Yoga brings about transformation as we become more conscious of how we act, move, think and breathe. Once we stop being on autopilot, something starts to shift. In today’s literature there are many self-help books with a lot of emphasis on changing our personality. There are many techniques available that help one to achieve the desired results, behaviour, relationships. Although they are great and have helped millions, some only create change within the dimension of personality. The character changes and is able, with a lot of practice, to become different, acquire new skills and new, more positive beliefs. The ultimate goal of yoga though, is not about changing the character, from having one set of traits to another. The ultimate goal of yoga is transformation; it is real alchemy where dust turns to gold. With transformation, the old ceases to exist completely and the new is born. In yoga, it is our identity that transforms from being one of the character/personality to that of the intelligence, life force which moves all – without which any character can read, write, talk, breathe…
This transformation has been likened to the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, the only difference in our case is that there is no need to become. We already are IT. We already are the ultimate goal, a butterfly, but we insist on believing we are caterpillars.
Every Human being’s essential nature is perfect and faultless, but after years of immersion in the world we easily forget our roots and take on a counterfeit nature (Lao Tzu)
Transformation can occur instantly in any moment, every second/millisecond. All it required is a shift of the mind’s focus from a lie to the truth. The ego makes us believe that we are caterpillars and hence act like one. How can a butterfly believing it’s a caterpillar, fly? It has no wings!! Through yogic practices we understand the mind, we learn to focus it. We start seeing the patterns of thoughts entering the mind, its effect on our emotions. We start recognizing when we are thinking and acting a lie and believing we are less than we truly are. This transformation which is not a ‘becoming’ occurs when the mind sees through the veil of this lie. What do we need to do to see that we are butterflies? We only need to stop believing we’re caterpillars! The more we re-mind (new mind) ourselves of who we are, the more we start living and operating from our true identity which is not the same as acting from a changed character with traits we believe are better or more virtuous. Only through this transformation can we surrender the character and allow it to be used in whatever manner it is fit. That means a total allowing to let the character experience life in ‘every way’ life sees fit. One minute the experience is perceived as a negative nature, the next it would a positive one. In any case, if the character with all its sensations, emotions and, in its totality, is handed back to life as one of its resources, the ‘personal’ experience of life starts to dissolve. So we live life as usual, making choices, doing things according to our likes and dislikes, knowing that all the actions, choices, results are what the intelligence sees fit. Guilt, shame, greed, jealousy, pride, stress and everything we want to change and take away from the personality disappear when we know we are much more than a mere personality.