Sutra 2.4 and 2.5 - Ignorace is Bliss

2.4 Ignorance is the breeding place for all the others whether they are dormant or attenuated, partially overcome or fully operative.
2.5 Ignorance is taking the non-eternal for the eternal, the impure for the pure, evil for good and non-self as self.

Paramahansa Yogananda once said that ignorance is the greatest sin.  The simple fact that we do not know something, or do not bother to get to the correct answer ourselves, leads to much of the suffering we experience. 

An example I can think of is narrative.  We all have some sort of personal narrative that we run through in our daily lives.  It is the narrative of our own being as lived through our cumulative experiences.  With every passing day, we add to our own narrative, but most of us tend to keep adding pages to the same old story. 

Sutra 2.5 states: we mistake the non-eternal for eternal.  How much of an impact does a traumatic event have on us throughout the rest of our life?  Anyone with post traumatic stress disorder can tell you that they re-live them as though they happened the same day.  Soldiers returning from battle are so hard wired with adrenaline, there is no realistic way they can ever reintegrate back into civilian live.  Or is there?  We can actually go into our subconscious and break down hidden barriers within ourselves to dramatically change at the surface level.

These differing levels operate as active or inactive.  In Yoga, we try to live our lives in the present and overcome these obstacles as they are placed in our path.  As we become more aware, the obstacles seem to get bigger, but we are just noticing them more.  My first car was an old 1986 Ford Escort station wagon with power nothing and an AM radio.  Since the car did not have power steering, I just got used to it.  When I got into a car with power steering, I almost tore the steering wheel off, not being used to using less force.  Years later, when my fuel pump blew out, I lost power steering that I had taken it for granted.  So it goes with digging through the mind.

Impurity in Yoga refers to any matter "tainted" by the association with our individual thought.  See, at it's basic level, all matter is the same.  Thought, energy and materiality function according to the consciousness we project on to them.  Mystically speaking, this is refereed to is "The Vale".  It's the vale of ignorance metaphorically pulled over our minds that blurs our inner sight.

In my post about "What Would Mumrah Say About the Nature of Evil"  I go into greater detail about the relativity of evil.  If we are able to get past our own biases, we can see the greater universal definition of good and evil.  Later down the path, the Yogi is even asked to transcend the attachment to both of these dueling forces.  I know that statement goes against the grain of what we are taught as children: Be good in all circumstances.  Too bad the world at face value does not give us the opportunity to do that without great cost.

Don't sweat this too much.  Everyone is ignorant at some level or another.  Ignorance is bliss, so enjoy it while you have it.