An Introduction To Language Yoga
By Sarah Peterson
Edited by Aaron Watson
Humanity is more globally connected today than ever before due to technological advances such as the internet. Why is it then that I feel increasingly alienated and disconnected from my fellow humans as well as divorced from Mother Nature? I feel alone and separated, lacking intimacy and belonging. When I examine the larger society, I see that it too is divided, typically along lines of race, gender, politics, and income. The population seems to be polarized into different camps that cannot find common ground. Where is all this division coming from? Why can't we unite? In a moment of great insight I found that my language reflects this division in my culture. Language is the key because my words become thoughts, my thoughts become actions, and my actions end up shaping the reality in which I reside.
My language is very differentiating, much of it being formed around pairs of opposites: good or evil, light or dark, white or black, male or female, republican or democrat, wealthy or poor, spirit or nature, patriot or terrorist, us or them, etc. These pairs of opposites reflect my deeply entrenched dualistic perception of reality, but under it all I know in my heart that the ultimate truth is oneness, singularity, and unity. On some level I understand that I am part of one species, inhabiting one precious planet, sharing one destiny; I also know that embodying this unity is imperative to the survival of my species. Within me, like all individuals, lies a capacity to connect with all things…but how can I realize this ultimate union when the words I use to communicate it are derived from a language rooted in division? The problem is not necessarily found in polarity itself, which is inherent in the natural world, but rather in the valuing of one side over the other. My theory is that the habitual celebration of light and suppression of dark is the root cause of many problems facing society today such as racism, sexism, social inequality, environmental degradation, and perpetual war.
This paper was written to introduce a psychological/spiritual tool that utilizes a shift in language to help both the individual mind and the collective consciousness transcend the pairs of opposites and heal the fundamental division plaguing our world. The tool being introduced is Language Yoga, and the movement that its societal integration will galvanize is I'm Calling Myself Out! So, sit back and enjoy, you are about to embark on a journey that will delve into psychology and language, teach you about Language Yoga and spiritual paradoxes, and explain how to integrate this potent tool into both your individual life as well as the collective consciousness. Enjoy!
Let's take a moment to explore how dualistic language is integrated into the human psyche. Each individual upon birth is thrust into this world, vulnerable and in need of nurturing; we strive for acceptance as a matter of survival. Using subtle and overt signs coded in the language of our parents, peers, teachers, and bosses, we learn what parts of our personalities are considered "good," and what parts are deemed "bad." The celebrated aspects are then highlighted and develop into the ego ideal, while the shunned aspects are hidden away in the subconscious, developing into the shadow.
Shadow is a psychological term that was first introduced in 1912 by the Swiss psychotherapist/psychiatrist, Carl Jung, founder of analytic psychology. He used this term to describe all aspects of the human psyche that operate outside the light of consciousness or ego. He noted that the shadow often contains the less desired aspects of the individuals personality, parts of the self that have been suppressed during development, but Jung also concluded that the shadow can include positive characteristics, especially in individuals with low self-esteem. Jung felt that the shadow is not inherently bad, as a matter of fact he viewed its essence as "pure gold," explaining that this hidden aspect of self contains vast amounts of life energy.
Outside the light of my consciousness, shoved deep into the basement of my being, my shadow's antics go unnoticed, becoming increasingly intimidating and powerful. My shadow yearns to break out, to be acknowledged and accepted, but it remains hidden, just out of the reach of my conscious mind. Bruce Lipton, founder of Epigenetics, explains that "The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors. Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs." Or as Aleksandr Sozhenistm, the revolutionary Russian novelist wrote in The Gulag Archipelago, "In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future."
These buried aspects of our nature need to be exposed, to be revealed. The way that this feat is accomplished is through projections. Projections happen on both the individual level as well as the collective level. Eminent Swiss psychoanalyst, Marie-Louise von Franz, Carl Jung's most influential living disciple, explains the concept of projections in the book Man and His Symbols when she wrote,
"If people observe their own unconscious tendencies in other people, this is called a ‘projection.’ Political agitation in all countries is full of such projections, just as much as the backyard gossip of little groups and individuals. Projections of all kinds obscure our view of our fellow men, spoiling its objectivity, and thus spoiling all possibility of genuine human relationships."
