|AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - August 2020|
Appreciation for All Living Beings
by Wolfgang Bischoff
The following is an article about my destiny work and the Corona crisis published in the most famous Yoga Journal of Germany.
Wolfgang Bischoff, Spiritual Director of the "Himalaya Institute Germany", has been dealing with the topic of shaping fate for a long time. YOGA AKTUELL asked him for his assessment of recent global events in their significance for the destiny of mankind.
Wolfgang Bischoff is the founder of several, mainly non-profit organizations as well as the Himalaya Institute Germany and has been supporting the Manini land development project in Odisha, India, for twenty years. As founder of the Human Culture Academy and as a former consultant to the World Bank and UNESCO, he strives to carry a human culture into companies. His main work today is personal destiny counseling to help people to understand, change and order their own lives. In fateful times such as these, we wanted to get to know his perspective on the current upheavals and talked to him about how to shape the life and future of the human community.
YOGA AKTUELL: Especially in the last few months we have experienced something like a global collective destiny. This also raises the question of collective karma - is there such a thing in your eyes, and what exactly can be understood by it?
Wolfgang Bischoff: In order to understand the collective fate of humanity, the answer to the question can be helpful: Do we live in a world of opposites of hot and cold, love and hate, day and night, male and female? If we answer this question with yes, then there must be a contrast to the world of opposites. That would be the world of unity, which I will call the Spiritual World.
We are deeply spiritual souls who for a short time try to survive in the material world. In our civilization today, many people's minds are focused on the motto "the greatest possible belongs to me", on maximum material consumption, on "faster, higher, further" and on group decision-making processes of national interest that exclude others, that demarcate and that seem aggressive, even destructive. The spiritual side of our being has long been ridiculed and denied.
Let us now look at the breathing. Linguistically, many people today still describe this process as one actively controlled by the human being in form: I breathe in, I breathe out! This implies that we are the masters in our own house. If we do the experiment that we as masters decide to inhale and no longer exhale, and observe the end of inhalation with an alert, scientific eye, then we can experience that an immense force emerges against our will and forces us to exhale. What kind of force is this? After such an experience it is time to change our language. We can observe and direct the flow of the breath, but we cannot control it ourselves. This linguistic change with the previous experience is the basis of every relaxation.
Let us assume that this force that forces us to exhale comes from the Spiritual World and determines and directs our existence in this world. If it deprives us of breathing, the body dies and our soul floats freely to regions yet to be discovered.
Breathing has been given to all living beings for free. And now this precious process is suddenly attacked by a virus that knows no continents, no language differences, no nationalities, no differences of origin, no differences of rich and poor. If this power wants to communicate itself to all mankind, then it does so where it hurts most. It is as if the Spiritual World were hitting humanity on the head with a hammer and making it clear to it that it has gone completely astray. It is a world, a humanity without difference, a whole living organism, which is awakened here by the Spiritual World. This is what we can understand by the concept of a collective karma, a collective destiny. The precious earth, the beautiful plant world and the so heart-warming animal kingdom with its so touching innocence have been trampled underfoot by mankind for too long. The earth is so abused by us humans that it can no longer regenerate itself. Human beings seem no longer able to correct this, even after the touching admonitions of a 16-year-old girl.
There it seems to be too understandable that the Spiritual World sends a message that all men can understand if they only wanted to. Here the individual karma, the shaping of the individual destiny, takes on great significance.
At the same time one could ask here about the individual Dharma: Everyone contributes to the collective with his life tasks and ways...
Now our time has come to positively shape the fate of humanity by shaping our own destiny: You can do nothing more important for humanity than to ensure that you are well; and you can do nothing more important for yourself than to serve humanity selflessly and lovingly!
But you can do this only when you are well and healthy. We have been teaching this in our yoga training for thirty-eight years.
In Bhutan a state definition of happiness is: “Happiness cannot arise while others suffer. Happiness can only arise from loving, selfless service to others, from living in harmony with nature, and from realizing our inner wisdom and the true and grandiose nature of our own mind.”
Now is the time for every single person to awaken to his or her own being and develop a new consciousness through a courageous life training, also called spiritual training.
How can the emotional distress in today's world be overcome with this mature consciousness?
It is important for each of us to learn to accept ourselves in love, esteem and dignity and then to radiate this dignity to all living Beings in this world. What this can mean in this situation today is to take on a social human love and social responsibility towards all those in need of protection.
