The Hopi Medicine Wheel: A representation of all peoples of the world uniting as one.

Commit to Your Humanity

Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.

The Hopis say we are living in the age of animals. The age of the human, like the age of Aquarius, is about to begin. The Hopi terminology is helpful for highlighting the first of Yogi Bhajan’s Sutras for the Aquarian Age.

Animals are ruled by instinct. Abstract thoughts – hope, charity, justice – do not occur to them. (Of course there are examples of humanistic behavior throughout the animal kingdom, but the brains of God’s creatures are very much different, in terms of both hard-wiring and actual cognitive capabilities.)

That said, the teachings of the ancients hold that this animalistic orientation is applicable to humans in the world today. While certainly capable of “understanding,” people tend to see truth as something that happens to them, originating from outside. Thus terms that convey the sense of knowledge allude to its externality – one “grasps” the situation or perceives a “kernel of truth.”

Destroying this model of understanding about understanding was a large part of Yogi Bhajan’s project on Earth. His approach to this project was different at different times, but it was with this aim that he insisted on the power of experience, on teaching in order to master a subject, and even faking it to make it. None of those ideas are exclusively Yogi Bhajan’s, but the way he used them, they were subtle suggestions for a profound reorientation of the psyche. As evinced in the sutra, the mind was to be guided by the heart.

To return to the Hopi concept, Yogi Bhajan is telling us how to adapt to the “Age of the Human.” The secret, he says, is compassion.

Within the word compassion itself are component parts necessary to effect this acclimatization to the new age. “Com-passion” is the psycho-emotional bond shared by more than one person. So the word itself contains the proposition that we balance head and heart. In the sutra, compassion is imparted as a lens, through which understanding takes place.

At first glance, the sutra also appears to offer a solution and a consequence. But it is really, like a poem, a well-hidden statement of fact. The solution, engaging in compassion, developing the relationship between head and heart, involves serious commitment. Why? Because eventually, there will have to be a reconciliation between thought and deed.

Faith, in the age of the animal, was a bridge too far, the promise of redemption – again, oriented to change from the outside. The sutra is a closer bridge. Because compassion implies a singular relating to a whole, as a core way of being, it implies constant remembrance, a bowing of the head so that the heart may rule in any given situation.

The attempt to live this sutra is an experience of oneness. Engage this commitment through yoga with “Balancing the Head and Heart,” in Kundalini Yoga for Youth and Joy. During the kriya, and anytime, listen to Mul Mantra, on Shashara, by Sada Sat Kaur. Its rhythm, like Yogi Bhajan’s sutra, is an affirmation.

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