A concept from Yoga Philosophy called "The Kleshas" means the experience of "clear seeing". Clear seeing involves putting focus on what is truly important in life from a larger perspective. This includes our relationships, our health and spiritual meaning.
Unfortunately, many of us fall into the trap of "unclear seeing" by seeking comfort and distraction and by trying to appease our ever shifting attention. Unclear seeing is the ROOT of all of our suffering.
There are 5 obstacles that prevent us from "Clear Seeing":
1. Unclear seeing by being disconnected from ourselves and others. We take nature, our bodies, and our life on this planet for granted. We get lost in some imaginary place in the future when we think that everything will be perfect. We lose sight of the now thinking if we just do this or that or have this or that, this will finally make us happy. We don't see and we don't notice what already is.
2. Ego- Ego springs from the ground of unclear seeing. We feel ourselves as separate and different from others. This leads to an overvaluation of the Self. The world revolves around us. Our happiness, our struggles, our goals, successes and failures. We feel large and all important. We discount others due to our self-absorption. We are preoccupied with "What's in it for me?". Pursuing and securing our comforts and pleasure consumes us.
3. Attraction- We are drawn to what feels good and attempt to pull things into our world that we associate with comfort. We become obsessed with things and people that give us comfort and life becomes imbued with the need to control circumstances so that we are comfortable. Why does this NOT lead to happiness?
4. Aversion- We recoil from things/people that we associate with pain or we feel threatens our identity. This does not work as life is uncertain. We end up becoming miserable if we try to control everything and our circumstances.
5. Fear- Many of us live in fear of loss, and ultimately death. Fear of recognition of our transience on the Earth. Our presence on Earth is very fleeting and our all-important Self is really not that important. So, we pursue pleasure and avoid pain. We avoid recognizing our vulnerability and lose ourselves in these illusions.
Unclear seeing is common to all human experience. However, when an individual has had relational trauma or abandonment, it causes dysfunctional attachment. Because of this, they will use misguided attempts to soothe emotional and relational pain. When the world fails to be a secure and predictable place, ego and fear gain more traction in the psyche. We attach to things to help control our feelings that we feel we can not handle.
**Ego strength refers to your capacity to contend with reality and not retreat in a world of escape or fantasy. If we can not do this, we may soothe with food, alcohol, unhealthy relationships and a myriad of other things. Once we can choose healthier ways to soothe ourselves, we feel better and feel in alignment with ourselves.
Reference: The Yoga of Food by Melissa Grabau