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THE NEW YOGA, ‘ADVAITA’
AND ‘KASHMIR SHAIVISM’
36 Original Precepts of The New Yoga
The Awareness Principle - the foundational principle of The New Yoga of Awareness - embraces many new and original metaphysical distinctions, each of which serve to further differentiate it from and refine the concepts of traditional ‘non-dual’ or ‘a-dvaita’ philosophies, including Buddhist philosophy and those profound schools of tantric metaphysics known collectively as ‘Kashmir Shaivism’. These innovative distinctions and refinements are summarised below:
36 Original Precepts of The New Yoga
‘Consciousness’ is not a good
translation of the ultimate reality designated in Sanskrit as ‘Chit’,
‘Shuddhachit’, ‘Parachit’ or ‘Shuddhavidya’.
‘Awareness’ or ‘pure awareness’ is a more appropriate
term. For if people get lost in thought or emotions, pains or pleasures, in
watching TV or playing computer games, in work or domestic chores – then they
may be ‘conscious’ but they are not aware. Whenever our consciousness
becomes overly focused or fixated on any one thing we are conscious of, we lose
awareness. For unlike ordinary ‘consciousness’, awareness is intrinsically pure
or transcendent, transcending any thing we are conscious or aware of.
Like space it surrounds, pervades and yet remains absolutely distinct from each
and every thing within it. Indeed it is the subjective essence of space itself.
That is why identification with inner and outer space (‘Khechari Mudra’) is the
key to a new experience of space itself - as an unbounded field of
awareness transcending anything that we experience within it.
Not helpful and even more misleading is the common Buddhist
translation of ‘Chit’ as ‘mind’ (‘Buddhi’) and of awareness with ‘mindfulness’.
For awareness of mind and mental activity - and of a mental ego or ‘I’ -
is not itself anything mental. Nor is awareness itself the same as ‘witnessing’
– a term which implies some ‘mindful’ self or alter-ego ‘doing’ the witnessing.
Buddhist advaita and tantra contradictorily rejects the notion of self and lets
it in again through the back door. It does so by failing to see that whilst
awareness of self cannot - in principle - be the property of any self or ego
‘with’ awareness (even a ‘mindful’ or ‘witnessing’ self) it is nevertheless
identical with that divine Self (Atman) which does not ‘have’ but is
3. Pure Awareness is not ‘emptiness’. To speak in Buddhist terms of ‘the mind’s continuous ascertainment of emptiness’ is to create a dualism of mind and awareness, to privilege ‘mind’ over emptiness - and affirm emptiness itself, rather than pure awareness, as absolute. For just as space is both inseparable from and absolutely distinct from all the objects within it, so also is awareness absolutely distinct from all its contents – from all we are aware of. It does not therefore need to be ‘emptied’ of all content to be as clear and pure as the ‘empty’ space around us - a space whose essence is pure awareness and not mere ‘emptiness’.
4. ‘God’ – the divine - is not a supreme being, self, soul, subject or ‘I’ that ‘has’ or ‘possesses’ awareness. As ‘Shiva’, God IS awareness – an awareness that is independent of any being, human or divine – and yet the source of all beings, all individualised consciousnesses. ‘I-consciousness’, including the supreme selfhood or ‘I-consciousness’ of Shiva, is a reflective property of pure awareness - not the other way round. ‘Shiva’ is not a god ‘with’ awareness or ‘with’ a self or ‘I’, but the ‘I’-ness of that absolute, foundational awareness which is ‘God’.
5. To attain a state of ‘pure’ or ‘transcendental’ awareness, thought- and sense-free, mind- and body-free - it is not necessary to cease thinking, close our eyes to the sensory world, stop our minds or dis-identify from our bodies. That is because the simple awareness of a thought, since it is not itself a thought, is itself inherently thought-free, just as the awareness of our minds and bodies is not itself anything mental or bodily - and is therefore something innately mind- and body-free. Similarly, the awareness of a differentiated world of sensations and perceptions is not itself anything sensory or differentiated, but is the undifferentiated, sense-free space in which they stand out or ‘ex-ist’. Like space, awareness is inherently ‘transcendental’ – transcending every thing or thought, feeling or sensation we experience within it. The light of pure awareness both intensifies our ‘de-light’ in the sensory world but also finds its reflection and recognition in the refined spiritual intellect.
