What are the Perfections?

What are the Perfections?

If you read the Yoga Sutra or about the siddhis, you often see them translated as powers or abilities. I’ve used variations on that myself. But siddhi actually means perfection.

Often this is taken to imply a personal perfection in the ability to know past lives or fly. But these are not personal.

As Lorne Hoff has pointed out, the siddhis are perfections of experience, of the ability of consciousness to know itself in specific ways that this form is capable of. Each channel of knowing is a function we can call a law of nature, a way nature can express to know itself in a specific way.

We might think this makes you a “law of nature” but you are a gathering of laws of nature in a specific mix of emphasis. This creates a style of experience that is unique to this form.

The point of the siddhis is thus not a personal experience of some flavour or effect but rather in the perfection of experience by being able to embody a law of nature. This is True Samayama to allow a specific law of nature to experience fully through this form. That does require we be awake so that the identification with a limited sense of self isn’t an impediment.

It’s worth remembering that the process of experience (and creation) is the forum of laws of nature. They are the doers of the world. Everything happening and everything you experience is being done through teams of laws of nature.

If we can step fully into that flow of expression, we give the ability of full expression to those laws, fulfilling their purpose. This is siddhi or perfection.


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  1. Jim

    Thank you, David. Yes, consistent here also. There is no personal expression in the practice of the siddhis. Oddly enough the person is necessary to work through the machinery of embodying the sutra, but our selves have nothing to do with it, save some cosmic calculation of individual purity relative to the sutra’s predicted effects.

    The curious bit of all that, is we can have an efficacy for one sutra or several, creating particularly noticeable effects directly related to the vibration of the sutra, yet the larger integration of the sutra(s) into daily life also leads to results that cannot be anticipated, yet must be dealt with.

    Particularly with these teams of laws of nature, where we very much become a vehicle for vast expressions, way beyond what we can rationally connect to ourselves, and yet this is the way to thrive and put our full abilities to use, as needed and without identification.

    1. Yes, Jim, the person is like the mechanism to focus the attention in a very specific way. Being human is a technique. (laughs)

      But yes, we’re a specific build that brings specific nuances to all experiences.

      Well put, once again.

  2. Grant

    I would never have been able to understand a word of that a few years ago. It’s incredible how this subtle knowledge seems to permeate us and, suddenly, I find myself not only ready for it, but somehow, I already knew this (inexplicably).

    Thank you for explaining it so clearly. Maybe the articulation of the ineffable is your siddhi of perfection.

    1. (laughs) I originally started this blog under the name “In2Deep”.

      When I write from the Self, it speaks to the Self in those who are awake to hear. This style of knowing is much deeper than usual mind recognitions. Thus it is known on a level that is beyond local time (already known) and space and seems inexplicable.

      In later stages, you know by being (know yourself as) whatever is experienced. Then this style of knowing is normal, though it takes getting used to. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Its writing by getting out of the way and letting it flow. I’ve been practicing for over a decade. That seems to help. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Big topic, Rick. ๐Ÿ™‚

      On the level of the intellect, they are. Their job description is very defined. And its much easier to talk about.

      But yes, from the perceptive of the heart, these are all living beings with personalities and specific qualities. Learning how to work with them is an art form. Each type and in some cases each being has specific expectations.

      Some are very local, responsible just for one type of plant in a garden. Others take care of vast territories. Others are omnipresent, able to be in multiple places at once. And a smaller number are essentially universal.

      A good rule of thumb is that everything you experience happening is being done. We are surrounded by and immersed in life beyond comprehension.

      Have started an article on this general topic. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Jim

        “…these are all living beings with personalities and specific qualities.”

        Yes, what a key point about the laws of nature Being-ness. Yes, they are just like us, with personalities and responsibilities. And as such, the more innocent, pure and self-knowledgeable we become, more and more of these living laws become not only apparent but able to be interacted with also.

        This is leaning in the direction of our full potential as human beings, working in concert with all the laws of nature in their personal expression, to accomplish anything, no matter how vast the scope and depth of desire, issuing always from the source of the source.

        1. Yes, Jim. I recall being pretty astonished when I realized how immersed in life we were.

          If we recognize that “human” is itself an organized collection of life forms playing a role to create a wholeness it makes more sense. There is the cells of the body playing their role in skin, organs, blood, etc. There is all kinds of microbes assisting with digesting, etc. And many others whos balance is critical to avoid disease. And this is just the physical. All of that has many beings functioning on each level working to create the effect we experience as our humanity.

          Our potential is astonishing. But not as individuals but rather as players in the wholeness.

          1. Jim

            Yes, absolutely the first step, though it may seem obvious, is to become clean and pure vessels, as you mention with the body and mind’s machinery.

