AGNI YOGA WEB TV
INTRODUCTION TO AGNI YOGA
Expansion of Consciousness
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to Broadcasting 3 of our Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga"!
In Broadcasting 2 we spoke about the significance of consciousness. Today we ask: How can we expand our consciousness?
1. Realization of Reality
You expand your consciousness, when you:
Open up new horizons; realize more and more of the immeasurable, not nearly captured reality; look more and more through false appearances; expand your outlook constantly beyond what is usual; look at what you have hitherto overlooked; push the boundaries of understanding further and further; reduce the area of the impossible and extend the area of the possible.
Thereby, you will discover completely new realities which you have so far overlooked, although they have always existed and determined your life.
Man is caught up in prejudice. He is blinded by false appearances. He refuses to recognize the truth. He thinks the apple falls from the tree, because it was "above" and therefore must fall "down". However, on a constantly rotating earth, there is no "above" and "down" (otherwise, our antipodes would indeed fall off the earth). Only Newton has looked at the case correctly and identified gravitation, the attraction of the earth, as the force which moves the apple.
We think the earth is flat; we think the sun sets in the sea (although only the earth rotates); we think the moon is sometimes full, sometimes half full, etc.
As surprising as it may sound, it is nevertheless true: The decisive step towards the expansion of consciousness is to see that what is - to see things as they really are (and not as we think they are, or as we think they should be.
Let us hear a quotation from the book Agni Yoga, § 590: What perfection can be achieved upon cognizing reality! Once reality is brought to the foreground and affirmed as a completely valid concept, the surroundings will change beyond recognition. The most precise and objective observation of reality will broaden the consciousness.
2. Realization of the Higher Reality
At the present time, the decisive expansion of consciousness, the next level of knowledge, is to recognize the higher, non-material, invisible, intangible reality.
The aura of a person, higher phenomena such as working with a pendulum or a dowsing, transmission of thoughts, the reality of the higher, spiritual world, its effects on our earthly life and our connection with it, astrology: These and much more are facts that are as real as the material world, even if we cannot touch them.
Those who refuse to see this part of the reality eliminate half of that what is (half of the truth) - and then the more important half! From such an attitude, only harm and disaster can result.
We do not hesitate to call Agni Yoga a science. We explore the higher, non-material spheres by the means of observation, experiment and experience – that is, on a scientific way!
You do not need ecstatic raptures. But neither do you have to believe blindly what the priests tell you. You can form yourself your own picture of the higher reality.
The expansion of consciousness into the spiritual realm is a never ending working process, consisting of constant training, exercise and continuous improvement of perception.
With the same justification, Agni Yoga can be called a religion, because we explore the other, spiritual world and our connection with it.
However, Agni Yoga breaks with the disastrous habit to recognize only one’s own confession and discard any other faith.
Our attitude is: There is only one truth. All the great religious teachings originate from one and the same source. But there are different human approaches: The true, one religion was revealed at different times in different places in different cultures to people with different education levels in different ways - and was understood differently - and was often misrepresented.
It is a terrible aberration, contrary to evolution and unscientific, to believe that religious insight must not change over the millennia. It is not fundamentally different from any other knowledge. It would be an indictment of mankind if we had made no progress in the field of religion over the ages. Why should our capability to explore the higher matters not continue to grow, as every other knowledge, with increasing age and ripening? Only fanatics reject any further development of religious knowledge.
Therefore, with progressive expansion of its consciousness, humanity will receive higher religious insight - so as now the new knowledge of Agni Yoga.
5. Synthesis of Science and Religion
Religion and science were in conflict with each other for centuries. Faith and knowledge seemed to exclude one another. This separation must be overcome.
In truth, science and religion are complementary ways of realizing one and the same reality. The world consists of spirit and matter. Therefore, we need science and spirituality alike in order to fully - not only in certain aspects - capture its essence.
We agree with the scientist who rejects the idea of God as an old man with a white beard; who refuses to believe in unnatural things. Higher knowledge must not be separated from reason. It is higher than reason - but it should not contradict reason!
However, we urge the scientist to broaden his horizon and to explore the invisible reality and the often witnessed apparitions and phenomena of a higher order in a scientific way: through observation and experience.
