According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, liberation or enlightenment is called kaivalya, which means ‘aloneness’. This refers to the nature of awareness, which usually has a subject and an object. If awareness as such can be abstracted so there is no division between subject and object, there is only awareness, then that is the ‘aloneness’ kaivalya refers to. Coincident with this aloneness is the ceasing of the functioning of what are called the three ‘gunas’, which are the characteristics of everything that can be observed in nature. These characteristics—inertia, movement and luminosity—are believed to always be in flux and, therefore, so is all of observable nature. The practice of yoga fosters an experiential understanding of how one's body is organized in progressively more subtle combinations of the gunas, which are discernible as separate but interacting layers (koshas). Each layer has its own particular natural time scale, or rhythm. As consciousness entrains itself to a particular layer, time resolution and time continuity increase. Time resolution is the time rate at which measurable events are perceived; time continuity is the subjective perception of the passage of time—the greater the continuity, the more time appears to stand still for us. At the most subtle layers or koshas, events are perceivable at a level of detail that may approach the quantum, and an a-temporal realm of subjective time may be reached. Liberation is attained when this a-temporal realm is reached, which corresponds with the experience of non-duality of subject and object, ‘alone’ of the witness. In this paper the details of the progression from temporality to a-temporality are described in the context of a specific practice of yoga, Iyengar yoga."
Siegfred Bleher Ph.D.
Siegfried Bleher, PhD, Physics, University of Maryland
in 1989 in nonlinear dynamics, and completed postdoctoral work in
quantum chaos at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia and
postdoctoral work on transition state theory at McMaster University in
Hamilton, Ontario, before accepting a visiting faculty position at
West Virginia University in 1994. Since 1992 Siegfried has had an
interest and practice in yoga, and began teaching yoga full time in
1996. He and his wife run Inner Life Yoga Studio in Morgantown, WV. He
is a certified teacher in the method taught by modern yoga master
B.K.S. Iyengar, at the Intermediate Junior II level of certification,
and has trained with the Iyengar family in Pune India, as well as with
many of the senior teachers in the US. His research interest and
work is currently to explore the boundary between what is objectively
verifiable, and what is subjective about consciousness. Specifically,
he is interested in (1) the implications that yoga philosophy has for
a modern science of consciousness, (2) whether a coherent science of
consciousness can be built up from a phenomenological view of
consciousness, and (3) what, if anything, does quantum theory and its
various interpretations have to do with the nature of consciousness.