Friday, November 20, 2009

Formation of Perceptions

In the Yoga Sutra Pattanjali dedicates one whole section to the mind. This section deals with the concept of perception. It suggests that we see an event and create a perception. This then becomes our reality, however, we may well have deceived ourselves in the view we took to gain that perception. Yet although we may perceive an event quite incorrectly, these impressions in the mind can be very difficult to change.

Perceptions become unconscious responses to events. They run our lives, sabotaging relationships, businesses, health and success.

The Yoga Sutra acknowledges that all we see, hear and think in our mind is real—there is no difference between reality and imagination: all combines to make up our perception of life. These perceptions of life, whether experienced in reality or in our imagination, are not differentiated. We are therefore run by perception.

There are two levels of perception, the external and the internal. One from the mind or subconscious and the other from a deeper place. The goal of Yoga is to clear aside the surface perceptions of the subconscious mind long enough for the inner perception to become clear. This inner perception is referred to as truth, inner knowing or higher self. It creates certainty, knowing and fulfilment in our lives.

Four main elements create our outer perceptions.
  • The ego, or comparative perception, which always wants to be better than another.
  • The demanding perception which seeks pleasure, wanting to re-create good feelings and pleasurable situations
  • The avoiding perception which tries to keep away from pain. Stems from a belief that something bad has happened and tries to avoid it ever happening again. This causes us to reject things we know little about.
  • The fear perception which is afraid that we will be judged, may be wrong, will grow old, or may miss something. This all culminates in a feeling of uncertainty and doubt.
We fear only the future, we have guilt only of the past. Yoga’s objective is to bring us into
the moment where we are fully present. In this state, neither fear nor guilt exist.

When we act on the basis of these outer perceptions we will make moves that do not come from our heart. It is called unconsciousness, or being in the head or out of the moment, i e not present. Such action creates chains of events which eventually bring us to question the basis on which we are making decisions and living our lives, and this leads us eventually back to our heart.

When we see and feel from within we experience no tension and no agitation. We feel calm and unmoved; our heart can stay open and we are therefore free to be fully present. We are, in that time, our true self.

Try Yoga it helps.