Most Intelligent Westerners have abandoned the fundamentalist view and given up literalist belief in their own religious traditions. The old souls among us have also found the prevailing academic worldview of “scientific materialism”, while very true, to be severely lacking in bringing vibrancy to the process of life. And western philosophy, while providing important insight, seems to lack something at its heart.
So, its no accident that many of us have turned east. But while the east has its own genius it also has its own shortcomings and cultural baggage. We live in an exciting time. For the first time in history, we have access to all of the world’s great wisdom traditions, including science. This has never happened before. Not long ago, you’d be lucky to have access to one.
It is my contention that the calling of this unique age is to carefully integrate wisdom that can make any given tradition more effective. This includes yoga. While many of yoga’s ancient roots are extremely effective and should stay in yoga’s evolution forward, there are other areas that yoga can learn from in order to be more complete… and less partial.
If it is true that yoga and the east have their own cultural brilliance, then we must be careful to move forward as to not water yoga down…yet to get beyond the limitations of the east (and there are as many as there are with the west), we must be careful to not romanticize a culture simply for being new, exotic, and different than our own. The eye opening capacity of the east is strong, but there are many conflicts to parse out.
As you can imagine, this evolution forward is tricky. And confusing to figure out for yourself. Often times when navigating tricky territory, it can help to have a map. A really good map. April 26 – 28, I plan to present a map, based on the research and philosophical work of the Integral Movement, to show the way forward for yoga’s new age. This map may give you insight that its not just your cultural conditioning, but your innate wisdom that is uncomfortable with the eastern guru model and that gets flagged when something east sounds irrational. It may also mean a lack of understanding. This map will help parse all that out by including the best scientific research on consciousness available.
While you always have to figure out your path for yourself, having a map to see where others have been can be invaluable.