            Going a bit further, what I find even more fascinating is the potential that then emerges, in terms of conscious connections we can make and act upon instantly with all that was formerly perceived outside the body. Even as we move into intimacy with what was once imperceptible, we find more sameness than difference, more relationship than foreignness, more loving than separation, no matter the circumstance.

            Quite a life-supporting paradox that moves us ever in the direction of further investigation and service, even beyond what we can initially understand. The possibilities are endless. ๐Ÿ™‚

          2. Agreed, Jim although its important to be clear that we’re not talking so much about physical purity but inner purity, sattva. Physical purity is a much slower process. (laughs)

            Yes, and the emphasis in a particular person will lead to unique directions and amplifications of that potential. We become both more universal and more unique both. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. In the context of the article, embodying a law of nature means embodying that universal principle, allowing that to flow through this form.

      This is not channeling – thats with an astral being and is unhealthy. This is allowing a universal principle to express more fully into the world through your awake form. This is the perfection of your experience of that being but also that beings experience of itself through awake consciousness.

      On the level of consciousness, these are not 2 different things. They are one and the same, simultaneous.

  3. R

    Using your example of a plant in a garden, the laws of nature regulating plants are fairly well established and articulated in the sciences of botany, biochemistry, genetics, soil science, etc. With regards to a garden, or specific plant in a garden, what are you actually perceiving as laws of nature relative to, compared to, in light of, these processes uncovered and described by science? And how do these natural, seemingly self-regulating systems relate to (or have need of) an overarching entity with personality and qualities?

    1. Hi R
      Yes, science understands many physical laws quite well but theres quite a bit more going on than just chemistry and physics. Thats just the surface.

      The topic is large and complex because of what I call personalization – the tendency for perception to be personalized. In other words, non-physical things are influenced by our thinking and appear to some degree as we expect. A classic example is angels with wings. Angels are essentially clouds of energy but are commonly “seen” with flowing robes and wings. Nothing wrong with this but if we don’t recognize what we’re bringing to the table, we can confuse whats real with whats “enhanced”.

      In a garden its possible to see or feel the energy flow of life in the plant, see issues, and see small beings who are managing those flows. These beings are part of a series of hierarchies, working as representatives of area, regional, and global organizations. Those in turn are connected to hierarchies of plant types, etc. Essentially, its all managed.

      Understanding the laws of science is very useful but there are times when speaking to a plant deva about a specific issue can be more informative. I sometimes use the example of negotiating with the winds devas to settle a bouncy flight. Or with pests to move elsewhere.

      It’s not so much that these processes have need of entities. Its that the processes are the entities. They’re the same thing. Everything that happens is being done. All processes are embodied by consciousness.

      I am in no way expecting you to believe any of this.
      The point of talking about it is because that reality is there and can be experienced directly if we develop the skills. Its often a side effect of spiritual development as a friend here is discovering after a recent shift.

      I talk about this in various ways in a bunch of other articles.

    2. Another way to thing about this. Your body is an agglomeration of cells, each with specialized functions. It’s also a collection of laws of nature that are mostly common to all humans. But each of us emphasize some more than others. We thus have certain interests, abilities, weaknesses, tendencies, and so forth.

  4. Andreas

    Hi David, to ask a brutally plain question: so levitation of the physical body, telekinesis and stuff like that – can this be achieved in the physical reality? I am asking not out of attachment or because I am going to go to the circus, but simply to know what is possible!

    1. Hi Andreas
      To answer directly, Yes. There are famous examples of public levitation from throughout history and around the world. You can pick up any number of translations of the Yoga Sutra which describe exactly how. But it requires working from levels most of us are unfamiliar with. We’re identified with our physicality and weight making it rather difficult.

      I learned the flying sutra in the early 80’s. I’ve practiced it here and there over the decades and have had many experiences that suggest its very possible. But we tend to have lots of inertia to burn. (laughs)

      Its useful to keep in mind that we’re rising out of a dark age in consciousness. A great deal of our potential was lost in fog. We’re now rising up again and greater potential is becoming more conscious all the time. Laws of nature that have been dormant are waking up, bringing new principles and processes alive.

      But this process is kicking up some mud to be cleared as we see being acted out on the world stage.

      Full levitation and some of the other sutras remain a possibility at the moment. But some of the others are becoming more commonly expressed, like knowledge of prior births.

  5. Sabrina Page

    Love this entire thread Davidya, thank you! I walk through my garden in amazement at all that is being done. And with the cells, so much of health seems to be appreciating and talking with them! Our talk felt very nourishing.

    1. Hi Sabrina
      With so many in the body, in nature, in the devata body, in the cosmic body… who can keep up? (laughs) But yes, recognition and appreciation can go a long way towards mutual support.

      There’s an article on Community coming out this afternoon that touches on how significant this is for the awakening cycle unfolding now.

      Happy to have had our short chat.

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