Everything in my subconscious mind is projected out into the external world, where it doesn't threaten my ego ideal and is therefore safer to observe. Edward C. Whitmont, author, psychiatrist, and founder of the C.G. Jung Institute in New York, further explains this phenomena in his book The Symbolic Quest when he wrote,
"Ask someone to give a description of the personality type which he finds most despicable, most unbearable and hateful, and most impossible to get along with, and he will produce a description of his own repressed characteristics—a self description which is utterly unconscious and which therefore always and everywhere tortures him as he receives its effect from the other person. These very qualities are so unacceptable to him precisely because they represent his own repressed side; only that which we cannot accept within ourselves do we find impossible to live with in others."  
I can get a glimpse of my personal shadow by examining the qualities that I loathe and detest in other people. These "other" people are my scapegoats, the sacrificial lambs which I slay in order to protect my ego from my own inner darkness. In addition to a personal shadow, I am also part of a collective shadow, which is the cumulative effect of a population which habitually suppresses their dark nature. In the book Meeting the Shadow, authors Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams explain that,
"The collective shadow—human evil—is staring back at us virtually everywhere: It shouts from newsstand headlines; it wanders our streets, sleeping in doorways, homeless; it squats in X-rated neon-lit shops on the peripheries of our cities; it embezzles our monies from the local savings and loan; it corrupts power-hungry politicians and perverts our systems of justice; it drives invading armies through dense jungles and across desert sands; it sells arms to mad leaders and gives the profits to reactionary insurgents; it pours pollution through hidden pipes into our rivers and oceans, and poisons our food with invisible pesticides." 
Essentially most of the problems in the world are a manifestation of the collective shadow which arises due to the refusal on the part of each individual to acknowledge the dark aspects that lurk within. The scapegoats of the collective are individuals or groups of people who we blame for the problems that we see in the world around us. Immigrants, people of color, drug addicts, homeless people, politicians, CEOs, and the upper 1% are all examples of scapegoats who are persecuted to take the burden off of the individual. We wage wars against these scapegoats in an unconscious effort to banish the darkness that dwells within.
In the United States we have a war for pretty much everything, there's a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a war on terror, and a war on crime. Sam Keen, a philosopher and author, insights in his book Faces of the Enemy that, "perhaps, more than anything else, the wars we engage in are compulsive rituals, shadow dramas in which we continually try to kill those parts of ourselves we deny and despise."  Keen also wrote that, "in the image of the enemy, we will find the mirror in which we may see our own face most clearly." 
Basically, the pairs of opposites in my language are internalized, the light aspects of my nature develop into my ego ideal, while my dark aspects are hidden away in my shadow. My suppressed shadow is then externalized or projected out into the world where I can wage war on it. Jung emphasized the importance of facing the shadow when he said, "modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this, he is obligated to struggle with evil, to confront his shadow, to integrate the devil. There is no other choice."
In delving into pairs of opposites (see figure on right) I started to see a pattern emerge. The dark aspects, which are suppressed on the individual level, are also suppressed or oppressed on the societal level. In the Tao, the black side of the yin-yang symbol represents the feminine/yin, while the white side represents the masculine/yang. By celebrating the light (white) aspects of my nature and suppressing my internal dark (black) aspects I have inadvertently been perpetuating the oppression of women, dark-skinned individuals, poor people, sick people, as well as the natural world. This means that I am unwittingly contributing to sexism, racism, social inequality, environmental degradation, and even war. In addition, this overexposure to the light has taught me to celebrate egotism, narcissism, greed, envy, and lustfulness, all of which are dominant qualities in modern culture. The idea that I am perpetuating sexual, racial, and income inequalities doesn't sit well with me. I want to change, but change is difficult because this pattern is happening subconsciously.
In order to shift this subconscious pattern I must look at how I use my language to externalize and avoid taking ownership. Since my shadow, or subconscious mind, is revealed through projections, it is imperative that I look at the pronouns that I use to communicate. Two pronouns which are popular in both the written and spoken word, are "we" and "you."
I cannot count the number of times that I have read about what we need to do to in order to save the world. I call this collective we the bandwagon we. Sure we might need to change our consumption of finite resources – but I, the individual, am off the hook because in order to make a difference everyone needs to change, not just me. We language allows me to think that my behavior is inconsequential—changing just myself would be futile, so why bother? It's easy to hide behind the bandwagon we, and it's advantageous because it allows me to talk all day long without having to take any ownership of my own words or actions. But what happens when I don't agree with the we? The collective unifying we quickly divides into an us versus them scenario, which ends up breeding more division.
