Lasting love at first sight. Blind brand vs. generic taste tests. Laziness that definitely is not exhaustion.
What do these three things have in common? When you’re experiencing them, you’re certain you can tell the real from the imposter. You’re sure that it’s really true love. You’re positive the better tasting food is the brand you’re used to. You’re adamant that you’re not working as much as you can, after all there’s a spare hour on your calendar!
Maybe you’re right. Eventually, most of us end up with something we know so thoroughly that we can indeed detect the slightest change from the authentic experience.
The lessons of yoga suggest that this knowing is always there, and through practice, we’ll uncover it.
Because of this ability two identical things and events seemingly having the same type, property or position can be distinguished.
Translation by Kofi Busia
Such wisdom born of intuitive and immediate understanding is the sole redeemer. It is everything. It has everything. It encompasses everything. It is the unconditioned and undivided intelligence spontaneously functioning from moment to moment in the eternal now, without sequential relationship.
Translation by Swami Venkatesananda
Somehow, most of us lose our connection to this knowing (I’m still not sure how that which is our nature escapes us so easily, but let’s role with the idea for now), and that’s when we start to misidentify things.
We let a simple label tell us how good a food is supposed to taste. We let our calendar tell us how tired we’re supposed to feel. We let someone else’s true love make us see it in our own relationships.
Cases of mistaken identity always cause trouble somewhere down the line (as so many a rom-com will evidence for us ;), which in theory we’re usually trying to avoid. So how do you get clear on what’s “really real”?
Start by removing the obstructions to you clear vision.
Remove labels. Don’t ask your calendar if you can do more work. Let love be as it is without needing to call it so.
And if you’re not ready for the changes you need to make, don’t start there. Start with meditation, a simple exercise for your mind that will help open it up to all possibilities.
Even recognizing what’s real and true.
hari om tat sat!
An earlier version of this post first appeared on the Yoga 216 blog.