Agni Yoga is actually a synthesis of science and religion. We work on the basis of reason. But we add to the conventional ways of research the spiritual, intuitive understanding of the heart. Just like the laws of the space enlarge the laws of the plane, or as Einstein's relativity theory complements classical physics, without that any conflict arises between younger and older knowledge.
Thus, something new is born: A divine science or a scientific spirituality, which will lift the knowledge of mankind to a higher level.
6. Refinement of Realization
The other sphere of reality, the higher, invisible world, cannot be explored with our coarse five outer senses or with the methods of classical physics and chemistry.
For example, in order to capture the essence of a person, his aura, you must sharpen your inner senses.
If you want to penetrate through the material spheres into the spiritual realm, you need to refine your consciousness - namely make it receptive for manifestations, for parts of the reality, that are more subtle than the ones you see with your eyes and touch with your hands. The finer our receptivity becomes, the higher will be the phenomena which it can assimilate.
The expansion of consciousness, therefore, is a refinement of consciousness. Agni Yoga teaches: The higher, the more subtle.
7. Heart Knowledge
The means that allows you this higher, finer insight is - the heart. The way of the future is to complement the work of reason by the knowledge through feeling, or the knowledge of the heart. Agni Yoga is the yoga of the heart!
Let us listen to what St. Exupéry says in "The Little Prince": "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
Allow this phrase to melt in your mouth. The essence, that what is really important in your life, you can neither see nor touch; you can only "grasp" it with the help of your heart.
Does your partner love you or does he just want your money? Has your life a meaning? Does the work you are doing every day have a meaning? What is your mission in this life? Can you trust a person who tells you fair words, or is he in fact your enemy? Can you rely on a politician, on the advice of your physician or your lawyer, on the statement of a scientist - or do all these professionals try to cook their own, selfish soup at your expense and to your detriment?
All these and many more existential questions cannot be answered by the intellect or by the five external senses, but only by the heart.
The intellect can gather facts. It can find reasons for all sorts of views, even the most absurd. But to make an assessment of the innumerable more or less relevant reasons, and to make a decision - this only the heart can do. Without education of the heart, without a reliable feeling for the things that are not visible and not touchable, you are completely disoriented and will go one wrong track after the other.
The knowledge of the heart is subjective, but not arbitrary. You can communicate about its results and come to a common understanding with others in the same way as in the case of the knowledge of the intellect.
8. Conditions of Heart Knowledge
There are two basic conditions of heart knowledge: purity and refinement.
Only a pure heart can recognize the highest. That means above all: A heart unaffected by egoism; a heart that looks for knowledge in the interest of the common good and does not seek personal gain.
And the insight that goes beyond our coarse, outer senses, is given only to fine, sensitive people.
The conventional scientist, working purely intellectually, could actually live like a swine and nevertheless produce significant results. In contrast, the new, spiritual researcher must strive for the purification and the refinement of his whole life and of his cognitive apparatus - his own body, his senses, his heart. A coarse fellow will not make progress in this area.
We actually need to live more purely and more subtly, if we want to attain higher knowledge.
9. The Age of the Woman
Agni Yoga speaks of the coming era as the age of the woman. Why?
The woman is usually finer, more sensitive and closer to the higher reality than the man. Are we men not experiencing again and again that the women point out to us subtleties which simply have escaped our attention? The women are ahead of the men regarding the culture of the heart, and therefore predestined to lead in this area.
The woman has her own sacred mission. She has a closer connection with the higher world than the man. Therefore, she is a born priest. To exclude her from this office is evidence of gross ignorance of the human nature and of the cosmic laws.
It is not the job of the woman to imitate the man in everything, especially not in rough activities such as football, boxing or waging war. She should raise the man into the spiritual realm and take the lead there.
We are not talking feminism. We are talking about the feminine principle that lies in both sexes. Yet, in most men it is still underdeveloped because they were so far concerned mainly with the outer aspects of life, with tasks demanding the intellect, such as building houses or bridges
10. Application of Heart Knowledge
Let us look at some of the so-called "higher phenomena" which we should recognize, study and, above all, apply as a normal, everyday reality:
Undeniably effective and tested for thousands of years are practices like working with a pendulum or a dowsing. Apparently, there are radiations, not yet explored, emanating from water and from diseased organs that a sensitive organism can sense.
