Everyone has a belief system, even if it’s shunning what they identify as belief systems.
We have discussed the karma of action without attachment to outcomes. We have discussed the yoga of devotion that absorbs the self and thus liberates it. Gnani yoga is a bit more like the scientific ideal without the materialistic bias. In Gnani, through contemplation of ancient wisdom, meditation and speculative exploration of our experiences of the world, one seeks to cultivate a mind free of distorted awareness. Their focus on ancient wisdom texts is not exclusive. It’s more inclusive. They feel that knowledge is a process rather than a destination. Gnani yoga resembles western philosophical thought more than the other paths do, but without assigning primary importance to any specific realm of experience.
For sake of the speculative arm of their practice, they do acknowledge two fundamental elements and parallels are being spoken of even in scientific inquiry. The first being mind, but by mind they don’t mean thinking or thoughts, more like mental substance, the qualia of experience and matter. But even matter is not viewed in the western way necessarily but rather as a more vital medium having an intimate connection to and powerful impact on mind substance.
So the mind over matter principle? Well, mind merged with matter. Enlightenment being when mind accurately reflects matter and both are thereby transcended. They don’t really teach that mind is any more trustworthy than matter, or less.
How can mind reflect matter? It already does to a degree without any effort on the individuals’ part, because in Gnani yoga physical existence is seen as the interplay between mind and matter, matter having no persistence without mind and mind having no form without matter. So they connect through a sort of positive observer effect, and originated from a prime observer that both apparently separate phenomena originate from.
Could that be like a doctor giving a patient a placebo? Just the act of taking the pill can make your pain decrease. It is indeed behind the placebo effect.
Does part of their practice involve the focus on certain types of matter to clarify their mind in a certain way? It does. They practice a wide range of contemplative traditions; the elements, classical stories, traditional philosophical speculation, anything in theory though as is true of most traditional yoga, modernisms is held in some mild suspicion. It would be seen as distracting. They likewise show some measure of reverence for lineages.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.