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Rules and Habits

Last week in a yoga group of my wife a friend, a muslim woman, said it is now Ramadan, but that she doesn’t follow the fasting. She feels too weak and gets dizzy when trying to fast. My wife said to her, “You certainly also get into Paradise without fasting.” The friend answered, she isn’t sure about that. A feeling of inadequacy caused by non-compliance to religious rules…

There are many such strong thought forms, not only created in the name of God and right behaviour. Mostly we adopt them unconsciously and let ourselves get conditioned by them. Trying to break out of the boundaries of tradition or concepts just creates new mental cages. Thoughts so easily get crystallised.

Yesterday evening in a meditation & study group we read the following passage of the book on Saraswathi by Dr. K. P. Kumar, which very aptly describes the situation:

“Normally we are caught in our own idea of work. Repeated functioning causes certain crystallization. We lose flexibility. We become rigid. Any changed situation is painful because it is not in tune with our crystallised pattern. We try to advocate only the pattern we know and insist on it. We resist other patterns and reject them. This is arising out of our habit-forming nature. We form a habit and we cannot come out of it….

This is the major problem of the modern man, we crystallize our patterns, insist on them, reject and even ridicule other patterns. In effect we are slaves of patterns developed by us. These patterns condition us, while they also enable us to anchor well, but we should not anchor knee deep or neck deep so that we cannot come out of it.

Our habit with the heating system in winter, cooling system in summer, make us weak inherently. Our habit of sitting in chairs disable us to squat. Eating with spoon and forks disable us to eat with hands.
Likewise, our habit binds us to a name and a form of God and also a mode of worship. We deny other names, other modes, other disciplines. Is this not the limitation that is sweeping humanity, causing bloodshed, discord, hate, and sustained enmity?

It is good to develop a rhythm and the related habit. But it is also equally recommended that we retain the ability to adopt to changing situations. Retain this freedom. Keep some space. Do not suffocate.”

The Acropolis in Athens – a thought form crystallised to a temple, kept alive by restauration

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