Unreal world

Allan Curry acurry at UVIC.CA
Mon Oct 13 14:42:38 CDT 1997


Gummuluru writes:

>    Shri Shankara says somewhere else that the kAla traya,
>    the past, the present and the future themselves are our
>    imagination only.

    This is off the topic a bit, but I can't resist... If
    past present and future do not exist, then how could
    fate or free will exist either?

>    We have no difficulty in accepting the lack of water in
>    the mirage of the desert, or absence of snake in the
>    rope. But somehow, we do not seem to accept
>    (convincingly to our mind and more particularly in our
>    day-to-day life) that the world and us are as unreal as
>    that water in a mr^ga tr^shhna. Why do we seem to hold
>    on to this false concept much more than the other false
>    concepts ?

    On the off chance that any of us are tempted to dump on
    ourselves *because* we so consistently act *as if* the
    world was real, I offer a little counter ammunition in
    advance. First of all, if the world is unreal and we as
    actors in it are also unreal then we never really take
    the world at face value -- we only *seem* to do so! In
    so far as we are being and not illusory actors, we have
    never been fooled by maya; we have never acted on any
    misunderstanding. The way out of any confusion to the
    contrary requires the realization of who or what is the
    true source of "our" actions and thoughts. Can any such
    actor or thinker be found? You are welcome (even
    encouraged!) to try to find one (you just won't be
    convinced until you do). When the abscence of any owner
    of appearances is established then the mere arising and
    disappearing of all appearances have the same value, the
    same reality.

    In the abscence of anything but mere appearances coming
    and going there is only being itself in which the coming
    and going of these appearances seem to occur. A
    suggestion for changing our context from appearance
    to reality is to pay less attention to what we are (or
    what we think we are) and more attention to the fact
    *that we are*. "That we are" *is* being and isn't it
    actually the same for everyone and everything,
    everywhere, at every time? Both Ramana Maharshi and
    Nisargatdatta suggest we stay with the sense of self
    until we are lead or follow it to its source. I find
    "that I am" much more useful in this regard than *any*
    notion of "what I am" could possibly be. I hope it seems
    useful to you. Perhaps one day you will say (like the
    Old Testament god)  -- I am "that I am"


- Allan Curry

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