January 24, 2013
The following Essay was written this morning for a Eastern Philosophy class at COS. It is in response to the following question:
Q: Indian philosophy is often denigrated in the West as being "Illusionist," that is, as dismissing the reality of this world, and thus having a world-negating, other-worldly orientation. Based on the readings, is this an accurate assessment of Indian religion and philosophy? Explain why or why not.
India philosophy is often denigrated in the West because the West’s mentality depends on material and physical form and senses and to not denigrate the awareness of the world being an “illusion” would make every belief and everything they do and work for meaningless (to those that would wish to keep it real). But just because you want to keep something real, doesn’t make it real.
Certainly you have awoken from a dream at night and it can seem so absolutely real, more real than the reality you are in right now, but shortly thereafter - it fades away and there is nothing you can do to keep it. This is how it is in reality. Just like all the dream characters fade when you wake, including “you” (just like the “you” that you dreamt last night, everything you currently “think” you are, when this “dream/illusion” is woken from will fade).
The thing that scares most, is that they do not know who is Dreaming. They have believed they are the individual "identity" (an accumulation of ideas, opinions and beliefs accumulated since birth) and in keeping the focus on the the identity, do not realize that they are not the identity but what the identity is In. This is Truly one of the Great gifts of those that experience “paranoia” because they are forced to know that they are always being watched. If they are lucky, they begin to relax and allow that they are being watched and then may even begin to question, “who is watching?” This is probably where they idea of Santa Claus came from, because we are always truly being watched, and it is by the Silent Witness, that is You. Like it says in the book, “you are not afraid when you are alone in the dark of being alone in the dark, you are afraid of who might be there with you.” Once you realize that you are all alone, completely alone, who is there to be afraid of? All that is left is the discovery of who is There, yourSelf. However, this is where a Teacher or Guru is invaluable in your discovery because they will continue to point you away from the personality and towards the Truth of who you Are (instead of a personality that believes it is god is and becomes more and more insane), there is only One without a second.
You are watching you (yet it is all one, no separation), how funny that one would become paranoid of itSelf (but don’t laugh a someone that is paranoid, it will only scare them more), this whole world seems to be in a sort of mass paranoia because everyone thinks (seemingly) that they are doing it, that they are the one in control and they are doing something wrong and have to get better.
The good news is you can’t do anything wrong in a dream/illusion. Some may say “oh that just means that people will steal and kill and rape and maim.” Well, you are in a Dream … are you stealing, killing, raping and maiming? See, those are just stories to keep one from discovering who they Are.
One cannot think oneSelf back to who one Is. In one sense, there needs to be a bit of Faith/Willingess that they are being led, because the tools one would use to discover who they Are, are useless in this domain. The mind cannot help you to know what you are In, but it can be used to being to point you towards it. It can be used to relax you into giving up the beliefs that say it is not possible. It can calm you from your fears of the miraculous. But it comes, in a sense, from unlearning what you know. You know too much, and it is like a prison around you (the identity) keeping the world real.
Does it matter if you keep the world real, no, ultimately it does not, but you would not be reading this if you were not ready to begin to let go of some of those blocks around the prison that is you (identity). As they fall away (which will come naturally), you will begin to see what you have always been IN. This is what the Indian culture points too, and all religions will point to it also once one has seen it for oneSelf. Once you See it, it is Known and then all things including yourself (who you think you are), begin to point towards it.
What you see in front of you right now as you read this, is just a projection on the Light (there is no word that will describe this, though words are used to point the mind in the direction of comprehending the uncomprehend-able). What is before you is a projection onto the Light that is You. The only thing that can happen in a dream is that you are paying attention to the projection and not what you are projected On. What you are projected on, is not in the Dream/Illusion, the Dream/Illusion is in It (but it is not an “it”).
When you go to the movies, you pay attention to what is projected onto the screen and you forget that the screen is there, but without the screen you would not be watching the movie. It is the same in what we call “reality.” As the mind (who you think you are) weakens its stance that that is not true, you will begin to see “cracks” in the Dream/Illusion of Light. The Light will begin to shine through the “you” who “think” you are. Though even if this does not ever happen, you can begin to relax and “Know” that it is True, and you know it because you KNOW it, because you ARE it. Not because I or anyone else told it too you, but because you are It and the only thing you are ever capable of doing is denying it.
So the question is … are you in service to True Reality or the dream/illusion? As you become more in Tune with yourSelf, you will rely more and more on True Realty, the Light in You that has lead you always.
If you should have a “break” in Reality, that frightens you, because it cannot be understood by the mind, know that someone else (apparently) has also had that experience and that it really is the most amazing Gift one can receive in this life, to Know that the world/universe is not real and yet gets to experience it fully. Once all the trying to understand what one will not ever understand is not held so tightly too … you will smile a lot more and will understand a lot less. And may see in the eyes of others that they also know, because they have smiling eyes too … even if outwardly you don’t see a smile, you will see it in their eyes because they are still playing their part, the actors still plays their roles, they are just aware that they are not the role.
The Best Guide to Eastern Philosophy and Religion, Diane Morgan.