Verse 28 feels like a resting verse – fairly straightforward. The first part speaks about the knowing object-of-sense and how each one responds to unique kinds of objects. The second part specifies what each action object-of-sense does.
The verse feels a bit like a repetition of verse 26, which, to me, seems strange given the conciseness and density of the text. In sitting down to write this journal entry I wondered about this and so revisited the commentaries to see if I missed anything. This led me on a journey of reflection and some writing that I ultimately decided not to publish because I found that my thoughts were reaching from a seed that is planted in this verse into the realms of future verses where it will be nourished and sprout.
What did shimmer for me in this verse was the notion that:
- If the knowing objects-ofsense are fluctuations of the Gunas (see verse 27).
- And if each knowing object-of-sense perceives unique kinds of external objects (eg: the “eye”percieve only “form”).
- And if the external objects that are perceived are also fluctuations of the Gunas (see the word vṛtti).
- Then this seems to imply that “sensing” is some kind of correlation or resonance between internal and external Guna fluctuations.
When I reflect on “sensing” from within my western mechanistic mindset I lean towards a paradigm in which external things enter the body through senses: eg: light enters the body through the eyes or sound through the ears. The notion of resonance points my thoughts towards a different sensing paradigm: a paradigm of resonance. The eyes resonate with form: an external fluctuation of the Gunas resonates with a similar or matching (or perhaps complementary?) fluctuation of the Gunas inside. In this paradigm sensing is a shared fluctuation – a resonance. In this resonance paradigm, no physical thing needs to move into or enter another physical thing but rather two related physical things resonate when they are near each other – less like objects, more like fields.
This reflection feels like an invitation into a mental shift that is both appealing (because it feels like a bright and spacious expansion) and a bit frightening (because it feels like I am losing a grip on something I assumed was firm and trustworthy).