The Yoga of distinction between the field and the knower of the field

field-right-doing-wrong-doingIn the thirteenth discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks Krishna to teach him about nature and spirit, the field and the knower of the field. Krishna explains that the body including the mind, ego, desire, aversion, intellect and other such factors make up the field. The immortal soul, or spirit, is the knower beyond the field. It is that piece of us that witnesses our thoughts, actions, reactions – it is the true self. It is the Lord. once we become aware of this we cannot injure another, for we would be injuring ourselves.

This discourse, for me, is one of the more important ones. It’s where we make the distinction between what is real and unreal. Rene Descarte, the philosopher, famously said “I doubt therefore I think, I think therefore I am” when trying to determine if the world around him was real. He knew that the only thing he could truly pinpoint as real was his own thoughts that were ‘watching’ the world around him. He didn’t know if the entire world was a creation of his own mind or not. To me, this is the same concept as what is being revealed in the Gita through this discourse. Everything around us, in a sense, is a creation of our own mind even when we decide that it’s all real. It is our perceptions that skew our world, that give it meaning, that assigns value (good or bad) to the experiences around us. When we detach from those perceptions and sit back and watch the show, we become the knower of the field. And when we do that we begin to see how we truly are all one, all having this earthly experience together, of being human. And we begin to know that being human is simply a state that we are observing, it is not our true essence. When we are able to detach from this state – even if only for a moment – we begin to see the world very differently. A community of souls experiencing what it’s like to be human.



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Pssst…have you heard? 

I found out this week that there was a rumour going around my partner’s work place about me: that I was terminally ill and dying! His co-worker was asking if he was excited for his upcoming trip and asked who he was going with. When he told her I was going she was shocked and asked how I could be going. He was a little confused and asked what she meant. She said that she heard I was on the verge of death. 

My partner is very private. To be honest I wasn’t even sure people he worked with knew I existed lol. So I was super confused about how these people I’d never met would have this is their minds. It turns out that my sister knows someone that my partner works with. So somehow between my sister telling her that I had kidney disease and would need a transplant and when it got back to my partner the story completely changed. I was a little disconcerted at having that sort of energy coming my way. Not healing energy, but dying energy. Huh.

It seems that we humans love to tell stories. And when the story is incomplete we complete it in our minds. We do this perceptually all the time. When there ar pieces missing from pictures we fill in the missing bits (which I’ve always found really fascinating). And we do the same when telling stories I think. We imagine we know the truth and pass it on. But we get it wrong. And so does the next person and the next person. Wouldn’t it be great if when we filled in the details we would fill them in with something great? ‘She has kidney disease but I think she’ll get the transplant and make a full recovery.’ I would rather that energy coming my way😀

Just for fun, here are some perceptual illusions: 

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