6. ‘Pranayama’ is not breath 'control’ but simply a sustained awareness of breathing. As such it is as central to The New Yoga as it was to the old. For the moment we lose awareness of the subtle muscular motions of our breathing - even if only for a moment - we lose awareness of our bodies as a whole and of all we are experiencing through them, thus losing awareness per se. As a result we cannot experience the true nature of prana - as the very breath, air or ‘aether’ of awareness as such. In The New Yoga, pranayama is the bliss of a sustained breathing of awareness that comes from a sustained awareness of breathing. All the practices of awareness that make up the ‘The New Yoga of Awareness’ are based on the same principle – that of passing from an awareness of a specific sensory dimension of our experience (our awareness of breath or light, for example) to a sensual experience of awareness per se (for example, an experience of the innate light and breath of awareness).
7. Being (‘Sat’) and Awareness (‘Chit’) are not equivalent or equiprimordial concepts. The New Yoga understands awareness and not Being or beings as the ultimate unsurpassable and primordial reality (‘Anuttara’). That is because Being is essentially awareness of Being, and, as recognised by Abhinavagupta “The being of all things that exist in awareness in turn depends on awareness.” The central principle of The New Yoga is the more or less explicit principle of tantric metaphysics – ‘The Awareness Principle’ – and not ‘The Being Principle’ that has formed the basis of all Western metaphysics and philosophy, and tends also to be privileged in the Vedas and Vedantic philosophy.
8. ‘Shakti’ is not ‘energy’ in the modern scientific sense. The modern scientific use of the term ‘energy’ is a recent invention - promoted in the 19th century by an elite club of scientists called ‘The Energeticist Movement’ as an empty quantitative abstraction - one that was raised over all tangible, experiential dimensions of reality. Since then it has become a quasi-religious dogma of both modern science and New Age pseudo-science that ‘everything is energy’. The ‘energy’ concept also served the purposes of imperialist Anglo-American oil interests, justified by the idea of energy as a ‘scarce’ planetary resource. The word ‘energy’ is rooted in the Greek verb energein – which was not a scientific abstraction but meant simply formative or creative ‘action’ (like that of a potter forming a pot). ‘Shakti’ is rooted in the Sanskrit ‘Shak’ – meaning ‘capacity’ or ‘power’ of action. ‘Shaktis’ are the infinite potentialities of awareness latent within the divine awareness and released by it as autonomous, self-manifesting powers of action.
9. ‘Kundalini’ or ‘Kundalini-Shakti’ is not an ‘energy’ coiled up within the physical body. As ‘serpent power’ it is nothing less than the fluid coiling motility and shape-shifting power of awareness itself - as symbolised in countless cultures by the serpent or dragon. Nobody can feel the abstraction called ‘energy’. What they can feel is the immense potentiality and powers of action (‘Shakti’) immanent in pure awareness (‘Shiva’).
10. ‘Spanda’ is not ‘energy’ in the modern scientific sense. It is the eternal tension (German ‘Spannung’) spanning the primordial realms of actuality and potentiality and the oscillation between them - the vibration of the potential within the actual that pervades awareness as its immanent power.
11. The reality of the unsurpassable and divine absolute (‘Anuttara’) is not identical with either Being or Non-Being, Shiva or Shakti. Being is actuality. Yet there is more to reality than actuality – namely the reality of all that is potential. Non-Being is not absolute nothingness but simply non-actuality. By the same token it is not an empty void but the fullness of potentiality. The divine, as absolute awareness, embraces both the realm of the actual (Being) and that of the potential (Non-Being), including all potential beings, souls or individualised consciousnesses. The light of awareness is the great god (‘Mahadeva’/‘Shiva’) that releases these potentialities from the dark womb of potentiality that is the ‘great goddess’ (‘Mahadevi’/‘Mahakali’).