Next let's examine the use of the pronoun you. You is interesting, it is the second person formal tense in the English language, the familiar tense, thou, has been dropped. This formal you tense is excessively used in our modern world. You is the go-to pronoun in marketing and advertising because it works well with suggestion, inducing a type of hypnotic state in the mind of the consumer. You need this product! The hypnosis must have worked on me, because while sitting in meditation I came to realize that the voice inside my head uses this pronoun when it talks to me. This voice says things like, "What were you thinking?" Apparently I have actually come to identify myself as you instead of as I…which I think is pretty twisted. Somewhere along the way I have come to identify as the second person formal in my own life. No wonder I feel powerless to initiate change in my reality, I'm not the star of my own show, rather the submissive supporting actress.
We, you, he, she, they, our, and even it are all pronouns which allow me to externalize what is going on within. I can scapegoat other individuals or the collective without ever having to take ownership for my thoughts, words, or actions. Esteemed lecturer and psychotherapist, Rollo May, touched on both pairs of opposites and pronouns in his book Power and Innocence when he said,
"The awareness that human existence is both joy and woe is prerequisite to accepting responsibility for the effects of one's intentions. My intentions will sometimes be evil – the dragon or the Sphinx in me will often be clamoring and will sometimes be expressed – but I ought to do my best to accept it as part of myself rather than project it on you." 
Edward C. Whitmont also addressed the importance of pronouns in his book The Symbolic Quest when he wrote, "to the extent that I have to be right and good, he, she, and they become the carriers of all the evil which I fail to acknowledge within myself."  I become a potent and responsible member of society when I stop projecting my darkness onto the world around me and instead take ownership for it. To do this, I need to come into a deeper knowledge of myself. In his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung stated that,
"Therefore, the individual who wishes to have an answer to the problem of evil, as it is posed today, has need, first and foremost, of self-knowledge, that is, the utmost possible knowledge of his own wholeness. He must know relentlessly how much good he can do, and what crimes he is capable of, and must beware of regarding one as real and the other as illusion. Both are elements within his nature, and both are bound to come to light in him should he wish—as he ought—to live without self-deception or self-delusion."  
Does knowing my dark side result in my inner evil coming out? Liliane Frey-Rohn, one of Jung's closest collaborators, addressed this idea in the 1965 Jungian journal Spring, when she wrote,
"Contrary to the general opinion that consciousness of the shadow constellates and strengthens evil, one finds repeatedly that just the opposite is true: knowledge of one's own personal shadow is the necessary requirement for any responsible action, and consequently for any lessening of moral darkness in the world. This holds good to an even greater extent in relation to the collective shadow, to the archetypal figure of the adversary, who compensates the collective consensus of the time. Consciousness of the archetypal shadow is essential not only for individual self-realization, but also for that transformation of creative impulses within the collective upon which depends the preservation of both individual and collective life. The individual cannot detach himself from his connection with society; responsibility towards oneself always includes responsibility towards the whole. One can perhaps even risk the statement: Whatever consciousness the individual struggles for and is able to transmit benefits the collective." 
Language Yoga utilizes linguistic translations, meditation techniques, and mental accumulations to bring awareness to the personal and collective shadow, and to transform human consciousness out of separation and into unity. Yoga in Sanskrit means "to join" or "to unite," Language Yoga is a tool and spiritual practice which uses language to join the individual with the underlying energy which unites all beings together as one. Language Yoga was revealed to my partner, Aaron Watson, and me in the days following our 2012 Winter Solstice ceremony. Six months into working with this tool we learned that it has linguistic roots that reach back to the ancient Olmec, Aztec, and Maya civilizations. Ushered in during the transition of Great Cycles on the Mayan calendar, Language Yoga is a tool which has the potential to transform the world as we know it, fulfilling the 2012 prophecy of a great shift and the return of Quetzalcoatl (pronounced ket-sahl-ko-ah-tl), the mythic Feathered Serpent. To me Quetzalcoatl represents the merger between bird and snake, heaven and Earth, light and dark, black and white…the Feathered Serpent transcends the pairs of opposites, which is exactly what Language Yoga works to initiate within each individual.
