Yes indeed, it seems like forever since I added anything to this blog. For the last two years, I have exerted my energies into places; on Facebook and on a website dedicated to The Fourth Way entitled What Is the Work. Interested parties are invited to go to What Is the Work on Ning.
Where were we? It really doesn't matter because the only thing that should concern us is where we are now. The word now, in its Sanskrit roots, is the first and most important word in what is called "the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali". This incredible document is worth reading in numerous translations, unless you are willing to undertake learning Sanskrit itself, which is no easy task, although it is less difficult than studying Chinese or Hungarian.
Sanskrit is considered a divine language, and is not used for common speech. A single Sanskrit word might require 28 to 36 words in English, even to approximate its real meaning. It is what is called, multivalent, a word which you might remember from my exposition on chemistry.
In any case, when I have students who wish to study "the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali", I often begin by telling them that the entire book of 192 pithy statements (the word Sutra is the root word for suture, and means thread – the smallest amount of words upon which an idea can be presented – it does not even require grammar, being understood as something to be memorized and then expounded upon by one's Guru.)
The word Atha generally would be translated into English as an emphatic NOW, which is so startling that it stops the thought processes altogether. That of course, is the goal of yoga, which is to attenuate or stop the whirlpools (vrttis) or waves in the consciousness. If this is achieved the Self is revealed from the inside out in its "August Majesty" – whereas at all other times the self (with a small 's') misidentifies itself with the movements or vrttis in consciousness. In other words, the self misidentifies itself with the phenomenological universe.
I start to feel as though I am saying the same thing over and over again. So I will stop now. At least I have broken the ice, and may continue, more in earnest after a short time. Thank you for reading and following my "secret blog".