Yogi Bhajan Answers: "Oh, reading books is a waste of time. From childhood, I have never done it. You have to have a photogenic sensory system. You all have it - develop it. It is very easy. You should read the eyes, and the eyes will just do it for you - it is all there. 480 pages? Profile it. That's it and once your sensory system will develop, you can take a book in you hand and understand what it is about. The time for books is past." He continues, "Plus, you have the optic nerve which can totally open the frontal lobe. There are two things in human life you have to develop: One is the frontal lobe, the other the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls your personality; the frontal lobe is responsible for your safety, for the strength of you personality. If you develop these two, that's it."
There is no such term as a photogenic sensory system. Photogenic is a biological term that means, "Producing or generating light." Bhajan's term "sensory system" might be what is commonly referred to as "the sensory divisions" as properly termed within anatomy books. The sensory division is a way in which the brain processes, sends information toward the central nervous system by dividing it into four categories. (It is not necessary to give the four categories here, however, a physiology/biology text, can verify this).
The closest subdivision of the sensory division that may be somewhat the same as Bhajan's "system" is known as the "photoreceptors". Photoreceptors are responsible for responding to light and allowing vision as a part of the sensory division of the "peripheral nervous system", not some sensory system. Bhajan has also placed the optic nerve in the wrong part of the brain; he states, "&you have the optic nerve that can totally open the frontal lobe." The optic nerve he refers to is located in the occipital lobe which is the back of the brain/head; the occipital lobe of the brain controls vision. (OOPS!) All the functions he is referring to go to the back of the brain, not the front.
So, let me review and see if I got "it." Bhajan say that the system that produces light is picked up through what he calls a photogenic sensory system. This system can "channel" the signals to the front of the brain, instead of the back where it visual output actually happens. This allows you somehow to bypass this entire system and then, by the mere physical touch of the hand, which is ruled by completely different system of the brain--your "brain" will get the light and "profile."
Profile is defined as a concise bibliographic sketch of the personality by vivid outlining and sharp contrast. According to Bhajan's process as stated, you will know what everyword on a 485-page book has just said by touch and have the ability to profile it. Pretty fantastic story!
There are also other problems substantiating something else Bhajan states; can anyone explain how the frontal lobe, responsible for your motor skills and the overall intelligence of that division (not your I.Q.) can be "in charge of your personality?" Is that the "photogenic light" thing again? Is that the light that goes to the frontal lobe, which controls your motor skills? Wait a minute, wasn't that what controlled the back lobe of the brain? No, but, Bhajan says it's the frontal lobe. Gee, what part of "ology" did he study in to get his Ph.D.?
Bhajan apparently theorizes that you can do this thing with the brain and body that no one has been able to do, or prove. Perhaps modern Western science hasn't caught up with the Yogi yet? He has made references throughout his lectures over the years that his knowledge has lain dormant for centuries. When I, as a western student, would hear his scenario on brain/body functions, I would just accept it without question. That is, somehow because he was from the East and his terms were "different." Or, maybe he just didn't understand "ours." Therefore, his scenarios and explanations likely had erudite qualities.
Bhajan also talks about the hypothalamus, as something that you must develop along with the optic nerve. He states that it controls your personality. Let's explore that notion.
The hypothalamus is located around a region of the brain that is near the thalamus, which is responsible for the homeostasis of the internal environment of the body. Seven out of its eight functions are purely physical and only one is tied to the physical side of emotions--it tells the body when to cry (perhaps during normal hormonal changes from monthly menses), which is purely a physical thing. As far as controlling the personality or being responsible for ones safety, it doesn't seem that the hypothalamus would be the correct place.
In the brains' actual functions there are two possible areas where this might occur--
Once again, it appears that a leap of imagination is required in order to believe that because the hypothalamus controls body homeostasis that it automatically provides the processes of equililbrium to the personality. The motor skills center controlling ones personality? Aren't the sensory impulses (inward to the central nervous system) in opposition to the motor impulses (outward flow as to the vessels, etc.)? Once again, isn't Bhajan proposing that the body can do something that no one has ever done or that can be proven?
It is obvious that Yogi Bhajan doesn't know what area of the brain functions with what part of the body. Someone should provide Bhajan the opportunity to explain his theories and demonstrate them objectively. Everyone should see clearly how this photogenic system works!
This entire notion of Bhajan's expertise reminds me of a comic, Professor Irwin Cory, who was known for his rambling, contradicting and deliberately humorous lectures and complex verbiage. Cory posed as an expert, but it was really just a joke to entertain his audiences with a stream of nonsensical gibberish. It seems perhaps that Yogi Bhajan might be within that same distinguished category of lecturers. But sadly he isn't joking and his followers take him seriously.
Oh yes, there is one final matter that must be addressed. Bhajan claims that reading books are a waste of time and that the time for books is past. However, he himself has recently published a book on the facets of the mind (1997), co-authored with one of his students. In 1996 Bhajan said, "People do not live, the words do. So, if you have any talent, pen it down now." He and his inner circle students have been producing books rapidly in recent years--all based upon Bhajan's teachings. There have been discussion groups on-line with the authors of these new books.
Yogi Bhajan also recommends, among other things not produced by 3HO, a particular book for women attending his Women's Camp; a primer called "The Fascinating Women." This book's claim to fame is that it advises women how to become sexual objects to their men. How to make men beholden unto them through female trickery.
Why does Bhajan want women, whom he's always claimed are 16 times more intelligent than men, to read this book? Why can't 3HO women just touch "The Fascinating Women" book, and throw their copy away? Isn't that the way it works?
Copyright © Rick Ross