Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

How to submit material to the Highlights

#3781 - Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -





Vicki Woodyard: No Shit

Vicki Woodyard is called to talk about the dark side of her life, the deaths of her young daughter and her husband’s succumbing to multiple myeloma. She says,

“The dark night of the soul is slap-up against the treasure and my life has been about that. I am called to write and speak about the darkness and the light and they always go together and there’s always a punchline to the darkest hour.”


Listen about a broken heart, a broken life, a broken mind, and its sharing:


Vicki’s home page:






A short film about seeking, the absence of seeking, and amazement at life, as it is. With words/narration by Jeff Foster -







Do you like Yoga? The Yoga Sutras? Etymology? Metalinguistic transformation? Who doesn't? Here's Brett Brunner on those topics...


Brett Brunner


I have recently perused Patanjali's great work concerning yoga, the Yoga-Sutra, translated by Chip Hartranft. I have found the aphoristic style of the Yoga-Sutra to be not only engaging, but also deeply profound; in it, Patanjali discusses the considerable spiritual, mental, and physical rewards that one can derive from the practice of yoga, which is much, much more than the usually held western conception of yoga as just the asanas, or physical postures/poses.


During the next two years or so, I will devote myself to writing about each of Patanjali's aphorisms, sequentially, contained in his remarkable 2nd-century BCE text, with a focus on analyzing the text in terms of its classical Greek and Latin roots of the fine English translation, and then providing an individual's exegesis of the text itself, based upon my own wonderful experience with yoga beyond the asanas. It has been said that memorizing the Sanskrit text of the Yoga-Sutra in and of itself can re-pattern the mind; I am most curious to see if this phenomenon is also metalinguistic, that is, can English and its root words effect the same transformation?


Chapter 1: Integration

Aphorism 1: Now, the teachings of yoga.

The name of this chapter (itself derived from the Latin root caput, capitis: "head") comes from the Latin root integer: "whole, entire, untouched." Thus, this first chapter, the first of but four in the Yoga-Sutra, from an etymological point of view, will focus upon "the act of becoming whole, entire, or untouched." Note that the mathematical term "integer," also comes via the Latin integer (an "integer" is any "whole" number that is not a fraction or "broken," hence an "untouched" number, including the positives from 1, 2, 3 onwards, the negatives, or -1, -2, -3 onwards, and 0). Other SAT-level words that derive from the Latin root word integer include: integral, integrity, integrate, disintegrate, disintegration, and entirety. Hence, Patanjali suggests very early on that the practioner new to yoga is in some sense "disintegrated," or has lost his or her spiritual "integrity," and must regain being "whole" or "entire."

Let's talk for a moment about the word "yoga." "Yoga" simply means a "yoking" back to one's origins by once again gaining "union" with our ultimate origin. The Sanskrit yogah, "union," from which English created "yoga," is that discipline by which the "yogini" tries to rejoin her spiritual origins via achieving a state of inner serenity by quieting the pestiferous sem, or "flea mind" (so called because our minds tend to jump around desultorily like ‘fleas,’ flittering about to the tune of about 60,000 random thoughts per day). Let us consider related Latin and Greek cognates of "yoga," and a few of the SAT and GRE vocabulary words that derive from them:


Greek zygon, "yoke, pair:" zeugma, zygote, zygotic.

Latin iungo, iungere, iunxi, iunctum: "to join:" adjunct, adjoin, juxtapose, joint, juncture, conjunction, maladjusted, conjoint, jostle, disjointed, subjunctive, subjunctive, joust, junto, junta, rejoinder, conjoin, conjunctive, disjunct, enjoin, etc.


From the roots above and a discussion of the word "yoga," we can see that "yoga" has a deep relationship to "joining" its practitioners again with something profound, but with what? And how does one go about practicing this union? Stay tune for next week's entry which will discuss Aphorism 2: Yoga is to still the patterning of consciousness. In this entry, I will etymologically analyze the Latin root words of "pattern" (related to our word "father") and "consciousness," the latter an absolutely integral concept that is at the heart of what the yogini or yogi does.


~ ~ ~


Read more Aphorism 2 and more:

top of page