Let's begin with exploring translations. Doing translations is especially important during this time of social inequality because it is a method which can collapse hierarchical power structures and reinstate equality. Translations are the great equalizer. Everyone, from the CEO at the top of a corporation to the cleaning staff at the bottom, inadvertently reveal their subconscious minds through their externalizing language. Doing translations is how to level the playing field and reinstate balance on all levels.
Language Yoga translations are so logical they are almost mathematical in nature, using basic substitutions, the translations work to effectively reveal the subconscious mind which shows itself in the form of projections. There are endless amounts of material to translate—conversations, advice, emails, blogs, journals, newspapers, magazines, books, online comments, the bible, and the nightly news are all excellent sources which are packed full of projections just waiting to be revealed. For me it was initially easier, and much more fun, to do translations on media and other people's words. It took me some time to work up to translating my own material in the form of conversations, my blog, old emails, and journal entries.
Translations work by substituting externalizing nouns and pronouns like: we, you, he, she, they, our, it, other people, humanity, the world, the universe, God, and so on, with pronouns that internalize and promote ownership such as: me, myself, and I. Take the following sentence for example, "I can't stand being around Kim, she is such a gossip, she's always talking about other people behind their back." When translated this projection reveals, "I can't stand being around myself, I am such a gossip, I'm always talking about other people behind their back." Kim, in this case is serving as a scapegoat for an aspect of my nature, gossip, which I try to suppress. I'm unconsciously gossiping about Kim, while projecting my own capacity for gossip onto her. Furthermore, in this example I left the "other people" in tact to keep the point clear, but I can continue the translation further, and own that "other people" are also me, which would reveal that, "I can't stand being around myself, I am such a gossip, I'm always talking about myself behind my back." When I'm talking about other people, I'm really talking about myself, but coded in externalizing language, which means that essentially I'm talking behind my own back. Marie-Louise von Franz explains this phenomena when she wrote that,
"There is an additional disadvantage in projecting our shadow…The result is that we shall constantly (though involuntarily) do things behind our own backs that support this other side, and thus we shall unwittingly help our enemy. If, on the contrary, we realize the projection and can discuss matters without fear or hostility, dealing with the other person sensibly, then there is a chance of mutual understanding—or at least a truce."
Here is another example showing how translations work: "In order to face the problems that are dividing this world in two, we must rise up and fight global inequalities, unify the divided populous, and take responsibility for our own actions." The translation of this motivational speech reveals that, "In order to face the problems that are dividing me in two, I must rise up and fight my own inequality, unify my divided self, and take responsibility for my own actions." No more hiding behind the bandwagon we, it is time for me to examine how my own internal division is causing the inequality I see in the world around me. Change begins on the individual level, Gandhi's words when translated help me see that, "I need to be the change that I wish to see in myself." Translating my projections into a language of ownership is the key to owning my shadow, balancing my ego, and shifting my actions to transform my reality.
The second aspect of Language Yoga that I want to discuss is meditation techniques, because stilling the mind is essential to have the mental clarity to reveal my subconscious patterning. There are many meditation techniques that work with the practice of Language Yoga, but one that I will address specifically in the limited space of this paper. The technique is called puppet mind. When seated in meditation I come face to face with my puppet mind. Often I have thoughts of other people—my mind likes to review past interactions and conversations. I reconstruct past events, adding in my own narrative and judgments. The "other people" in my thoughts are the puppets that I am manipulating with my mind. The key to cutting the string which holds the puppets up is to own that I am both the puppet and the puppeteer. I translate the name of the person who I'm obsessing about, and in doing so, I own that the other person is actually me. Therefore, the illusion that is playing out in my mind is exposed. I'm the one writing the script, directing the play, playing the parts, pulling the strings, and watching the show, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this puppet show in my head is really all about me. Instead of suppressing or ignoring my thoughts, I find it helpful to engage them through translations. Like a child tugging on the pant leg of his parent, my thoughts are asking to be seen…they need something. By translating my thoughts I can gain insight into my subconscious mind and integrate these revelations into my conscious ego. From there I can cut the strings, step out of the puppet show, and return my mind to a state of stillness.
