Desires Colour Your Emotions

There seems to be no limit to the diversity of our desires. However, all of them operate in only two directions — either we want something or some outcome, or we want to avoid something or some outcome. Every desire falls into one of these two types.

Similarly, there are only two categories of outcomes once desires become active and play out — either we attain our desired outcome, or we do not attain our desired outcome. From these, there are at least hundreds of emotional responses, although all of those emotions are of only two types or directions as well.

In Yoga psychology all of these pairs are related to the kleshas (colorings) of raga (attraction or drawing towards) and dvesha (aversion, pushing away, or opposition) as described in Yoga Sutras 1.5 and 2.1-2.9. These are accompanied by the ‘klesha’ or coloring of the fear of the loss or “death” of the matrix of attractions and aversions that collectively define who we (incorrectly) think we are at the level of personality and physical body identity.

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