Ignorance - Incorrect Knowledge

Imagine the five types of thought patterns which influence the mind, and the inherent degree of order within the mind, as five delivery trucks that cart thought building material to and from your thought building factory. The material delivered creates thoughts and desires that can elicit either painful responses, or beautiful experiences.

No matter how grotesque a person's life experience - poverty, hunger, lack of formal education, persecution, divorce, homelessness, mood disorder, addiction, mental anguish, loss of loved ones, physical disability, or near fatal suicide attempts, they still have the power within to continuously customize and tweak their body and mind factory to not only come out of this anguish, but to bring with them wisdom and compassion that would evolve the consciousness of millions for generations to come.

So let us see what Patanjali has to say about the factory which produces the thoughts and feelings that determine what manifests in our personal lives, and also what gets put out into the world depending on how we intergrate the experiences that bombard us through our five sensory channels.

Sutra 1.6: pramana viparyaya vikalpa nidra smritayah

The five types of thought patterns to be aware of are: (1) knowing correctly (pramana), (2) incorrect knowing (viparyaya), (3) fantasy or imagination (vikalpa), (4) the object of void-ness that is deep sleep (nidra), and (5) recollection or memory (smriti).

(1) Right Knowledge and Perception (Pramana)

This involves having an understanding of YOUR sufferings, its causes, and possible remedies. To be Pramanic, is to reclaim your identity. Right knowledge comes from asking questions. Do not take for granted what the media, conglomerates, doctors, parents, politicians, schools, friends, society or any Guru tells you is truth. A Yogi never hands over his or her identity to anyone, no matter how difficult their circumstances get, or how much they are ostracized.

Ask questions, verify your information and its source. Then see if the information jives with your vibes. If it does not then go back out there and dig some more. What is important is whether the information unearthed sits right with your truth or not. When you are comfortable with the inner and outer then ask what IS your truth? Does it mean trying to please others, or trying to fit in, or trying to make money, or trying to assert power over others. If it is, then deal with the issues that give birth to these insecurities. Transcending the mind to reveal Consciousness is the hardest work you will ever engage in. Not all are cut out for it. If you are not, then don't waste your time reading this.

I keep six honest serving-men and they taught me all I know. Their names are What, Why, When, Where, Who, and How.

Rudyard Kipling

Sattvic Gunas

The goal of right knowledge is to help you keep your sympathetic nervous system turned off as much as possible by choosing to spend as much time as possible stimulating the parasympathetic, where beauty and tranquillity reign supreme.

This is how you reinstate order through the mind to all other parts of the body right down to the non-physical energy patterns. Sustaining this transition will require conscious, consistent, and deliberate effort on your part to move from a catabolic mindset, into the anabolic reality so that the limits of the Ego can be transcended. The Thought and Emotion Tracker will tell you if you are on track or not. Use it diligently.

The ego tries to establish a home. It tries to establish an identity. If it does not get an identity than it will revolt. It will make things difficult for you. It will tell you that you are not good and no good. What you are doing is not right. Be mindful of this.

(2) Wrong Knowledge (Viparyaya)

Wrong knowledge is any knowledge that keeps you in the suffering zone, a slave to your desires. We have the capacity to question and verify information - to find out for ourselves, that which is true. But there are powers whose interest lie in obscuring your investigation to observe reality, remove contradictions, and see into truth. Their interest lies in hijacking your individuality, awareness, and power, and in doing so they have a green light to promote their own agenda and investments. These powers are free and puissant to the exact degree you remain impotent. Their power is created and maintained through the stimulation of your faculties of fantasy and imagination. See below what I mean.

(3) Fantasy or Imagination (Vikalpa)

Imagination, when skilfully directed can be an avenue to creative inspiration, but when unskillfully directed, it can result in a wasted life through idle fantasy and a means to escapism. In worse cases, imagination can lead to debilitating fears and phobias. The media, through news is often used to instill fear in its citizens so those in power can carry out their unscrupulous agendas to unbeknownst to the rest. Unfortunately, in these times, our faculty of imagination is used mostly to amplify our fears rather than stimulate our innovative capacity because the populous remains uneducated on how we are being coerced into a herd mentality.

Fantasy or imagination is a Drive for Survival and Affiliation inclination that keeps us enslaved to our desires to get and show-off in order to gain approval and appreciation. We work ceaselessly to satisfy our material desires and protect our biases and opinions. Ego has an insatiable desire to create an identity for itself in the eyes of others through striving, acquiring, and achieving thinking that this makes it intelligent and superior when in reality, you have become a creature of habit with an insatiable need to satisfy ludicrous desires and maintain familiarity within the environment because change becomes scary. This fear is instilled, and perpetuated through Shame. More on shame later. If one is afraid of change, then how can one evolve?

(4) Nidra or Depression

In the end, our fighting and fleeing reactions in response to our frustrated desires result in mental and physical exhaustion. The end result of Fight or Flight is sloth, or depression and depressive behaviour. Sloth breeds darkness, destruction, and chaos. Known as chronic fatigue syndrome, this Tamasic mindset leads to apathy, depression, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and in extreme cases, suicide.

(5) Smriti or Memory of Repeated Trauma (PTSD)

In the end, it is the recollection of fearful memories from past experiences that manifests through worry and rumination into all areas of our lives. And it is the recollection of our past reactions, conscious and subconscious, that determines our future reactions to varying stimulus within the environment. An intervention in the path of negative thought processes through mindfulness will lead to right knowledge (pramana). This is where we want to get in order to begin the healing process. As we heal, our energy vibration rises in frequency and begins attracting and working with other higher frequency energies in the universe.

We are kept from the experience of Spirit (highest energy) because our inner world is cluttered with past traumas. As we begin to clear away this clutter, the energy of divine light and love begins to flow through our beings.source

Dangers of Pleasurable Memory

It is not only the memory of negative emotions that pose a threat to us. There are emotions related to pleasurable memory that reside within the Drive and Affiliation zone that are equally hazardous and potent in its ability to corrupt the mind and soul.

Whenever there is a pleasurable experience, a shot of dopamine is released in our brain which gives us a nice buzz. This feeling of an ‘adrenalin rush’ is a product of the Drive and Affiliation intentions. It may feel good at first, but is always followed by a feeling of fatigue, as this system uses up energy and depletes the body. And when the same elevation of pleasurable experience is not reached in the future, pain arises. We will look at this experience again in Sutra (1:8).

Question: But are there not benefits to painful memory. Doesn’t memory of past painful experiences protect us from dangers?

Answer: Only if you don’t project the implication of facing the same danger in the future, and worry about it happening again, over and over. This causes fear which leads to anxiety. Neither should you let thoughts of past pain infiltrate the present state of mind ruminating numerous resentments into existence. Resentment is an animal that breeds intense desire to inflict pain, suffering, or humiliation onto others and deriving pleasure and satisfaction from it - in the process as thought - or when your actions to punish someone are successful. Worry, on the other hand, prevents you from taking chances in the future. It stunts you from further evolvement, robbing you of life, liberty, and beauty, while resentment lowers your consciousness to those of beasts.

  • Sutra 1.6 pramana viparyaya vikalpa nidra smritayah
  • pramana - real or valid cognition, right knowledge, valid proof, seeing clearly

  • viparyayah - unreal cognition, indiscrimination, perverse cognition, wrong knowledge, misconception, incorrect knowing, not seeing clearly

  • vikalpah - imagination, verbal misconception or delusion, fantasy, hallucination

  • nidra - a state of helplessness, desolate, destitution, hopelessness

  • smritayah - worry and rumination. mental gymnastics into further darkness.