Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Cowboy Yogi, Part 2- The Tantric Lone Ranger and Atmamya Kosha

In the last post I discussed classical yoga, the five Koshas, and the ability of the Rawhide Kid to exist daily in the Anandamaya Kosha.  Today, however, is all about Tantra.  Whereas classical yoga is about transcending the world, Tantric yoga rejects this dualistic philosophy and sees that world as something to be lived in, not transcended.  The physical world is something that we are intimately connected to, not something to be rejected or moved past.  Because of this, in tantric yoga philosophy there are two additional layers of the human experience that go deeper than the classical Koshas.  Once one has found the Anandamaya Kosha, the pure space inside where our perfect self lives, we can go further to the Cittamaya Kosha.  Here we start to understand where our perfect self exists in relation to the world.  Yet deeper, there is the pure awareness of Atmamya Kosha, where we realize that our perfect selves are not alone, and that we share a connection to the possible perfect selves, perhaps even the divinity, that exist in each of us across the world.  This is the enlightenment of the Lone Ranger. 

No matter the incarnation, whether in film, radio, or comic, there is a sense of urgency in the Lone Ranger’s actions.  This urgency is not a need for action, but a need to do on behalf mankind.  The Lone Ranger creed, devised in the old radio days of the character (and copied in this post) clearly lay out an almost holy responsibility to the greater world, suggesting an understanding of the deep connection between us all as found in the two innermost Koshas of Tantra.  Indeed, the Lone Ranger’s mask sheds his individuality in favor of integration with humankind.

The Lone Ranger has achieved a deeper awareness than the Rawhide Kid, moving past the Anandamaya Kosha through to the Atmamya Kosha.  By connecting to the wider world, his worth as a hero far exceed his talents.  While I will always take joy in the Rawhide Kid, it the example set by the Lone Ranger that informs my day, and my yoga practice.

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