It is similar with the morphogenetic fields, explored by Rupert Sheldrake (incidentally, a true pioneer of the new, spiritual science!): These fields cause rats in New York to learn a trick faster if other rats in Japan had been taught the same trick before. So there is apparently a "spiritual field" around the earth (the technical term of occultism is “Akasha Chronic”), where there is stored and made available everything what the creatures on earth have acquired.
A wide and promising field of research is astrology - one of the most important examples for the new, subtle sciences. Most of you already feel the influence of the moon, especially during full moon. Why should particularly sensitive people not one day be able to feel the influence of Jupiter or Saturn? Much discomfort that afflicts us has its cause in currents of cosmic energy. A good astrologer should master on the one hand the natural sciences (especially astronomy and mathematics for the calculation of the positions of the stars); on the other hand, he has to have a high knowledge of feeling, based on the heart, for without this he will not be able to interpret and apply the scientific facts to a particular person or situation.
Finally, we want to mention the experiments with thought reading and telepathy, with which already deals the science of parapsychology. Again, there are many examples of how sensitive persons have achieved results that cannot be coincidence. Agni Yoga gives an abundance of advice on how we can progress in this area.
11. Exercises for the Expansion of Consciousness
Do you want to try yourself in the field of exploring the higher reality? Then there is a variety of exercises with by you can begin to expand and refine your consciousness:
We have already mentioned the aura. This is the manifestation of our spiritual being, invisible and intangible, but undeniably real: Each of you feels the aura of a person who enters a room. Make an effort to practice this feeling in everyday life, to refine and develop it further. So you will learn over time to correctly assess the people you meet.
Additionally, you will find that objects, (such as works of art or antique furniture) and places (a Gothic cathedral, a battlefield, a room in which once a murder was committed), also have an aura, which to discover is important.
Next you can explore the effect of sounds, scents and colours on human health and on the environment. Or the effects that people exercise on plants, and vice versa. Check, as the Japanese Masaru Emoto does (also a pioneer of the new divine science), the effect of human thoughts or music on water. The beneficial effect of good thoughts to the food that is on the plate in front of us is the scientific basis for the ancient practice of prayer at table.
Try to decode the message that is conveyed by classical music. This is a language without words that nevertheless everyone can understand. Have you not always felt that Mozart and Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler - or rather the spirit that inspired them – want to tell you something? Prof. George Balan (a third exponent of the new, subtle sciences) does in this area valuable pioneering work with his Musicosophia School in St. Peter/Schwarzwald.
Carry out experiments with the eyes: Can you not read the essence of a person from his eyes? Can you not force somebody else to turn to you by glancing at him from behind?
Or with your hands: Try to calm down a feverish little child by placing your hand on its head. Recognize the nature of your counterpart from his handshake.
12. Examples of Higher Influence
There are many cases of guidance from Above: For example, the story of the woman who woke up at night screaming from a nightmare and thus woke up and rescued from mortal danger her husband, a soldier, who fought hundreds of miles away on the eastern front.
If you look at your life without prejudice (recommendation for new researchers: best record events in a diary), you will find plenty of higher influences, which cannot be coincidence:
There falls a book into your hand which answers a question that you had recently raised; there you are being brought together with other people with whom you have to fulfil a mission, or who further your progress; there the conditions of life are forming themselves in a way that forces you to learn just that what you still lack; there you realize in retrospect that a seemingly random event was in truth necessary in order to move you forward; there you are being protected from dangers (how many examples are there in history of great leaders being immune against terrorist attacks and other hazards as long as they had not yet fulfilled their mission); there signs are being revealed to you – do not overlook them; there you are being consoled, taught, supported, etc.
When you go through life sensitively and keep your eyes – or rather your heart - open, such influences from the spiritual world can be observed almost daily.
13. No "Miracles"
We are coming to the end of this Broadcasting. Agni Yoga says: There are no miracles. There is no metaphysics, only physics. There is nothing unnatural beyond, above or outside of nature. Everything, absolutely everything, right up to God, is part of nature and subject to its laws. All higher phenomena, all the so-called "miracles" which Jesus and the saints have done, have their very natural explanation.
However, you will find this explanation only when you expand your consciousness into the spiritual field with the help of a sensitive heart.
Begin with this project today, in your normal everyday life! The progress of evolution requires that we acquire this skill. This can only be achieved by work, experience and practice - as in the case of any other ability.