A Visionary is a Yogi!
Why? Because Yoga is the only basic ethical theory that isn’t driven by outcome.
At first glance this might seem confusing; wouldn’t a Visionary need to have a clear vision of the future they are creating? Or at least some end/goal that they are working towards?
But if you think about it more deeply, you’ll notice that you can only ever imagine what you already know.
According to Yoga, we inherit limitations in real time through the external world and at all times through our internal karmic baggage.
If you project what is possible through this lens of limitation, the outcomes that you see will be naturally constrained by (a) your past and present choices, and (b) the external environment as it currently is.
This is not so much a ‘vision’ as it is ‘making the best of the way things already are.’
To dig into this further, it is helpful to appreciate that there are four basic ways of deciding a right choice and good outcome:
- Virtue Ethics: good character causes right choice
- Consequentialism: good outcome justifies right choice
- Deontology: specific choices are right based on rules/duty which justify a good outcome
- Yoga/Bhakti: right choosing causes good outcome
Yoga doesn’t anchor you to any particular outcome. In fact, it doesn’t even ask you to consider good outcomes other than to acknowledge that as you perfect your practice of right choosing, good outcomes will naturally come about.
This is why Yoga is so radical.
find out more about what yoga really is here
In this moment, I invite you to say out loud or write down a good outcome that you would like to see come about.
What are your current goals?
Go ahead! Take a moment.
I invite you to take a breath, relax your mind, and consider that..
This good outcome that you have said/written has been determined through your current lens of limitation. Meaning that it will naturally uphold the current context of where you find yourself now.
If you can only explain your choices based on your current context, you need your current context to remain the same in order to understand your choices.
This isn’t revolutionary. This is catering to the status quo. Yoga invites you to take a step back and ask: why is there a context of limitation in the first place?
The Yogi challenges authority.
Just because you have been taught that you have to operate in an oppressive system of limitation doesn’t mean it’s an enduring fact.
The Visionary realizes this, and instead of trying to achieve an end that can only be imagined within the oppressive context, they focus on right choosing in each moment – divorced from any outcome.
So what’s next?
Well if you’d like, you could choose to practice Yoga.
Free yourself from business as usual!
Free yourself from dreaming only about what you can create within the context of inherited limitation!
Yoga Sūtra II.1 describes Yoga practice – and right choosing – as devotion to the ideal of what it means to be a person: that which thrives when given its own Sovereignty.
This is the practice of being devoted to creating room for yourself so that you can live your life.
Deconstruct your inherited limitations! Own your values! Give yourself your Sovereignty.
The more you make choices based on the context of your current lens of limitation, the more your choices will support that lens.
Alternatively, the more you choose to unlearn that lens of limitation, stop identifying with your experience, and instead make choices based on devotion to Sovereignty, the more you will create space for yourself (and every other person) to thrive in a way that you couldn’t even imagine.
It can seem scary to not know where you’re going. To not have at least some idea of a specific goal.
And this is why Yoga is so revolutionary. It undermines how you were socialized to think and make choices. Again, the Yogi critically questions why we were socialized to think that way by authority. Possible answers:
- Because that way of thinking creates distress and illness, making it easier to oppress people.
- Because that way of thinking allows people to be manipulated and controlled.
- Because that way of thinking has people naturally upholding the status quo.
Read more about anti-oppression work here
Yoga is often depicted as a path; a method of getting from point A to point B.
This is ahistorical.
Yoga is creating space for yourself (and every other person) to abide.
There is no where to get to.
This is the space of the Visionary.
This post is influenced by the work of: