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כבר 17 שנה

הוראת יוגה

מלב אל לב

Spirituality and yoga

פרק קודם   תוכן

 Chapter 18

The person without work, even fed is more terrible than a nuclear bomb.
Academician Nikolay Moiseyev   

In the middle of 1990s B. Yeltsin charged the Ministry of Culture to reanimate the nationwide ideology. On this matter in mass media there was a debate, and the central newspapers published a number of articles. One of them began so: «The word "spirituality" had been adopted by scoundrels and nonstarters» (LG 16.10.96, «Ideology as absence of it», A. Nikonov).

Years ago in a settlement of the Arkhangelsk Krai, I observed, how in a local shop some aborigines bought things: «A kilo sugar and a bottle of vodka … – Macaroni and half a litre of wine… – A loaf of bread, bullheads in tomato and vodka. A boy about ten years old has once and for all killed me: – Vodka and a box of matches!»

As similar refrains are today heard appeals to spirituality, leading, as some people consider, to unity of Russian people. 

What does classic say? In the New Testament the word "spirituality" is repeated many thousands of times and means «belonging to the Holy Spirit». Usually spirituality is opposed to animality or corporeality; all religions consider that there is a spiritual value and there is evil, our worst sins are spiritual.

The Christianity asserts that in man's soul higher promptings constantly battle with the unworthy ones; on the one hand, there are carnal displays – sensuality, appetite, on the other – spirit, faith, morality, thought. In contrast to Freud's ideas such idea is present today also in psychology.

Descartes wrote in his treatise «On the Passions»: there are no high and low parts of the soul, it is one and indivisible! It coincides with point of view of M. Mamardashvili, having asserted, that the soul is no more spiritual than matter is material, and contrary to cheap mass ideas there is no any struggle in the soul, as the person is by his nature  holistic («a light mirror is initially clean» – one of the postulates of Ch'an).

To turn up the nose at dirty, which is nothing other than a mix of ground with disintegrated flesh, means to encourage nonexistence, asserted Exupéry. As an example, he showed an image of a huge cedar which is as a matter of fact dirty, cleared up to a high degree of perfection. The cedar lives on decay, but, due to work of growth, transforms ground and dust into trunk, branches, and needles. Exupéry was a committed Christian; the more significant is his opinion about fastidious persons: «One cannot demand that the person has ceased to sweat. Together with perspiration you destroy the human force. Castrates struggle against vices, dirty, and sweat which are attributes of a force, a force without a kind application. They will destroy the force – the lowest, and at the same time life». To have an opportunity to grow to light, the tree should take roots deeply into the ground. «There is no the higher without the lowest» (the Apostle Paul). «The high stands on the deep» (Lao-tse).

Maslow attributes thirst for spiritual growth to the category of higher needs, but: «The higher the place of a need in their hierarchy is, the less essential it is for survival, the longer it can remain unsatisfied, and the  more likely it will completely disappear. Needs of the higher levels differ … by a smaller organizing force. From the subjective point of view, the higher needs are less essential. Their hints are implicit, vague, their whisper is at times muffled by loud and clear requirements of other needs and desires, their intonations are very similar to intonations of erroneous beliefs and habits. For actualization of a higher need, it is required more preliminary conditions than for actualization of the lowest one. In general, it is possible to tell that a "high" life is immeasurably more difficult than a "low" life («Motivation and Personality», p. 156-157).

Interesting is also his opinion on combination of the "higher" with the "lowest": «If we agree that the roots of the higher and lowest needs are supplied by our biological nature, that higher needs are equivalent to animal urges, and that the last are as good as the first, then their contraposition to one another becomes simply senseless.

If we once realize to the full that these noble human urges arise and gain in strength only after satisfaction of more essential animal needs, anticipating all others, we can distract from self-checking, suppression, self-discipline and think, at last, over value of spontaneity and the natural choice.

Any theologian, respecting himself, necessarily had addressed to the problem of mutual relation of flesh and spirit, angel and devil that is of high and low in the person, but none of them managed to reconcile the contradictions concealing in this problem. Now, resting upon the thesis on the functional autonomy of higher needs, we can offer our answer to this question. High arises and becomes apparent only on the basis of low, but, having arisen and having gained a foothold in consciousness of the person, it can become rather independent of his low nature» (ibid).

If there is a struggle in the soul, consequently the soul is split. Instead of a senseless internal infighting, it is necessary to cognize the world, participating in it actively, that will be the own movement to spirituality, instead of incantations. The soul is one, and its sensual part also is reasonable. Unfortunately, people cannot differentiate in their behavior the soul and the body, mixing too frequently physical desires with spiritual needs. To specify to someone what is in the soul the lowest, and what is not – that is the vice squad. But at the same time the wish «to be spiritual» is only words, vain attempts of the ideological materialization. «All these sighs and sobs, shouts about spiritual and spirituality without passions are a simple apery in the person» (M. Mamardashvili). «Inseparable are the facts of the world from forces of spirituality, and blind is one who beholds from magma up to the ether only a three-coordinated vault» (D. Andreev). There is either spirituality or there is no one; to be partly spiritual means the same as for a woman to be slightly pregnant. However, I am ready to lower the rigidity of the given statement, so long as, as La Rochefoucauld had told once: «Frequently our failings are a continuation of our merits».

