I think, that from the beginning of my life, I dreamed of becoming a yogi. Giving up worldly ambition, living simple life somewhere remote place, possibly in mountains, somewhere in east. This wasn´t just a fantasy, there was a practical side in it too. As a teenager, I really lived simply, didn´t have much furniture in my room, and in evenings I read Bhagavadgita. I did meditate and pray, since I was a religious boy from the start. faith did come naturally to me. I didn´t receive any special religious upbringing, but on the contrary, my backround was a very secularized form of clerical Lutheranism. In practise it meant just our names being in the civil registry of church, and birth, marriage and funeral rituals performed by a Lutheran priest.
So, naturally, in my longing after a deeper spirituality I drifted towards forms Hinduism. I felt that in western religion there is nothing even remotely comparabable to Hindu Mysticism. This understanding was innate in me.
Later I did try to find similar things from Christianity, and other religions, but it was just bits and pieces, and most of it was a sad history of persecutions. I came to understand that the Christians do not really tolerate mystical attitudes towards religion. I felt it is more a formal and dogmatic type of religion.
As I grew up, I naturally seeked some yogis, and eventually came to sahaja yoga. But I soon saw that yogis are really agnostic, and abhor the mystical states, like the Christians. In the beginning I naiively imagined, that sitting down, cross legged in Lotus position, and closing your eyes, would mean genuine desire to open to inner reality. But it is not. I think that for most yogis, meditation is like sports, it is just a bodily posture, an asana, nothing else. Most yogis don´t experience the spirit, and they don´t believe in the spirit. They talk about meditation in mental and verbal level, they might have the right words, and they may know some sanskrit concepts, but it seldome, if ever gets to practical level, of actually experiencing those things in your individual self.
That is why I hesitate to call myself a yogi. yes, I do enjoy meditation, and I like to be in samadhi, but is it yoga? Often I feel that yoga is a fashion, or a trend, it is more about clothing, than anything else. It is an Indian version of toga party, just replace bed sheets and sandals by saris and kurtas, bracelets and bindus - a costume play. No, this was never my idea.
The other thing people seem to crave, is power, and place in a group.
I don´t know why people are like that, but often I tried asking it from them, and they said that the human species, homo sapiens is basically a social animal, just like apes and the chimpanzee. Or some people were so politically minded, they could be called political animals. I imagine that such people are not flesh and bones, but consist of politically correct opinions. The yogis seemed to measure their spiritual growth by measuring their distance from dominant male, the alpha male, the leader of the group.
So, naturally I begun to question things, and ask things like, why am I so different from others, why are they so different from me. It was obvious to me, that I was not a social animal. I had an idea that yoga is simple; just top sit down, and surrender to samadhi, and if we people could do it together, so much merrier. But no, it was not possible, there is always the leader, and the alpha males, and the rigid hierarchy.
Why must it be so masculine?
When I begun doing meditation, it wa sin early childhood, I did the first prayers, I have no such ideas as masculinity and femininity, not to mention that one of these would be superior and the other inferior. I just simply wished to do meditation, and it didn´t matter to me, if I was a man or boy, male or female, an eunuch or hermaphrodite, because for me it was not a gender related issue at all.
Why people are so strict about gender? Why they are so touchy about it? Why is it so important? In Christianity, they even threw mother and daughter out of Heaven, and kept there only the father and his son. Such system can not possibly be fair. I think God must be above gender, and certainly God can not be a misogyne. This goes against my reason.
I don´t know what Christianity was originally, may be those dogmas where created in Council of Nicaea, and what was yoga originally. But today we see they have become misogynistic, male dominated, commercial, and agnostic things, for social animals. Yogis may even do lip-service to Goddess, and yet behave like typical power-oriented alpha males. Also yoginis are like this. They may appear to be worshipping the Goddess, or seeking the Goddess withing them, but in reality they are hunting after the alpha males, because that is what is making their hormones tick.
I must say, there was times when I seriously thought, that the Byzantine system, where we had hole monasteries full of eunuch monks, was better. And I studied this subject, which was hard, because we have not much historical knowledge about eunuch spirituality. I think the russian writer, Lev Tolstoy, was the last thinker, who thought about these issues. His opinion was that the castration is not the right way, because people should castrate their heart, not their body, which, he thought is as sinful as lechery: "You have to castrate your own heart [Serdtse svoe nado oskopit'], then external castration will not be necessary.."
Ok, someone once suggested me, that I might be different , because I could have defective male chromosomes, and so I lack the drive that is making real men out of just men. This certainly may have some ring of truth, as yoginis were often, if not always, complaining that I am not a real man, such as the handsome yogi Mr.X. or some other hot looking yogi. This was getting somehwat complex, as I felt that the more get into this yoga, the further I lose the original goal, which was samadhi.
In yoga, it is not enough that you achieve samadhi. If you ara a male, you must also be handsome, be stylishly dressed, you must be a real man: a hottie. And I don´t believe that yogis ever stop to consider the righteousness of their attitudes, they just keep going, instictively knowing what is good and what is bad. I was a sissy, and according to yoga doctrine, there is no enlightenment for sissies.
