The following is a translation and commentary of an excerpt from the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" [Pada 1 Sutra 7]
written some 5000 years ago


Upward thoughts result from clear perception,
logical deduction and direct cognition.


Clear perception includes direct and immediate experience. It implies that the windows of the senses have been cleansed, that previous experience and belief are not coloring the reality seen as it is Now. The typical experience of the Waking State is that the past is never quiescent -- every experience is shaped and colored by memories of previous experiences. These operate on such a subtle level inside that it is rare to be aware of their existence. Yet, if for even the briefest of moments, we can slip beyond the limitations of our past and see life as it is truly is right Now, we find that every moment is filled with glory, wonder, love, life and joy.
Clear perception and valid inference or logical deduction are impossible in the absence of the third characteristic of correct understanding: direct cognition. Direct cognition means those thoughts that rise without distortion from the Source of Thought. The Source of Thought is the unlimited reservoir of creativity, intelligence and bliss that lies within each of us. In the Waking State, this reservoir is far beyond normal experience, for only the most surface or manifest level of thought is perceived. So thoughts are appreciated only when they have moved through the nervous system and reached the conscious thinking level, the 10% thinking level, the surface of the mind.
Most thoughts making their way to the surface of the mind have been distorted by stress. They are no longer particularly filled with clarity, intelligence, happiness, love or energy. Previous life experiences and the beliefs based on those experiences twist and maim the original intention and purity of the thoughts arising from their Source in Universal Intelligence. The actions resulting from these diminished thoughts are necessarily flawed, mutually contradictory and weak; they inevitably lead to lack of progress and ever-increasing difficulty in life.
But those fortunate thoughts that arise purely and without distortion from the Source remain surcharged with energy, intelligence and bliss; they, being unflawed, never contradict each other (or the Universe) and therefore result in greater harmony, happiness and success in every area of life.
Direct cognition thus also includes those thoughts that have been expressed by the enlightened, for one quality of enlightenment is the ability to think and therefore speak without distortion from the Source. Every valid scriptural statement falls under this category. Of course, the trouble in recognizing which of the world's scriptures are direct expressions undistorted from the Source is that it takes a mind that is incapable of being distorted to verify the reality of the written words. Thus following any book blindly in the hopes of improving life is about as intelligent as trying to learn to fly by reading a novel about airplanes. But for those whose mental instruments do in fact translate thought without distortion from the Source, reading or hearing the expressions of other such minds is a constant thrill of delight. It is never a matter of competition. A truly enlightened follower of any faith will see only the Beauty in all other religions.

Compare this with Christ telling his disciples not to worry about what to say when they spoke his Teaching, for the Holy Spirit would give them all the words they needed: "Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." -- MATTHEW 10:19&20. Cf. MARK 13:11; LUKE 12:11&12, 21:15; EXODUS 4:10-12; ISAIAH 50:4; JEREMIAH 1:9.

In the sutra above what is being elaborated upon is the fact that faith when fueled by anything other than direct cognition is subject to egoic influence. In the waking state of consciousness which is of the three most recognized states of consciousness, the other two being sleeping and dreaming, recognition or understanding based on past influences has a tendency to be subject to personality. What drives our senses is most often judgment based on feelings and emotions. If one person has a particular set of beliefs and their faith is wrapped around the belief of personality it will divide information to separate that which is not appealing from what is appealing. Discernment may not be clear because of emotional investments in how things make us feel.
Intuitive processes are colored by likes and dislikes, or the attachment to emotional response and the projection of possible futures and outcomes of choice. Such is the state of religion today. Faith based on religious beliefs is supported by like minded beliefs and conversations that do not threaten the attachment to personal ideals and boundaries.

