Uncover your impurities!
This article consists of 6 chapters
1.Introduction: uncover your impurities
3.Asmita: I feeling – the ego
4.Raga: attachment to pleasure
5 Dwesha: aversion
6.Abhinivesah: fear of death + conclusion
Today you can read part 3:
Asmita – I feeling, the ego
YS 2.6 Asmita is the identity as it were of the purusha (power of conciousness) with the buddhi (mental faculty of intelligences)
In his book, ‘Four chapters of freedom’, Swami Satyananda Saraswati writes: ‘the awareness of ‘I am’ is mixed with existence, with the body, actions and the mind. When the inner consciousness, representing the highest truth in man, asserts itself through the medium of the body, buddhi and the senses, it is asmita. It has different stages. In the case of a primitive person with an underdeveloped intellect, asmita is rooted in identification with the body. An intellectually developed person identifies with the higher functions in the mind.
Also he comments:
‘The power of seeing cannot be realised even though reading philosophy or through hearing great scholars. Even the philosophers and thinkers identify the purusha (pure conciousness) with the body and buddhi (mental faculty of intelligence) in actual experience at a very young age, so it’s not possible to overcome asmita through intellect. It can only be done through meditation.
Yes! EGO…..The problem with ego is not the fact that we have one; it is useful and even necessary to have an ego in order to function and live. I think, the problem arises when the ego believes it is the Self. This self-image can effect false projections. This can be expressed both external (“ I don’t have a lot of money thus I am a poor person’) as internal (I am a bad person”). The more we feed these false projections, the more we can become trapped within the projections and really believe that we are a poor, bad, sad, clumsy or ugly person. From personal experience I know this can ruin your life, as it is purely a projection you have created of your life.
Example: When I was nine years old I started to take piano lessons. I remember I liked to make music but didn’t like to learn music notes. When I had to play in public I felt a little fearful to play the wrong notes. Although I can’t remember anybody ever has ever told me I am a bad musician, somehow I had the feeling I was. This was the reason why I quit playing after two years. A year ago I realised I like the sound of the djembee and I wanted to learn to play it. When I started taking lessons, I was a little insecure. Thank God I had a lovely teacher who motivated me to just do it! By doing it you overcome your old patterns en cross (mental) borders. Gradually my feeling for rhythm and hand coordination is growing and I must say…nowadays I actually really do enjoy playing. See? By labeling yourself you can actually exclude yourself from an experience that can be worth to try and possibly pleasure you! 🙂
I feel one of the biggest misconceptions we have is our tendency to view ourselves as separate to other beings. If we actually really believed and lived our lives as though we all share the same nature; I suppose projections of ourselves would be different. To be honest, I actually wasted a lot of time in my mind by judging others.
For example when I was studying I was always a little afraid of people who where part of a student corps. Don’t know what that is? Wait. In US I suppose their houses are called frat houses. Does that ring a bell? You must know that these kind of student cooperation’s come from the elite social classes. When you want to become part of a frat house, you need to pass an humiliating initiation process. During this process older people of the frat house have to possibility to, whenever they feel you are not sufficient, kick you out. This way of making friends seemed rude and invasive to me. Therefore I didn’t like people who lived in a frat house and I wanted to stay away from them as much as possible. Analysing it now; I separated myself from them and gave them a label. Why was I tagging those people? I didn’t knew them individually, so actually it didn’t make sense tagging them.
Nowadays I must confess that there are still moments I tag people. Usually this comes up when I feel bothered, irritated or simply don’t understand the others behaviour. But actually doing it doesn’t really make me happy. It usually gives me a sentiment of sadness. Now, when I realise I tag someone and I want to get rid of it, I transform my thought about this person to a neutral one. When I do this, I feel more calm and relax. This is good for my nervous system and general well being. 🙂
Grab a pen or photo camera and write down or make pictures of labels you tag on yourself, people, things, food, dress codes, and /or behavior during one part of a day. Now. Without judgment, just observe the list and/or pictures. Count the list en observe how often you labeled yourself, others or things.
Another exercise: sit down in a space; doesn’t matter what kind of space: a kitchen, a living room, a classroom. Take a look at all the things you see without giving them names. What kind of feeling comes to you while doing this?
Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Four chapters on freedom, Yoga publication trust – Bihar. India.
Picture 2: Painting by Sophie Nusselder