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Yoga Oneness, Panpsychism, & Collective Self Actualization


Table of Contents


1.0 Thinking Divergently

1.1 The Importance of Diversity of Thought

2.0 Yoga Oneness & Roses by Another Name

2.1 Welcome to the NEW Jungle - with renewable "fun and games"

2.2 A declaration of Sovereignty for The Planet & All Life Forms 

3.0 What is Yoga Oneness?

3.1 An introduction to Panpsychism

4.0 The Link Between Yoga Oneness, Hinduism, and Panpsychism

4.1 Reconciling Maslow's Hierarchy with Pansychism

4.2 The Relationship between Consciousness & Self Actualization 

5.0 Collective Self Actualization As A Socioeconomic Model






For this post, I wanted to have a little fun.  


I wanted to expand the paradigm of conventional thought. Everyone talks about freedom of speech, but the precursor to speech is thought.  And at least for now, we always have freedom of thought.  


1.0 Thinking Divergently

Yet when it comes to truly divergent thinking, so many of us are either unwilling or incapable.  Why? 


Why do some many of us herd ourselves into predefined boxes, on our own free will?







1.1 The Importance of Diversity of Thought


At L'Aquila Active, we embrace diversity of all kinds - whether it be gender, race, sexuality, religion, creed etc. but......


The sad reality is that without diversity of THOUGHT, all other forms of diversity are meaningless.


So for this post, I ask you to keep all of your preconceived notions at the door, and come as you are, but with an open mind.


And more importantly, an open heart.  


“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....”

― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good


2.0 Yoga Oneness & Roses by Another Name


Continuing our theme of bridging the gap between mysticism and science, we wanted to explore the Yoga concept of "Oneness" and compare it to similar schools of thought throughout multiple religions, cultures, and philosophies.  Specifically for this post, we will compare Yoga oneness and Hindu theology to panpsychism. 


Finally, we will compare these theologies and philosophies with modern psychology, and create a new unified theory of "collective self actualization" which we believe has the possibility of becoming a new school of thought to upgrade our existing of form of capitalism which we call "empathetic capitalism."  


It's NOT entirely unique, although we really do believe we've come up with some novel points and specifically the environmental integration of empathetic capitalism in regards to climate and sustainability.  



2.1 Welcome to the NEW Jungle - with renewable "fun and games"

In our model, the planet is a renewable source that must be protected rather than treated as a global garbage dump. 


That goes for all forms of animal and planet life, too.  And of course, people. Especially those people in developing countries and the women and children often exploited, oppressed, and left behind. 



2.2 A declaration of Sovereignty for The Planet & All Life Forms 


We call it the 3 P's. 


Protect People.

Protect Non-Peoples (all life, plants and animals).   

Protect Planet.  


Ultimately, it was this vision of the global alignment of people, planet, and all life that brought L'Aquila Active from Pinocchio into a real boy.  


3.0 What is Yoga Oneness?


According to Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi is the Director of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, "The word 'Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root 'Yuj', meaning 'to join' or 'to yoke' or 'to unite'"


In Hindu theology, this is the unification of the individual soul with the "connected" or universal soul.  


 Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda explains this best when he states, "Yoga means the union of the individual spirit soul, the atma, with the Supreme Spirit, the Paramatma."


In many ways, this has to do with consciousness itself at its foundation.  The idea that perhaps, the entire universe is "conscious" (albeit, in a very different way from us), and we are not disconnected from this "source," but rather we are just a subjective interpretation of universal consciousness.


Alan Watts, a famous British philosopher, explains this far more eloquently than I ever could:


“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”


3.1 An introduction to Panpsychism


The theory of panpsychism tries to explain and explore such grandiose and esoteric theories, and it is in many ways, the first western explanation of a concept that likely originated in the east.  


"Pan", which means "all" in Greek, and 'psyche" which refers to the "mind or soul" in greek, are aptly fitting as a description of panpsychism philosophy.

  For the panpsychist believes that whether human, non-human, or non-living entities - that they all follow the same underlying principles.  In short, this principle can best be expressed  as: 


ALL THINGS are "of the mind."


 What does "of the mind" mean?  


In many ways, it is a "vague" attempt to describe consciousness itself.

