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Yoga Sutra 1.6 for the modern world

This Sutra reminds us that there are five types of consciousness • actual knowledge (studied and verified). • misconception. • imagination. • deep sleep. • memory. Each activity of the consciousness has its own characteristics and they effect our behaviour and attitudes. All five consciousnesses combine to make up our personalities and how we perceive the world. This Sutra is a gateway to the next 5 sutras, it causes us to think more deeply about how activities of the mind can affect our lives including our personalities and how we perceive the world and people around us. In the world where we can read anything, watch everything, and surround ourselves with so much information it makes it even more relevant than it was when it was written. The ideal, is to surround yourself with total truth, things you’ve actually experienced or that you know of as fact because they have been studied and verified. As soon as you start to surround yourself with information that’s misconceived, imagined or taken from memory it changes and becomes half truth or none at all. All of this knowledge shapes the person we are, if we only read one newspaper we will probably believe those views and start to vote politically that way, if we only ever surround ourselves with a certain “type” of person we will start to think like them, and behave like them. This can be seen as absolutely fine, but what happens when we are challenged to look at things from other perspectives, do we have those perspectives at hand? And what happens if those people who we surround ourselves with or the information we take on board isn’t healthy for us, is against our true belief system or is constantly negative. How does this affect us? It’s been proven that people who watch or listen to the news every morning before work are more likely to feel depressed during the day than those who don’t!!!!! The information we surround ourselves with actually changes our moods, our behaviour and how we perceive the world. So this Sutra is vital for us to realise we have a choice at how we feel, how we behave and what we surround ourselves with. This will directly affect our way of living.

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