Preludes to Yoga — To See

We begin with the Isha Upanishad.

īśāvāsyamidaṃ sarvaṃ

All this is for habitation by the Lord..

Humans are visual creatures. Sight, amongst all senses, dominates our cognitive machinery. Our sense of space, form, proportion are all driven home by our vision. Our first confrontation with all that is seen is the sense of discord, whether apparent or subtle.

We have not learnt, or not taught, how to see. We see what we wish to see and not what is actually there. We see but miss the geometry of form. We see a dab of colors but not the artist-will that put it there. We need to train our sight to see.

We see but miss the geometry of form.

Context stains our visual perception. Our moods, our cultural biases, our training..all impose their values on what is seen. We need to decouple the thinker from the one who sees. Just to see and faithfully record in the mind what is seen.

We need to decouple the thinker from the one who sees.

As we dwell more on the object of our attention we learn to see the dimensioned form, the contoured surface, the texture and the gradients of light and color. As we do more of this, we begin to see how form is anchored to function.

You will find Prakriti, Nature, to be invested with more intelligence and art than what man gives Her credit for. And in rare moments of observation, you will watch yourself and wonder at what hand guided the biology, what gave your being its composition, what intelligence ferries you through waking, dream and sleep.

The craftsman sees more than one merely invested with sight.

Proceeding further, pursue the craft of the painter and the sculptor. Learn their vocabulary, their taxonomy of world viewing. The craftsman sees more than one merely invested with sight. Not just the form but what inhabits the form, that which is hidden comes to light in the eye and mind of the artist. Learn their craft. Learn to see as them.

These is a brief outline. Pursue a syllabus of training that comes to you by swabhava, culture, opportunity and Providence. When doing this, ensure you remember the Isha quote.

This is but a baby step to see habitations worn by the Indweller. You will be an apprentice artist over time.

You will be an apprentice artist over time.

As you raise the pitch of this human skill, consider yourself prepared to see what is not always seen or known.

(Picture Courtesy Ochreart)


(Author’s note: Yoga is a program of self-exceeding without peer amongst all endeavours of human existence. This adventure begins with a central opening in the aspiring individual to the Divine. Prior to this opening there are a series of preludes that prepare our being. The humanly perfected faculties provide a foundation upon which the mortal can be raised into the Immortal.

This series will throw light on few such opportunities for self-preparation. So far we have Will to Begin, To See.)