Now lets look at the third and final aspect of Language Yoga, mental accumulations. Modern science has dissected the world down to the scale of subatomic particles. Scientists rise to the top of their fields through specialization, becoming the expert on a very specific subject. It's as if the scientific community has dissected the world into tiny little pieces and become experts on these pieces, but in the process forgotten how to put the pieces back together again. Western medicine is a perfect example of this inability to see the bigger picture, it addresses disease by treating specific symptoms, showing little regard to the holistic organism. Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman in their book, Spontaneous Evolution, conclude that, "Science suggests the next step of human evolution will be marked by an awareness that we are all independent cells within a super-organism called humanity." It is time to stop taking this super-organism apart, and instead begin putting it back together. This is the aim of mental accumulations.
The Olmec civilization was the first to inhabit what is now the landmass known as Mexico. Orally the Olmec passed down their language, which evolved into Nahuatl. The Nahuatl language was spoken in Mesoamerica where the Aztec and Maya civilizations lived, Nahuatl is still spoken today in parts of Mexico. The secret of this Earth-honoring language is its recognition that the subject and the universe are one. The mestizo poet, Francisco X. Alarcon in the book, Restoring the Earth, which was written by Kenny Ausubel, speaks of the Nahuatl language. Francisco explains that, "It's a magical space where the person says, ‘I am the spoon and the coffee, and the table and the sofa, and the roof and the building.’" He goes on to clarify that, "It's not a metaphor. It's not a poetic image. It is that you are the thing. The Nahuatl language reflects another way of relating to the universe."
This powerful language was used by shamans to cast incantations. One phrase that appears in all of the spells is: nomacta nehuatl, which loosely translates to mean, "I myself." I myself…fill in the blank. I can merge myself with anything and everything that I perceive in my reality. This incantation is how I unify myself with the universe around me, and put the pieces of my fractured reality back together again. Using this phrase, nomacta nehuatl, or I myself, I can begin accumulating mass. Taking a walk through the woods I might insight, "I myself trees, I myself water, I myself little ant."
What's interesting is that science and its exploration of the elemental world has revealed that the fundamental elements which compose my form are the same as the elements which compose all life. I am made of carbon, just like the trees. Water, in the form of hydrogen and oxygen, circulates through my body, just as it flows through a stream. The foundation of that little ant's body is in many ways no different from my own. It took scientists hundreds of years to unveil this elemental unity, but ancient civilizations already understood this truth and harnessed it with linguistic incantations. Using these incantations and owning my elemental nature through mental accumulations, I connect myself with all other life on Earth.
Mental accumulations are also how I can begin to integrate the dark sides of my nature and take ownership for my actions. For example, in my country we repeatedly wage wars against the "terrorist." Here I go…I myself terrorist. My logical mind is scrambling to think of how this is not true, but when I look objectively at my actions I see that every time I drive my car, fly in a plane, use plastics…I use oil. This oil was likely obtained from waging war with other countries. In these wars innocent civilians, women, and children are killed. Sure, I didn't pull the trigger or drop the bomb, but in a way I did through my mindless consumption of this finite resource. This consciousness is hard to swallow, but it's how I can begin to take ownership for my actions and stop unconsciously perpetuating the atrocities I see in the world around me.
Mental accumulations reveal the true essence of Language Yoga, namely, it's all me. In some way or another everything and everyone in my reality is connected to me. I, like all individuals, sit at the center of my own holographic universe which I am creating with my mind. I'm the creator, so it's time to start taking ownership for my creation.
Language Yoga is a paradoxical spiritual practice which achieves the aims of most religions without the hierarchy, power structures, financial commitment, dogma, and corrupt middlemen. It allows the mind, body, and spirit to align with the underlying universal frequency of creation. In this place of alignment it is possible to balance ego, transform self-cherishing tendencies, transcend the pairs of opposites, move beyond time into the eternal now, step into unity consciousness, and realize enlightenment. I'm aware that these are lofty claims, but Language Yoga has deep ancestral roots that can support them. Language Yoga works with the opposite ideology of most religious and spiritual paths to achieve the same desired outcomes.
For example, instead of working to shed ego, Language Yoga encourages building the ego up. Doing accumulations and merging myself with the universe seems like a self-aggrandizing activity. It's true, owning that it's all me initially works to feed my ego, but something magical happens in the process. When I own that everything in my reality is me, I take away my ability to differentiate. Ego thrives on differentiation: being better, smarter, wealthier, or more attractive than other people. By including others in my definition of self, I can no longer compare myself, because I recognize that others are part of me. In this way, building my ego up results in bringing it back into balance. In addition, Language Yoga translations help me integrate my shadow with my ego. By owning both the light and dark aspects of my nature, I harmonize my conscious ego with my subconscious shadow, and become whole.
