Feature Article:

Kvetoslav Minarik

Path to immortality

    One half-day, like one pulled out from a long line of unkind rainy May days of the year 1968. From the door-step, where the sun shines so nicely, eyesight slides through a pacifying loop-hole, where the eye does not hit a place of fumed people's passions, grueling one another.

    I am not sitting here alone. A man of ripe age, whose heart has long been vibrating by the thirst to discern and learn what nobody can even express by a question, sits by me, and unlocks my heart. I am, that is to say, superstitious. Even when I know something that others would also like to know and what would perhaps be good for them, I keep it to myself, till somebody appears who finds the keys to my heart. In his case, it was keys stricken by his thirst, which was sufficiently free from the disgusting urge, which shoots out from the mental emptiness; that emptiness which always takes regard only of the little ego of its host.

    And so there is a picture running in front of my eyes. What kind of a moment is that? Is mankind ready for doom, or for a turn to happier life? I do not want to judge that. Thus I am secured by moral dictates of yogic morality and have the right to say the truth, which can be for people as liberating as deadly. But perhaps noone will even recognize it. It is like dynamite. It was also supposed to be a helper of mankind and not for large-scale killing. And people like to use it as if it was not their destructor. So, I am at peace with myself. By the way, there is something buddhist about that. There is a law for buddhists, which teaches us that there is no liberation for those who would not give up their deepest knowledge for the human race. And liberation? Every mystically developed buddhist sees a beating flame of destruction in mental elevation and absorption, a flame which captures anyone who would not reject the world with great discretion. The world documented by beings captured by fumed human passions and grueling one another just to fill their belly and thus gain (thought) feeling of better life security.

    So, this is how the world looks from the eyes of a buddhist. That is why the realm of interests of spiritual people is alien to this world. This is true even when it comes to immortality. Because of their mental orientation, ordinary people understand immortality as a possibility to keep their bodies including all possibilities to sensually enjoy themselves. That is, of course, really not possible. If any immortality exists, it is only possible either in a completely rebuilt body or in the indestructibility of self-awareness. Therefore I say to the one, who is sitting with me, "Do you know that when a man sees ghosts, he always sees only the upper part of their bodies, whereas the bottom of their bodies is not seen?"

    He nodded. Therefore I add;

    "A man always lives only as far as he is aware of self. When he is aware of himself to the very ends of his toes, he fully lives. And, that is a state which opposes death already. Not that the body would be immortal, but he himself is immortal." That was roughly the content of our discussion. But the spoken word disappears in eclipse and therefore I decided to write it down in the broadest form possible. As I have already said, I am superstitious. Till the three necessary moments for speaking the truth, i.e. a capable listener, right place and right moment meet together saying the truth at least has no sense, if it does not lead to evil. Because now these three auspicious conditions arose together like in a "focal point", I feel relaxed, so that I can say everything I know about this topic, and do it systematically. I have already written about it nonsystematically in various writings.

    In order to answer the question completely, I will go back to one moment when a girl, maybe sixteen years old, was sitting in front of me to show me how she could concentrate the powers of her spirit. I told her suddenly with great vitality: "Martushka,* you concentrate like you had a thymus!* Then I wondered: "Can she have a thymus?"  Later on I asked a doctor: "Can a person still have a functioning thymus gland at the age of sixteen?" He said; " Rarely, yes." This is an answer for which he takes responsibility. In any case I then subjected the situation to more detailed analysis and concluded that the products, generated by the thymus as an inner secretion glad, were present in Martushka. She was able to concentrate with the same ease I was decades ago. She could change the size of the object of concentration without getting tired which otherwise always happens, when the products of the thymus are not present in a person. And I would like to add, in connection with the question of immortality: When a person once catches up in the thymus era, their concentration will always be easy and very elastic.

    In "Strange story", the novel by L. Bulwer the protagonist is Margrawe, a black magician, who used an elixir to prolong life. It was typical for him, that his moral position was expressed by the desire for life; everything else was secondary.

    This is also the position of children in the "thymus era". During that time, the cells of the body are almost overwhelmed by the needed lymph and therefore children do not consider the question of death nor that of morality. This is the negative influence of the thymus product. Only when this product is limited or not present does a person think, sometimes more, sometimes less about the questions of morality and death.

    This means that physical immortality depends on thymus products, which must be supplied to the body's cells, otherwise immortality is not possible. But as long as the body's cells receive the thymus product in a sufficient amount, interest in immortality is not present except in rare cases, i.e. when a person is karmicly ripe. But even in this case they hardly understand the problem of immortality rationally. Therefore this stage is being lived through without use.

