New age thinking is based on grossly misinterpreted ancient thinking. If I’m following a trail and it goes off a cliff, I’m not going to jump off.
Gnani yoga doesn’t of necessity preclude reverence for a deity though many traditions do not incorporate such reverence in their core teachings. This is one of the elements that all schools of yoga have in common. The gods they traditionally venerate are not seen as especially invested in anyone’s specific affairs. The wheel of karma is what resolves any issues that might crop up there. Instead, the gods are seen to embody processes that occur in the world and the wider universe. The gods having many aspects because processes have multi-faceted outcomes. Destruction and division being related aspects of a bigger whole, just as birth and death are, etc.
Where a follower of Gnani yoga might differ from another disciple is that rather than putting their primary focus on developing an emotional sense of connection with the divinity, or by dedicating their actions in service to a divinity, they seek to understand the ways and “thoughts” of the god they revere, perhaps not unlike Einstein’s flicker of intuition.
Understanding gods will? Not will so much as way. The gods as individuals are seen as more special case manifestations of the absolute.
So they don’t settle for mysterious ways? No. Students of Gnani yoga don’t cop out that way. They may see the ways of the divine as being mysterious, which is just all the more reason to try to understand them.
So, let’s take Yama, the god of death. A doctor who also pursues Gnani yoga personally would have a sense of being actively involved in the “dance” of Yama, or Yama’s action in the world. Their efforts to cure disease and prolong life would not so much be seen as cheating Yama, as much as satisfying Yama. Yama being the judge of souls, medical intervention would be a legitimate reprieve because all possible knowledge is a manifestation of the ways of the gods rather than any form of defiance.
So in a sense, we are expanding the capabilities of the gods with our knowledge? In a sense. There is no defiance of the gods in Gnani yoga. It’s more an issue of dancing with them or being danced on by them. This is why ignorance is repeatedly described as a spiritual failing in those traditions. A “sin” but rectifiable with growing understanding.
If you run afoul of the universe in Gnani yoga, it’s not your “fault” but it is your error. Fault implies permanent defect, irreparable flaw. In the Gnani path, you achieve correctness and thus unity with the divine through growth in understanding.
No wrong answers just answer that didn’t work? Well, no wrong answers this is true, but in Gnani yoga you can have wrong questions, inadequate reflection, contemplation and inquiry, but that also is easily rectified. It’s what a Gnani student strives to avoid, making “assumptions”, which is not the same as speculation. You are totally on the right path if you speculate that the moon may be made of green cheese, but you would be in error if you just assumed that was true and ignored it from then on.
Curiosity is good. Yes, curiosity is Gnani yoga, all embracing curiosity without self-righteous blind justification. Nothing is self-evident in Gnani yoga. You can accept any premise and will if this is your path, because you will move on from them all.
I really see two types of people: curious and not curious. Curious people get smarter and smarter. Uncurious people tend to get dumber and dumber, because as the rest of the world progresses, they stand still. May I offer a counter point? The Karma disciple is not primarily characterized by curiosity, but in their dedication to right action, and merging their understanding with their experience of the consequences, they can come to a point where their inductive insight is really quite broad. They can anticipate outcomes before they actually occur, but they make no deliberate inquiry.
That can be seen as learning through experience, instead of through analysis but I am talking about the person who wouldn’t want to try new things. Oh yes, the ignorant. The curious can be ignorant, but the ignorant are never curious.
There are also those who, from conditioning, simply seem not to have the capacity to be curious or able to try new things. Those are the broken hearted, misguided devotion, but that is reversible as well.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.