12. Shiva (divine awareness) and Shakti (divine power) are equiprimordial aspects of the absolute reality (‘Anuttara’) which is the essence of divinity as such. So-called ‘Shaiva’ and ‘Shakta’ schools of tantra can thus in no way be opposed or separated. Abhinavagupta’s ‘Trika’ system of tantric metaphysics recognised divinity in the form of the divine absolute (‘Anuttara’), its twin aspects (‘Shiva’ and ‘Shakti’) and their dynamic unity - ‘Shiva-Shakti’. So despite its association with ‘Shaivist’ scriptures and traditions (‘Shaivagama’), ‘Kashmir Shaivism’ should not be taken as privileging Shiva over Shakti. As individualisations of the same divine awareness all beings are ‘Shiva’. Through their innate power of autonomous self-actualisation they are also ‘Shakti’. All beings, as souls or individualised consciousnesses are thus expressions and embodiments of the absolute as Shiva-Shakti. And worship of the divine in its ‘Shakta’ or ‘feminine’ aspect is precisely what leads to an experience of its Shaiva or ‘masculine’ aspect – and vice versa.
13. Creation is not the activity of Shiva as divine being, agent or creator god. Nor is Shiva a divine being or ‘I’ endowed with independent will (‘Iccha’) or action (‘Kriya’) in the same way that the ego believes itself to be. Instead Shiva is that pure quiescent non-active awareness which, by its very nature, lets all potential beings be and sets them free – releasing them into their own free, autonomous self-actualisation, through their own innate power of action ('Shakti'). ‘Iccha’ is not Shiva’s ‘own’ willed activity as divine ego, ‘I’ or agent. Instead it is the absolutely free, spontaneous creativity (‘Kriya’) latent in, and arising from pure awareness (Shiva) as its innate power of action (Shakti). ‘Shakti’ is not the power ‘of’ Shiva, in the sense of belonging to him. Instead Shakti is ‘the power of Shiva’ - without which he would be a mere corpse (‘Shava’), and as the divine awareness would be incapable of manifesting all realities.
14. ‘Shaivism’ and ‘Shaktism’ are not opposing schools or denominations of Tantrism. Nor can the Shiva-Shakti principle of Tantra be equated with the Yin-Yang principles of Taoism, which in line with Western and Christian patriarchal stereotypes identifies the ‘masculine’ principle (‘Yang’) with aggressive action and controlling power, and the feminine (‘Yin’) with all that is passive. The primordial masculine principle personified by Shiva in the Shaivist tantrism on the other hand, is not associated with aggressive action, let alone controlling power over action (itself a form of action) but rather with stillness and quiescent awareness of action. The long-standing and still dominant identification of the ‘masculine’ with patriarchal power of control over action, expression, experience (indeed over the entire world of manifestation associated tantrically with the divine feminine) constituted a loss of a more primordial understanding of the divine masculine - not as a power over action and creation but rather as that universal awareness which first releases the creative power of action – the divine-feminine.
15. Duality (‘Dvaita’) does not imply separation and nor does non-duality or ‘monism’ imply lack of distinction or differentiation. The metaphysics of The New Yoga articulates the essential but still implicit or unthought principle of the entire ‘Advaita’ or ‘non-dual’ tradition. This is the principle of inseparable distinction. Thus the two sides of a coin are neither ‘dual’ in the sense of being separate nor ‘non-dual’ in the sense of being indistinct or lacking differentiation. Instead they are both dual in the sense of being distinct and at the same time ‘non-dual’ in the sense of being inseparable. Metaphysically the term ‘non-duality’ is a ‘contradiction in terms’ – for it is impossible to conceive of any one thing without implying some actual or possible other. Non-duality is not a bland lack of distinction but a dynamic relation of inseparable distinction between any one thing, its larger field or context of appearance and everything else within that field.
16. The triadic or ‘Trika’ school of tantric metaphysics is not reducible to a form of non-dualism or ‘Advaita’. That is because the principle of non-duality itself implicitly rests on a dualism or dichotomy of ‘duality’ and ‘non-duality’. Just as any boundary both absolutely distinguishes the areas it bounds and at the same time makes them ‘one’ or inseparable, so is the general principle of inseparable distinction the essential principle and ‘third term’ (‘Dvait-advaita’) uniting ‘duality’ (‘Dvaita’) and ‘non-duality’ (‘A-dvaita’) in a true threefold, trinity or triad (‘Trika’). In the Trika metaphysics of The New Yoga, the ‘third term’ of a triad is not the ‘lowest’ in a triple hierarchy but rather the most primordial - as ‘Shiva-Shakti’ is more primordial than either ‘Shiva’ or ‘Shakti’.
