Yoga Sutra 17

Sutra 17

The cause of pain is the association or identification of the seer (atma) with the seen (prakrti) and the remedy lies in their dissociation.

This sutra according to Iyengar is stating that “inner harmony is disturbed when the mind lets itself be lured into indiscriminately sampling the world in phenomena.”
In other words when we label what is happening around us as good/bad, evil, blessed and then attach ourselves to that definition. This sutra builds onto sutras 15 and 16. The seen is our ego our attached mind, the part of us that wants to eat our cake and not gain weight. The part of us that in high school knew the whole world would fall apart if X, Y or Z did not happen, and when it didn’t make it mean something else. The seer is the soul, the part of us that is God breathe (as God breathed into Adams’ nostrils and gave him life) as Christians, thanks to Jesus, we have God’s gift the Holy Spirit which is actively communicating within us, creating the Holy Trinity together being the seer with us. The united or complete sees God as father, Jesus both flesh and father, and the Holy spirit as communicator and energy. Training ourselves to be quiet in meditation and open to listen and read Gods word is very important in order to achieve this dissociation.
We are not the bodies; they are lent to us by God. The Bible tells us not to worry about our food, clothes etc… to let God handle that. We are to study Gods word, to meditate on his commandments and live by them, to trust in Jesus Christ and listen to the Holy Spirit within us. Great teachers all have illustrated their hardships and challenges in their stories throughout the Bible while meditating on God and his commands. Abraham, Daniel, David, Moses, Paul etc…. all lived lives filled with both great blessings and hardships, although some lost their lives for God they all are with him now eternally. If they had attached to their hardships or blessings, don’t you think they would have been mad or boastful towards God, breaking his commands? Yoga teaches us to use mantra to train our minds to focus steadily on God and his commands. This is something we have to practice, pray for God’s grace to allow us to focus and not stray. It is hard, yet it is also what God wants; for us to not judge each other, or our surroundings, or attach to what happened yesterday, not to feel boastful or proud of what we have done or not done. God simply wants us to know him through his story the Bible and our own disassociation with our worries and bodies. Here are a few examples of passages that tell us how to live for God and how not to give into our temptations but to love.
Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13 – Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends… 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
Galatians 5:16-26 – Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (the flesh as I see it is the seen nature, our egos our human desires, the feel goods but end bad actions)
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.
I believe the Bible does teach us to learn to control the desires of the flesh by focusing on the Holy Spirit and not labeling or even paying attention to those desires.