By Karuna Beaver
In the 70’s, a Hollywood film crew came to my college campus to shoot Animal House. In this classic time capsule movie of 1960’s frat boy fun and mischief, one scene features a group of students visiting a professor at his home. After smoking pot, a naïve freshman asks, “So, our whole solar system could be, like, one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant? And that means that one tiny atom in my fingernail could be one tiny universe?” His professor nods wisely. Mystical physics in action.
Fast forward 35 years, and I’m having that experience (minus the herbal influence) in Embodyment® training. I’d never been so profoundly peaceful and yet scintillatingly alive in my whole life. I was blown away by the experience of being, as Swami wrote last month, grounded and uplifted at the same time. And I was awed by the yogic philosophy of the Pratyabhij~nah.rdayam, the ancient Kashmiri Shavism text that helps explain the experience. Mystical physics in action.
Swami Nirmalananda and Vidyadevi, in this month’s contemplation article, “Being Here Now,” quote the fourth sutra in the Pratyabhij~nah.rdayam (Swami’s rendering):
Consciousness-Itself assumes contraction to become both the universe and the individuals, who have the universe as their bodies in a contracted form.
The energy contracting to become you is alive, and it is conscious. That one tiny atom in your fingernail could be one tiny universe! Swami and Vidyadevi say that your body is truly mystical. Is this how you think of your body? Perhaps you’re more likely to identify with your body’s problems than to be grateful having a body. It is a gift that allows you to experience what you are made of — Consciousness-Itself.
To discover the mystery of who you really are, you must be present in your body, and not trapped in your mind, or as Swami says, “Here, now, be.” For when you are right here, right now, being in your body and experiencing the experience, whatever it might be, the whole universe opens up for you.
Yoga gives you so many ways to “here, now, be:” asana, meditation, chanting, japa, seva, studying the ancient texts. Go ahead — dive in deep every chance you get. Let each experience tempt you to do more and show you the More that you are. Mystical physics in action!