    In the second stage, when the thymus products are limited, the gradual physical decay is yet masked by sufficient water resources in the cells. Therefore many people do not feel either the warning signs of physical decay nor the need for morality, only, again, in exceptional cases. In spite of that the problem of death often bursts out to the surface of the consciousness. Many people think about a method how to prevent the destructive influence of time.  From these thoughts, yoga arose.

    Although it seems that spiritually based branches prevail in yoga, one of them, hatha yoga, turns one's interest to maintaining the body. This yoga, however it is understood, in fact aims to regain the thymus products from the inner secretion glands.  According to the classical approach it is successful. By this classical approach I mean engaging the cement position*, in which the mind takes the inner secretion glands by the quality of its concentration, and by perfect representation of the body in the conscious, it then purges the body by these products.

    Let nobody think, that just a concentration of mind and physical postures are enough. The depth and quality of concentration is directly influenced by orientation of the consciousness; therefore someone with ordinary interests, whose mind is active in reflexes would hardly achieve this kind of concentration. With regard to that, another agent is used and that is asceticism. Asceticism is supposed to take the mind off the objects of the world of the senses and force the mind of the hatha yogi to be oriented primarily towards his internal powers and substances. In that way asceticism will result in yogi's focusing on him or herself rather than the ordinary sense world.  Based on the level of perfection of such interests, the hatha yogi achieves blissful mental states. That also improves the physical posture not only in the sense of feeling comfortable while sitting with legs folded, but also in regard to the flow of life forces, which will tend to move up from the bottom of the body through the trunk to the head.

    All these factors in the practice of focusing concentration to a point lead to a take over the life forces. These forces become more energizing and revitalizing, the better the yogi isolates themselves from all outer things. A yogi should care only about his or her life and should expunge all interests in pain and joy of the world.  And here already a moral spike appears. By the complexity of how "active karma" works, a person is always selfish enough to care only about themselves and to live, but at the same time it is also interconnected with the whole of mankind, so that it forgets to just live. And these are opposite driving forces, compelling a person as an individual and also as a social being at the level of atavisms. Due to that, it sometimes happens that a yogi who has become accomplished in some important aspects of yoga, will be driven by his or her intrinsic attitude to become focused on his/her being only. In that case s/he either follows (traces) the classical method of sustaining life in the body, or is driven to express an all pervasive universal love. The path of universal compassion can lead to self-sacrifice, which is not understandable from the common view. We are considering the "path to immortality" here, so we will follow the first aspect of a yogi's spiritual growth.

    If the cement asana is well reflected in the consciousness, it generates a tendency of the mind to "drop [descent, land on?] onto the bottom of the body as an imagined rain". Such a mind is always "wet", what appears in its ease and peacefulness. This wetness is then the "quintessence of water", which has the required influence on the conservation of "water in the cells of the body", which is the first order requirement in regeneration phenomenon. The achievement of this result is not enough, though. The yogi must "water" the cells of the body over a long period of time because the far-off gradual drying of the cells has deformed them; this deformation can only be reversed by long-term watering using the quintessence of water as achieved through proper practice.

    So this is how a yogi can stop the degeneration process in the body. If this process is stopped in an already "ripe" body, a mental regeneration has to take place too. The yogi has to return to the mental state of a child and there is a danger connected with this.  The danger is that his/her moral code, which a child does has not at all, or only secondarily, will be liquidated.

    Considering that risk, an abandonment of the world should precede the regeneration process. Because, whosoever has abandoned the world and by great successes in yoga lost morality, would only demonstrate it by indifference to the fate of the world. One who is not indifferent to the world and its fate cannot be immortal but they can become cruel and completely immoral. With respect to immortality, interest in the world creates psychological relations between an individual and the world and these relations are conductors by which they lose the energy, degenerate and grow old. All these problems lead some categories of yogis to lose interest in immortality. But immortality is a problem, which cannot be eliminated by unconcern. Even though a person can induce such a disinterest in the mind, he cannot enforce it as a guide for the body. And so the most wise yogis solve the whole question differently.

    Experience teaches us that in the widest concept the only important thing is that we are aware of both ourselves and the world. Civilization, however, abstracts a person from themselves by consuming all of their thinking in using and learning the outer things. Gone away is the non-abstraction of the common person's mind.  The common person who, based on their simple life conditions", were more with the body and close to the body", according to buddhism. Therefore, the awareness of so-called emancipated people more and more contracts towards its center, the head, by which their life is not only considerably limited, but also subjectivized.

