Day 44 of #yogasutrachallenge: YS 1.44 Etayaiva savicara nirvicara ca suksma-visaya vyakhyata: Contemplation of subtler aspects of an object is first with, then without, awareness

Day 44 of #yogasutrachallenge: YS 1.44 Etayaiva savicara nirvicara ca suksma-visaya vyakhyata: Contemplation of subtler aspects of an object are first with, then without, awareness We’ve seen that the first stage in training the mind is to focus on an object and set aside judgement, connotations and other preconceptions about that object and see it clearly for what it is. Next Patanjali asks us to look more closely – forgetting colour, shape etc, and concentrating instead on its “subtle” aspects: the way the object sounds, tastes, smells, and beyond that, what it’s made of, getting smaller and smaller. In the West, we have been raised with heavy exposure to science, and because of this we tend to think that we are only able to experience the subtle elements of something though a microscope, or other more advanced scientific instruments. Patanjali and the Yoga tradition didn’t have those however they still knew there were particles smaller than atoms. How? By merging the mind with the object. They say that as the mind is composed of the same basic elements as anything else, we are able to experience the subtle essences of an object without these props – essentially blending with the object from within and thereby understanding it intimately. At the most basic level everything is just pure consciousness. There are two steps to this process. First: you start to perceive the object as having these subtle qualities, but you still see it in time and space, as something distinct and present. This is the state of savicara. Second: you start to shed your perception of the object under our idea of dimensionality and see it as something that transcends space and time: the subtlest of things underpin all things at all times. This state is called nirvicara, a state where you yourself become free from notions of the space and time you are in.

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Natalie MorrisonComment