Gentle yoga poses on If the Buddha is right, Patanjali must be wrong; if the natha yogis are right, the author(s) of the Maitri Upanisad must be wrong. Of course all these teachings may be wrong and the truth may actually lie in Christianity, or Islam or Judaism or Zoroastrianism. How could one know? Where would we find the criteria to judge that the monists are right and the pluralists wrong or vice versa? The fact of the matter seems to be that we have no way to access such criteria. This plurality of teachings, each of which claims authority for its views, therefore constitutes a major challenge for anyone who recognizes that each of these traditions contains wisdom within it and is unwilling to follow the fundamentalist in consigning all but one s own to the dustbin of error. For such a person, the following questions will arise at some point: What if all of these versions of the truth are wrong? Does that mean the traditions are valueless? My own answer is that value need not always entail truth. Indeed, psychologist Shelly Taylor has offered persuasive reasons for thinking that human beings can actually benefit from the construction of what she calls positive illusions. Teachings need not necessarily be true in order to facilitate human flourishing. Gentle yoga poses 2016.
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