Bolsheviks by force had accustomed the masses to new "values", and soon after revolution the quantity of informers was almost made even to the population size. Frame of mind in the middle of the twentieth had been described by a poet so: «And the century waits on the roadway, concentrated as a sentry. Go – and be not afraid to take its side. Your loneliness is in keeping with the century. If you glance back – there are enemies around, if you stretch hands – there are no friends; but if it tells: " Lie", – lie, but if it tells: "Slay" – slay» (E. Bagritsky, "ТVS").

When the primary revolutionary fumes were blown away, the party had ordered every "little screw" to learn by rote the Moral Code of the Communism Builder. It was meant that as a result of it, the "little screw" will find the high spirituality, and easier in his mind thanks cheerful songs, he will dash in the radiant future. As it happened repeatedly also earlier – nothing came out of it, «he went to Odessa and came to Kherson». Nevertheless, during socialism, a considerable quantity of «little screws» has found high spirituality and has left their bright mark in history.

Today the psyche of the average inhabitant of Russia is not counterbalanced and inclined to self-mutilation in the course of functioning. Therefore the aspiration to self-improvement is today strong as never; «spiritual teachers» use a rather wide popularity in very narrow circles. Though the true self-development does not require any intermediaries, there are so many aspiring always to the financial symbiosis  with spiritual "sheep", similarly to a liana, extracting from a tree so much juice that it does not become to grow – it would like to survive.

It came to be extremely fashionable – finding spirituality through a ceremony of baptism, but still Nietzsche had noticed that those who were formally baptized have less chances to become a true Christian than an atheist, because the baptism should be a result of a long development, logical for the believer by virtue of internal necessity. In his  work «Philosophizing with a Hammer», Nietzsche had given an image of a person striking on statues of gods what causes a booming sound, for statues are as free from the content as the soul is free from the true belief of the one who becomes a Christian only by means of religious paraphernalia.

Historian Y. Krotov marks: «Fanaticism, passion to dissociate themselves and to stick their fingers into heretics do not do by  themselves the person an orthodox believer according to the Spirit, behavioral pattern – but orthodox believers call also such subjects theirs. This distinctive armistice, the internal consent blows up only when Orthodox Christianity is adopted by the state authority» (GEO: №1, 2000, p. 53). The Russian Orthodox Church offers a traditional religion, but whether we, including clerics of remote places, have a thorough knowledge of Christianity, its origin, development, heresies, and struggle for existence? Though, perhaps, both the belief and remote places are supposed in order not to demand a big knowledge.  Should anything in fact cement Russian people?

Nietzsche had asserted: the civilization is a thin film over ocean of instincts, any minute all this can be ruined, as it is not based on anything. The philosopher’s correctness was confirmed by communism and Nazism, but who will dare to assert that universal moral principles had been formulated for the first time exactly by Christianity? 

In Georgievsk monastery, that near Sevastopol, a subject in a slovenly cassock spitefully shouted: «Take immediately the video camera away or I confiscate it!» To my puzzled question: «What is the matter, father? There are in fact only ruins here», it sounded: «Yes, and a military unit near! And I, as a former officer, cannot admit a video filming close by the object!» It was clear that «Saint father» extorts money, simultaneously frustrating the evil on a casual interlocutor. But what could I oppose to him, having replaced the statutory gesture "yes sir!" against the sign of the cross? Not without reason, it was told about a fanatic: « Pining for the spiritual lust … » (D. Andreev).

Kant spoke: the most difficult is movement in consciousness which differs radically from the ritual, being an external movement, having been carried out without a slightest excitement of the soul.

Spirituality and morals are two sides of the coin. The form, in which for the first time there had been a philosophical and religious idea, is philosophy of personal salvation. The philosophers of Antiquity believed already that the world, in which we were born casually, is arranged so that one should rescue from it, make some special way in order to leave the senseless circulation of life. One always considered that there is another world – one of justice, happiness, and freedom; it is somewhere there, perhaps, in the sky.

«Every year are hard times, every fibber is the Messiah! The Millenium mourns Russia – Russia! Calls damnations… And try to ask: By the way, was there this Russia, brethren, in Russia? This – with generous cornfields, this – in froth of lilac, where ones are happy born and pass with resignation away. Where maidens are as swans, where under the tender sky everyone shares with everyone the Word of God and bread. …Leaves fall from a sapling on tranquil waters, and round dances ring as a snowstorm above the ground. And behind a spinning wheel there are chats on a striped porch; old men-homebodies would just go on smoking homegrown tobacco. The autumn is taken in gold as an icon in the framework … So, has all this been lain, if only in rhyme and in tune?!» (Alexander Galich)

Many religions promise stay in paradise after death – if you had piously behaved on this ground, had no doubts about faith, its representatives, and had not oppose the powers that be. But paradise remained a dream, and people always desired even a little to live in a world of happiness. Had, perhaps, this perfect, lost world been earlier? And in the today's one, we have gotten for sins of humankind or own fault? And then, after death, we shall return there again? Not without reason in one of the early Christian heresies, the terrestrial life was considered as stay in purgatory.