Learn to give dignity to every moment of life! This challenge can bring about a wonderful transformation in the shaping of our own individual destiny. This self-reflection and the courage to experiment can help us to go through a process of transformation and to change the inner place from which we react or act. With an open heart, an open mind and an open willingness to act in an unfamiliar new way, we can then learn to recognize and dissolve our constant evaluations. This can lead to a complete helplessness in the transformation process. With the help of the meditation exercises we come to a zero point, where we experience complete devotion and openness, and thus the future as an intuitive pulse can come to us.
We can then try this impulse experimentally and integrate the experiences gained into our lives.
What could emerge from this new openness, from this fruitful zero point?
By abandoning old habits of evaluation, we can learn empathy and a social understanding of human beings through listening, by learning to understand precisely those opinions and phenomena which we have so far avoided, in order to be able to give the weaker and sick in our society the protection they need. By changing the inner place from which we have reacted so far and entering a place of loving action, we can now penetrate to deeper levels of our humanity and thus of humanity and recognize who we really are and what we want to be and really need as a society.
In this way, through our own training, we can reach a mature, social love for all living beings, a sharp ability to discern, as taught by Samkhya philosophy, and a living relationship with the spiritual world.
Discriminatory ability teaches us to distinguish between true and untrue, between pure and impure, between authentic and fake behaviour and between selfish and social behaviour. By practicing to give dignity to every moment of life, our ability to discriminate will become more and more developed and our language will change. As a result, a clear thinking can develop in us that is able to judge complex relationships.
The lively relationship to the spiritual world, which you mentioned, seems to have been lost to many people. How can it be found again or rebuilt?
We can achieve a living relationship with the Spiritual World by opening our senses, by looking at life without our blinding evaluations and judgments and by learning to discover the beautiful, radiant light of the Spiritual World in nature and in all living beings that surround us.
Just like little Lena, who was so unhappy with her life situation that she packed her suitcase, chocolate, cookies, two apples and something to drink and stomped out the front door with her suitcase. Mom saw this and asked: "Lena, what are you doing?" "I'm going to visit Our Lady God," Lena stomped off. After a while she came to a park, already a little tired, and saw an old woman sitting on the bench. She looked sad. Lena sat down next to her, opened her suitcase and took out a red, fragrant apple. As she was about to bite into it, she saw out of the corner of her eye how the old woman, apparently hungry, looked at the apple. She pondered for a moment, rubbed the apple brightly on her sweater and then handed it to the old woman. To her great surprise, the old woman took the apple and gave her a beautiful smile she had never seen before. Neither of them spoke a word, but Lena shared everything she had in her little suitcase with the old woman and always received a beautiful smile that touched her heart. After a while she felt like going home to tell dad and mum about it. So she got up, took her suitcase and walked a few steps, but then she suddenly stopped, put her suitcase on the floor, turned around, walked again beaming with joy and hugged the old woman with all her love. The old woman gave her the most beautiful smile Lena had ever seen in her life. When Lena came home, her parents looked at her with great concern and were surprised at Lena's radiance. "But Lena, what have you experienced?" they asked excitedly. "I have met the Mother God. And she has the most beautiful smile I've ever seen." When the old woman in turn came home, her daughter looked very frightened, because she had seen the mother very sad in the morning. But now the old lady came in the front door beaming with joy. “But mother, what has happened to you?" asked the daughter quite astonished. “I have met the Mother God, and do you know what amazed me? I never knew she was so young!“
When Friedrich Bonhoeffer was arrested by the fascists for his resistance activities, and later murdered, he wrote the following lines in prison shortly before his death:
"Wonderfully sheltered by good powers,
This lively and so comprehensible access to the spiritual world is the basis for a serious training of our discernment and for the training of a reverence for what is above us, among us and around us. If we practice this, it will change the world and make love and appreciation for all living things blossom.
How do you see the prospects for future developments? How can we develop more wisdom and peace even in large communities?
None of us knows what the future will look like, but we can shape it for our own good and the good of all.
In spiritual training, the most beautiful gift that humanity has received from the sages of the Himalayas is the training of concentration on one point, contemplation on meaningful world contexts and the graceful gift of meditation of joy, for which we can only prepare ourselves. This serious training enables us to find out who we really are, where we come from and where we are going, and what the deeper meaning of our existence on this earth in this life really is.
Am I living or am I being lived?
Thank you very much for the interview!
Wolfgang Bischoff, psychologist and psychotherapist, is the founder and spiritual director of the Himalaya Institute Germany since 1980. For forty years he has been taught by the Masters of the Himalayas traditionally in the Mantra-Initiation-Meditation-Method and passes it on to people all over the world.
Wolfgang is a mantra initiator and a member of the AHYMSIN Adhyatma Samiti, or Spiritual Committee.