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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
35. Experience (of the pairs of opposites) comes from the inability of the soul to distinguish between the personal self and the purusha (or spirit). The objective forms exist for the use (and experience) of the spiritual man. By meditation upon this, arises the intuitive perception of the spiritual nature.

Again we have quite a loose paraphrase of the original text, but one which nevertheless conveys the correct interpretation.

We have seen in the preceding sutras that the narrow path to be trodden between the pairs of opposites (through the practice of discrimination and dispassion) is the path of equilibrium, of balance, the noble middle path. This sutra is in the nature of a comment upon this stage of the soul's experience and points out the following lessons: [321]

  • First, that the reason we are confronted by the pairs of opposites, and so frequently choose that line of activity or attitude of mind which produces in us pleasure or pain, is because we fail to distinguish between the lower nature and the higher, between the personal self (functioning as a physical, an emotional, and a mental unit) and the divine spirit to be found in each of us. We identify ourselves with the form aspect, and not with the spirit. We regard ourselves as the not-self, for aeons of time and forget our sonship, our unity with the father and the fact that we are, in reality, the indwelling self.
  • Second, that the purpose of form is simply to enable the self to contact worlds otherwise closed to it, and to develop full awareness in all parts of the Father's kingdom, and thus demonstrate as a fully conscious son of God. Through the form, experience is gained, consciousness awakened, faculty is developed and powers are unfolded.
  • Third, that as this fact is grasped intellectually and meditated upon interiorly, awareness of one's identity with the spiritual nature and one's distinction from the form is developed. One knows oneself in truth to be, not the form but the indweller, not the material self but the spiritual, not the differentiated aspects but the One alone, and thus the great process of liberation is carried forward. One becomes what one is, and one accomplishes this through meditation on the intelligent soul, the middle aspect, the Christ principle which links the Father (spirit) and the Mother (matter). [322]

Thus the great triplicity is again to be seen:

  1. The Father, or spirit, the one who manifests, who creates, who indwells,
  2. The Son who reveals, meditates and links the highest aspect with the lower,
  3. The Holy Ghost, over-shadowing the Mother, intelligent material substance providing the forms through which experience and development are gained.

The one who experiences, who incarnates and who achieves divine expression through the medium of form is the soul, the self, the spiritual conscious man, the Christ within. When through this experience he has achieved maturity, he reveals the Father or spirit and so fulfils the words of Christ, when He said (in reply to Philip's question "Lord, show us the Father"), "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John XIV.)

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