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  Every Branch in Me — Who are we as "human" beings? Back to the List of Slideshows
slide 8 of 19

There are many details of our everyday lives that we ignore as integral parts of our spiritual lives. Traditional societies put a rather different emphasis on the aesthetic ambience of the home, habits of speech, and so on.

In his essay "Do Clothes Make the Man?" (1),  the Buddhist Traditionalist Marco Pallis points out that such seemingly unimportant 'external' aspects of our lives as the clothes we wear do, in fact, contribute to the processes that re-form the souls of spiritual aspirants. When we recognize the existence of our many "branches," should those that have physical substance, including our bodies, be adorned basely or regally?

…every being is yogi (2) in that any kind of existence apart from the Self is a sheer impossibility, even in the sense of an illusion; that being is a yogi—called thus by courtesy, as it were—in so far as he, she or it strives, by the use of suitable disciplines(sadhana), to realize Self-union; the selfsame being is the Yogi in virtue of having made that union effective. No element in life can therefore be said to lie outside the scope of yoga.

(1)  Taken from page 123 of Every Branch in Me,  this chapter is also found in Pallis' book The Way and the Mountain.

(2) Editor's note: Pallis uses the word yogi  here to mean a spiritual aspirant who is seeking union with the Divine Self, though he is showing us that this is our birthright and that we are, whether we realize it or not, yogis  by the fact of our very existence as human beings!

Marco Pallis
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