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Date Posted: 07:56
Author: Anonymous - 12 Oct 2001
Subject: Re: Yogananda's "Everlasting Youth" Lecture
In reply to: Eponymous - 7 Oct 2001 's message, "Yogananda's "Everlasting Youth" Lecture" on 07:55

Here is a short excerpt from Yogananda's original Praeceptum lessons on Everlasting Youth. I don't know if this is what you were talking about, but hope it helps.

IS EVERLASTING YOUTH POSSIBLE?

When the Cosmos is rippling with change, can we conceive of anything which does not change? When, just like the restless sea, whirlpools of solar systems, eddies of forces, and icebergs of floating planets are dancing on the breast of eternal motion, is it logical to expect something which is immutable? When every atom of matter is undergoing transformation; when about over three hundred people per second and fifteen hundred million people every one hundred years are spirited away after their tangible sojourn on earth; when childhood, adolescence, youth, and old age are so short-lasting, is it preposterous to think of anything lasting? When every second the protoplasm, blood cells, circulation, nerves, flesh, bones, and marrow are surging in the ocean of constant change, is it an idle dream to expect something which does not undergo any change?

Even our thoughts are never the same. They well up from an unknown fountain, silently enthrall us with their innumerable changing sprays, and then they drop on the earth of oblivion and become absorbed there, to vanish perhaps forever. With a life of change, man appreciates his constantly changing environment. When human births, health, deaths, dreams, aspirations, sensations, perceptions, bodily cognitions, all are fraught with the laws of change, is it not foolish to dream of lasting youth?

How could youth, which is only the crest of the wave of change relatively beginning in the surge of helpless infancy and apparently ending in the decline of death, be made everlasting? Is not the expectation of everlasting youth the hope of a mad brain? Let us carefully examine the thought: "Is everlasting youth possible?" from the psychological standpoint. By deep observation we arrive at the following conclusions. Let us see if everlasting youth is mentally possible to attain:

First of all, the psychological definition of youthfulness signifies a vigorous internally and externally smiling mind. Then comes the question: If youthfulness is entirely a mental state why does it not last? Mental youthfulness changes due to the mind's own fault, because of its own variability. Because of its unstable moods. Observing changes everywhere in the world, and especially in its own body, the mind develops the consciousness of change. Through the mind's identification with outward changing experiences it fails to register in it the changeless quality of the Soul. Change cannot observe change. It is only that which does not change that alone can cognize any changing phenomena.

The ocean changes constantly, but in essence it remains the same, so also the Spirit dreams, swims in the ocean of change, but essentially remains the same. A man passing through childhood, adolescence, youth, and old age, finds his thoughts generally and correspondingly changing. His thoughts may change all they want to, but his Ego never changes. It remains without change or motion, as a man remains unchanged while he watches the dancing, changing waves of a river pass by him. Then comes the question: "Is not the Ego relatively permanent?" Yes, that is so because man's Ego exists, though it does not retain memory of its experiences in the mother's body, and few can tell what happens to it when the bodily machinery disintegrates.

Man is not like an automobile machinery, which ends with the disintegration and destruction of its component parts, for man is the maker of his own machinery. The destruction of a machinery cannot always involve the destruction of the maker of the machine. Anyway, we are certain that a central Ego existed in man during the period of his existence in the mother's body, even though his memory of that state had not sprouted in his consciousness. Therefore, remembrance is not the proof of existence. A madman, or a forgetful man, or a sleeping man, or a man under hypnosis or anesthetics, exists without knowing. Therefore it is quite likely that this unchangeable Ego, which outlasts all mental changes of childhood, adolescence, youth, and the aged state in man, survived in pre-natal periods, or may survive in post-natal periods. The Unchangeable Ego, which observes all mental changes, remains unchanged itself. The mind watches the bodily changes and the Ego watches the mental changes as occasioned by the body and the sensations aroused by it. The man has an unconscious Ego unable to wake and recognize itself. The child has a sleeping Ego, gradually awakening and recognizing itself.

Throughout the span of conscious existence ever since the birth of Ego or the unchanging I-ness, man finds that there is something which is stable as compared to all the furiously changing environments. Hence it is reasonable to expect that if the Ego could always detach itself from its mental and physical environment of happiness and sorrow, health and disease, then it could find its consciousness as stable, unchanged by environmental influences. The teaching of Yoga is to blow up the bridge of feeling which connects our various experiences with the Ego. It does not mean heartlessness, apathy, or want of ambition, or indifference, or becoming moving fossils, but that we may give or take joy, experiencing everything joyfully and cheerfully, without being affected by the paltry desires, likes, or dislikes, and whims of the Ego. To be able to cheerfully experience health and disease, (while seeking remedy), sudden intensive pain, or intensive pleasure, is the way to attain mental stability. This mental stability is the first foundation of lasting mental youthfulness.

Praecepta Lessons, Volume 3, by Swami Yogananda, 1938

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