    The wisest yogi's teaching fights the tendency to contract and narrow consciousness. How?  By simple but systematic self-reminding of the body. And because "what is already rotten must be left rotten", the current state of consciousness of a person is abandoned and we begin to practice body awareness from the bottom of our feet.

    If people do not mix any abstract imaginations to the practice of "leg awareness from the bottom of one's feet", the feet and legs are able to slowly imprint their look to the consciousness again. A complete absence of spontaneous imagination, which would change the appearance of the legs in someone's mental sphere, leads to weaving, as referred to in mysticism.

    So it is necessary to reweave what has been ripped apart by vehement and long lasting fixation of interests onto objects of the outer world, i.e. outside of the body or being of the practitioner. And weaving is a pleasurable thing, after overcoming the resistance of the mind, which does not want to leave the habit of fixating on the outer world. One feels that s/he regains the lost life forces and, later, when the "mind woven lower part of the body" interconnects with the "still alive" top, one evidently realizes that the awareness of an I is indestructible, because it is, quite naturally, able to resist the destroying influence of nature.

    On this path people don't attempt to save their bodies from the death, but they practice integral self-awareness; they abandoned it when they started to live exclusively to sense the outer world for joys emerging from collecting the impressions from the outer world. So when one accomplishes the awareness of even the distant-most parts of his/her body, that is feet and calf, knees, hips and the lower part of the trunk, he/she will finally connect the area of spontaneous self-awareness, i.e. the upper body, with the distant-most parts, feet. This connection involves evident awareness, that regardless of the presence or absence of a body the consciousness cannot be destroyed.

    When this state well ripens, people evidently find that they are weaving themselves into the invisible world, which is a permanent follower of the world identifiable by senses. In any case this means that the yogi will live up his/her life with broaden horizons, even though vehement attempts to sensually "suck up" the outer sensual world is obstacling this weaving. There are just different relations here. Even though ordinary people think that the more perfectly they "suck the word by senses" the happier they live, nevertheless the one who has accomplished the perfect whole body awareness by the integration of self-awareness finds that ordinary people beliefs about happy life are completely misleading. Because being unaware of own body induces feeling of impoverishment which cannot be compensated by any quantum of outer world sensations.

    It is therefore the overall decay of ordinary people, which is to be stopped. It is needed to return back to the natural state of humanity, which is connected with continuous representation of the body in the consciousness and that is to be improved then, so that the nature cannot, not even subliminally, influence one badly. That is the path to immortality, which can be entered by anyone and everybody can have a success on this path, if they are constant and would not turn away from it for any reason until they achieve the highest success: permanent and perfectly evident realization that there is no further development on this path. At this level the biological time takes completely different forms, while self-awareness gets free of any touch of time.

    The "thymus epoch" is usually lost. The substrate of thymus becomes limited before people realize, under the influence of time induced processes, that it would be good to care of the lengths of their lives. People are therefore usually left with  the second stage when they can only slow down the fatal influence of time or find and make working a compensation factor, which would replace the thymus product. This, however, meets with such difficulties that they are usually left with mystical creation or building of an "inner body". This inner body then becomes people's replacement home of life, which can be regarded as existing in different dimensions, there where wisdom finds a state connected with nonexistence of time, first of all in human biological sense. What to add? A person does not risk anything on this path. But they can gain experience that they are not a piece of down which time can, as wind with light objects, do whatever it wants to, but that a possibility to avoid destruction exists, which medicinal chemistry wants to address also, but sure never with a success.

    It is only a matter of functioning empirical consciousness if we live individually or not. A coward dies by an illness which more heroic individuals would take quite easy. This is not just a matter of differences in the organisms, but a matter of weak bonding of the consciousness to the body. When someone lives only for the sensation of outer things, he is so weakly bonded by his consciousness to his body that, emblematically speaking, it is sufficient to drub at him and he already leaves his body, which can be considered a clinical death. And vice versa. If somebody is so firmly fixed in his body because he has achieved success in completing body awareness, he/she would not even be killed by a serious decease. When the decease kills them after all, at a higher level of development, they will find themselves in their own new spiritual body, where different life conditions than in the physical region exists, but a loss of permanent and rational self-awareness can never exist there, so there is no violent transfer to the sphere of abstracts. They only find that the same world, which we know as the material one, has its follower, the invisible world, and there exists a well constructed bridge between them built by the discipline of perfect self-awareness.

