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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
31. Pain, despair, misplaced bodily activity and wrong direction (or control) of the life currents are the results of the obstacles in the lower psychic nature.

Each of these four results expresses the condition of the lower man; they deal with the effects of wrong centralization or identification.

  1. Pain is the effect produced when the astral or emotional body is wrongly polarized. Pain is the outcome of failure to balance correctly the pairs of opposites. It indicates lack of equilibrium.
  2. Despair is an effect of remorse, produced in the mental body and is itself a characteristic of what may be called "the unregenerated mental" nature. The aspirant has a perception of what might be, though the obstacles as yet overcome him; he is ceaselessly conscious of failure, and this engenders in him a condition of remorse, of disgust, despair and of despondency.
  3. Misplaced bodily activity. The inner condition works out on the physical plane as an intense activity, a violent seeking for solution or for solace, a constant running hither and thither in search of peace. It is the main characteristic at this time of our mental Aryan race and is the cause of the aggressive intensity of endeavor found in all walks of life. To this the educational processes (as they speed up the mental body) have been largely contributory factors. The [72] great contribution of education (in schools, colleges, universities and other allied activities) has been to stimulate the mental bodies of men. It is all part of the great plan, working ever towards the one objective - soul unfoldment.
  4. Wrong directions of the life currents. This is the effect produced in the etheric body by the inner turmoil. These life currents (for the student of occultism) are two in number:

a. The life breath or prana,
b. The life force or the fires of the body.

It is the misuse of the life breath or wrong utilization of prana that is the cause of eighty per cent of the present physical diseases. The other twenty per cent is produced through ill directed life force through the centers, and attacks primarily the twenty per cent of humanity which can be called mentally polarized. The clue for the student of occultism who aspires to liberation is not to be found in breathing exercises, however, nor in any work with the seven centers in the body. It will be found in an intense inner concentration upon rhythmic living and in the careful organization of the life. As he does this, coordination of the subtler bodies with the physical body on the one hand, and with the soul on the other, will eventuate in the automatic subsequent adjustment of pranic and vital energies.

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