Especially by a furious thirst for justice differs always Russia, where as usual « … The winter weaves with a frosty pattern window glasses of wretched hovels of the middle kingdom. Somebody is taken to the throne, somebody is forever crowned with a shame, and somebody in posthumous space undergoes trying experiences».

Perhaps, to show better qualities (though for this purpose there are no apparent causes) is human, only because he unconsciously carries out obligations to the higher reality? In fact such qualities as compassion, honesty, conscientiousness, delicacy, and kindness are caused by nothing. But, on the other hand, there are few people who never do the alogical acts called kind, which, as a matter of fact, frequently prevent, becoming a source of troubles, because good is punishable.

The person stays simultaneously in two mutually exclusive worlds, the higher – whose laws he sometimes obeys, showing spirituality, and the usual, rough, and vain: «The world rustles as a newspaper, cheap roles smell of blood, ever more terrible is in the cassette a not developed film…» (William Dzhej Smith, poem "The Train").

In conditions of the soul, characteristic for the higher world, we get casually, out of control, according to the law of heart intermission. An ancient philosophical definition sounds so: the attribute of a substance does not have the second moment. Greeks had expressed more clearly: «It is impossible to go to bed on the yesterday's virtue». That you are today, just now, conscientious, kind, and compassionate – is not at all a guarantee of that you will remain the same tomorrow. You are kind only because you are kind now; neither yesterday nor tomorrow have any attitude to that. Most likely, tomorrow, involved in the ruthless struggle for life, you will strain yourself and begin to correspond to its brutal laws, and you will find yourself outside of moral restrictions: «I wanted to alter them, but they have altered me. I do not have conscience, I have only nerves» (from a monologue of the Writer in film "The Stalker" by A. Tarkovsky).

Old Indian fatalist Mahakali Gosala, the contemporary and irreconcilable opponent of the Buddha, asserted: «There are no reasons… for high morals of beings: they become pure without reasons and without any occasion».

«But what is then inherent in me as a phenomenon?» – inquired with melancholy Venya Erofeev; and anybody of us after forty years of life has the right to repeat Daniel Andreev's words: «How much tired am I because of substitutions and evils on the Russian chaotic path, because of intestine wars, executions, prisons, seditions, because of wild yells in the crowd … »

Apparently, if there is a certain doze of illusions, without which the person sooner or later turns to slag, a simultaneous stay in two worlds is inherent in me, as a phenomenon. I cannot create the "higher" reality, the kingdom of freedom and justice, but it is necessary to keep constantly from disintegration the body and the soul in conditions, when evil is born in itself, and it is necessary to do good each time anew.

There are old ideas about the higher world which had formed historically; for example, in contrast to ours, it is perfect. To tell the truth, there is always the same insoluble problem: for the construction of happiness on the ground, one needs an ideal person, but where is he to take from? After 1917 the recipe was simple: «Security officers decided to alter nature and at the same time to alter also people» («The Country of Victors. The Book for Schoolchildren», 1935).

They asserted that actualization of the slogan «Freedom, equality, fraternity» automatically leads to happiness, but actually the motto of the Great French Revolution in the full variant sounded so: «Freedom, equality, fraternity, or death». When the party had successfully eradicated universal morals in the country, it turned out that instead of "or" it is necessary to put a dash or an identity relator, as the full equality is possible only on a cemetery.

The main idea of the utopian socialism, having arisen in monastic orders of Catholics – the creation of a new man – is similar to the purpose of alchemists. Antagonism between ideal and material – is not a news; alchemists had hundreds years tried to create a homunculus, a being, in whom the body and the spirit would not have this contradiction. One of the first attempts of construction of the kingdom of God on the Earth was in 1534 the Munster Commune; its bloody bacchanalia was made by the Anabaptists led by John of Leiden.

Nazis and Bolsheviks actively tried to create a new breed of people who would make a nucleus of the ideal state, but as the alchemy and socialism were pseudo-cultural phenomena, based exclusively on faith and desires, without taking into account laws of the reality, nothing came out of it. Cultural people always understood the symbolical meaning of distinction between two worlds. «The kingdom of God is within you», but in the structure of a usual life, it is not real. Devoting some share of one’s daily activity to ideal, observing in the name of it some as if not obligatory laws of morals, everyone is capable as much as possible to come nearer to the person in oneself and to make by that all society more human. When such potential opportunity turns to the unconditional need, that is just "the second birth", for the person is not  identical to a being, arisen in the biological way; the personal realization of "becoming fully human" (expression by Maslow) that is what work of the spirit is.

The activity containing in itself elements of spiritual growth is superfluous, it is not necessary in the natural structure of life; it is quite possible to do without it, if to live as all or to follow ideas. Many cannot approach a whole life long this process, but one cannot reproach them, they have become people as far as could; what would be desirable is an  absolutely another story. Not without reason, Don Juan had once said, addressing to Castaneda, a strange phrase: «Why do you think that all in the crowd should necessarily be people» (Castaneda C., books 1 – 4, the book 2 – «A Separate Reality», p. 133, "Sofia", Kiev, 1999).

