Samskara - {Sacred} Writing Prompt #2

November's {Sacred} Thread teaching and writing theme is here! Samskara.


“In all of my universe I have seen no law of nature, unchanging and inexorable. This universe presents only changing relationships which are sometimes seen as laws by short-lived awareness. These fleshy sensoria which we call self are ephemera withering in the blaze of infinity, fleetingly aware of temporary conditions which confine our activities and change as our activities change. If you must label the absolute, use its proper name: Temporary.” 
― Frank HerbertGod Emperor of Dune
“For what do you hunger, Lord?” Moneo ventured.
“For a humankind which can make truly long-term decisions. Do you know the key to that ability, Moneo?”
“You have said it many times, Lord. It is the ability to change your mind.” 
― Frank HerbertGod Emperor of Dune


The entirety of the Dune Chronicles as told by both Herbert and his son are nothing short of masterful story-telling that allows the reader to transcend galaxies and millenia. Observing humanity and approaching philosophy from that perspective has allowed me to compare and contrast the behavior of my conditioned, patterned egoic self to what I ultimately strive to be - a more universally aware, open-minded human being capable of long-term decision-making that is good for the whole of society. The two quotes above are reflections of a character in the series that has lived for thousands of years and has the ability to see into the future to a large degree. This character has assumed responsibility for ensuring the survival of the human race.

As a human of only 30 years, its not hard to lose sight of long-term thinking as the goal while moving from day to day, striving to make enough money to pay the bills and feed myself. When I challenge myself to set that as a foundation for my actions, however, I am subsequently challenged to look inward and reflect upon my behavioral conditioning. Which of my behaviors serve to maintain and ease my ego? What patterns reinforce my small-minded version of comfortable and stability and what is holding me back from acting in a way that is for the greater good? How does one even begin to discern between the two?

Ultimately, a person must go through each pattern of body, mind, emotion and examine what facilitates or inhibits his or her own True Nature. I think the key to that lies within the first quote - we are somewhat confined and limited by the mere physicalness of our experience as a human. Yoga is good for analyzing physical patterns and noticing was does or does not work. The practitioner can then spin off in any direction from there. That's where I see the second quote becoming important and tying into the first. Even as we establish new, good behavior in some future moment that, too, is likely to become obsolete or need to be evolved. The greatest tool we have to break out of patterns that do not serve us is to change our minds. In Christianity this is referred to as metanoiaIn yoga we examine our behavioral patterns and strive to constantly shape and reshape them over time to best serve our True Nature - Samskara.