Subject & Object & Yoga XII

“Even in the sentences we write and speak there is a grammatical subject and object. The issue is what is the relationship between the two.
Shiva is the Cosmic subject and Shakti is the Cosmic object. Should Shiva “see” Himself, He “sees” Shakti, as if looking in a mirror. And so it seems to be with the “seer” in the human body, the subject’s perception and organisation of that perception by the mental facilities (those which limit and measure the limitless and unmeasurable) is known as the object.
Consciousness is the subject, and when objectified becomes the creation.”

Conversation continues on May 29, 2015

John Weddepohl information about something is way different to knowing. Informed that there is such a place as San Francisco – until I turn that information into knowledge by going there it remains just that – information.

John Weddepohl So too SELF – having heard that SELF exists until I turn this information into knowledge – knowledge of what is existing – this is still just information being appropriated and personalised by this ignorant ‘I’ of the individual who still does not know its source or nature of its existence.

Kaushiki Ma How can the Knower be known. It is not an object of experience, it is the Knower of experience. The objects or rather thoughts about objects must be taken away in order to be the Knower. It is not really even knowing the Knower.

John Weddepohl Kaushiki- I specifically said ‘know its source’ and ‘nature of its existence.’ You are quite right – you can only be yourself – the knower.

Rico Soma John, I’m glad you brought up the thing about practice since I wanted to say something about it days ago but the thread had moved along. It seems that practice is, for one thing, helpful in interrupting the conditioning that gets in the way of Self knowledge. It allows the practitioner to become more familiar so it’s easier to notice. I agree it’s not a means to an end.

John Weddepohl the practices are actually to help remind us of what is. Our existence already is obvious – what is existing is not obvious. This is where knowledge Self Knowledge comes in. Also to be quite honest there is nothing better than a great yoga practice to balance doshas and build ojas. This ojas is the equivalent of consciousness but in a relative form. These are two things we take for granted – consciousness and ojas. taking our own presence for granted we forget that in order to even think of being present, we already have to be present – as consciousness. The only thing making us ‘appear’ absent is a thought or combination of thoughts and ideas. I.e. Identity – individiuality

John Weddepohl That we take our energy (health) for granted is what hatha yoga deals with. By bringing balance we can then find it easier to accept what is. Accepting our existence for what it is – as it is without all the colouring.

Gideon Enz Rico Soma, very timely insight. Yes, we know MPY is incomplete and riddled with egoistic and materialist forces, but what do we do with that? And Ekabhumi, though you are saying there may not be a solution, it sounds like you are embodying one through your own actions. MPY can totally be used as a foundation for deeper, authentic practice. Yes, it is elaborate and includes all sorts of things that come from recent and foreign sources, but it can still be used as a context for getting people in touch with themselves. MPY can be used as a modern day upaya kaushalya (skillful means). After studying and training in Oriental traditions from numerous angles for several decades, I decided to offer weekend workshops aimed at helping MPY practitioners understand their lineage (and lack thereof) and teaching them how to use their physical based practice to enter into the next levels of yoga. Take prana for example. Most MPY practitioners think prana is some kind of metaphor or an archaic misunderstanding or something that they have to believe in. So with a little training, we show them how to feel and then move prana within their own bodies. Then we introduce them to the tantric context behind the practices of pranayama and kriya. Very quickly it is then possible for them to use this understanding to transform their physical based practice and take it to the next level.

Looking at yoga (and here I stretch the term to include the practices of the yogis of ancient China) from the perspective of various traditions, we find that it is necessary to have a multileveled approach. There are some exceptions to this of course (bhaktas, strict asceticism, etc.). Hence, a complete methodology will at the very least include techniques for working with physical (ojas) energetic (prana) and spiritual (tejas) aspects of being. But three is sort of a bare minimum. There are base five systems, base 7 systems, and so on. The important thing is that the system is vertically integrated. In other words the techniques learned on one level are analogues or preparatory components of techniques and processes learned on subsequent levels. And I have found that it is best to teach and practice these in a largely natural and unforced way. It is also important that the system is tested. Millions of people have put their lives or a large portion thereof into developing the internal technologies of Asia; these systems are by far and away the most highly refined and complete human development systems available to us. Yet many people avoid learning in a sectarian context because of the rigid hierarchy and exclusivity. I think that in the modern context hierarchy and rigid sectarian divides are going to dissolve.

