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The Mastering of Sensory Impulses

The limits of the physical body can never be transgressed without knowing and thoroughly mastering the sensory impulses which govern the process of living.

The most vital impulses delude us the most, thus safely protecting vital functions from dangerous interferences. This is why the vital instincts and rhythms can only be acted upon and mastered through a very expert technique. It is this technique which is called Yoga. The adept of yoga, the yogi, like the psychiatrist, goes straight to the root of the most powerful instincts, those which more forcibly hold us within the dominion of matter, and he is able to control his vital functions by a thorough knowledge of the particular processes and emotive regions through which the vital instincts hold sway over the body and the mind.

Here the yogi profoundly differs from the moralist for he holds that to neglect or ignore certain psycho-physiological factors is a sure way of remaining within their grip. The network of the instincts binds the gross to the subtle body and keeps us imprisoned. The knots of this network are strong and complex and, without the proper technique for undoing them, we can never escape from our physical envelope but are kept always on the path of the individual and social instincts by which the continuity of physical life is assured.

Yoga keeps aloof from emotional and sentimental impulses. It abides in cold logic and is interested only in the technical possibility of supra-human realization.

"O white Arjuna, this yoga, is not attained by him who eats too much, nor by him who abstains from food. Nor by him who oversleeps nor him who keeps awake.

"This yoga which destroys pain is achieved by him who eats and behaves as is proper, whose all actions are led by reason, whose sleep and wake are regulated." (Bhagavad Gita 6, 16-17.)

This reading on Yoga is the Introduction to Alain Danielou's Yoga: The Method of Re-integration.

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