The word yoga, as you may know, is the same as the English word yoke and the Latin word jungare (to join). When Jesus said “My yoke is easy” he was also saying “My yoga is easy.” Yoga describes the state that is the opposite of what our psychologists call alienation, the feeling of separateness, of being cut off from being.

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When you allow thinking to stop, all [differentiation] goes away, and you find that you are in an eternal here and now. There is nowhere you are supposed to be, nothing you are supposed to do, nowhere you are supposed to go, because in order to think you must do something: you have to think.It is incredibly important to unthink at least once a day for the very preservation of intellectual life. If you do nothing but think, as you are advised by most of the academic teachers and gurus, you will have nothing to think about except thoughts.It is a very amusing game. I love to bury my nose in ancient Oriental texts, for instance. It is fun; it is like playing poker, or chess, or doing pure mathematics. But the trouble is that it gets increasingly unrelated to life, because the thinking is all words about words.There is an intellectual way to get at this kind of understanding; jñāna yoga is the approach to that which is intellectual. People often say to me, “I understand what you are talking about intellectually, but I don’t really feel it, I don’t realize it” and I am apt to reply “I wonder whether you do understand it intellectually, because if you did you would also feel it.One of the greatest intellectuals of modern time, Ludwig Wittgenstein, at the end of his greatest book Tractatus, shows you that what you always thought were major problems in life and philosophy were meaningless questions.And that those problems are solved not by giving an answer to them, but by getting rid of the problem through seeing intellectually that it is meaningless. Then you are relieved of the problem. You need no longer lie awake nights wondering what is the meaning of life, what it is all about. Simply because it is not about anything. It is about itself.And so Wittgenstein ends by saying, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

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