So, those of us that know, should teach what we can. And practice what we teach. And we can DEFINITELY use MPY as a context in which to teach. MPY is ripe for this transformation, and many practitioners are longing for it. They just don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, because they don’t know what they’re missing. They’re told that their particular MPY system is complete – a conclusion that is justified by smattering into an endorphin-high bits of vedanta, vipassana, and new age jargon (you see they are trying to make it work, they are just working withing an unexamined context and with very few tools).

Obviously I’m oversimplifying a little, but you get my point.

Here is the site for the workshops I offer. I would love to work with any of you in making these more available to practitioners, teachers, and especially to teacher trainings. Also, I would love to see what you all on this thread are offering.

Yogi’s Toolbox | Revolutionizing the World of Yoga Every one of our workshops really will revolutionize the…


Michelle Synnestvedt John Weddepohl, Rico Soma Baba Rampuri….. I had to share this because well, in the context of this conversation, the language we use and it’s meaning and consequences are behind what I believe is a terrifying reality. And on one hand it doesn’t change what IS, the Self remains untouched, but humanity is already suffering so much. With the speed things are moving today, just the ability to sit , ask questions and contemplate is becoming a rare desire and soon perhaps forgetfulness will drive us into annihilation. Scott Marmorstein sent this to me. It’s short and worth the read.…

Here’s when artificial intelligence could go from helpful to scary Watch out.


John Weddepohl great article – I guess I am pretty stoked that Musk is a South African. I wish we could get these guys on board in discussing the nature of the pure intelligence – consciousness that already is. Artificial intelligence is great as long as it stays user friendly!! Hahahaha – like consciousness. If not we may all have a problem. Of course Consciousness – is always user friendly.

Baba Rampuri “User friendly” – who’s the user?

Scott Marmorstein I thought consciousness was its own user. And “always friendly” does not seem accurate, sorry to say. I would have to assume that if people can be cruel, manipulative, destructive, and forceful, then so could a machine with the same consciousness—only it seems a machine is not as susceptible and frail as the human organism. I’m sort of with Stephen Hawking on this: concerned.

John Weddepohl Scott Marmorstein – everything in the creation is innocent – what we as human beings do in creation is our responsibility not the creations. A blade in the hands of a surgeon saves life in the hands of a criminal takes it. Technology can likewise be abused and misused its not creations fault, Its all up to us. Consciousness has no agenda only we do.

Scott Marmorstein John Weddepohl, ok. except, I’m having some difficulty in understanding you. I don’t understand this “we” versus “consciousness”.

John Weddepohl we as individuals – as human beings – qé?

John Weddepohl The only thing creating havoc in our lives – the only problem if one can call it that is this ‘I’ of the individual still seeing itself as totally separate and apart from the whole, the totality thinking it needs to defend itself and protect its position. There never being any problems in the creation, if I as an individual am having a problem then it is because I am the problem.

Scott Marmorstein I’m having a difficulty in understanding “creation” as somehow separate from “consciousness” as separate from “us”. Maybe it’s just semantics, or the fact that I haven’t yet had my first full cup of coffee.

Scott Marmorstein There’s an air of dualistic thinking, “myself” as separate from “consciousness”, creation apart from the created, and so on. When Babaji asked about “who’s the user” I was wondering the same thing by the time I got to this thread. Innocent? No, I don’t see it that way. Babies just born are innocent, but there are all kinds of tendencies lurking in there.

Scott Marmorstein But you know what, like I say, I’m not very awake, and certainly not enlightened or any some such. And my powers to make mistakes in thinking are fairly infinite. I’m sure I’m just missing a crucial piece in this conversation that would help me a lot.

John Weddepohl Get hold of the coffee and let it percolate through the nadis – smile emoticon When I talk of creation i am talking about everything in name and form. NAMARUPA. JAGAT. SRISTI. in Sanskrit. All that can be objectified. Everything is objectified in consciousness including space. Consciousness however cannot be objectified because it is That seeing in and through everything. Consciousness alone is seeing – that the ‘I’ comes along and says ‘I am seeing’ or ‘I am’ not knowing itself is the problem. But this turns out not to be a problem at all but a blessing. As it is this ‘I’ which starting to question itself and its existence that eventually leads us to the truth.