Difference between two worlds is metaphysical, it is impossible to give the status of the higher reality to that from them in which we stay as corporal beings. It is impossible to introduce at will the kingdom of God by an edict or a decree. This higher reality, which is in question, is physically unreal. If we sometimes, according to the law of heart intermission, feel it and obey it, it does not mean at all that in a similar mental condition there are flatmates, housemates, citymates, countrymates, and planetmates. To take action always according to the laws of good, beauty, conscience, compassion, simultaneously staying in society, can only a few, one calls them saints. And the world remains the same as well as always; the saints simply have reasons and an opportunity not to become similar to most people, they do not wish to observe the contractual reality.

Those who seriously try to build life according to the laws of higher, won't last out for a long time, in fact «The world … kills the very good, and the very gentle, and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these, you can be sure it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.» (E. Hemingway, «A Farewell to Arms»).   

Higher reality is a symbol of the true life which with its help is organized to the best – as far as it is possible in the current conditions. Few people happen to be successful in this walk of life, but all should try. I do not mean a senseless aspiration to full release from evil, it is ineradicable, evil is a component of human nature, to become ideal – means to lose the body and that is an absurdity. One can only try to change to the best the proportion of good and evil in this world, but, first of all, these efforts should be applied to oneself.

The ideal world is authentic for people of art; they in general can stay in it the most part of their life, being a creative process. But also for them, the mixture of ideal with real is disastrous that we see on A. Blok's example who persistently treated his wife as Fine Lady what broke her life and his own.

Many things have changed since rails obstinately cut the taiga on a way to blue towns, when «Cars, families, and skulls were broken, and we went on tops, singing hoarsely our hymns». A truism began to penetrate into consciousness of people: «… We are also as lonely with you, as each of us is lonely» (Yu. Karabchievsky).

The Russian Orthodox Church tries today to take on itself the role of a pastor, but, according to information of L. Grimak, hundreds religious sects are operating today in Russia. All these conductors of "the better & the true" demand beforehand an unqualified recognition of just their belief, it is the first condition. The second: never and nobody from them calls to join a successful undertaking; everyone should become participants of the next experiment which, as they again promise, surely "will be successful". The third: one demands from every adjoined a full refusal of the previous way of life and unconditional transfer of himself and the personal property at disposal of the sect. And the fourth: aspiration to "higher" and the offered model of life always rejects the surrounding reality. There is no withdrawal from such breeding-grounds of "spirituality"; anyone, who got there, becomes a living property of the sect.

The squall of esoterica which has today collapsed on Russia is a cheap imitation of spirituality; for decades of socialism, people had been trained to use the prepared and filtered information; the naked faith in a printed word is a symptom of an intellectual inconsistency. "Prophets" and "teachers" godlessly lie, but demand gives rise to a supply. However, in some measure, it generates demand. One wants to light from the abomination of humdrum existence, demanding incessant efforts to survive, from disintegration of interpersonal relations, disorder, and becoming wild. And one offers to you this light, and you trust, as you have got used to trust; it comes already later the situation «What is to do with them, if they bear everything!» 

Very few people remember the main attribute of a high qualification of teachers, doctors, and parents; it lies in the fact that having received necessary, pupils, patients, or children should be capable to live and develop further independently!

M. Mamardashvili considered that one should rather cautiously use the concept of high spirituality, for it can be located rather low. He emphasized: it is impossible to locate spirituality. It is always pleasant for people to operate with high words and concepts, that is a big temptation; it seems that already only a conversation on this theme somehow ennobles one. But no concepts, including extremely the high ones, comprise analytically states of thoughts!

«… I am an enemy to all prophets, forcing the soul by truths. Our way lies through substance and its forms. Those, who call to the spirit, call back instead of forward» (M. Voloshin «The Story of My Soul», p. 202.)

Where the thought is coming from? It is in the beginning an interest to a certain subject, then information gathering on it, and its processing. Then data come together, and some time they are kept in the field of consciousness with a certain mental tension. And only then the thought can establish itself. Productive thinking is a heavy work, inseparable from spiritual development, which can be in me together with comprehension of value of concepts including the high ones. And the fact only of their experience does not do at all the soul a high one as well as the stigmata, arising on the body of a fanatic, do not transform him into Jesus Christ.

If a person has gone through something, it does not mean at all that he has realized a happened event! Moreover, experience and understanding of high, unfortunately, is indistinguishable from empty, but beautiful words about such experience. They are similar to the truth, but these are only names of the states, the voiced concepts, which are not states themselves! One can babble as much as one wants about meditation, but its real presence is for certain determined either by encephalogram (alpha-rhythm with open eyes) or by a radical change of the vital "trajectory".

Spirituality will never penetrate in the person through words, but only together with work of body, soul, and idea. Once, Nietzsche had voiced his three-part formula of spirituality in such a way: superman, man, the last man. He spoke that the purpose of spiritual development is aspiration to superman, for what he had been put on a pedestal by Nazis, and anathematized by Bolsheviks. He asserted: One can become a man, only trying to approach to superhuman. The potential of spiritual growth lasts thank a constant overcoming the daily occurrence and negative qualities and tendencies, formed by it. Alice in Through the Looking Glass spoke: «We must run as fast as we can just to stay in the same place». Leo Tolstoy, arguing about morals, marked that life is similar to a rushing stream: trying to keep morality, it is always necessary to head upstream – the current carries away.

