द्रष्टा दृशिमात्रः शुद्धोऽपि प्रत्ययानुपश्यः I
draṣṭā dṛśi-mātraḥ śuddhaḥ-api pratyaya-anu-paśyaḥ
Consciousness, the Observer (draṣṭā), though (api) pure and unaffected (śuddhaḥ) by the body and mind (dṛśi), only (mātraḥ) perceives (paśyaḥ) through the experiences of the mind (pratyaya).
PRACTICAL LIVING In this sutra, Patanjali reminds us of the duality of the human experience (see Sutra I.3): we are souls (draṣṭā) who observe and are pure wisdom and love, but who experience the world through the ever-changing mind (dṛśi). This means that there is not work to be done on a soul level. The work that needs to be done is with that part of us that is constantly changing – the mind. According to Patanjali we are all wearing a different pair of glasses, all the time. Some of the lenses are scratched, some are dirty, and they’re all tinted with a different color. In other words, we perceive the world through our tinted or blurred lenses. So we spend our lives arguing with people who are wearing different lenses, and both people think they are correct. The journey of awareness helps us understand this concept of duality. The more we can connect with the part of us that simply observes, the less we believe our scratched/tinted lenses are the best or the correct way to see and understand life.
IN THE YOGA WORLD As we will discuss later in this chapter, Patanjali suggests we meditate on different concepts or objects in order to clean our lenses. One of the highest concepts to meditate on is the difference between the intellect and consciousness. When we deeply understand this difference, we have attained objective (samprajnata) samādhi. The Armenian mystic Georg I. Gurdjieff calls this “self-remembrance”, or the idea that we always had this wisdom within, and just need to be reminded of it. Ram Dass, a loving spiritual leader, talks about the concepts of “Love, Serve, Remember”. We need constant reminders throughout our journey of the difference between nature (body and mind) and spirit since spirit gets carried away by the mind and loses its identity.
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON A soul seeker and life pilgrim Pedrinho is dear to my heart. Like a younger brother to me, we spent many weekends playing together and have a beautiful connection that is decades old. I recently spend time with him sharing stories about our past, present and future. We both share a deep love for India, oh Mother India. I love his journey of understanding the power of the mind and the potential of the spirit. Going to India gets him closer to India, and I completely understand that. His kindness is palpable. His thirst for love is indescribable. Thank you Pe for our beautiful friendship and the sporadic precious times we share together. Te adoro irmaozinho!
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and next week we look at the purpose of matter!