John Weddepohl Scott – the creation JAGAT whatever has been existing for how long? Who knows. Billions trillions of years. We come along not knowing a thing and enter mid stream as it were. Coming along right in the middle of a creation – a time space continuum – we say ‘I exist’ not knowing or having a clue what is existing here. There being no separation – this ‘I’ saying ‘I exist’ is all that separates us from the reality. This however is also the prasad, as it is this ignorance of ourselves that leads us to question and eventually discover if we are lucky, the knowledge of the truth and truth about knowledge. OM

Michelle Synnestvedt John Weddepohl, Still even through the veil of misidentification of the “I-maker” it’s all the Self… there is only ONE power to act, moving through infinite forms of itself, and is there indeed “free will” ? This may be a better question, I’d like to think so. In deep meditation I see that awareness is not personal at all and yet the act of becoming the world ( I call that Shakti or the Goddess) gives us the choice? of taking it all personally – ahamkara. So it sounds like what you are saying John is that IF All the scientist etc, knew the SELF we wouldn’t be making DUMB ASS choices.

John Weddepohl Absolutely Michelle – knowing the truth of their existence it would be impossible to choose wrongly. This is not new. The Rajas if they were enlightened Rajarishis acted according to the knowledge and benefited all – if not they had their teachers to advise them.

Scott Marmorstein John Weddepohl, Ok…nadis are percolated. Second cup of coffee. More “wakefulness”. I am guessing we’re talking about Shiv Shakti. Shiv(a) as the eternal background “Creator” and Shakti as “the created”. So Awareness we might say “has no agenda” and Shakti “all that can be seen and felt and known” has all the agendas, plays all the roles and holds all the cards. I know there’s a tendency to think that “Shiva” created this whole thing one time and that it is beyond an agenda and is therefore “innocent”. But I don’t see it that way.

God/Shiva whatever you want to call “That” seems to definitely have the agenda to know itself, to see itself—and what does it see? It sees Shakti (in the mirror). And hence this unfolding Play. However, it assumes that the agenda of God stops right there. But I disagree. Are we saying that this ‘mirror’ magically splits Shakti off from that which is being reflected? The backdrop plays an incredibly vibrant and vivid role in furthering its own agenda by becoming all this—and much more that I’m sure we do not really see at all.

But as I pointed out, I am most likely wrong in my argument, flawed in my thinking—and I mean this sincerely. I am not a scholar or a wise person. But I speculate on this point of view. The universe dissolves in Shivas dance, and comes back again. If Shiva is everything, then everything is Shiva’s agenda—I can’t separate these things out no matter how you try to convince me its otherwise. So innocent…no, I don’t think so still. I need much more convincing. I need a better line of thinking and reasoning for this.

I do see it is very light filled and beautiful. I see it is also very dark and scary—but I don’t see any real division where they are concerned. My very human self prefers good and happy things over difficult and challenging (or terrifying) things. But those things are equally within my person. I cannot imagine a God outside its creation, or an agenda as being separate from its God. These are my thoughts. Maybe the coffee has poisoned my nadis and my reasoning, and if so I take responsibility and will shut my silly mouth.

John Weddepohl Michelle Synnestvedt – even to behave like a donkey you still have to be conscious.

John Weddepohl Scott glad you are up and running smile emoticon The idea is really for us to know the one seeing and questioning everything. The only thing with an agenda here is this ‘I’ of the individual – we cannot know the mind of god/ishvara or what his recipe is. The ‘i thought’ being an idea of existence having no existence on its own seeks to know itself. Forget Shiva or God – Consciousness being the knower in and through everything being knowledge in abundance has no need to know itself – only we being ignorant do. And one can never know oneself. One can only be what we are already. If we have to use this word god or shiva to describe the indescribable – see it (god/ishvara/shiva) as a collective noun which describes all that is existing. In other words everything is included. Nothing is excluded including ourselves.

John Weddepohl Scott – The whole thing here is its like looking at a menu in a restaurant. We only see the items we like and want to see. Everything else is left and edited out. So when it comes to trying to discern the truth through the printed word the only truth we’ll ever see is our own idea of the truth according to our conditioning and values we embrace.

