So this process of yoga is really to bring a person to this platform of actual spiritual realization, to begin to really explore the very nature of life itself. The understanding that is taught in all of the yoga texts is that within this universe, within this world that we know, there are actually only two fundamental types of energy. One is called matter and the other one is known as spirit.

Matter has very specific characteristics. It is dull, meaning it is not vibrant, I mean look at a stone. Can you get any more dull than a stone or a piece of cement? (Audience laughter) This is matter. And the living being, which is the source of life, the source of all life energy…

Matter has very specific characteristics and the particle of life, or spirit, also has unique and specific characteristics. One of the characteristics of life is consciousness or awareness. Matter, there is no such thing. And a very amazing thing happens when these two things come into very close proximity. When you take a living being and you clothe it in matter, that is, it has a material body, matter takes on completely different characteristics. You see things like growth, you see natural biological processes occurring in the presence of life and when that life particle is removed we see what we know as death and we see matter begin to revert to much more basic constituent parts. It really completely breaks down.

There is a very deep and a wonderful science on how this is going on. The living being actually has two bodies - a subtle body which is not visible to the eyes, and a gross material body. The subtle body is made up of what is called the false ego, the intelligence and the mind. The gross body is made up the five gross material elements and according to the laws of karma people will accept different types of bodies and suffer from this common ailment of thinking, “Whatever body I have got on, that's me.”

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