On Enlightenment - Thought for the Week - 3/25/2024

Marcus Aurelius, one of the most respected emperors in Roman history was born in the year 121 and died in the year 180. His greatest intellectual interest was a philosophy that emphasized reason and self-discipline. I have no personal knowledge of his awareness of Yoga, but his writings indicate to me that he was, at the very least, an intuitive Yoga Scientist. Marcus Aurelius wrote: “Today I escaped anxiety. Or rather, I should say I discarded it because it was within my mind, in my own perceptions, and not outside.”

The realization of a purposeful and rewarding spiritual life begins with the recognition that you are a citizen of two worlds. Clearly, you are a citizen of the ever-changing material world of animal, vegetable and mineral matter. In this familiar environment, the body is your vehicle for action, and your mind is your powerful instrument for evaluating circumstances and motivating your body into action. Until the last breath of life, every action your mind-body-sense-spirit complex takes in the outer world results in a consequence that either leads toward your spiritual awakening, or delays the realization of that prospect.

In addition to your outer material reality, you are also a citizen of your inner, spiritual, and profoundly real domain of consciousness. Within this subtle, eternal, transcendent world exists an intuitive library of Super Conscious Wisdom that can, at every moment, unerringly identify which, among all your possible thoughts, words and deeds, will lead you to experience the liberation of enlightenment—and which ones will likely lead only to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stagnation, dis-ease and bondage.

When, as a citizen of the material world, your outerworld actions reflect the Perfection of your inner-world’s Super Conscious Wisdom, you will be led for your highest and greatest good. The choice to base your outer action on your own inner wisdom is the essence of Yoga Science, Philosophy and Psychology. The Sanskrit word Yoga means union, and the AMI Foundation Course presents a reliable blueprint for building a trustworthy, ever-accessible bridge to your own innate inner wisdom.

The Bridge of Yoga is a very practical tool that can serve you in every circumstance and relationship. It represents a metaphoric, philosophical, and scientific bridge between your inner wisdom and your outer actions.

Today, many of us are primarily “outsiders,” living almost exclusively in the outer world of name and form, never suspecting that becoming an “insider,” could empower us to access treasures that we cannot see, smell, hear, taste or touch. Every day, “outsiders” are denying themselves the one-pointedness of mind, willpower, discrimination, wisdom and inspiration that are the beautiful benefits of balancing the inner world of wisdom with the outer world of action.

To grasp the profound value of maintaining such balance in our lives, it is helpful to consider the medical concept of homeostasis. Homeostasis is defined as the self-regulating process by which individual biological systems maintain the stability of the whole organism while adjusting themselves to new conditions that might otherwise threaten its survival. If that balance is successfully maintained, life and health will continue. If, in the case of the human body, such balance is sufficiently disturbed, some medical disaster or death will ensue. When homeostasis is established and maintained in a dynamic equilibrium, continuous change does occur, yet balanced, healthy conditions will prevail. And the goal of this magnificent, self-regulating process is the optimal functioning of all essential systems.

Similarly, when our inner-world of consciousness, love and wisdom, and our outer-world of thoughts, speech and actions work together, harmoniously—in a dynamic equilibrium—our whole being, our mind-body-sense-spirit complex, fulfills the possibilities and purposes of our lives—without pain, without misery and without bondage.

About the author


Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev)

Leonard is an American spiritual teacher, a direct disciple of medical pioneer Swami Rama of the Himalayas, and a living link to the world’s oldest health and wisdom spiritual tradition. A noted educator, philosopher and Yoga Scientist, Leonard is the founder of the American Meditation Institute, developer the AMI Foundation Course curriculum, and originator of National Conscience Month. He is the author of the award-winning books The Heart and Science of Yoga and YOUR CONSCIENCE, and the Mind/Body/Spirit Journal, Transformation. A rare and gifted teacher, Leonard’s writings and classes are enlivened by his inspiring enthusiasm, vast experience, wisdom, humor and a clear, practical teaching style. Leonard has presented courses at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, numerous medical colleges, Kaiser Permanente, the Commonwealth Club of California, the U. S. Military Academy at West Point and The New York Times Yoga Forum with Dean Ornish MD.