Verse 30: How does cognition occur?

yugapat-catuṣṭayasya tu vṛttiḥ kramaśaś-ca tasya nirdiṣṭā |
dṛṣṭe tathā-api-adṛṣṭe trayasya tat-pūrvikā vṛttiḥ ||

yugapat – together
catuṣṭaya – set of four
vṛtti – fluctuate
krama – in sequence

dṛṣṭa – seen
adṛṣta – unseen
traya – the three
pūrva – preceding

Cognition occurs when the three internal organs interact with the objects of sense.

  1. When the three internal organs unite with an organ of sense they become a unit of four.
  2. For example the eye unites with Mahat (Discerning Intelligence – see verse 23), Ahamkara (I-Principle – see verse 24) and Manas (Mind – see verse 27) to perceive form. So it is with each of the sense organs.
  3. The four can function simultaneously or gradually (in succession).
  4. They work simultaneously when they are relating to perceived objects.
  5. When the eyes sees, Manas (mind) deliberates what is seen, Ahamkara ((I-Principle) considers how it applies to “I” and Mahat (Discerning Intelligence) decides what to do about it. My eyes and nose see and smell something on the table, Manas identifies it as chocolate cake, Ahamkara desires it and Mahat decided to have a piece.
  6. When I am unsure about perceived objects, the four operate gradually. The eye may see something in the distance but the mind may not be able to make out what it is. As I move closer, Manas identifies and then Ahamkara (how does this apply to I?) and Mahat (what should I do?) can function.
  7. Cognition can also relate to invisible objects.
  8. Invisible objects are of the past and future.
    1. I saw something yesterday and I am considering it today.
    2. Because I saw something today I expect to see something tomorrow.
  9. Yet, even when the three internal organs operate separately from the object-of-sense (in the past or in the future), their ability to do so depends on previous interactions (actual cognition) that involved the object-of-sense. I can recall (an operation of the three internal organs) the taste of chocolate that I had yesterday because yesterday I had a cognitive (an operation of the three internal organs together with the tongue object-of-sense) experience of it.
  10. All cognition is based on sensory function. I cannot re-cognize something I have not yet cognized.

1 thought on “Verse 30: How does cognition occur?”

  1. Thanks for this work Ronen,

    1) it clarifies my recent experiences at work in that Tamas has been getting purged by a non-CEO that most of us have been led to believe is the CEO… legally speaking though the “CEO” is someone else – this has caused a lot of Rajas within the group and now folks including myself are waking up from the activity or machinations that its caused. I’m feeling much more still even if I’m technically in the mist of chaos (when am I not?); I’ve just flown over to Berlin for a concert but left my tickets behind… this doesn’t feel disturbing at all. I dont know if I’ll get into this very special event but theres nothing I can do right now so I’ve let it go. Tomorrow we’ll see!

    2) you asked me about my fetish with the future a few weeks ago and the section on invisible objects seem to relate to this question. My sense organs have had a ton of real past experiences and so seem to anticipate futures with a hypersensitivity and feels like its nearly equivalent to ‘one shot learning’ it AI. A future I’m sensing at the moment based on three data points in two days is the rise of a network state. This feels like its coming into existence in the near future; in the lineage I follow this temporal dimension is called hyparxis – though there are other names for it (hyperstition in accelerationist terminology).

    Anyway, I’m glad that while the output on your personal site has dropped, this minimalistic blog is still receiving the intention/attention it deserves. Thanks for the post, especially the newsletter that notified me of it – I typically find those more informative than the link I follow through to so if anyone else is reading I’d suggest they sign up.


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