Heady stuff, no? This is what happens when you leap down the Rabbit Hole of yoga philosophy-you jump, you fall and chaos reigns. The problem stems from the attempt to talk about things which escape word and thought; the moment we begin to think about these matters, we become Ego/self, the thing that is being watched. We are one step further away from Purusha, the Self, the Observer (for Fringe fans) to which we wish to return. No matter who or what you think you are, You are Not That.
|Sometimes, the background obscures What Is.|
Think of it this way: as a knitter, you may make a scarf. This scarf is a product of materials outside of us (yarns and needles). It is also the result of your accumulated knowledge, the knowledge of other knitters, your personal tastes and skills. That lovely scarf contains a bit of you and every knitter who has gone before, as well as every knitter yet to be, but, in knitting the scarf, you are not the scarf itself, no matter how immersed you become in the process of knitting or how attached you become to the item. Beyond the knitted item, beyond all the conditions required to make that knitted item, there is The Knitter, You, who simply observes the knitting and the scarf, without judgement or attachment. The scarf completed, you put needles and yarn aside and you are done. Your work is finished and you rest, but You The Knitter remains. The Knitter is not lost when you stop knitting.
Most of the time, we live and work with our knitting ego, not The Knitter. Ego judges the knitting, makes choices which affect our work and those who share with us. Ego is pleased, unhappy, neutral about our results. We get glimpses of The Knitter in those moments when we stop thinking about our knitting, when we simply "know" what to do next and the scarf feels as though it's knitting itself. (The instant we become aware of this "Knitting Bliss," it's gone and we are back to working with our Knitting Ego.) Beyond it all, we are aware of our Inner Knitter, who watches, at peace. We can't choose to be The Knitter; we can choose only to take the steps which might lead to Her discovery.
Those moments of Knitted Bliss come with long hours of practice. I have yet to meet a new knitter who was aware of her Inner Knitter. Most of those early steps are casting on and ripping out, two steps forward, three back to the beginning. Gradually, with time and dedication, the new knitter moves to two steps forward, one step back. She is making progress. Slowly, she feels more connected with her knitting and with other knitters. Eventually, if she chooses to go down that road, she will understand that there is Something about knitting that is content just to knit. It no longer matter what she knits or how she knits it. She is knitting; however, she knits, The Knitter Abides.
If Patanjali's Sutras are the stitch patterns in yoga, we can think of Bryant's analysis as being akin to June Hemmons Hiatt's Principles of Knitting, the tome that explains it all. (I love that "sutra" translates as "thread" or "to stitch.") Sometimes, words are like boulders in our path. At other times, we need those words to act as guides.
I may be a wee bit closer to understanding the essence of the sutras. I may be full of it and have things ass-backwards. As I struggle, Purusha/Self/The Knitter watches. And she knows.
|Change the background and That Is begins to manifest.|