Newtonian
According to Newton the universe is a big machine.
Wind it up and it ticks away perfectly. Newton's discoveries
and equations dominated physics for centuries and contributed
greatly to mankind's understanding and to easing our
burdens. However, Newton had a problem with his theories.
There were glitches. Nature didn't always fit the machine
metaphor. What goes up must come down--but not always.
When Einstein confronted these problems he tried to
penetrate a big obstacle. How could the constancy of
the speed of light be proved? As we all know, instead
of ending with that constant he started with it as a
given. He started with what was actually so. The light
released from Einstein's equations was seen around the
world and totally transformed science.
How does this apply to Yoga and Yogis? Perhaps we need
a similar innovation. Actually it is not an innovation
but a radical transformation of our minds and the way
we see things. Our consciousness may still be functioning
on a Newtonian level. For many the understanding of
Yoga, and of self, is mechanistic. But the universe
is not a machine and neither are we!
We tend to operate from the notion that things are
black and white. We assume that if we meditate a certain
way, for a certain time we will get a specific result.
We feel that if we practice the right form of asana
in the right way we will achieve the desired result.
But experience brings different ends. We are not machines.
To live intelligently we must realize deep in our beings
that living cannot be approached with a blueprint alone.
The turbulence and unpredictability of life is the secret
of its joy. Evolution is an unfolding of which we are
a part. We must start like Einstein did, with what is
We cannot completely formulate our practice, whether
it is physical or spiritual. Even though the body is
machine-like it has its own intelligence. That intelligence
acts only in the present and when we attune it guides
our actions and practice. The forward bend that is correct
today may need to be different tomorrow. We need to
find the balance between prescription and intuition.
The body is a living thing and should not be approached
with a static mind. It is intelligence and perception
in the moment, with awareness. When we are watchful
in our daily actions we begin to notice that thought
continually tries to explain, formulate or have a conclusion
about everything. In this way it subtly maintains control.
But thought is only a small part of consciousness. That
which begins to see this process is the awakening of
insight. Though in science we have moved from horse
and buggy to the rocket ship our minds may be lagging
behind. The Newtonian mind looks for black and white
answers, right and wrong practices, and a well defined,
step-by-step universe. Do this, and get that. The Einsteinian
mind not only realizes but sees that everything is relative.
What is right for me may not be appropriate for another.
It may not even be appropriate for me tomorrow. Instead
of living by beliefs, systems and authorities we begin
to act with the awareness that comes from sensitivity
and insight. This perception or seeing lives only in
the present. It is outside of time. This is the greatest
innovation in our Yoga.
Reprinted from Unity in Yoga News