Panpsychists believe that all matter is conscious in varying degrees, and that more complex beings, like humans, consequently have a more complex and intricate form of consciousness.


It is vague, partially, because it's meant to be. It tries to be a meta-theory, almost like space-time and gravity itself act as a governing force for all celestial bodies.  


David Skrbina from the University of Michigan explains further:

"Panpsychism, in itself, is not a theory of mind per se, because it does not in general give an account of the precise nature of mind, nor of how it relates to material things. Rather, it is a meta-theory; it is a theory about theories, a framework which says: However mind is to be conceived, it applies, in some sense, to all things."



4.0 The Link Between Yoga Oneness, Hinduism, and Panpsychism

In so many ways, I find the Hindu version of the universe as well as the panpsychismic view as quite similar.   Similar to Hindu theology, panpsychism tries to "unite" the material world of things and the immaterial world of the mind.  


They believe that generally, all matter in the universe has inherent and intrinsic properties of consciousness within, that there is a unity or focus that  separates it from the whole of consciousness, and finally that (in most cases) it is part of a collective whole.


In many respects, applying both the Hindu theology and similar panpsychism views of the world to PEOPLE resonates with me. 


It may be hard for me to think of a rock as a conscious entity, but I can certainly agree that each individual human is born with an inherent sentience and consciousness, yet we are all very different and unique.  Similarly, although individuals, we are part of a collective whole.


Bringing in modern psychology might help us flesh this out further.  


4.1 Reconciling Maslow's Hierarchy with Pansychism


I'd like to blend and "westernize" that concept of individual/collective soul unification of Hinduism and the vague meta-theory of panpsychism through an allegorical and metaphorical interpretation of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  


In other words, I'd like to blend or de-mystify the concept of Yoga Oneness by using modern day psychology.  


What is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?


 I think it's fairly straightforward, but the goal is to truly self actualize, which is at the top of the pyramid.  To get there, we must climb all the other steps of the pyramid, and if we are lucky we can skip a couple of steps, especially if we are born in a wealthy country and to loving and into a loving and financially stable family.  


Maslow simply defines "self - actualization" as "the full realization of one's potential" and of one's "true self.


To me, this really means falling in love with the process of becoming the true imagination of yourself.  It's a never ending process throughout life where we continue to grow, and although there are commonalities overall, it's largely a unique and individual path.


4.2 The Relationship between Consciousness & Self Actualization 


We also believe that consciousness, especially the expansion of expression of consciousness, is intricately linked with self actualization.  


 A truly conscious human being is usually self actualized, and a truly self actualized human being is also usually very conscious.  



 However, when you look at the state of the world today, how many of us are self actualized or self actualizing?  How many are even close?


Not many.  


The Sad State of the World today consists of huge wealth inequality and perhaps equally large (and perhaps even more important) value, virtue, and fulfillment inequality. 



5.0 Collective Self Actualization As A Socioeconomic Model


So here is our ultimate question:


 Can we help each other self actualize? 


This is what is known as collective self actualization. 


What if......we designed our entire soci-economic world around helping our community self actualize? 


And then set goals and created rewards through taxation reductions and subsidies for individuals, businesses, and governmental agencies that helped society achieve these goals?


Would people be happier? Less depressed, less anxious, less stressed?


Would incomes go up? Could crime go down?  


Would we stop our endless cycle of voting for disingenuous and corporate bought and sold politicians?


Would businesses start to see the fulfillment of their consumers and society as a whole as the best way to protect their brand, profits, and shareholder value in the long term? 


And, can we achieve this through a minimal waste economy that is focused on renewable energy and a circular economy?


  Collectively, COULD we create a  government and regulatory environment for all businesses that sees ALL life and the planet as a whole as valuable stakeholders?


The way I see it, the only way we are going to get out of this mess is to make more money getting out than staying in.  


And in Part II, we are going to break down the numbers and show just how much money can be saved, and how much can be made for individuals, governments, and businesses. 


Stayed Tuned, 


At L'Aquila Active!



Part II......The Second Flood (of Consciousness)....washing away the "-isms" and "phobias"


Coming Soon! 










Jonathan O'Donnell
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