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Yoga, the Method of Re-integration

"The hundreds of forms of philosophy, of arguments, of grammatical rules entrap the intellect in their nets and lead it astray from true knowledge."
(Yogabija Upanishad, 8).

Basically, all physical and mental knowledge is, of necessity, an experience. A conception uncorroborated by experience remains a speculation and we can never be certain of its reality. The extent of our knowledge is therefore limited by the greater or lesser extension of our perceptions. If in any way we extend the field of our perceptions, new horizons immediately open up before our powers of knowing. In the field of sensory perceptions, the microscope, the telescope, the instruments sensitive to all kinds of vibrations have extended according to their power the horizons of scientific knowledge.

The means of investigation at the disposal of experimental science are, however, mostly limited to the extension of the senses outwards, to the pushing of their limits further afield. But, however powerful the instruments at our disposal, there will always be a limit to the extension they can give to the senses, and never will they be able to help us to grasp that which, by its very nature, is not within the field of sensory perception.

Hindu philosophers have asserted that all knowledge is built upon experience. But they maintain that an outward perception only is not a real knowing, and that the only way for us to know a thing completely, outwardly and inwardly, is to identify ourselves with it; only when we are one with it, can we know it in itself and not merely as it appears to be from an external point of view.

This is the meaning of the word yoga, which means, "identification"; identification with Divinity being "realization".

By its very nature, sensory knowledge is limited to appearances. The Hindus speak of the world of appearance as the work of "Maya", the "Power of Illusion", because its inner reality appears before us as if hidden by changing forms. Intellectual knowledge too is limited by form and is therefore also only an approximation. However deep our knowledge of a thing may be, however near we may be to it, so long as we remain distinct from it we cannot know it integrally. This is why the metaphysical part of revelation is merely called a "Nearest Approach", an Upanishad (from upa=near, nishad=seated). That which is really our own we are one with. Hence the human act of love is taken as the symbol of mystical experience, a passionate striving to become one.

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