17. The aim and meaning of ‘Yoga’ is not just unity or identification of individual consciousness with the divine awareness, but the fullest individuation of that awareness. ‘Being awareness’ (‘Chaitanayatma’) is impossible without fully and completely being ourselves – individualising and embodying that awareness. The movement of spiritual development is two-way - not simply the individual soul or Jiva becoming Shiva but Shiva becoming more fully manifest as the individual soul or Jiva. It is only through identification with the divine awareness that the inexhaustible dimensions of our individuality, actual and potential, human and trans-human, can be freely and creatively explored, experienced and embodied, not just in physical life but in the multi-dimensional universe of pure awareness (‘Shuddha Advha’) of which our planet is but one limited, physical plane.
18. Ego-identity is not identical with individuality, nor is the individual soul (‘Jiva’) a ‘contraction’ or ‘limitation’ of the universal or divine soul (‘Shiva’). Only ego-identity and ego-awareness is limited and contracted, and yet this very contraction is nothing but the contracted and limiting awareness of our true individuality - one which prevents us from recognising the individual nature and potentials of our experienced self as a unique expression and embodiment of the divine awareness which is the experiencing self.
19. ‘Yoga’ as ‘union’ with the divine is not a bland merger, but an experienced relation with two distinct but inseparable aspects. Thus we can utter and experience the mantram ‘I am Shiva’ (‘Shivoham’) with two quite distinct intonations. When we can say with truth that ‘I am Shiva’ we are speaking as Shiva. The ‘I’ in this intonation is the very ‘I’ of Shiva - expressing a state of transcendence of our limited, individual ‘I’. When, on the other hand, we utter the mantram in the form ‘I am Shiva’, then we are speaking as and for ourselves, affirming that even our apparently limited self or ‘I’ is Shiva – is God - in individualised form. In this way we affirm or evoke an experience of the divine nature of our most individual self or ‘I’. These two distinct intonations of the singular mantram ‘Shivoham’ (‘Shiva am I’) are inseparable. One is an experience of our ‘I’ as identical with that state of unbounded awareness bliss that is Shivatattva or Shivattva. The other is its converse – experiencing our self or ‘I’, in whatever state of being and whatever the boundaries of our awareness, as an expression of Shiva. Together these two sides of the single mantram ‘Shivoham’ constitute twin poles of a singular dialectical and rhythmical relation that is the essence of ‘union’ with the divine - a meditational movement from one intonation and experience of the mantram to the other and back again. It is the dynamic relation of these poles that is their ‘unity’ - and the essence of yoga as ‘union’.
20. Liberation (‘Moksha’) as release from ‘karma’ and rebirth is not an ultimate end-stage of spiritual evolution but rather its true beginning. Like death itself, liberation is a door, which allows us to leave the karmic ‘nursery school’ of human existences and begin to explore the multidimensional universe of awareness beyond it. Liberation then, is not an end but the beginning of an eternal and infinite new adventure in consciousness. Neither death nor liberation removes us from the realm of differentiated experiencing and reality as such. Instead identification with pure, undifferentiated awareness is what opens us to the multidimensional universe of awareness and to its countless, non-physical, but no less differentiated worlds of experiencing.
21. It is the ‘supreme’ or ‘great’ self (‘Paratma’/‘Mahatma’) of the individual and not any incarnate soul (‘Sakala’) that ‘reincarnates’ or has multiple incarnations. No incarnate soul, self or person is the ‘reincarnation’ of another. Death is not simply a passage to re-birth but a return of the incarnate self to the soul world and to the soul womb of its ‘great self’ (‘Mahatma’), that self whose awareness or ‘soul’ transcends and embraces countless different identities and incarnations - past, present and future, actual and possible. Birth is not a ‘re-incarnation’ of a past identity or personality but a fresh and new incarnation and embodiment of our supreme soul (‘Paratma’) or great soul (‘Mahatma’).
22. Life is not suffering and liberation from suffering and the cycle of rebirth is not the sole meaning of human existence. To identify human life with ‘suffering’ is to deny all meaning to the unique living expression of the divine that is human creativity - thus invalidating the entire creative journey of the individual human being and of human consciousness, culture and civilisation as a whole - past, present and future, along with the pleasure, learning and fulfilment that are its fruit. Those spiritual teachers who teach only freedom from do not know the true meaning of freedom as freedom to. They themselves are not truly free – for their own freedom ‘to’ is used solely in pursuit of ever-greater freedom ‘from’. True freedom to is the ‘power of the new’. It is the infinite, and free creative power (‘Kriya-Shakti’) of the divine awareness with which each creature, as an expression of it, is itself innately endowed, and through which all things are forever and freely manifested anew in each moment.