The superman by Nietzsche is a metaphor of transcendence. There are too much those, who are not able or do not want to overcome their animal nature. These are «People who haven't got the faintest idea about what a star is, they only nod and smile, and wink, repeating: «We are happy, we are happy… » – Nietzsche saw the image of the «last man» as such one. Only overcoming one’s imperfection, one can come nearer to spiritual birth. «There is no perfect man!» asserted the philosopher. Any self-improvement is only an attempt to become a man. It happens also to be unsuccessful.

There are known people who had used the most unfavorable for spiritual development, may be said fatal vital circumstances – Nikolay Morozov, Daniel Andreev, Paul Florensky, Varlam Shalamov, Cervantes, Van Gogh and others. But it emphasizes sooner uniqueness of mentioned people than benefit of extreme conditions; some tens million had perished, but only a few could transform intolerableness of life into a creative pulse.

It is possible to enter a hypnotic state, beholding a shining point. Frequently such points become ideals and high concepts bringing a person in an intellectual faint. Thinking is suppressed, the personality as though dreams with the sight which has stiffened in heights; and the saddest is that exactly since such paralysis, it comes to devaluation of the personality.

Basis of spirituality are the properties, not having nationality and confession, «Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, if he's not born in thee thy soul is still forlorn.» (Angelus Silesius)

How spirituality is connected with yoga? It is a complicated question. My personal experience indicates that a long and qualitative practice considerably expands opportunities of the person, but almost does not touch the settled properties of his nature. If the initial moral and ethical constitution had no obvious deviations, so during mastering yoga universal values become more fundamental, crystallize. Spirituality, for example, of Tantric yoga looks, at least, strange: «By the same actions because of which mortals decay in hell, yogin is released» ("Jnyanasiddhi ", p. I, shloka 15).

Once, a human ancestor had taken advantage of a stone axe not for hunting, but for influence on his neighbour. Perhaps, it had made fatal changes to development of human genus. No wonder that a lot of late Australopithecuses whose skeletons were excavated by Professor Leakey at Olduvai Gorge, had had fractured skulls. To preserve the genus, Australopithecuses needed a new prohibition, unfamiliar to fauna, so there was the first neolithic taboo «You shall not kill!» which subsequently has become a precept and come in all religions. This precept differently was understood at various times and by different peoples, but was a precondition which had opened a way to creation of collective memory, and hence to development of civilization.

During the Primitive Epoch a lot of myths sprang into existence, in some sense they were steps of knowledge, in due course the vision of the world was specified, forming a more and more adequate picture and turning into science. In many religious systems the basic ethical principles were formulated equally.

Buddhism: «Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others».

Bahai: «He should not wish for others that which he doth not wish for himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfil».

Zoroastrianism: «That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another, whatever is not good for its own self».

Taoism: «A good man should be sorry about bad deeds of other, look on good fortunes of other as on his own, and on their troubles as on his own».

Hinduism: «The essence of all virtues is in treating others as you would wish to be treated yourself».

Islam: «None of you is a believer until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself».

Judaism: «Do not do to your neighbor, that which you would not have done to yourself. That is the whole Torah, everything else is commentary».

Confucianism: «Maximum of kindness is not to do to others what you do not want them to do to you».

Christianity: «Treat other people the way you want to be treated».

As we see, principles are identical, the other thing is their arbitrary interpretation by sects, cults, and separate people what without ceremony can transform actions on a basis of «differently comprehended» into a full contrast to precepts. Illustrations of it are "glorious" deeds of the Inquisition, Conquista, crusades, conquest of Tibet by Buddhism, and the bloody history of XX century. For all this, it has been paid by millions lives, but there was not the kingdom of God on the ground and is not there till yet.

Allowable exceptions of precepts are known for a long time; that is a murder committed:

At protection of one’s own life, a deliberate or insane attempt on it;

By a person who has lost mental adequacy;

In the heat of passion;

At the corresponding social status – a military man, a soldier.

The states agree about that specially trained military professionals were at war, and the civilians were not affected (the Geneva Convention, which was broken and is broken innumerable amount times).

In the first and the fourth case, the border separating necessity from malignance is extremely unsteady; therefore its exact definition in each concrete situation remains an eternal problem. At all times two subjective reasons of ignoring the law «You shall not kill!» have been keeping – fanaticism of belief and appropriated "spirituality". When someone declares publicly one’s own spirituality, presence of those who does not possess it is implied. Hence one introduces the division into fossil and elite, those who knows a way to the truth and those who have no cognizance of it.

What can be the price of ignoring universal laws? If to recollect famine of 1933 in Ukraine (my grandfather has died at that time, and the father had been shaking as an aspen leaf when he spoke about it sixty years later). In places of total loss of the population there were met also those who had survived – cannibals. But they either went out of their mind or felt unquenchable need to kill, therefore the units of NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs), having entered into dead villages, shot them on a place. Pathological craving for murder was formed also among the personnel of Nazi camps of death and Sonderkommandos SS.

