Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

By Stephen Cope

Hundreds of thousands of usa citizens comprehend yoga as a very good type of workout and as a effective resource of calm in our stress-filled lives. some distance fewer are conscious of the whole promise of yoga as a 4,000-year-old sensible course of liberation—a direction that matches the desires of contemporary Western seekers with startling precision. Now Stephen Cope, a Western-trained psychotherapist who has lived and taught for greater than ten years on the biggest yoga heart in the United States, bargains this marvelously vigorous and irreverent "pilgrim's development" for present day international. He demystifies the philosophy, psychology, and perform of yoga, and indicates the way it applies to our such a lot human dilemmas: from loss, sadness, and habit, to the everlasting conflicts round intercourse and dating. And he exhibits us that during yoga, "liberation" doesn't require us to go away our daily lives for a few transcendent religious plane—life itself is the trail. mainly, Cope exhibits how yoga can heal the anguish of self-estrangement that pervades our society, top us to a brand new experience of objective and to a deeper, extra enjoyable existence on the planet.

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We all know approximately what Freud known as "the go back of the repressed. " but if we really do meet the subconscious at paintings in our day-by-day dramas, as Catherine did, it may be wonderful. so much folks, more often than not, can't undergo to ac wisdom that we are living as much as our necks in the dead of night waters of uncon sciousness. We spend our days performing out little dramas pushed from the darkish recesses of the self. we will "put away" the lunatic, raging aunts and the sex-obsessed, alcoholic uncles of our psychic lifestyles. we will be able to lock them up within the base ment of our attention. however the extra strength we deplete in securing the basement door, the extra dramatic their visual appeal should be after they get out. To paraphrase Carl Jung, that which we carry unaware in our subconscious will finally come to us as destiny. those split-off as pects of our self will seem as strangers, as enemies, as "not us. " they are going to seem as "the hand of God. " yet something is actually definite. they are going to finally be in our face, and infrequently within the unkindest and such a lot striking of how. Catherine used to be unconsciously devoted to the initiatives of her "false self," the 1st and most blatant of which we now have already stumbled on— proving her worthy as a religious specialist, a minister. It grew to become out that one of many purposes Catherine desired to come on a yearlong retreat was once that she used to be exhausted, tired from overriding her emotions, from dominating her self within the provider of a wildly distorted and grandi ose ego-ideal. Catherine used to be perfectionistic, pushed in her "spiritual" 130 YOGA AND the search FOR the genuine SELF paintings, and overidentified together with her successes and screw ups in her occupation within the church. Her underlying, distorted experience of worthlessness used to be all in keeping with youth stories that also lived, thoroughly open air of her know-how. luck within the religious realm had develop into simply one other hook for her fake self. yet now this is the foremost query. would not a yr of non secular prac tice finally have softened Catherine's distortions, maybe permitting her extra entry to her vulnerability, her barriers, and her manyfaceted emotional truth? good, no longer unavoidably. the matter was once that Catherine's new religious venture used to be stuck within the similar internet of perfec tionism and success orientation because the remainder of her existence. And the outcome stands out as the comparable, simply because as we've seen, the fake self is a land of studying incapacity. Catherine might nonetheless adventure no actual pride so long as her non secular seek used to be unconsciously pushed by means of the necessity to please others and disprove her worthlessness. Catherine got here to Kripalu simply because she used to be having a look in every single place she may think about for "ways of checking out" who she fairly used to be. there has been a robust force towards self-discovery. This used to be correct at the floor. yet beneath, there has been additionally a powerful force to stay hidden, and to exploit non secular perform to appear her subconscious tasks, her grandiose ego-ideal being basically the obvious of those. What does Catherine desire? She must comprehend the actual nature of her subconscious initiatives.

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