More things I loved from this book... The next section was devoted to the part of her trip she spent in an ashram.
This is from early in the section:
The Yogic path is about disentangling the built in glitches of the human condition, which I'm going to over simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment.... The Yogis say that human discontentment is a simple case of mistaken identity. We're miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality. We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace. That supreme Self is our true identity, universal and divine. Before you realize this truth, say the Yogis, you will always be in despair.
Yoga is the effort to experience one's divinity personally and then to hold on to that experience forever. Yoga is about self-mastery and the dedicated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying about the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and your surrounding with poise. Only from that point of even mindedness will the true nature of the world (and yourself) be revealed to you. True Yogis, from their seat of equipoise, see all this world as an equal manifestation of God's creative energy - men, women, children, turnips, bedbugs, coral: it's all God in disguise. But the Yogis believe a human life is very special opportunity, because only in a human form and only with a human mind can God-realization ever occur. The turnips, the bedbugs, the coral - they never get a chance to find out who they really are. But we do have that chance.
"Our whole business therefore in this life, " wrote Saint Augustine, rather Yogically, "is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen."
And then from a little bit later:
I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many ways, and all these acquisitions and accomplishments - they run you down in the end. Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. Time - when pursued like a bandit - will behave like one; always remaining one county or one room ahead of you, changing its name and hair color to elude you, slipping out of the back door of the motel just as you're banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving only a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you. At some point you have to stop because it won't. You have to admit that you can't catch it. That you're not supposed to catch it. At some point, as Richard keeps telling me, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you.
And ladies and gentleman, right here we have what is without doubt my favorite sentence in the book:
Which is a sentiment I completely respect except for the fact that I totally disagree.
Aaaahahahaha, what was that I said about feeling a connection to this woman?
10 months ago