Just by means of yoga, Tibetan maha siddhis, whose behavior horrifies even in the verbal description, received their "abilities". Dilettanti believe that one can only master yoga, observing strictly yama- niyama, and the positive «spiritual development» is an indispensable consequence of practice, but it is not the case at all! When adults come in yoga, they possess already the developed ethics and morals received in family and fixed by society. A competent practice clears, gives force and new opportunities, but, unfortunately, former moral attitudes, have, as a rule, been keeping, including the negative ones. If the adherent possesses a powerful intelligence and a big will power, being at the same time unkind, cruel, ambitious, selfish, or too imperious, so in process of mastering yoga all these negative qualities crystallize, and to them accrues a force.

«But where is then the expected influence of yama-niyama?» – one will ask me. The paradox is that the worldview revolution (arising at the higher stages of yoga) occurs really, it is rather probable, but the force comes much earlier! And when immoral subjects receive it, then they need not anything more, just so are formed maha siddhis and black magicians. Samyama is far from being successful by everyone, and with force all is much easier. The practice of yoga itself does not generate spirituality! A denial of this obvious fact is demagogy, self-deception, or a delusion. One must not flatter oneself; the true spiritual transformation is a fruit of the hardest work of mind and soul. Development of the body has no attitude to spirituality at all. 

Yama-niyama is intended for:

Effective social adaptation;

The maintenance of soul’s rest by harmonization of desires and needs.

Ethics is not inherent in yoga, it is introduced into system not for that a practitioner would become good, but that he will be counterbalanced; it is only one of the technical requirements. Someone realizes yoga within the framework of morality, someone – of immorality, and, what is not a rarity, the second succeed more. However, there is a price for everything; the final settlement is sometimes postponed behind limits of life, but it is inevitable. Here is a fragment of discussion about maha siddhis at a conference of realyoga.ru:

It is sent by AYuT (11.01.2002) in reply to the message «About Spirituality in Yoga» from Victor (10.01.2002): «I want to offer according to hopes of V.S. my own variant, relying on P.V. Simonov, the author of the information theory of emotions. Spirituality in daily occurrence is used as a word designating something what I, a good one, have and you, half-baked, have not. And consequently you should listen and obey me, you, stinky dog.

Such treatment of spirituality is tempting, but it has some certain inconveniences – and when the opponent would have time to introduce himself as a spiritual person earlier? And in general it is somehow vaguely, unworthy of our enlightened time.

Simonov believes that in the best way the person is characterized by what he required in his life most of all. I mean: someone is fond of the bottle and other likes to have a snack; someone likes the priest and other – priest's wife, someone – to look after patients and someone – to do others patients. It is offered to consider spirituality as domination in personal hierarchy of values of the need for knowledge, aestheticalness, and altruism. The more these needs prevail, the more spiritual the person is.   You will say: and why has not the religion come in this list?!  What the hell, really? If your belief moves you to altruism or to composing of cantatas, so you will get under definition of spirituality, but if it moves you to brainwash adherents of a different faith or to press heretics, then you need not to clothe yourself in spiritual clothes. Spirituality is not banned also for atheists what heats my soul (which does not exist, but which sometimes hurts). Domination of needs of the individual can be defined in different ways, roughly speaking – by a long enough and careful observation in different situations. At the same time, with any east wisdom is in harmony the fact that the person himself cannot reasonably judge about the degree of his spirituality, for the hierarchy of needs lays in the field of the unconscious, and processes of its change are in the same place. And the consciousness can judge it only by indirect data, if any mechanisms of psychological protection do not interfere and do not help to behold the true degree of their "spirituality".

I leave Simonov and reflect independently. Yoga is a certain universal armory, allowing to the person to master faster and more qualitatively any knowledge and skills and through insights to solve problems more successfully than earlier. I do not speak about siddhis – and without them it rather promotes… As a sort of the person’s armory, it seems not to have any attitude to spirituality; it exists in parallel and can be both a good and bad omen. But it is noticed by many practitioners that there is kaif from yoga. And one wishes to understand its complex nuances.  Self-deepening, knowledge – and a practitioner begins to lurch for hyper attention to his cognitive needs. 

It is shown by many researchers that meditation develops imaginative right-brain thinking what, in particular, promotes the most successful entry into art and the personal activity with it. And aesthetic needs for structure of personal values have come into ear now…

Physical kaif (about a person having found such kaif see in chapter "For the Beginners") in yoga fairly depends on the level of attainable concentration and the general calming/equilibration of psyche. Many bad actions result or are facilitated just from the general imbalance of processes of excitation/inhibition. Yoga interferes with that, and from a certain level does simply impossible extreme displays of anger, fear, and other nasty things. If a person has caught kaif from balance, he will feel heartache while refusing it, and he hardly will return to larceny and murder – it is troublesome and harms practice. Therefore I do not remember any well-balanced criminals or Don Juans. And quiet murderers seldom occur, usually in a movie. The majority of "quiet" murderers are by their nature accentuated personalities, often schizoids or psychopaths. And there is no a gracious Don Juan even at cinema, as well as a well-balanced envious person or a deeply thinking thief. So yama-niyama grows itself, though, if who (the guru, the daddy with a belt) straight off places a person in this framework, it usually promotes.  