John Weddepohl This is why its so important to have a live oral discourse. (teaching)Even then the ‘I’ is the constant referee agreeing and disagreeing with everything. But then finally the minds commentary stops when it hears and sees and is convinced that what it sees is the truth. This comes as a result of pure logic. Not beliefs. And when it comes to ourselves the logic and reasoning has to be the purest which can only come from the truth. This is what is meant by Upa – ni – shad – sitting next to and listening to the truth.

Baba Rampuri Even in the sentences we write and speak there is a grammatical subject and object. The issue is what is the relationship between the two. Shiva is the Cosmic subject and Shakti is the Cosmic object. Should Shiva “see” Himself, He “sees” Shakti, as if looking in a mirror. And so it seems to be with the “seer” in the human body, the subject’s perception and organisation of that perception by the mental facilities (those which limit and measure the limitless and unmeasurable) is known as the object. Consciousness is the subject, and when objectified becomes the “creation.”

John Weddepohl So the inverted commas denote? Creation as objectified consciousness? Baba. This whole view which hinges around the objectification of consciousness is questionable no? Consciousness is never and can never be subject to objectification. Surely it only appears so? – This creation only appears to exist. It appears real because or if we still see it as real. Subject to time place and objectivity (read death) the whole thing is just an appearance. Just like the wave appearing in the ocean – as long as we see it as a wave, the vastness of ocean appears to be a wave for sometime. However it is always only ever ocean existing and only ever the ocean that is real. So here the whole vast cosmos is an appearance – appearing to exist as this tiny little ‘I’ for sometime – in reality only consciousness BRAHMAN ATMAN SHIVA is existing. Not a tiny little wave of an ‘I’ but the vast universal ‘I’ of consciousness; THE ‘I’ OF BRAHMAN (the biggest of the biggest) is existing. So is what you mean by “creation” in inverted commas that creation which has the appearance of existing of being real? i.e MITHYA?

Baba Rampuri “Surely, it only appears so…” This is the whole point. Subject has no appearance. The nature of the object is appearance, in case of the Cosmic object the nature is potential appearance. That the subject and the object are not two separate things, we refer to this as “a (not) dwaita (two).” Creation, as I refer to it, is the womb of potential appearance (Adi Shakti) giving birth to the world of appearances with Maya (Who measures and limits) as midwife. By “the creation” I mean the universe of appearances.

John Weddepohl Mahadeva!! Blown! Pooff. YES. This conversation is a delight in the reality of what is. NAMO NARAYANA

Pankaj Seth Shiva Sutra: “Nothing perceived is independent of perception, and perception differs not from the perceiver. Therefore the universe (of forms) none other than the perceiver.”

Pankaj Seth On the one hand, the term ‘appearance’ is appropriate. But on the other hand it can be seen as devaluing ‘the here and now’. So I prefer the approach taken in the Mundaka Upanishad, where it is said that self-knowledge is of two kinds, historical and timeless (paraphrasing here), and that thought cannot reach the timeless. Therefore Yoga. Therefore, Chitta Vritti Nirodha. I think this approach in our current era is salutary, especially in the West.

Michelle Synnestvedt Thank you Baba Rampuri, The world MUST be real because it cannot be separate from ITSELF as Shiva/Shakti.  To say it is unreal is to create duality again.  The issue I experience is the seeming separation of the inseparable and through the power of measuring ITSELF the appearance of separation becomes our experience.

Michelle Synnestvedt John Weddepohl, your example of the ocean and wave is one that is beautiful and I have seen and heard very often..and YET, it could be possible that the existence of the ocean does not negate the wave.just because it cannot be separate from the ocean. Also just because something in a relative way, has a beginning, middle and end is not unreal or separate from Consciousness. These acts of creation, sustaining,and dissolving all things of form never ends, and therefore the power to create a world can not be separate from THAT which creates and so neither one is “more real.” I know the argument is that from is ephemeral and bound by time so it isn’t “real”, but time is not separate from Consciuosness either- so must be real even if it’s only “a wave”.

Scott Marmorstein I think, what I was trying to say above, is that the wave is INFORMED by the Ocean itself—without Ocean, no wave at all—not even ripples.

Pankaj Seth “Real” is a CONCEPT, whereas ‘Impermanent’ is a description. Concepts are always problematic. The primary description of ordinary experience is ‘impermanence’, which gets thought about as ‘change’, quantified as ‘time’ and objectified as ‘absolute time’ meaning time as a ‘thing’ existing independently of perception and perceiver, which Einstein in the West saw through. The real/unreal distinction is a Western boondoggle, whereas in the Dharma the primary dichotomy is impermanent/immortal or Asat/Sat or Mrtyu/Amrtam. The words real and unreal are not really relevant and make for a distinction which devalues the impermanent aspect of THAT.

