05/20/2010 08:54 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Living your life by numbers

How many times did you make a reference to a number today? Maybe you considered your credit score, how much your bank accounts has or lacks, how many hairs you have lost, how many years you have loved or not, how many hours you have worked, or how many times you had an unwanted thought about something.

In our day to day living, how much do we depend on modern science rather than nature to get us through the day? Or to be exact, to what degree do we allow science to rule our world rather than depend on our inner Guru to guide us? As science only uses the senses, the mind and the intellect--what is referred to in yogic terms as the gross or material level--to bring us its inventions, most of these are not of much benefit to our mental or physical growth. They are only good for stimulation, entertainment and making life easier, which is another way to say controlled. Who can remember what we did without cell phones, GMO foods, artificial chemicals, video games, hormones, vitamins, space travel, computers, the stock market, pills, explosives, and business? Before all of this, we talked to each other in person and had more personal contact. We may be able to hear the voice of our loved ones at a push of a few buttons, but it will never make up for what a visit does for the heart.

Besides being ruled by the gross level, science builds its information mainly on numbers. Numbers have no ending, similar to how a soul is manifested into a physical, living being but then continues existing through the endless inner and outer universe. Numbers have become our addiction. Each time we mention a number, we stimulate the mind to feel limited in some way. The ego fools the intellect into thinking it is getting its way each time we mention something or someone is the best or worst, or if we have more or less of something. For instance, asking for a simple thing like "What is the time?" turns into "I only have 5 minutes to get there" or "Where did the day go?" Each time we even think of a number it is either not enough or too little. Even when it is just right, something happens to make it wrong because we compare it to some other number we had in mind. Even physical death, which is guaranteed and inevitable, comes at a bad or untimely moment for the mind to accept!
The mind is under the influence of the senses: it thinks that it is advancing forward while only going around in a maze, repeating the same formula, and ending up in the same place after many years of analyzing and manipulating matter. The only reason there is a feeling of advancement is that the numbers became greater or lesser in quantity--as numbers are infinite, though, nothing has really changed except in the mind. To become conscious of the invisible we have to go beyond the limit of the senses and mind, and not just assign new numbers to people and things in the name of business, commerce, or pleasure.

The yogic philosophy has its own practices to help move a practitioner beyond only what is seen and move on to what is invisible to the senses. Science is only relevant or real to the person operating out of the mind or intellect, and nothing beyond this can be real. Here, a person is under the illusion of the mind and impressed by numbers or disappointed by the lack of them. There is no other outcome as the mind compares digit to digit and goes round and round in a vacuum of endless numbers.

Once a person studies and moves onto the yogic path they will be able to start controlling the senses. The senses control their mind and on this level neither numbers nor science play much of a role other than to help us find our car parked either on the 2nd or 3rd floor of a lot. We reincarnate, so we are ageless and therefore timeless. The next time you're presented with a change in numbers you don't like, be it a change in age, a rising of weight, or a shift in the number of calories you've consumed, consider whether the number is actually causing you pain, or if this frustration simply reflects discontent with some other aspect of your life. In the end, how does any of this accumulating, real or not, serve us when the soul takes flight?

Yogi Cameron