Desikachar says (Heart of Yoga, pg 11):

Finally, there is abhinivesa, fear.  This is perhaps the most secret aspect of avidya [incorrect knowledge] and its expression is found on many levels of our everyday life.  We are afraid that people will judge us negatively.  We feel uncertain when our lifestyle is upset. We do not want to grow old.  All these feelings are expressions of abhinivesa, the fourth branch of avidya.

It seems to me that a lot of fear doesn’t directly express as fear to consciousness.  The whole fear is there, but we numb ourselves to our body so that the physical fear (as all fear is) is not felt.  We become numb in parts of our bodies, parts that are actually expressing the fear.  At the level of our consciously aware ego (ie us) we may have some thoughts of aversion or judgement or sacrifice and also not notice an absence in our body-field.  But that absence only goes so deep.  Behind a veil we have conspired to throw over some portion of our field of view looks our other eye from its other side on the scary feeling and a veil a fool threw up behind it.

I caught myself:

Slouching lower back, starting around T5-T9 (I don’t have refined enough proprioreception to determine where the epicenter of the slouch is [heart?]), it pulls the zyphoid process in and pushes the shoulders rounded up and over and I also noticed my adductor muscles pulling my legs up a bit in my cross legged seat and tilting the pelvis and jacking up my right hip and tilting my whole body and scrunching my right abdomen and lumbar and selectively lifting up my right leg and its old injury – all combining to make it impossible to feel that I am actually sitting balanced – and that was involved with a whole attitude. I can see two layers, one, the specific thought contents, and two, the generic attitudes that spawned those specific contents.

The most disturbing thing was that but a few moments before relaxing through it, I didn’t even see it.  I thought I was sitting perfectly balanced.  Blind to my blindness.  Even there as I wrote the last sentence I detected it again, not fully expressed, but sneaking in.  Settles in with each exhale.  The way to counteract it, for me, is to breath with my middle chest and push my heart out.  It’s the perfect antidote as it requires all that stuff to just mellow out.

But how to counteract forgetting to counteract the slouch?  Notice it.  How to counteract forgetting to notice it?  Down the rabbit hole we ever go to the fabled land of continuous attention… breath… live out the details of the breath with each ebb and flow and become familiar with the shape of the shore and the lore of the depth…

All that sounds mysterious, but I intuit the consistent pushing up and out of the heart with inhalation will unlock some sense of life that would be impossible to miss the absence of once its presence is experienced…

One thought on “Abhinivesa

  1. Luna Sol says:

    Beautifully written, thank you for that. Indeed, how to become aware of the things that we do not know that we do not know. Keep breathing 🙂

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