23. The aim of identification with pure awareness is not transcendence of all so-called ‘negative’ emotions such as anger or grief. On the contrary identification with pure awareness is what allows us to engage in free and aware identification with such emotions instead of losing ourselves in unaware identification with them and unaware expressions of them. Awareness, in other words, is not just freedom from emotions we have become identified with or attached to. It is also a freedom to – the freedom to feel those emotions even more fully but without losing ourselves in them. We cannot exercise this total freedom to feel without a pure awareness of our feelings that is by nature distinct from those feelings - and in this sense free from them. And yet the basic freedom bestowed by this freedom from is essentially a freedom to. Exercising this freedom to fully feel a so-called ‘negative’ emotion such as anger is not the same however, as ‘getting angry’. ‘Getting’ angry or upset is a way of ‘acting out’ or ‘evacuating’ an emotion through our behaviour. Impulsively acting ‘out’ or reacting from our emotions is no less a negation of those emotions than repressing them - both are born of the fear of fully feeling them from within. That is why no true guru will express emotions in an unaware or purely reactive way - but neither will they presume or preach transcendence of any emotion.
24. There are no such things as ‘negative’ feelings, only feelings we negate – refuse or fear to fully feel. Yet living is feeling, and choosing to live means choosing to feel. We cannot feel fully alive without being fully alive to – fully aware of - our feelings. All of them. Indeed the most basic capacity, power or ‘Shakti’ of pure awareness (‘Shiva’) is the capacity or power to feel. For awareness as such has an essentially feeling character – being that which allows us to know things and beings in a direct feeling way - rather than turning them into mere objects of mental or perceptual cognition. Total transcendence of feelings is not liberation but spiritual death. The New Yoga teaches us to beware of ‘Buddhists’ who teach the use of the mind (Buddhi) to achieve freedom from emotions such as anger, for they are teachers not of life and spiritual liberation but of spiritual emptiness and death. And no spiritually exalted feeling or feelings – ‘compassion’ for example – can be affirmed and embodied if other feelings such as anger are negated. For as Abhinavagupta wrote: “Even the states of anger etc. exist because of their identity with the wondrous play of the divine consciousness, otherwise their very existence would be impossible … These states of anger etc., at the time of their arising are of the form of nirvikalpa i.e. they are the pure power of the divine … When their real nature is known, then these very states … bring about liberation in this life.” Liberation brings with it a divine spiritual elevation, refinement, enrichment, and intensification of our feeling life, not its death or transcendence. Tantrism is about feeling all manner of feelings in the most directly sensual way, with and within our bodies. Hinduism in all its forms is imbued with great richness of feeling. Its major exported form however – Buddhism - offers spiritual ‘peace’ through emotional emptiness, and falsely pretends that compassion can be truly felt and expressed at the expense of other feelings such as anger.
25. Pleasure is not a ‘transient’ part of life. Indeed such beliefs were and remain the chief religious curse from which ‘tantra’ offers release and liberation – with its affirmation of sensual bliss and pleasure, of music, drama and arts, and the entire world of ‘manifestation’. Thus the ever renewed and ever-new pleasure that can be derived from a single poem, painting or piece of music is inexhaustible and stays with us forever – it is not in any way transient. The same applies to both the sensual bliss of pure awareness and to the ‘simple pleasures’ of life, whether looking at a flower, enjoying sex, going for a walk or meeting a friend.
26. ‘Pure’ or ‘transcendental’ awareness’ is not a ‘supra-sensuous’ awareness lacking all sensual qualities or differentiation. Instead it has its own innately sensual qualities. Why else would the tantras speak in such sensual terms of the ‘light’ of awareness (‘Prakasha’), its spatiality (‘Akasha’), its all-pervasive air (‘Prana’) or its all-permeating bliss (‘Ananda’)? These terms are no mere metaphors but express direct experiences of the innate ‘sensual-transcendental’ qualities or divine ‘soul qualities’. Through intensified awareness of ordinary sensory qualities such as colour, sound, shape, weight, brightness, warmth, density etc. we can come to experience the sensual qualities of awareness or soul which they manifest. Sensual qualities of pure awareness are essentially tonal qualities – sensed in the same way as the brightness or darkness, warmth or coolness, lightness or heaviness, shape, colour and texture of vocal or musical tones. Thus by attuning to the unique ‘tone’ of a particular colour or the unique ‘colour’ of a particular tone we can come to feel the pure soul tones and soul colours – inaudible and invisible to our outer senses - that lie behind them, and that give our souls their own innate bodily shape and tone.
