blissful beliefs



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I AM NOT A DEVOTEE of yoga, but I was reading something Swami Satchidananda said and it struck me as nothing more than an example of believing what leads to bliss. If you have no other basis for knowledge (as you wouldn't back a few thousand years when yoga was invented), that would probably be the sanest criteria for what to believe: What leads to a happier life? If it leads to greater tranquility and a happier life, let us declare it true. If it leads to sadness, anger, or fear, let us declare it false.

Even today, that's not a bad criteria for judging the merit of a proposition. Of course, now it's probably not a good idea to use that as the only criteria. It should also and most importantly be tested against real evidence. But if it doesn't contradict any scientific knowledge, and if it doesn't hurt anyone or yourself, and it leads to bliss, what would be the harm in accepting it (assuming you're not going to then make war against those who don't accept it)?

Here's what Satchidananda wrote:

"You are not even breathing by yourself. Try stopping the air coming into the lungs again for awhile. No, it is being forced into you. That means, Somebody is interested in keeping you alive, to do Somebody's job. So you are living to serve."

That's a different way of looking at things, isn't it? It really doesn't contradict anything known in science. A scientist may explain the phenomenon differently, but this doesn't contradict, and it doesn't hurt anyone. And it may lead to a more blissful life to think that the great Ocean of which we are all a wave is making you breath, keeping you alive to fulfill Its mission. I think if you consider that, you will feel yourself relax. You will feel better. Warmer.

It's kind of a silly belief in a way, and you don't have to become a believer or try to get others to believe it. That wouldn't lead to tranquillity and bliss anyway. But to think of it that way, even once in awhile, leads to greater calm and contentment.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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