But wait. I always believed that samadhi is above the male-female duality. It is possible that I may - or maybe not - have hormonal reasons that disqualify me as alpha male, but it is certain, that these yoga people are trapped in duality, and they mistake mating, herd behaviour, social dynamics as samadhi. So, I think that my chromosomes have nothing to do with this, except, perhaps that in yoga, the feminine man is being targeted for bullying. In practise, yoga seems to be just a form of mobbing. They wish to ensure, that all femininity gets beaten down, or smoked out of their groups.
This brings me to more problems. For me, as a dedicated follower of ahimsa, or nonviolence, bullying is a form of violence, and both violence and misogyny are gross sins. I can not understand why would anyone so sinful person even dream of achieving samadhi. My morality says that person should at least try to behave in nice way. Saying that we are animals, social animals, just apes who will enter the samadhi, seems to me be the stupidest error. Certainly we should not be like animals, because we are humans, and we should strive to grow up to become saints. Not something lower.
Yet I always wondered, that yogis seem to be strangely asexual for animals. Even if you look at a dog, or animals in zoo, they are often uninhibitedly horny, the yogis seemed to be asexual animals, which made me think they may in fact be something like demons. For demons are lower than animals, yet they have a human form.
So, it follws, that I think that yoga is pretty much a useless intermediate stage, even a siding or deadlock. Why go there in kindergarten, and risk your karma in those herds of violent animals? You can not help them, but instead they will drag you down, for you are one, and they are many. You are always wrong, and they will be always right.
This is the reason we need solitude.
It is not misanthropic solitude, a juvenile thing, not loneliness, but more like ahimsa. Trying to separate oneself from violence.
Many yogis say - remember they are agnostics - and often also atheists - that we should not worship humans, we should not have gurus, we are all equal, I will not bow dont to anything.. but I think this is nonsense. It is the reincarnated Jacobins and Khmer Rouge speaking, the usual mob agitation trying to incite our worst passions. Creating scapegoats, raising hatred and envy, demonizing.. The pandemonium.
I think one should not listen to others, but look into oneself, and ask humbly, what is wrong with me. Why am I like this. What is keeping me from samadhi.
I think, probably, you have too many acquintances. You speak too much with people, you think too little yourself, and listen too much to other people. Many people have a great confidence, especially the alpha males, and it is easy to get under their spell, especially if your hormones drive you to that direction. To study some eastern philosophy or join the yoga group, or becoming religious does not help one bit. The biology should change; we should overcome the duality within ourselves, and it is not possible to solve this in religious, or spiritual level, as our attachments are on social and sexual level.
I think that is why we need a guru.
The task is so tremendous.
The American mythologist Joseph Campbell used to write about the monomyth, and about the hero´s journey. I think it is great. In our modern society, in democratic system, all are so equal, and our experience so jacobinized, that we have no more heroes. Someone like Ulysses, or like marine biologist Ed Ricketts was for Campbell. Someone like Cuchulain. A shaman. The guru is the hero. He has travelled alone, he has gone far, outside the limits of our world, to the other side.
It is only in our modern world, that people have illusions, that they could be saved as a group, and that they don´t need heroes, or that we don´t need to step out of our little box, from the comfort zone. So, because civilization, we have the religions, the sects, the male leaders, and people are conditioned in the group mind. I never understood this, as I neved wished to be part of any group. I just wished the mystical experience to manifest itself, and then pick maybe some bits and pieces from various religions and myths, that seem to fit into my experience. Some may call that modern attitude, of modern individualist, but I really don´t see what is so individualistic in our present western totalitarian systems. I consider myself an old fashioned person, an archaic man.
If I seek my kind of religious myths, I have to go as far as Byzance, and still earlier, to Mithraism, and so on. I have to go to Adi Guru Dattatreya, and seek the grave of Adam. Or I must abandon the comfortable house, and crawl into a cave. Perhaps I am a yogi, but a primitive one. I might be like Shiva was in early days, or some kind of shamanistic yogi, who loves to gaze fire in his cave.
And even more primitive: who does not care about appearances, needs no rituals, who just wants to stay in samadhi as long as possible. The difference between me, and western seekers has always been, that they seek after the samadhi, they wish to achieve it, whereas I am already in samadhi, but wish to go deeper.
Yes, it is a big step fro a modern mind, to call himself different from others. Some how special. A special case. And think positive about it, not negative, as the group pressure might want to make you feel. If I am different, then I must also be a hero, in cambellian sense. To feel oneself different, that is the 'call to adventure'. To stop feeling guilty about it, that is the adventure, it is the heroic part, as our modern societies have an obsession about normality. Our newspapers, media, films, stories.. seldom show life as experienced by non-normal people, abnormals, or outsiders. For most, something negative, a horror story about cannibal serial killer, or some miserable drug addicts. Or some exotic tribe in faraway country. They don´t wish to give us any real options, or choices.
But of course, this is only conditioning, an illusion. I just mention it, because collective conditionings are much harder to overcome, than personal conditionings.