2.3 The five afflictions are ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and the desire to cling to life.
Time to start digging in and getting our hands dirty. Sutra 2.3 states the five kinds of afflictions that all thought can be categorized into in one form or another. As I stated in the last book, thought categorization is the second step that leads to deeper meditation right after being able to sit down and do it. There is a set order to meditation, which we will get into later. For now, I will go over how this thought categorization works when it comes to the five afflictions.
When we speak of thought as matter with concioness impressions attached, we are looking for the thoughts that cause us to take physical action first. These are the thoughts that work their way into the material world. Without any action, the thoughts linger in the consciousness and have little noticeable impact on our daily lives. Let's use the movie Clueless as an example.
Ignorance is Yoga is simply the fact of not knowing. We do Yoga in the first place to seek knowledge. Cher is ignorant to anything outside her small constructed world. How often do we seek to find things that fit our own personal narrative? Have your heard the phrase "ignorance of the law is no excuse?" Well, excuses aside, most go through life, living day to day out of oblivious habit.
Cher tries to set up two of her teachers, only to have it backfire on her. The egoism associated with thinking that she could have done this in the first place shows that, like her, we have a strong sence of I. If you look at my post about the map of the Yogic mind, the ahamkara is the identification of the limited self vs. the Bhudhi, which is untarnished intellect.
Cher has a huge closet of crap, uh, I mean cloths. How easy would it be for her to give that stuff up? Attachment is the main cause of suffering in the Buddhist tradition. We work in meditation to face our attachments to objects. How do you know if you are attached to something? If you can think of something, probably the first thing that comes to mind is some sort of attachment. Detachement is a larger subject which is covered in later sutras.
You would think that aversion would be the opposite of attachment, but they are one in the same. When we go our of our way to avoid things, it shows that we still have some sort of attraction to them by means of giving the object of avoidance attention. So Cher couldn't accept the results of her drivers test or whatever. She tries to avoid the inevitable result.
The desire to cling to life. This sounds kind of morbid, but when we put it into the context of reincarnation, the soul has no death or birth. Advanced yoga practitioners, who have reached the state of Samadhi know that death is just another transition, like going to sleep. What would happen of we did no know if we will wake up in the morning? Sweet dreams.