    And the "thymus stage"? It has its own negatives. If it is not reinitialized by the compensation factors, i.e. by special yogic education, it is always accompanied by some higher and finer egoism, besides the common one. Egoism, which affects the outer world destructively. In the commands of teaching, which has been brought onto the Earth from Heaven, however, the necessity of non-egoism is strictly reminded. That is to say, that mankind has to be regarded a unit composed of individual beings and if these individual beings do not stay in accord with the entirety, it will cause something like a cancer of mankind as a living unit.

    From this view point the path to immortality by creating the spiritual body is an evolution of a spiritual individual or maybe better a cell of living existence from the state of a cell constituting the material of the body to the neural or brain cell, which hosts the awareness and therefore also the wisdom and morality. Further evolution of this cell means for the person an evolution from the state of being in this (sensual) world to the state of being living beyond the border of this world, in the invisible world, in the world of so called living Buddhas. That is where the original mankind used to live and where the part of it, which will not descent to primitive forms due to unconditional living in joyful reflexes, will return again. This is the spiritual world of immortal or invisible beings, whose live conditions are completely different than living conditions of physical people.

    In the third epoch, when the cells are not able to "sustain water" and the body therefore grows old, there is practically no other way to regenerate the body than just the "weaving of the inner body". The vitality is already not present in the body, but in the mind and consciousness. These agents are needed for creation of the "inner body", while the "physical body" hardly reacts to the revitalization induced by the yogic practices. And when we create the "inner body", we recognize well, that the center of mass of the self-awareness is capable to transfer itself as a complex factor from the empirical (sensual) world to the inner (abstract) world. That one, in fact, is the world of our self-awareness with its specific reality, which only youth can see and understand as an abstract world using common concepts.

    Old people are "home" in this world, because the center of mass of their lives has moved more to the mind and consciousness. When these people get through the course of "body awareness" as written above, then they will easily understand the sense of the living independent on the body. And when their consciousness very much strengthens by body awareness then they get the impression that death, whose tentacles are the various weaknesses present in people oriented completely out of their bodies, has run away from them. These people feel that their existence has escaped from the laws mastering the nature, mainly its living part. That is a positive result, of their effort to base living on self-awareness, which  integrates the whole existence of the yogi. It is to say, that the destruction of death only lies in a move to other areas of existence and consciousness.

    With respect to personal life, yoga has completely the same opinion as medicine; personal life, from the mystical point of view, is only possible in the body composed of living cells, either physical ones or unphysical ones. But with respect to the metabolism, yoga has a different opinion. The same product, which body's cells create and which manifests as a mental life, is by yogis considered an agent with whose help it is possible to stimulate and regulate the metabolism, first of all by breathing and also by the mental state. When somebody does that he will go through an interesting intermediate state when the consciousness moves from the head through the chest and below to the middle of the calf. When this happens, some sort of a second brain is created in the calf, respectively second establishment of the self-awareness. By that the yogi gets a second center of the conscious life, which becomes the refuge of conscious existence in critical situations. An assurance emerges that the victory over death was achieved, but experience shows that this victory means a possibility of automatic transfer of the consciousness to another sphere in the state of concrete self-awareness. In contemporary ordinary life this transfer of consciousness from head to the middle of the calf manifests by a rise of deep indifference to the sensual world; that again frees a person from the surf of life events which usually more displeases then pleases them.

    By this statement I do not express an opinion that life is a product of highly organized matter. Based on my knowledge there are three factors needed for life, quite similarly like with a burning candle, i.e. a suitable material, a wick and a fire. Science has already defined which material is suitable for making the body of the candle. But when the I of the candle becomes a symbol for the sun or of glaring stars, then science hardly knows something about the wick, the fire and their mutual relations. To see the wick in the gravity does not mean anything, as well as to see the fire or light as a reality, which can exist under those or other conditions.

    In the living nature, first of all in people, this wick is the antakharana*, which, however, becomes significant, only when the life is already here. The life is lighted for unknown reasons, but when it is here, antakharana is always also here; it  interconnects a suitable matter with life the same way as fire or light with suitable material of glaring stars or suns.

    Yogis know well the importance of antakharana. They have the experience that this bridge or wick strengthens the integration of relationships between the consciousness and the body. If the ordinary life is on "fire" in such a way that it burns only some materials, then by strengthening the relationships between the body and the consciousness the fire of life may be fed even by usually fire resistant materials. This experience leads to a knowledge that the three agents are always necessary for a star to glare as a sun or for the matter to become alive, i.e. the suitable matter, that wick and a fire.

