Gimme a group hug you glorious goonies of goodness! In an effort to avoid yet another post about grief and trudging through it with a sick sense of humor and an air of having been through worse while remembering that nothing is permanent and things tend to change for the better in my life, I am beginning a new series of posts called Yama Yoga Story Time.
“What the fuck is a Yama Yoga?” I hear you ask from the future as I type this at the last minute on a Wednesday. Yama Yoga, or “Death facing Combination” is an aspect in Jyotish (Vedic astrology) in which Mars and Saturn are conjoined or even just in close aspect to one another. If you want to know more, check out this article or this article by folks who knows a fuck load more about jyotish than I ever will. The gist is, when Saturn and Mars are in tight aspect to one another it gives the person the ability to, paraphrasing Austin Coppock, calmly walk through the killing fields. Bruce Lee had it, David Lynch has it, Madam Blavatsky had it, and, incidentally, my dad, both my brothers, two of my best friends, my wife, and I all have the Yama Yoga.
So what does that mean practically? In my experience, it means that my life has been filled with some gobsmackingly gnarly, fucked up shit which is mostly my own fault and, so far, I have strolled through it without losing my mind (permanently) and kept a lovely, gallows sense of humor about the whole thing. The stories I laugh at while regaling customers at the bar with my past exploits often result in looks of dumbstruck terror pimp-slapped across the faces of those within earshot. I know right away who I will really get along with because they’re the ones who will laugh with me and immediately serve up some fresh tales of horror from their own lives. And why not? It all happened, we can either laugh and rejoice in the fact that we’re still here, or cry and lament our past actions. It’s an easy choice for me.
Another benefit of Yama Yoga is the noticeable absence of the fear of death. Neither myself nor the army of crazies to whom I am related seem to fear dying. This is not bragging, not fearing death would be a super weird thing to brag about.
I should point out that I do fear things: large spiders upon my person in the night times, large crowds sometimes, pain, suffering, and shitting myself during an ayahuasca ceremony all rank pretty high on my fear-o-meter. Death, however, just seems like the gateway into the next phase, and a fucking cool adventure to be sure.
The folks I know with Yama Yoga are keenly aware of the impermanence of life and of everything else, they’ve endured pain and trauma that is genuinely shocking to the average bear, and, instead of adopting suicidal, nihilistic, or sociopathic tendencies, most of them choose to celebrate the joy of whatever is happening now and revel in the beautiful impermanence of everything. We’re kind of a fucked up cult of zen junkies making the world brighter and evoking joy in the present, by sharing, with a smile, how much worse it has been and how beautiful it is now. That sounds pretty self-aggrandizing and definitely makes us out to be more stable than most of us are. That said, those who have suffered the lowest lows tend to more easily find the inherent, ecstatic beauty in the mundane.
And then there's Mark Zuckerberg...
But try to imagine how bad it must have hurt when he pulled his own living brain out of his useless, fleshy-fleshy meat body and wired it up into whatever he is now. Or, holy shit, try to imagine how bad just living as a human must have hurt for him to have turned himself into a robot in the first place. I have experienced some very serious pain and trauma but it had never even occurred to me that cutting open my skull, ripping out my brain, and plopping it into a rejected prototype for a real Data-from-Star-Trek cyborg was an option. That’s Yama Yoga.
We also tend to spin a good line of bullshit and are fairly adept at justifying our choices or making the best of a situation that could only be described as totally fucked.
That seems like a solid place to leave it, images of a cryogenically frozen, brainless, Zucker-body floating peacefully in your heads. Until next time when we will likely dive into some actual Yama Yoga Stories.
Be well you crazy fucks. I love you all.