Self-centered, self-cherishing, self-righteous, and selfish are all terms that carry negative connotations, and in most religions, practitioners work to overcome this tendency towards self-worship. However, what if instead of suppressing my natural human tendency to cherish myself, I embrace the consciousness that the entire universe, and all the beings in it, are a part of me? When I do this, I begin cherishing all parts of myself, I become centered in myself instead of externalizing and projecting onto others. Suddenly my self-cherishing tendencies become a great asset for humanity and can be used to create peace and harmony on Earth.
Now to transcending pairs of opposites. It turns out that each individual is a conduit for transcending duality. This transcendence is obtained through stepping into total ownership. When I can own that I am both white and black, light and dark, male and female, republican and democrat, right and wrong, good and evil, wealthy and poor, spirit and nature, patriot and terrorist, us and them…I take the polarity of my perception and shift it into unity. Doing translations, and owning that it's all me, is how I can achieve this awakened state of consciousness. Richard B. Gregg, author of A Compass for Civilization, recognized this shift into unity by transcending opposites when he wrote, "The transcending lies in accepting the evil as well as the good, and finding a spiritual meaning and value in their combination." He also explained that, "The blending and uniting of the essential elements of the pairs of opposites makes a wholeness. The word ‘holy’ came from the word ‘whole.’" Stepping into my wholeness is obtained by taking total ownership for all parts of my reality.
Next I want to examine how it is possible to move beyond time and step into the eternal now. The word eternity is interesting, it includes both the past and the future, but it operates outside the realm of time. The best description I found of this phenomena is in Hermann Hesse's classic novel, Siddhartha. At the end of Siddhartha's spiritual journey, he reunites with his childhood friend Govinda. Govinda asks Siddhartha if he has any wisdom to impart. Siddhartha shares this insight:
"Time is not real, Govinda. I have realized this repeatedly. And if time is not real, then the dividing line that seems to lie between this world and eternity, between suffering and bliss, between good and evil, is also an illusion."
"How is that then?" asked Govinda, puzzled.
"Listen, my friend! I am a sinner and you are a sinner, but someday the sinner will be Brahma again, will someday attain Nirvana, will someday become a Buddha. Now this ‘someday’ is illusion; it is only a comparison. The sinner is not on the way to a Buddha-like state; he is not evolving; although our thinking cannot conceive things otherwise. No, the potential Buddha already exists in the sinner; his future is already there. The potential hidden Buddha must be recognized in him, in you, in everybody. The world, Govinda, is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a long path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment; every sin already carries grace within it, all small children are potential old men, all sucklings have death within them, all dying people–eternal life." By erasing the line that divides the pairs of opposites, Language Yoga helps me to understand this concept of eternity and begin to move into the present moment where perfection exists in everyone and everything, and where time is eternal.
Practicing Language Yoga is how I actively rewire my brain into unity consciousness. Through my translations I can see how most of the problems I perceive in the world are actually projections of my subconscious mind, or shadow. Translating these projections and taking ownership for what is revealed is the first step. The next step is utilizing meditation techniques to still my mind. Finally I delve into mental accumulations. I take in the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and sensations I experience, and I own them. If I see a child, I say "I myself child." If I hear a bird, I say, "I myself bird." If I taste a carrot, I say, "I myself carrot." If I smell fire, I say, "I myself fire." If I feel a breeze blow through my hair I say, "I myself wind." In this way I can use my five senses, which mold my reality, to transform my perception of reality into a unified experience of wholeness.
The downside of coming fully into this holistic understanding is that one is required to face the taboo of unity consciousness. Coming out and saying, "I am God" is enough to get one thrown into the psychiatric ward, but when I truly recognize my underlying connection with all things, that is the truth. I am God, and so is everyone else. A more balanced and potentially less threatening statement, which allows me to own both the light and dark aspects of my nature is, "I myself Feathered Serpent," or nomacta nehuatl Quetzalcoatl. Harnessing the power of both the light and dark aspects of the universe is the essence of Language Yoga.
