On Wednesday May 23 at 7pmSLT I’ll be hosting a philosophy discussion at LnL! Intro notes are below. Be sure to check out their blog! The venue we’ve got lined up is fantastic. You should come check it out even if you can’t make it to the event!
The notes are taken from an article in Yoga International Magazine from Summer 2011.
by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
“Consciousness (the seer) and its power of seeing are one and the same. In other words, the knower and the power of knowing are identical. Consciousness has the ability to know itself. Furthermore, it has the ability to know everything that is to be known. Self-realization, self-enlightenment, is its intrinsic nature. Essentially, consciousness is pure, unalloyed, and not subject to distortion, yet due to its indiscriminate identification with the objective world, its ability to see and know becomes compromised. As a result, its perceptions are distorted. Its strong identification with the senses and the body makes it feel as though it is the senses and the body.
This is the case with most of us. The [yoga] scriptures remind us that we are not the body, not the senses, not the mind, and not the ego, but we rarely experience ourselves as different from these four aspects. We are able to perceive only through our body and senses. We are able to think only through our mind and to identify only through our ego.
The seer, purusha (pure consciousness), experiences things the way they are presented to it by the body, senses, mind, and ego. Even its experience of itself is coloured by the experiences of the body, mind, and senses with which it has identified. In other words, despite its essential purity, purusha’s power and process of seeing, knowing, and experiencing are dependent on how and what the body, mind, and senses see, know, and experience. Freeing consciousness from this dependency is called moksha (liberation). Empowering consciousness to see itself separate from the body, senses, mind, and ego is called kaivalya. According to this sutra, our field of buddhi (described as lingamatra in sutra 2.19) contains all the tools and means to enable consciousness to see itself directly, misidentify with the objective world, and restore its purity.
Expounding on this sutra, the sage Vyasa makes it clear that consciousness caught in the cycle of samsara sees only what buddhi sees. For all intents and purposes, its understanding, feelings, and experiences are in exact proportion to the understanding, feelings, and experiences of buddhi – never less, never more. Knowing one’s self means knowing one’s buddhi. Discovering one’s self means discovering one’s buddhi.
The goal of traditional yoga is to connect the body and the mind. In doing so, one changes the way they perceive things, and may even become enlightened. What I want to ask is is this possible? Is it possle to perceive the world through something more than our five senses? Is it possible to connect to a higher being (ie. our buddhi’s)?
I open the floor.