    I said that science knows the matter suitable for burning, it does not know, however, neither the wick nor the reason why fire appears. That also holds for the case when it dares to postulate that the matter is primary and the life is secondary. This postulate would be valid only after experiencing the strengthening of the bridge between the fire, i.e. life, and matter suitable for existence of life. This experience shows that in the glow of shining starts and in the existence of living matter a relationship must appear, which would light the fire in the star and the life in a suitable body.

    When life is already here, it is simple to strengthen or affirm that relationship. Yogi, who develops a permanent relation between the matter of his body, represented by parts distal to his consciousness, and the consciousness itself, a relation which would is not disturbed by interests in the world of sensual phenomena as a food for senses, will recognize that he will have gained the keys to immortality. Because as long as this permanent relation is here, a person cannot die. This knowledge is not a common life experience, though, and it can only be gained by yogic education. When it is gained, the yogi recognizes that there are three factors needed for life to exist and that it is just a question of a philosophical vanity to speak about the primarity of matter and secondarity of consciousness and vice versa. Shortly: The relations between the candle body, the wick and the burning, and in an analogy our body, the life and relation of both and in yet another analogy between the body of a star and its shining and the relation between both are a virgin land for philosophy and empirism which could quite easily blow out the demagogic statement that the matter is the primary phenomenon, while life is the secondary one. Potentially everything exists together in the Universe and only suitable circumstances are needed to give birth to a unified phenomenon, either a shining star or a living creature.

    But let's get back to the description of the path to immortality.

    Yogic breathing is, indeed, quite different from common breathing. It gets yogic only when a yogi, while being completely mentally and physically relaxed, rhythmically breathes in such a way that he/she puts his all body into a resonance with the breath and by that he gives the body a slight massage. When this is successful, the physical cells receive such a good nourishment with so minimized depletion losses, that their life prolongs, case-by-case, up to infinity. It is immediately possible to state that there is no way their life would be extended under any other conditions. In spite of that the agent of time makes its work on the life of the cells and its warning signs are well announced in the brain of the yogi, which has achieved the peace of mind, a state of permanent concentration with a tendency to calm down all life processes. These signs themselves lead the yogi to an effort to affirm the self-confidence by representing the body in the consciousness. By that, the compensation factor is automatically reached. It is supposed to grab the cell substrate used to create the new, so called spiritual body, by the effort of being aware of the body right in the form which it possesses. That means that the power should not be wasted by any imagination practice.

    The cellular substrate is a quintessence factor of matter, whose permanent vitality is conditioned by self-awareness. It is quite efficient in creating the so called inner or spiritual body, which can absolutely replace the material body received by birth from a mother. But the transfer of the consciousness from the physical to the spiritual body does not happen without shocks. The variation capability of the personal consciousness is damped to a minimum in something like hard hits and that is being felt as a mortal process which captures every physically dying human. But the experience from this damping of the variation ability of the awareness makes one more and more resistant till he becomes able to move his personal consciousness from his temporal body to his spiritual body. And that is the way the "immortal people die". In the moment of the physical death they permanently appear in the spiritual body, which they have built themselves and then they disappear in nature the same way as suggested by the "joga-sutra" of Patandjali.

    Thus when yoga promises immortality it never is a false promise. But it does not consider conditions on which a person not trained by yoga would take a stand.  Even though it admits the possibility of keeping all physical cells, nevertheless it still rather thinks of the second alternative, with a good knowledge that the most important and crucial things, i.e. the continuity and and solidness or impossibility to disassemble the self-consciousness, will be preserved. And when it is spoken of disappearance in the nature? As a dreaming person can have its own world, also the one who has disappeared in nature may have it. And if there are more of those who have disappeared in the nature, there are no negative accompaniments of co-existence.  The experience with restructuralization of the body and the life completely eliminates those vehement urges, which make one being very cruel to another on the plane of the physical nature. And that sure makes life very harmonic.  Indeed, once somebody really saves himself/herself from the talon of death, he knows very well that he won a prize which advises him to save the lives of others.  This responsibility cannot be neither known nor understood by somebody who has received his life from the lap of his mother, thus seemingly without any merit.

    Philosophically taken, there are two worlds, each of them is a continuum. If the reality of the empirical world ends somewhere in the area of physics, yogi will find another continuum beyond it, inside of which he can probe the real realities, only of different sizes. In this world life can be lived the same way as on the Earth, only the life conditions are better. But the yogi must be redeemed to that world. He must exert the needed effort, by which he will accomplish the insolubility of the personal self-awareness, to what the spiritual continuum reacts by revelation of the whole world of reality in a similar way as the whole physical world is being revealed to a newly born creature or child.