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The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga

One may well ask, “What is the Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga?” Paul Brunton offers explanation of how mastering yoga practices of quieting the lower mind and using reason to reach the higher mind can lead the sincere seeker to truth. He writes in Chapter VII, “It will now be clearer why, when describing the qualifications needed by the philosophic enquirer, great emphasis was laid upon the elimination of the ingrained human tendency to view things from an egoistic platform (p. 184).

The Arbitrament of Thinking Power

The weary traveler may well be provoked into asking whether the human mind is at all capable of solving ultimate problems. This is an important question…..Its answer involves the answer to other questions, such as “How do I get knowledge?” “What is meant by knowledge?” “Which kind of knowledge is true?”—all of which must be dealt with by the philosopher if he is to walk warily in the light and not dubiously in darkness…It is to the honour of Immanuel Kant that he was the first Western thinker to raise the question whether man possessed a mental instrument fit for knowing truth. He came to a negative conclusion. Fortunately we need not be so pessimistic for we shall find, as the ancient Indian sages found, that only the best awaits us in the end and that the riddle of life can be solved with man’s present resources. …. (pp.176-178).

The very occurrence in man of the desire to know, the need to understand, whether it take the form of belief or not indicates that ignorance is likewise there. Hence it is better to recognize that he must take to a different path if he would gain knowledge and this he can do only by beginning with doubt. Unless he introduces the element of courageous questioning into his everyday conceptions he cannot hope to learn more about their validity (p.183).

God has endowed us all with—in however feeble a degree—with thinking power, with the potential capacity to discriminate and reason for ourselves. Should we not, therefore, use His gift and not scorn it?… (p. 180).

Authoritarianism has its undeniable place and is indeed absolutely indispensable for regulating the affairs of society. We are studying the question from a higher dimension altogether, that of philosophy, the search for ultimate truth and for the time beingthe reader must drop the lower dimension of thought completely; otherwise he will mix the issues and bewilder his mind (Ibid.).

There must be adamant refusal to be overawed by authority. There must be an attitude which keenly probes and dissects every dogma which is set up for consumption; there must be a freedom from the ancient prejudices and irrational predilections implanted by heredity, environment, and experience; there must be the courage to resist the emotional pressure generated by conventional social forces, a pressure which carries most people along the stream of untruth, dissimulation and selfish interest (pp.180-181).

(To be continued)