I hope I have shown that practicing yoga gradually helps a deeper shift of sense of values of the person towards spirituality regarding aesthetic and cognitive needs, and also interferes with development of impoverished tendencies in him. And smoothes those already developed. At the same time, the more strongly, the more meditative and less showboated character the practice has. I hope it is clear that «classical yoga» from this point of view is a method number one. With altruism it is more complex, I am somehow declined to think that there it is or already it isn’t. With yoga or without. But here, IMHO and all that sort of thing is powerless. One can till stupor cram ten precepts, Vinaya, the Moral Code of the Builder of Communism, «Conversations and Judgments» or something high else, listen to a party organizer, father, or guru. Nothing will come of it – well, if you will only get furious, because your goat will be got. But yoga is at least not worse. And as opposed to other things, operates independently of ideological brainwashing. A method instead of religion – «is a purgative, not disturbing sleep». I am such an optimist. Excuse me for the elevated style, but how else can I argue about spirituality and praise my practice?»

As the point is already about communication of yoga with spirituality, we shall touch the notorious «Living Ethics». The Roerichs asserted that it had in a wonderful way appeared into the world due to a phenomenon of involuntary writing. A medium from Brazil, Carmine (Carlos) Mirabelli (1889 – 1950), also showed in due time miracles of psychography, he wrote in languages which he never heard and understood, even in Chinese – one of the twenty six languages, which he knew in the altered state of consciousness, though personally knew only three («Modeling of States of the Person in Hypnosis», p. 245). These people fairly admitted that they do not know who dictates it to them and did not understand language and sense of "accepted".

A huge amount of texts of «The Living Ethics», "having condescend" to Helena Roerich, "were submitted" to her in Russian, and, what is already absolutely strange, it had a powerful pseudo-Slavic accent. The psychographic perception excludes simultaneous comprehension, hence she could not understand perceived. For it one needs a huge special work, about which there are no facts. Besides, the “clair scribant” behaved as the unique intermediary, the interpreter, and the manager of "space truths"; at the same time one who understands them is better than "senders", she at once got up on the same level with "teachers", calling them by a rich word "we". Today we know (and it's giving us the certain ideas) that «Foundations of Buddhism» by Natalie Rokotoff (one of the H. Roerich's pseudonyms) and the main fragment of the doctrine – the "Community", written by N. Roerich in 1927, were printed in the printing house of Urga (Ulan Bator) for money of the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the USSR and forwarded to Moscow through special channels of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).      

In the text of "Community" there is a great deal of very interesting passages, here is one of them: «Monolithic nature of thinking of fearlessness created to Lenin an aura both on the right and on the left.  Even in illness, he was not left by his firm thinking (was it, when the leader was anew learned to speak and spoon-fed? – V. B.). His consciousness concentrated as in a cave; and instead of discontent and complaints, he surprisingly used last time. And devoted to strengthening work a lot of the silent emanation of his will. Even his last sigh he sent to people. Seeing imperfection of Russia, one can accept much for the sake of Lenin, for there was no another who could for the sake of general welfare accept a bigger burden. Not according to nearness, but to justice, he helped even in the cause of the Buddha» («Fight for the Himalayas»,  p. 234).

Even within a short fragment of the text the amazing literary wretchedness and huge quantity of stamps used out of place strikes the eye what is a characteristic attribute of psychopathology. Amusing texts were accepted by H. Roerich from «great teachers»! By the way, her spouse in April 1924 had been recognized by monks of Moruling monastery as a reincarnate of the Fifth Dalai Lama and had received the name Reta Rigden that literally means «tsar of Shambhala». These details of a secret operation of the Soviet Russia in Tibet became known only after seventy years. The first Central Asian Roerich's expedition was financed by OGPU (the Unified State Political Directorate), he was the courier and the personal representative of Narkomindel (the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs), but he always played his own double game, from establishment of «Maitreya Sanghi» in the USA up to "Pact".  After long expeditionary wanderings, the family providently settled down in the Kulu Valley, due to this it managed to avoid the punishing sword of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD), and the active "spiritual" activity provided a constant stay in public view. Besides, statements of the Soviet authorities by the Roerichs were extremely loyal, not as an example to Bunin or the early Alexey Maksimovich.

Judging by texts of H. R., as deacon Kuraev has noted, great teachers and prophets of the past had almost in turn entered the name to communicate with her: «The best spirits from the astral dream to resort to our working monastic cells».

It is no secret that creativity can be based on pathology (a considerable quantity of examples of that had been cited by Lombroso in his book «Genius and Insanity»): «With a special piety, one spoke in the Martinist environment about Fuyama’s wife (Roerich's mystical order name) – Helena. A brilliant social butterfly, she was well-known as a medium too. Prophetess had epilepsy and the minutes previous to attacks of illness until the cramp squeezed the throat, she communicated with spirits and heard voices of extraterrestrial beings» (ibid, p. 23).

