“One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

“PURPORT

“The word atma denotes body, mind and soul — depending upon different circumstances. In the yoga system, the mind and the conditioned soul are especially important. Since the mind is the central point of yoga practice, atma refers here to the mind. The purpose of the yoga system is to control the mind and to draw it away from attachment to sense objects.

“It is stressed herein that the mind must be so trained that it can deliver the conditioned soul from the mire of nescience. In material existence one is subjected to the influence of the mind and the senses. In fact, the pure soul is entangled in the material world because the mind is involved with the false ego, which desires to lord it over material nature. Therefore, the mind should be trained so that it will not be attracted by the glitter of material nature, and in this way the conditioned soul may be saved.”

Bhagavad Gita 6.5

“We must be saved from immersion in the sea of lies and passions which is called “the world.” And we must be saved above all from that abyss of confusion and absurdity which is our own worldly self. The person must be rescued from the individual.

“The free son and daughter of God must be saved from the conformist slavery of fantasy, passion and convention. The creative and mysterious inner self must be delivered from the wasteful, hedonistic and destructive ego that seeks only to cover itself in disguises.”

Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation (New York: New Directions Press, 1961):38.

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