Pankaj Seth Ocean/wave is an analogy, which is the weakest form of argument. It is useful, but can be taken too far and almost literaliized, and then one aspect of THAT is privileged over another and we move closer to dualism. Sometimes, the words ‘real and unreal’ are superimposed upon ocean/wave’ and this plays into the hands of those who would say that the Dharma is ‘world negating’. The one word translation of Maya as ‘illusion’ is also problematic this way. Maya is such a deep description, not reducible to a one word translation. Rather, it requires extensive commentary to be understood well, where the theme of measurement comes in and shows the process by which the infinite limits itself to become the finite in the context of the subject/object distinction as Babaji has stated so well.

Pankaj Seth The perfect retort to those who would accuse the Dharma of being ‘world negating’ is to point out the existence of Ayurveda, Arthashastra, Panchatantra, Kama Sutra, Art, architecture, cuisine, dance, music etc. Clearly, all this would not be created, f…See More

Baba Rampuri Michelle Synnestvedt – I don’t know what you mean by “the world” in this context. The “world” I am referring to is the “world of appearances,” what appears or seems to be, as the object of the subject’s cognition. The very nature of “object” is it’s …See More

John Weddepohl Pankaj referring to your comment earlier (re wave and ocean), metaphor has always been used to explain the nature of SELF. The whole creation is a metaphor of SELF. A metaphor is a figure of speech that iden…See More

Baba Rampuri An “analogy” is like a metaphor on wheels.

Pankaj Seth Thanks for that John. What I was trying to say is that word choices such as illusion or unreal or doesn’t exist can give a devaluation of temporality/materiality/mortality and open the door to moral ambiguity as to the worth of temporality/materiality/…See More

Pankaj Seth I have a question for those knowledgeable in Sanskrit. Is the ‘ma’ in ‘maya’ the same ‘ma’ as the ‘ma’ in ‘matra’? Edited to add: In other words, can the ‘ma’ in Maya be taken to refer to measurement or can it only be taken to refer to negation?

Baba Rampuri No. The vowel is long (not ‘a’ but ‘aa’) in Maaya (‘maa’ – the verbal root, “to measure”) , whereas with “mantra” the vowel is short and you must consider the verbal root, “man”. Etymology is tricky business, and can be very misleading. Etymology in traditional commentary is very different from rationally establishing an etymology. Best thing is to, at the very least, refer to Devanagari script, AND have an understanding of basic Sanskrit grammar, if one wishes to speculate on these matters.

Pankaj Seth Not Mantra but Matra, as in unit of measure, Baba, which in english would be maatra, with a long a. (autocorrect keeps changing matra to mantra!!… lol.

Baba Rampuri Yes, Maatra has the same root as Maaya. You wrote “mantra”.

Baba Rampuri Sorry for the lack of diacritics, I don’t how to type them in comments.

Pankaj Seth Autocorrect!!! hahaha, it makes for some moments.

Baba Rampuri Autocorrect should be banished from decent human society!

Pankaj Seth So could Maya refer to measure? I have only come across the negation type of translation for Maya.

Baba Rampuri So you may see how vitally important is the “bed of context” including speaker, audience, presumption and assumption to determine the meaning of a word like Maya, which can legitimately mean so many things, derived in so many ways from the abstract root “to measure” which I call abstract because it has no meaning until it is used in a statement.

Baba Rampuri In some traditions you might say Maya personifies the potential of limitation and division which is signified by measurement.

Pankaj Seth That’s helpful Baba, and watching your videos on this has been helpful too. I think now that context can be established and I have some work to do. I don’t have sanskrit but do have hindi so at least its a start.

Baba Rampuri In other traditions you might say Maya personifies the “illusion” of the world caused, again, by limitation and division of a “truth” which cannot be measured.

Pankaj Seth Yes, that is where I was going. The position of my thesis is stronger today than yesterday. Thank you.

Baba Rampuri Pankaj – with Hindi as a background, only a couple of months of intense grammar study of Sanskrit would bear a very sweet fruit.

Continue to the next page: Flash of Knowledge and Yoga XIII