Enlightenment is sometimes explained as the full comprehension of a situation. Using Language Yoga I am able to move past the half-truths of my polarized language and into the ultimate truth of oneness. In this state I see that both enlightenment and ignorance, Nirvana and Samsara, exist in every moment. Many religions and spiritual practices strive towards the light and suppress or deny the darkness. This light worship is seen in the emphasis on God, good, father and son, heaven, nirvana, the light, the sun, light beings, light workers, and so on. Jung has this to say about enlightenment, "One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but rather by making the darkness conscious." Language Yoga works to reveal my darkness where it can be integrated into my consciousness. It makes darkness conscious. The word enlightenment seems to represent an ideal of light, but in reality it is the knowledge that both the light and the dark in the world are divine. In the book A Compass For Civilization, Richard B. Gregg shares that Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher once said, "Good and evil are the same thing." Heraclitus understood that, "God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and famine." Language Yoga works to bring my mind into a full comprehension of all situations, the two sides to every experience, and in doing so helps me move into a state of enlightenment—a state where I can fully comprehend my situation.
In conclusion, Language Yoga is a spiritual paradox that works though the opposite means of most religions and spiritual practices. It's not about simplifying the world into light and dark, and striving for goodness, it's about embracing the holistic nature of reality however difficult that might be. Hermann Hesse in his novel, Steppenwolf, did an excellent job of explaining this spiritual path when he wrote,
You will instead embark on the longer and wearier and harder road of life. You will have to multiply many times your two-fold being and complicate your complexity still further. Instead of narrowing your world and simplifying your soul, you will have to absorb more and more of the world and at last take all of it up in your painfully expanded soul if you are to ever find peace. This is the road that Buddha and every great man has ever gone, whether consciously or not, insofar as fortune favored his quest. All births mean separation from God, the pangs of being born ever anew. The return into the All, the dissolution of painful individuation, the reunion with God means the expansion of the soul until it is able once more to embrace the All.
In an age that is witnessing the collapse of the middle class, more wealth and income inequality than any time since the 1920s, climate change accelerating, mass species extinctions, global depletion of resources, industrial catastrophes, feminine oppression, rampant racism, environmental degeneration, perpetual war, and more…it has become clear to me that a big shift needs to occur if the human species wishes to continue residing on this precious planet. My intention for writing this paper is to share Language Yoga, which I believe is a catalyst capable of setting off a reaction—triggering the shift out of separation and into unity. Through utilizing this powerful linguistic tool I set off an internal reaction, instead of suppressing my inner darkness I integrate it, and therefore instead of oppressing and scapegoating disenfranchised individuals and groups, I integrate them, I make room for them at the table. The elements for this shift are already in place, people are looking for a way to unify, all that is needed now is this linguistic spark.
During these degenerative times, there are whispers rising up in the throats of the people, these whispers speak words of revolution. This revolution will not be successfully accomplished through violence towards one another nor through casting a vote in corrupt political systems. Instead this revolution will be achieved through enlightened anarchy, a philosophy introduced by Gandhi. Enlightened anarchy occurs when each individual steps into the position of power in their own lives, becoming their own ruler. This self-governing cuts the legs out from underneath corrupt government and corporate power structures, it shifts the power away from the elite and onto the individual. Language Yoga is a tool to empower people and inspire enlightened anarchy by transforming language out of externalizations and into ownership. When I come into total ownership of myself, I step into self control, and begin regulating my own actions. I take control of my own life.
Hopefully by this point in the paper I have successfully impressed upon the reader the immense potential that Language Yoga has for addressing many of the problems that the world community currently faces. The question then becomes, how can this potent tool effectively be integrated into the global consciousness? I believe that some of the same outlets that have been used to suppress consciousness, such as media and marketing, can also be used to liberate, awaken, and inspire people. I propose the use of technology, movies, music, and media as methods to integrate this tool. Imagine what would happen if this tool for translation went viral and everyone started calling out each other's suppressed shadows. It would make room for both the personal and collective subconscious to be openly expressed and integrated…a mass psychology experiment would ensue. If most problems in the world are a manifestation of the collective shadow, then being able to reveal the shadow and begin collectively healing it is how we can address these problems at the root.
I painted the image below around the time of the 2012 Winter Solstice. I envision this image being used as the visual expression of the I'm Calling Myself Out! movement. Sometimes I feel isolated and alone, the idea is that when I see this image it will be a reminder that I am not alone, rather intimately connected to all other beings on this planet and beyond. As a peaceful form of social disobedience, I would like to see this image, in the form of a sticker, stuck all over cities and towns. I want to see it stuck on advertisements, over logos, and on car bumpers.
