Light On The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Disassociation

II.17 – ” The cause of pain is the association or the identification of the seer with the seen and the remedy lies in their dissociation.”

My understanding of this verse is such that when we associate what we see with our inner-self, pain arisen. Pain, could come in many forms, it could be sadness, anger, jealousy, hatred or the exact opposite of these which are happiness, joy,  envy,love. Where there is pleasure, is pain.

The association of what we see to our inner self is through the temptation of the mind. The association or disassociation lies in the intelligence.

Sometime ago I was in one of the developing countries. There were a few scenes I saw.

Scene 1- I saw the poor children sleeping on the street.  As if seeing was not enough, I walked closer and allow my inner self to empathize their situation. I felt a pain in my heart as I further associate this scene with my little girl at home. My thoughts went a little wilder thinking what my little girl would have gone through if she was in such a situation. I cried non stop and I was angry with the world for allowing such to happen. Overwhelming emotions and self caused pain,  because I allow my “self” to be identified with what I saw externally.

Scene 2 – Saw a lot of women who tried to make a living on the streets by wearing low cut revealing tops to lure men. Saw too many of them and got very upset as they threw their discriminating looks upon me as I walked past the streets wearing my tees and shorts. Felt anger arising within me as I analyze their integrity. Naturally, I upset my ‘self’ as I got so disgusted with the place during the first few days that I hardly even want to walk out. Again, self inflicted pain.

Scene 3 – Allow myself to detach from all situations and understand that what I see are external and I should not analyze any situations or scenes that came into my eye. My mind was balanced. I explore the country with my all but limited time.

I guess the first 2 situations describe the oscillation between the intelligence and the self. And the 3rd situation – when the understanding was present, the oscillation was ceased. However, I wouldn’t portray this as true meditation as It still takes effort for me to allow the 3rd situation to happen. It may be conscious effort but well at least, there was no pain.