27. ‘Bodyhood’, as ‘boundedness’, does not imply bondage, duality or separation. A boundary both distinguishes and unites. Thus our body surface is a boundary, yet as a porous, sensing, breathing surface, it does not separate but both distinguishes and unites us with the space and air around us. Similarly, whilst a circle seems to bound an area of space within it, the circular or spherical boundary is not itself anything bounded – for it is precisely that which unites its inner space with the space around it. Like circles drawn on an infinite and unbounded sheet of paper, the boundaries of awareness that constitute the bodyhood of individual beings or consciousnesses do not simply delimit, contain, circumscribe their awareness or separate them from other beings or souls - for these boundaries, like circles or spheres are also what unite each soul with the unbounded space of awareness around them - and thus also with every other ‘bounded’ soul within that space. Were we able to BE the circle we draw on a blank page we would not experience it as a boundary or as bounding – nor would we experience any separation of ‘inner’ or ‘outer’. It is by stretching ourselves to and becoming the boundaries of our awareness that we automatically transcend those boundaries and all sense of boundedness.
28. There is no such thing as a ‘disembodied soul’. Though soul (awareness) is not itself anything bodily or material, it is that which bodies and that which matters – giving rise to its own infinite, ever-changing bodily shapes or forms, both material and immaterial, physical and non-physical. The entire physical universe of matter is the body of the divine awareness or soul. Our own physical body is but a materialised body image of our soul and its eternal body – our divine awareness body (‘Divyadeha’/’Vijananadeha’). A so-called ‘discarnate’ soul in the afterlife is no longer a soul in physical form with a physical body – and yet is no less embodied in its own way.
29. There is no such thing as an ‘insentient’ object, being or thing. Since all things are manifestations of the divine awareness they are each endowed with awareness and thus also with sentience. The idea of ‘insentience’ is in contradiction to the truth that the divine awareness is present or immanent within all things. ‘Things’ are not simply insentient ‘projections’ or ‘reflections’ of the divine light of awareness but uniquely patterned expressions of it, radiating it forth from within. All ‘objective’ perception of things has an innately inter-subjective character. What we perceive as mere ‘insentient’ things are simply the outward perceptual form taken within our own humanly patterned field of awareness by the perceptual patterns of other non-human consciousnesses or subjectivities.
30. The New Yoga is not simply a religious philosophy and practice aimed solely at liberating the individual soul from the limitations of ego-awareness and ego-identity. Instead it emphasises the subversive social and scientific significance of The Awareness Principle in turning upside-down (or right-side up) the global world-view of Western science and the socio-economic culture is has created. For this is a world-view which insists on identifying basic reality with a universe of ‘objects’ and identifies truth itself with ‘objectivity’ rather than Absolute Subjectivity – that awareness that is the a priori condition or ‘field condition’ for our consciousness of any object, thing, being, self, world or universe whatsoever.
31. Plurality and the infinite differentiation of the manifest universe of experience are not identical with ignorance (‘Avidya’) or an unreal delusion (Maya) veiling the ultimate reality of Absolute Subjectivity. This was already recognised by Abhinavagupta when he argued “… if Brahman is accepted as having ignorance (‘Avidya’) as another beginningless element along with him, this [Vedantic] doctrine cannot be accepted as monistic.”
32. The ‘monism’ of Kashmir Shaivism is not one that abolishes all difference, but embraces all differentiated experiencing. Only the New Yogic principle of inseparable distinction explains how this can be - and why monism and pluralism, like monotheism and polytheism are not opposites. For differentiation does not imply separation but can be understood instead as an ever-changing field of elements, each and all of which are both distinct (and therefore plural) and inseparable or ‘one’.
