Where The Wild Things Are


iv. 12-17 The Characteristics of Things

4.12 The Past and Future exists with the momentum on the playing field of Prakriti (the full spectrum and fundamental (natural) matter of Mind materialization).

From the Charles Johnson commentary:

Here we come to a high and difficult matter, which has always been held to be of great moment in the Eastern wisdom: the thought that the division of time into past, present and future is, in great measure, an illusion; that past, present, future all dwell together in the eternal Now.

The discernment of this truth has been held to be so necessarily a part of wisdom, that one of the names of the Enlightened is: “he who has passed beyond the three times: past, present, future.”

So the Western Master said: “Before Abraham was, I am”; and again, “I am with you always, unto the end of the world”; using the eternal present for past and future alike. With the same purpose, the Master speaks of himself as “the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

And a Master of our own days writes: “I feel even irritated at having to use these three clumsy words—past, present, and future. Miserable concepts of the objective phases of the subjective whole, they are about as ill adapted for the purpose, as an axe for fine carving.”

In the eternal Now, both past and future are consummated.

[Patañjali (2011-03-24). The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: the Book of the Spiritual Man (p. 52).  . Kindle Edition.]

4.13 A given thing maintains its reality because its essence remains the same throughout various transformations.

The three gunas are essentially the manifestations of one Primal Substance. This is the gut of the Sankhya system, which Patañjali drew heavily upon. Amidst their interaction, sattwa (striving for perfection), rajas (restless activity), and tamas (dullness or inertia), they govern the ebb and flow of all materialized things; henceforth they manage their origin and dissolution as well.

4.14 The essential-core of all things is managed by the gunas measure of transformations.

As was stated in the previous sutra, the gunas administrate the creation and dissolution of a given object. This includes the human form—from the cradle to the grave. In this vein, though thought itself may not recognize a given object, this does not negate its natural reality in the full spectrum of Prakriti.

4.15 Due to the variables of different perceptions within people’s minds, objects appear different given the perceiver; yet, their essential core remains unaltered.

Patañjali leaves room for how differently things can be perceived. This is the nature behind the peculiar perceptions of the habitual-mindset.

4.16 In light of sutra 4.15, objects do not depend upon one single-mindset for their existence; if it did they would simply cease to be if not perceived in singular-fashion.

Here, Patañjali reinforces the understanding that things do not exist that are dependent upon the whims of a given single and limited mindset.

4.17 An object becomes known when colored through the lens of the perceiver.

These few sutras exhibit the limitations of particularized mindsets. An object becomes particularized within a given frame of reference from which it is perceived. Most frames of reference are arbitrary in nature and do not reflect the Natural Essential Core within a given object.

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