I need to look after my bit of the world; my family, my job, my friends, my house…the list goes on.
But the things I need to do this are from the wider world, outside of my family, job, friends, etc. I don’t really provide; I simply redirect existing resources. None of us really create anything. We just reshape things already provided. Even farmers don’t actually grow any food; they plants seeds, which grow on their own with sunlight, earth and water.
Manipulation of raw materials creates the stuff of modern life. But do we mistake this processing for creation itself? We feel like we control the world, when in fact we simply take advantage of natural resources and processes.
And this is a very old phenomenon. Every empire felt that it built something, but all it really did was influence local culture in different regions. And all that’s left now are history books and monuments.
Yoga recognises that we each believe we are making things happen by our actions. But we’re not. There are a hundred and one factors at work in everything we do, from buying a house to finding a partner or even in getting to work on time. This is why we sometimes succeed and sometimes fail in pour objectives – most of it is outside of our control.
Yoga practice leads to the realisation that the whole world is completely connected. I can’t live without the food and air the world gives. That food and air comes from billions of plants. Those plants die without insects to pollinate them, etc. It percolates all the way up to human society; a single motorway accident can gridlock a city and change the nature of everyone’s day.
It really is as if there is an intelligence controlling everything. Many religions have seen this intelligence – or God – as separate, like a father or mother (or both). But Yoga – as I understand it – sees everything else as part of this intelligence. Just as I cannot enter a Yoga pose without affecting all of my body, every event in my life has implications for all. It’s like clockwork – everything moves and responds in lock step. But it’s unlike clockwork in the sense that we have no idea what’s coming next. All we know is that many factors contributed: our thoughts, words, and actions and a whole host of other things.
We know also that the world is around 4.5 billion years old. The needs of more or less all species have been sufficiently met for a very long time – long enough for us to be alive today. The collective contribution of many factors provides for all. Whether this collective itself comprises God, or whether God is a separate entity, really doesn’t matter. To receive is to be loved, so the nature of being alive is love either way.