33. The New Yoga is not a form of exclusivistic religious monotheism exalting a particular being as a supreme or sole divinity, but a divine- metaphysical monism - one which recognises all divinities and all beings as self-differentiations of the divine absolute (‘Anuttara’). The monism of The New Yoga is also a trinitarian, triadic or ‘triune’ monism - recognising the Divine Absolute in its three distinct aspects of awareness (‘Shiva’), power of manifestation (‘Shakti’) and their inseparability (‘Shiva-Shakti’). The Divine Absolute as such is the hidden and implicit ‘fourth’ (‘Turya’) of this triad – one that can be symbolised as a dot (‘Bindu’) at the centre of a triangle. The metaphysics of The New Yoga is not only a triune monism but also a triune “monadology” - understanding all beings as irreducible units or ‘monads’ (‘Anu’) each of which is a distinct but inseparable differentiation of the Divine Absolute (‘Anuttara’), and each of which unites its three distinct but inseparable aspects.
34. The highest spiritual value affirmed in The New Yoga as in the Vedas is not a god or gods but Truth. That is why all the ‘Hindu’ gods - including those worshipped in pre-Vedic, non-Vedic or trans-Vedic traditions such as tantra - are ultimately understood as diverse personifications of the Truth of the Divine in its different aspects, and not seen as identical with it. The New Yoga is ‘Hindu’ in so far as what is known as ‘Hinduism’ - an umbrella term embracing countless convergent and divergent streams and schools of thought - is unique in being the one world religion which does not lay claim to the whole or sole truth, but instead recognises no religion, god or gender - as higher than Truth itself. The Truth of the Divine is recognised in The New Yoga - as in Shaivist tantra - not only in the form of the divine masculine or feminine but also as the divine absolute - ‘Anuttara’. Nevertheless Shiva - that ‘male’ god which identifies the primordial masculine with pure awareness - is of greater significance today than ever before. This is because we no longer live in an old-fashioned patriarchal world but one increasingly imbalanced towards a distorted form of the feminine principle of action and expression. This finds expression in a global culture of materialism and violence, narcissism and media exhibitionism - and is still countered only by the masculine principle in the old, distorted and redundant form of repressive state and religious ‘control’. Issues of gender and power are historically long bound up with conflict and contradiction. And yet: “There are no contradictions except those we need! Need to secure our private ego-domain by the very (demi) god-like judgements of acts of cutting dictions or decrees in the first place: releasing dictions, contradictions dissolve, and the infinitely rich singular multidimensional universe of grace and light appears as it already is. Indeed: ‘Let go – let God’, it really is as simple as that.” (Michael Kosok)
35. Liberation (‘Moksha’) is not a letting go or surrender of self to the Divine, or its dissolution within it. Instead it is simply and purely a surrender of ‘self-possession’ – the sense of ‘possessing’ or ‘owning’ a self. Awareness cannot - in principle - be reduced to the private property of any self we are aware of or think of as ‘ours’. That is why even the ‘liberated’, ‘aware’, ‘experiencing’ or ‘knowing’ self is no self we can be aware of - nor any self that ‘has’ or ‘possesses’ awareness. It can only be that self which is awareness - singular and divine. Liberation means disowning and restoring ownership of our sense of self to God - that Divine Awareness from which alone all the elements of our self-experience arise. Limiting ego-awareness and ego-identity on the other hand, is nothing but the obscuring delusion that comes from identifying with the elements of our experiences and taking them as our 'own' – as ‘me’ or ‘mine’. Believing itself to ‘possess’ a self or identity the ego lives in constant fear of losing its 'self-possession’ or being ‘possessed’.
36. Overcoming the basic ‘impurity’ or limitation of ego-awareness (‘Anavamala’) does not mean ceasing to experience a differentiated world or individualised self. It is only by taking the different elements of our experience as 'me’ or ‘mine’ that we cease to experience the Divine - forgetting that they are but the Divine experiencing itself through, in and as us. 'Liberation' then, means being aware of all the elements of our experienced ‘self’ as a self-manifestation and self-experience of the Divine Awareness itself. This is an Awareness that is not 'mine' or 'yours' - yet which experiences itself as 'me' and 'you', 'him' and 'her', ‘them’ and ‘us’. As such, it is truly Divine, for though not being ‘yours’ or ‘mine’, it is the source of all that 'I', you or anyone can experience as 'their' self and 'their' experience.