#1 The Infinitely Wondrous Self
1) Each of us is already infinitely wondrous–miraculous,
(This is well hidden beneath the
distractions of everyday life and emotion.)
Ask yourself this question: “Which is more wondrous, the entire universe or an individual human being?”
Think deeply about this. Most people can’t honestly choose between the two. The question is, of course, unanswerable. The entire universe is so wondrous (miraculous, awe-inspiring, unfathomable–whatever words you choose to use.) Yet, when seen objectively, so is a thinking, breathing, feeling human being.
The fact that it’s not easy to choose is fascinating in itself. And it’s a dramatic argument for the most basic Yoga idea that just being alive can be infinitely wondrous, if we let it.
For me this is a blockbuster, mind-blowing insight, and undeniably true. I had always thought of the individual human being as small and insignificant, like a grain of sand on the beach. And we are, in a way.
But each of us is also infinitely wondrous–so wondrous, in fact, that it’s hard to decisively declare even the entire universe to be more wondrous.
The universe is complex and unfathomable, indeed. But a human being, in body alone, is equally complex and unfathomable, and, in addition, we are conscious. We are able to perceive the miracle of our own being.
(Yoga often uses the word “divine” for this. The most basic finding of Yoga is that each of us is already divine. I prefer the word “wondrous” instead of “divine”, because “divine” has too many other religious meanings, some of which Yoga doesn’t necessarily intend to convey.)
According to Yoga, this wondrous, blindingly amazing self is the “true self” referred to in the title of Cope’s book, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, and the process of self-realization, or “enlightenment”, is not the process of “becoming” something, but rather simply “discovering” the joy of who we already are, buried beneath the pressing distractions and emotions of everyday life.
For me the conclusive, objective realization that each of us is as wondrous (“divine” if you prefer) as the entire universe is like a light switch that changes everything about the way I think about myself and my life.