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The Synoptic Table
A new light on the functioning of our subtle bodies

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The Yoga: be united with the Divinity
The Yoga: be united with the Divinity
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The Synoptic Table - A new light on the functioning of our subtle bodies

Methods and Practices in the Spiritual Life

‘The only knowledge that interests me is knowledge people can put into practice;
therefore, what I will tell you will find immediate application in your daily lives...’

The Synoptic Table is an extract from the book Know Thyself: Jnana Yoga - Part 1 (2 volumes) from the Complete Works collection
Know Thyself (2 volumess)

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‘We all have a physical body, a will, a heart, a mind, a soul and a spirit with which we work every day to grow harmoniously. For you to have a clear idea, I will present a table that I called synoptic because it gives an overall view of the structure of a human being and the activities that correspond to each element of that structure.
This table is divided into five vertical columns. The first column shows the principles that constitute the human being: the physical body, the will, the heart, the intellect, the soul and the spirit. For each of these principles there is a level of consciousness.
The second column is headed Ideal, for each principle aspires to an ideal. The heart, the intellect and the soul, for instance; each strives to attain a different ideal.
In order to attain its ideal, and we must give to that principle what it needs so that it may continue to manifest itself. This is why the third column is headed Nourishment.
The fourth column is dedicated to Payment we have to pay for this nourishment.
And the fifth column is about the Activity, that is to say, the work we have to do in order to earn the currency with which to pay.
As you see, all these different notions are very clearly and logically related to each other. To make the whole thing easier to understand, we begin with the bottom of the table, the physical body, because everybody has some experience of it.'
'One could develop to infinity these few indications and show the multiple relationships that exist between all these elements. For the last decades I have been speaking to you, that is what I have done in my lectures. But in this painting I only wanted to adjust the notions of physical life and psychic life in order to show the unity that exists in man and how this unity can be reinforced by his different activities.'
IDEAL
Vigour, health, life
NOURISHMENT
Food
PRICE
Money
ACTIVITY
Activity, dynamism, work

'The ideal of the physical body is health. To get health he needs to be nourished. To obtain this food, it takes money. And to have money, it is necessary to work. What is so clear to the physical body is reflected as clearly for the will, the heart, the mind, the soul and the spirit.'

The Yoga of Nutrition - Read an excerpt

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Harmony
Harmony
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IDEAL
Domination, power, movement
NOURISHMENT
Strength
PRICE
Gesture, breath
ACTIVITY
Breathing, gymnastics, dance, Paneurythmy

'The will has for ideal the movement, it needs to move forward, to act on things, the situations, the beings. To maintain its activity, it needs food, and this food is strength. The money with which it buys this strength is the gesture that can tear immobility, inertia and activate energy. The breathing exercises, the gymnastics and the paneurhythmy dances we practice, all of which are designed to strengthen the will. The very first movement is breath. The first act of a newborn baby is to breathe, and this breath triggers all the other functions. Naturally, you can add to these any number of other activities that are part of your daily lives. I only mention here the methods which concern more particularly the spiritual life.'

Breathing, key to the rhythms of the universe - Video clip

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Paneurythmy
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Paneurythmy
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IDEAL
Joy, happiness, warmth
NOURISHMENT
Feelings
PRICE
Love
ACTIVITY
Music, song, harmony

'Human beings possess a faculty of feeling and emotion that we call the heart. But this heart is not the physical organ known to anatomy and physiology. This heart, the principal organ in the circulatory system, is a kind of hydraulic pump. The true organ of feeling is the solar plexus. The ideal of the heart is warmth. This warmth which dilates and makes happy. The nourishment is feeling, and the money that serves to pay this nourishment is love. Love is the money which allows to buy, that is to experience feelings of an infinite variety and a wealth. We acquire the wealth of love by putting itself every day in accordance with creatures in the whole universe, as well as by practising artistic activities.'

Artistic creation – Surpassing oneself - Video clip

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IDEAL
Knowledge, learning, light
NOURISHMENT
Thought
PRICE
Wisdom
ACTIVITY
Meditation, profound study

'The goal of the intellect is light, knowledge. Its food is thought. In order to purchase thoughts of the very best quality you need money. This money, it is wisdom that has nothing to do with education. The wisdom is an internal attitude which allows to choose the best direction. The activity which allows to acquire the wisdom is the meditation.'

The Importance of Light - Audio clip


Meditation
Meditation
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IDEAL
Space, immensity, infinity
NOURISHMENT
Impersonnality, selflessness
PRICE
Fusion, dilatation, ecstasy
ACTIVITY
Contemplation, adoration, prayer

'The ideal of the soul is space, immensity. The human soul is a tiny fragment of the universal soul and to be confined to the physical body makes it feel so hemmed in, that its one desire is to expand in space and to visit other more beautiful, more bright worlds, and to meet the entities which live in them. To reach this ideal, it must be nurtured by the qualities of the higher consciousness: impersonality, selflessness, sacrifice… The only means that can buy the infinite expansion is ecstasy, adoration and fusion with the divine world. And the activities to earn this money are prayer, adoration and contemplation.'

Prayer and the Value of Community - Video clip


IDEAL
Time, eternity, immortality
NOURISHMENT
Freedom
PRICE
Truth
ACTIVITY
Identification, union, creation

'The ideal of the spirit is eternity. Just as the soul aspires to the infinite space, the spirit, which is of immortal essence, seeks to escape time. That is why physicists and philosophers will never understand the nature of time and space until they understand the nature of the soul and the spirit. Time and space are concepts that can not be addressed solely by the intellect. The food whose spirit needs to get eternity is freedom. And truth is the currency with which the spirit buys freedom. Jesus said, ‘You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.’ In order to obtain freedom, the activity is identification with the Creator.'

Only a high ideal brings fulfilment - Video clip

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