Was listening to a recording of my teacher Paul talk about the idea of bondage in the Hindu Tantric tradition. He said bondage is, “…the experience in life where you are saying something like, `I shouldn`t be doing this` even as you are performing the action which your mind is telling you you shouldn`t be doing.”
I am familiar with bondage as viewed through the lens of Shaiva Tantra, in which bondage is usually equated with ignorance. Ignorance is considered the root of suffering in much of Indian philosophical and cosmological discourse. In the Classical Yoga view, ignorance is an assumed starting point for human beings, however there is no reason or origin given for it. It simply is. In Tantra the origin of ignorance is clearly articulated in great detail. As soon as a being manifests a physical presence he or she is immediately covered over in a veil of this ignorance. A being knows nothing when born. There is no intellectual knowledge in an infant`s head about the world and the universe and there have been, at that point, no experiences received in the present physical incarnation, besides the one of birth. To make the great return to one`s essential nature it is necessary to have both of these aspects of knowledge: intellectual and experiential. Which means that there is book study and memorization, but there is also the application of one`s sequences of practices. These work together to synergistically begin to remove the veil of ignorance.
This is a step-by-step process with no estimated time of arrival, so to speak.
Because ignorance is tenacious.
As Paul`s quote reveals, we often give ourselves over to the ignorance. We let ignorance be our normal default.
I see this in my own patterns of habituation and in fact have been seeing it even clearer lately, so it was quite a delight to receive this sharing by Paul at a very appropriate moment.
How often do I go against my higher intelligence? The part of me that may have a rather small voice but speaks with a certainty that what is being conveyed is the truth?
Paul indicates this is because of a disconnect at the very center of our being.
I find it truly fascinating that we can inhabit our body-mind consciousness and yet so completely disconnect from what it is doing.
Paul gave the example of a person lighting a cigarette even as they chastise themselves for doing so. How often in my own life do I set things afire in a conscious manner?