I'm Calling Myself Out! is the tag line for this movement because the act of doing a translation is exactly that. I'm calling out my infinite self, that part of my nature which is connected to all other beings. I believe that once this movement infiltrates the main stream it will galvanize the population. United we will be able to face the future together and work as a united whole.
In the book Meeting the Shadow, Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams discuss the value of humor in revealing the shadow. They write that, "Although we cannot gaze at it directly, the shadow does appear in daily life. For example, we meet it in humor—such as dirty jokes or slapstick antics—which express our hidden, inferior, or feared emotions. When we observe closely that which strikes us as funny—such as someone slipping on a banana peel or referring to a taboo body part—we discover that the shadow is active." They also share that, "it's usually the shadow self who laughs at jokes." I'm interested in working with comedians to use translations as material in stand up routines. I would also like to help a comedian to develop a show around translating externalizations in the media…which are often comedic gold. I have found Fox News to provide some of the most comical and revealing translations. Humor will likely be the most effective avenue for spreading this idea. When this tool hits the mainstream, the collective will embark on a group psychology experiment of epic proportions. Let's just say comic relief is going to be needed in a big way!
I see the Language Yoga Cultural Healing Center being establishe. This center will serve as the physical hub around which this movement can begin revolving. In creating a space which can nurture this consciousness and teach it to the public, I hope to be able to take this movement to the next level. Language Yoga is a portal which opens up into a vast expanse of revelations. This paper is only scratching the surface of what the Language Yoga practice reveals. The Language Yoga Cultural Healing Center would be the container for delving deeper into these insights and solidifying them where they can then be shared with the world.
In conclusion, language is formed around differentiation and divided into pairs of opposites. This polarized language results in a fractured self. The celebrated, or light, aspects are integrated into the ego ideal––while the dark aspects are suppressed, developing into the shadow. This shadow is then projected out into the world through the use of externalizing nouns and pronouns. Language Yoga translates these externalizing words into internalizing pronouns which promote ownership. By taking ownership for that which I project, I can reveal my subconscious shadow and begin to integrate it into my conscious ego. When I stop suppressing my inner darkness, I can also stop unconsciously oppressing the feminine/dark-skinned/poor/natural aspects of the external world.
The idea behind the I'm Calling Myself Out! movement is to unify the polarity that exists within each human mind. By owning my dark side I come into wholeness within. This wholeness and unity then ripples out into the world around me. I believe that when this linguistic tool goes viral and seeps into the collective consciousness, it will create a drastic shift capable of bringing together a divided world. Our unified population will then be capable of addressing the issues that plague this precious planet and transition from a state of degeneration into a state of healing.
Language Yoga is also a spiritual practice. Born out of this culture and this time, it is perfectly suited to address the problems that the Western world is currently facing. Language Yoga works to awaken the consciousness of an underlying unity from which all life has originated and will return. This is the spiritual apparatus which will allow humanity to awaken to the understanding that we are all cells residing in the body of a singular organism. Language Yoga helps the individual embody not just the finite cell, but also the infinite body.
The idea is to integrate this language tool and spiritual practice into the mainstream culture where it can enter into the collective consciousness. Through utilizing the internet, mainstream media, music, marketing, comedy, and the Language Yoga Cultural Healing Center, this idea can reach a global audience and catalyze a shift on a global scale.
Alright reader, now that you have gotten the Language Yoga download, what are you going to do with it? If you let it, this tool will completely transform your reality, but you have to be a willing participant in this shift. If you are willing, then the best way to start is by integrating this tool into your personal life by actually doing translations, meditations, and accumulations. Another way to help spread this idea is to share this paper with someone who you think is ready for Language Yoga, an online edition can be found on our website (LanguageYoga.org). Get more people on board, then start playing with this tool together.
Thank you for taking the time to read this paper. I know your time is valuable, and this paper is lengthy! I'm sharing it because I truly believe that Language Yoga has the potential to unify the population and transform our current reality out of destruction and into healing. Please join me in using this potent tool and helping share it with the world.
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* This paper is intended for personal and educational uses only as permission for the quotes has not been granted by the associated individuals or publishers.
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Sarah Peterson & Aaron Watson