Likes and Dislikes

Daily Yoga Scripture Study

Patanjali Yoga Sutras 2.7 – 2.8 Likes and Dislikes

Interpretive Translation by Joseph Le Page

Attachment and aversion are conditioned patterns of belief and behavior created and sustained by identification with memories of past pleasure and pain.

Commentary by Joseph Le Page – Likes and Dislikes

Likes and dislikes arise the first time we laugh or cry, in the mirror of mother’s eyes, as if pleasure and pain lie in the world outside, until we find they are born and die within the confines of the mind.

Though a limited way of seeing, they are the ego’s main reason for being: “getting what I want is what I believe in”, proving just how easily that which binds us can be mistaken for freedom.

And they promise to give our lives meaning and direction, but when we look clsely at the path we’re following, it leads only to the ego’s own reflection.

Likes and dislikes even hide in the guise of the great national “I” for which we fight and die, and shed real blood for what, in the end, are passing thoughts in a confused collective mind.

And they do give flavor to life, but only as the added spice, never as a substitute for the taste of truth; nourishment we find only when we recognize the essential Self inside.

Yes, Likes and dislikes have their place in evolution’s plan for success, but there’s a fine line between striving for what’s best and chasing the mirage of “got to have it all” that only fuels stress.

And this roller coaster never stops, happiness on the way up, fear on the ride down, until we tire of the carnaval show and see that all the rides just go round and round.

For likes and dislikes are the story line of our lives, endless drama of love and strife; searching for what’s wrong or right, while our real life resides in the silence between the lines.

And they are sustained by identification with memories of pleasure and pain, and only remain until we renounce past loss and gain to claim the treasure of this very day.

But as we strive to release this pair, they seem like walls of solid stone, built from every victory and defeat we’ve ever known, until their illusionist trick is unmasked by the clear seeing soul.

And in the end, their promises to keep us safe and give us what we need are just dim echoes of the voice of wholeness, calling out from within our being, and wholeness wants nothing, not even to be free.

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