3.5 By mastery comes wisdom.
Hard work pays off, especially in Yoga. When we try to become masters of our mind, the wisdom associated with higher states of awareness is the outcome of our efforts. I like to look at the concept of mastery as developing a new habit.
Wisdom is the ability to see a situation in a new light outside of our perspective and be able to take correct action. As stated in the first two books of the Yoga Sutras, our perspectives are tainted with the “colorings” associated with thoughts. In turn, these coloring make up our perspectives, which we use to make judgments about the world around us.
Have you ever gotten “stuck in a rut”? Do particular situations play out the same way over and over again and you don't know why? That is why the thought categorization process in Book one is so important. You notice that you use fantasy as a refuge from uncomfortable situations arising in your life. This could take the form of drugs, video games, television, social media or books. Fantasy is one of the five forms of thought we need to avoid, but it's not going to have the same effect on one person as it may on others. The plan is to see new situations from different perspectives and then make changes accordingly.
It's a never ending cycle: evaluate, adjust and then reevaluate. We get wiser with each new cycle, but keep in mind that cycles tend to repeat themselves in different context. I my practice, I have found it's impossible to know how high I have climbed because whatever I adjust to becomes a new normal. Then I notice something else I need to work on and the cycle start over again. I keep on climbing though knowing that there will always be a need to return to the fundamentals. Just when you think you have one situation resolved, new ones pop up, like squeezing a water balloon.