Sunday, September 6, 2009

Daily Quote, Sunday September 6, 2009.

Good bring and sunny morning,

Here is today's quote:

The lack of comprehension of oneself is ignorance.

That is, one must discern how one has come into being, what one is, all the tendencies, the reactions, the hidden motives, the self-imposed beliefs and pursuits. Until each one deeply understands this, there can be no cessation of sorrow, and the confusion of divided action, as economic and religious, public and private, will continue. The human problems that now disturb us will disappear only when each one is able to discern the self-sustaining process of ignorance. To discern needs patience and constant awareness.

Collected Works Vol. 3 1936-1944.

Here is my reflection.

It is this feeling of being divided that leads to what we call 'reform'. Reform is essentially the compromise that we make with ourselves between these fragmented parts. For example, if one part of me wants to change and there is a feeling also within me that I'm not interested in this, then I will reform myself; I won't fundamentally change, I won't let go of the part of me that needs to change. Reform is really the process of staying as one is while acknowledging the need to change. It's a trade off that the two contradictary parts of me are making. The reform 'process' can then go on and on.

If it is you and me who are in contradiction, notice how the same thing happens. We agree to work together. We agree to take a wholistic view, to work to make the whole something more that each of each in our contradiction, but that doesn't end the contradiction. Instead, the whole is merely a distraction from it. Even the agreement to work together confirms that there is a fundamental contradiction between us; agreeing to work together is more of a confirmation of that contradiction than it is a desire to make a change. Nations do this all the time, but it's easiler to see this example in them than it is to look at our relations with others or within ourselves.

What we usually call 'Yoga' is really nothing more than the supression of one part of us by another. This is what the whole practice of concentration, concentrating the mind on a single idea, like God, is all about. This is also the traditional idea of meditation that the Yoga Sutras sets out in it's stages of meditation: withdrawl of the sesnes (which really means supression), concentration (which really comes before sense withdrawl since it is the supression mechanism), and then meditation (which is really the most powerful thought in the mind supressiing the less powerful and now able to enjoy it; it might just be the thought that wants the mind to be still). The part of us that wants to change supresses the part that doesn't. A part of us is ambitious, has goals, wants to achieve something. But isn't that like one state violently intervening in another; a coup d'etat? Or one ethnic group violently repressing another within a state? The whole idea of transcendence in yoga is really supression. The alternative is to reform, which only happens as a compromise when both groups appear to be equally powerful and one group cannot end the contradiction through the threat or use of force. Isn't it the same within us?

Best wishes