During the crusades the church dictated how spirituality should be understood, faith was given to the head of the church as the clear authority who was supposed to be in direct contact with God and God's plan. By following this authority and the faith in the power of the officials, man was easily manipulated into spiritual genocide or the cleansing of impure religious beliefs through a process of eliminating the people who lived with any opposing thought.
For the majority who reveled in their power of control over beliefs and faith, there was great enjoyment in the resonance of commonality and the elimination of all opposing beliefs.
Of course the common people only lived with theory because they were told by church officials that common folk didn't posses the ability to communicate directly with God or to have a direct experience of God. For those that believed a direct experience of God was not possible, theory was their vehicle carried them on their way to the authority in surrender and worship.

Throughout the past several hundred years the church has had to morph with the evolution of technology and science, and the intellectual understanding of human awareness that has made it less simple to hypnotize the intellect with stories of theory, no matter how good it sounds. Today industry bases its ability to sell and control consumption by their use of the media to influence man with relative truths and theory based on the most current scientific data. For the most part we are taught to believe in the authority of Government representation, Church, and the sciences of education because of their predetermined reputation. Very few actually get a chance to develop a sense of conscious awareness and intuitive reflex because it is not taught to us but discouraged, by predetermined social values, rules and scientific influences that tell us what we cannot see and touch is not real.

So Faith is not enough for we can have faith in anything, and faith without direct experience or the enlivenment of clear and direct cognition or intuition is at best a guessing game of how does this feel to me? What most of us already know is that feelings and beliefs are constantly changing, and if Faith is supported by these changing feelings and beliefs what is it that we really know about what it is we have faith in?

If you are lucky to get into a debate and come away with your beliefs intact then you have either come up with a decent argument to protect your personal interests or the opposing argument was not strong enough that day to change your feelings or your opinion.
But lets look at the most recent history of say the Rev. Lindsay who I made mention of having started with the word God who then changed that word to G'd because he agreed with the Jewish version of spelling God and then to GØD as an acronym for a personal revelation which was a representation of changed or refined thinking again.

If our faith is personal and not universal we have our own acronyms which have meaning to us but not necessarily to anyone else. It then becomes an issue of dealing out our beliefs to others to see if they produce the desired result of commonality so that we can enjoy a spirit of relative communion with belief and enjoy the resonance of like mindedness. As long as our group of commonality stays together grows and expands we feel great about our beliefs and our faith in our beliefs.

Without the direct cognition of the supreme being, there is only relative association to personal attachment. If the supreme being exists in all beliefs and all personal agendas the ego then has no protection from the opposing thoughts and conflict that comes from personal beliefs that are different. Ones faith becomes subject to personal opinion and can easily be attacked by someone who has just as strong a faith in their ideas that are completely different.

A conversation such as this one on a Topic of Faith, Religion and philosophy becomes a discussion based on theories and which ever theory burns the brightest is the one that attracts the most moths in a world filled with darkness.

In the link Lindsay posted for the interview with Dr. Kaku there is a reference in the interview of Dr. Kaku to extremists or to the Terrorists of the Muslim Faith as wanting to be a type minus 1 society. Based on the idea that we are still approaching a type 1 society and that the Christian and Jewish Faiths have come to a medium of faith integration he suggests that the Muslims have so far removed themselves in their faith that they would rather propel society back into a segregated society. He doesn't mention why but it's basically because the radical seed that is being sewn is the mistrust of the massive widespread authority that is given to ideas spread about by the media machine.
Anything can be sold.
It wasn't that long ago that the authority told us that the world was flat.
The policies of divided politics work to distract humanity while the promise of relief is sold via the media to the public pointing in any direction which satisfies the senses taste for immediate satisfaction or instant gratification.
In politics faith is in the system which is going to serve ones self interests the best.
With philosophy and religion that is not based on direct cognition whichever theory that suits ones best interests is going to be the one that sells easily and soothes the needs of personal realities.

So Knowledge then is going to be relative. How does one empathize with knowledge that is based on direct cognition such as scripture if your faith is not connected to direct experience and cognition, but relative ideals contrived of theories regarding scripture that are filtered through a closet full of intellectual programs and emotional attachments, which have you changing your mind, your acronyms and your faith like you change your clothes or the oil in your car?
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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!