The Roerichs had, first of all, implemented their personal mithmaking, already then they had invented a legend that «Spiritual Teachers or as they named themselves – the Elder Brothers of humanity were together with Elena Ivanovna Roerich authors of books of the «Living  Ethics», or «Agni Yoga» (H. Roerich, "Letters", 1992, vol.1, p. 11).

A quarter of a century before the Roerichs, Dayananda Sarasvati searched in the Himalayas a «true yogi», who would bear the living tradition and present a full spectrum of spiritual displays. Having found nothing, he had destroyed all collected texts, having taken them for distorted (62).

In a case of the «living ethics», we cannot be speaking of any spirituality, as the main attribute of the doctrine is a manic search of enemies and the struggle against them. It reminds not a moral and ethical opus, but more likely the Regulations Collection of Cheka-OGPU-NKVD, impregnated with absolute contempt for people, which are haughtily taught and intimidated like the worst cattle.

To esotericists and, first of all, to adherents of Agni Yoga, one can ascribe words of Jung: « … Group experience affects at lower levels of consciousness than experience of the individual (collective comprehension of the doctrine "makes hot" much more strongly than the single one – V. B.). …When many people gather together to test one general emotion, the total mind, being emanated by a group, lays below the level of psyche of the individual. If the group is very big, the collective mentality comes nearer to mentality of an animal, as a result of what ethical advantages of people of a big organization are a subject to doubt. The mentality of any big assemblage of people inevitably falls up to the level of psychology of throng. The stay in group is a simple and easy transit, but group experience does not reach more deeply than a cogitative level of the individual in this condition. Changes inside of you occur, but they are kept not for long. The regressive identification with the brute and most primitive states of consciousness invariably gets involved with finding of a higher meaning of life» («Synchronicity», p. 152).

The whole ethics of Roerich’s "doctrine" is completely exhausted in its name; any conversations about spirituality are pointless here. 

It is known that the young Rene Descartes took part in scholastic debates; participants of one of them could not prove a certain theological position in any way and when it came his turn, he made it brilliantly. People around him admired. Then he at once proved the opposite, and again, nobody could refute him. He noticed then that at any moment in the world there are all words; it is possible to construct of them anything you like and it will be similar to the truth, however with equal probability it can be also a fiction. But if there is a basis – the laws showing restrictions, incorporated in the nature of things, are taken into account, and then it is not possible to create any design from words.

«Words, putting out their tongue, tease each other» (Exupéry). If the person, speaking about spirituality, has no personal experience, owning only a limited sense of intellectual markers, they are easily exchanged as pawns in chess, deprived of weight and substance. They sound so as if they are filled with something, but are actually empty inside.

The food including the spiritual one is necessary, but when there is too much of it or it is of poor-quality similarly to Agni yoga, it is much more dangerous than spiritual hunger.

Spirituality cannot belong to someone and be distributed as alms. In his work «About Spirit, Soul, and Body»,

St Luka, Confessor, Archbishop of Simferopol and of the Crimea Voyno-Yasenetsky has assumed that except for known forms of energy there is also the spiritual one whose presence allocates the person from biosphere.

Yoga is not a patented way of "acquisition" of spirituality; if this is shown in its adherents, so there are no visible causes for it. The only thing that can be established more or less authentically are some causes of its absence. In «Monday… » by Strugatsky brothers there is a character Savaof Baalovich One, who had in the year dot solved the equation of Perfection. Theoretically he could everything, practically – nothing, for one of the boundary conditions of the equation was a requirement that the miracle and process of its creation have not caused harm to any living being.

The true teacher is not the one who preserves others, but the one who, helping others, has managed to preserve himself. «To receive everything, one should give everything», the soul and force is a consumable material of those who transfer yoga to people. It is most difficult here, as well as in life, to see own mistakes. Aspiring to perfection, we try to imitate the great ones, not giving any account of what worthy admiration would not be someone's path of development, it is impossible to repeat it. And it is not necessary.

« … The main care of each teacher is not to allow his pupil to make something what will throw him to cloudiness of understanding and exhaustion. For the insurance, every pupil needs moderation and force» («Tales of Power», vol. 1 – 4, p. 572). «The constant task of each teacher (in this case, Castaneda speaks about magic, but this principle certainly spreads to yoga too – V. B.) is to do everything that the (pupil’s) mind felt safe» (ibid, p. 595).

One of my friends, whom yoga has helped to survive, always speaks to the beginners: «I advise to beware of instructors of yoga, teachers, and the guru, who:

– charge a large fee and declare their super abilities, having

  condescended to them apparently "therefrom";

– Give out certificates on the right of teaching after several seminars;

– Suggest pranayama and "meditation" at initial stage of training;

– Advise to ignore people playing an important role in your life besides


– Are convinced that their way is the only true one, and speak of others


–  Enjoy the feeling of own importance;

– Assert that they transfer secret knowledge only to initiates and make

   their pupils swear to keep it secret;

– Try to make you dependent on themselves and their advices;

– Declare that they have understood all and sundry.

The true teacher of yoga does not see an essential difference between himself and others, because he knows: sooner or later life ends, but not the way».