I need to be clear. I'm not sure how exactly these misconceptions made it out into the world, but I must unequivocally state that my study of astrophysics and quantum physics does not imply in any way that I am interested in or believe in the following:
1) 2012 conjecture;
2) Astrology; and/or
3) The Secret, et al.
Relating me or my thinking to any and all of the above I find to be deeply, deeply insulting to my ability to reason critically, skeptically, and maturely about the world around me. I won't go into why I find these topics to be absurdly untrue (b/c the more I write, the more I am potentially creating a rift b/t myself and believers in the above - some of whom I otherwise quite respect). I simply want it to be known.
That said. I am wholeheartedly interested in learning more about the following areas of concern*:
1. Prana and practices of the breath
2. Agni Yoga; harnessing the inner fire
3. The Chakras
4. Divine Mother practices, the MahaVidyas, 10 wisdom goddesses, Gates to Enlightenment
5. Chanting: Mantra and japa (using the mala, or "rosary" beads)
6. Meditation and mindfulness practices
7. The Gurus and Masters: Yogic lineages
8. The Yoga Sutras, and other vedic texts
9. Consciousness; developing awareness in the Advaita traditions
I feel that there is considerable value in calming the parasympathetic nervous system, mind, and body. I am interested in mysticism, but not in the traditional mode of relating to any sort of deity, per se. It seems readily apparent that there is an inherent order and connectivity to the universe (from heavenly bodies right down to the smallest atoms). I don't profess to perfectly understand the mysteries of being and so I want to learn more about certain paths to wisdom and evaluate them on my own terms. This doesn't mean that I am willing or able to subscribe to dogmatic thinking--be it Christian, Jewish, Hindu or otherwise.
How do you say these things to seekers without coming off as a self-important ass? Also, is it right to pay to learn about these subjects? It seems to me that if one wanted to share these traditions, that would be akin to holy teaching. Is it right to sell the divine? On the other hand, I was perfectly willing to pay (quite dearly) to learn non-secular things. In this society, if something is valuable (ie another person's time, effort and attention), you must pay for it. Right?
I'm being purposefully vague here, since this is a public venue and I don't want to call anyone out specifically. I just wonder, what is ethically correct? Am I being insincere in participating in a spiritual community when I do not adhere to some of its most basic assumptions? To what extent should I be open about my own beliefs? And what exactly should money buy?
*Full disclosure: Someone else compiled this list - again, for reasons of confidentiality, I'm not crediting him/her