The Self and The Organs of Perception are Separate
2.6 drk darsana saktyohek atma taiva asmita
Egoism is ascribing a unified self to the organs and powers of perception, such as the eye and the power to see.
- Asmita-mis-identification with truth
Things are not what they seem. The body is perceived to be consciousness itself. Although consciousness does inhabit the body and the body is a necessary component for the recognition of the nature of truth, it is not consciousness itself. The body is considered to be an instrument and is only one part of the multidimensional human being. When all the layers of the multidimensional human are aligned it becomes possible to experience the true nature of reality.
All of consciousness is an ever expanding circle. The circumference of this circle is the border of consciousness. Within this circle there is a center. The center of consciousness is ahamkara. It is an extremely small part of consciousness. A dot in an infinite field of possibility and yet as we identify with this dot we make it the center of our vision.
Ahamkara is necessary because without separation there could not be individual experience. It is this separation that allows for the myriad of individual creations that abound in our universe. As the center of our perception all experiences past and present are filtered through the tiny dot of ahamkara in order to create a sense of I. This experience of an individual awareness separate from the circle of consciousness is simultaneously limiting and necessary. The building blocks of these separate creations are the same, they are the five elements. So everything is created from the same source, but the individual creations consider themselves different. In terms of the human it is through the tanmatras that the world created by the elements can be sensed.
Tanmatras and sense organs
The five elements are directly linked to the five senses and certain physiological functions. These are called the tanmatras, tan means subtle or mother and matra means elements or matter. The tanmatra’s are sound, touch, form, taste and odor. They are the gateways for the sense objects outside of ourselves, allowing us to perceive the external environment. As the external environment is composed of the five elements it is the existence of these elements that gives rise to the sense organs. Without the elements there would be no object for the senses to perceive.
It is through perception that we create our reality. This reality can be created through the perception of the ego or it can be created through other faculties of the mind. Our self perception is limited by the faculty that we use to perceive. The practice of yoga is to open the gateways so that we can begin to perceive in ways that are consistent and choerent with reality.