What Are Illusions?
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“Space and time are not conditions in which we live,
they are modes in which we think.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
“The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”
~ Albert Einstein
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions,
that they exist in the present,
which is what there is and all there is.
~ Alan Watts
“Time, space and causation are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen. In the Absolute there is neither time, space nor causation.”
“…this separation between man and man, between nation and nation, between earth and moon, between moon and sun. Out of this idea of separation between atom and atom comes all misery.
But the Vedanta says that this separation does not exist, it is not real.”
~ Swami Vivekananda – Jnana Yoga
What appears to be a stable, tangible, visible, audible world, is an illusion. It is dynamic and kaleidoscopic — not really “there”. What we normally see is the explicit, or unfolded, order of things, rather like watching a movie. But there is an underlying order that is mother and father to this second-generation reality.
~ David Bohm
“The world, indeed, is like a dream
and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”
“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,
does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”
“The less we’re illusioned,
the more we’re illumined.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Have you ever wondered: “What are illusions?” and “What is “real?“?
Spiritually, these are crucial questions. So today’s posting esoterically answers them for us, with the foregoing quotations and following Q and A essay and explanatory comments.
May these writings and reflections help bring us ever-growing life fulfillment and happiness, until we lose all illusions and transcend this wonderful world as LOVE.
And so may it be!
What Are Illusions?
Q. What are illusions?
A. Illusions are false ideas, conceptions, or beliefs,
accumulated and aggregated in the memory bank
that we call the “mind”.
Illusions are projections from the past
which obscure or obstruct our experience of the present.
We can’t live fully in the present,
when we are living partly in the past.
Illusions are mental obscurations.
They cloud or conceal our insight into
That which is Real.
But, as we clear the ‘mirror of our mind’
of old illusory ideas and paradigms of
who and what we think we are,
We can and shall become ever more present,
insightful and illuminated –
about what we really are.
So let us choose to lose our illusions.
For, the less we’re illusioned,
the more we’re illumined.
Ron’s audio recitation of “What are Illusions?”
Ron’s explanation of “What Are Illusions?”
According to dictionaries, “illusions” are misperceptions or misconceptions of reality, fact, or truth. Whereas “reality” is that which factually exists.
For millennia, non-dualist Buddhists and Vedantists have taught that our entire space/time ‘reality’ is a mental mirage or illusion, and not true Reality; that what we perceive and believe to be ‘real’ material forms in space and time, are mentally projected misperceptions from misconceptions of our conditioned ego-minds, which see “through a glass darkly”.
We assume that we are independent human beings, separated from each other and Nature, and acting based on our own free-will. But according to non-dualist mystical philosophies, all of this is mere illusion – samsara or maya. Even our supposed free will is an illusion, because we are inseparable from Nature which determines all we experience, via mysterious karmic causes and conditions. Thus, perceived worldly events or phenomena are always determined by invisible cosmic forces which are as yet unknown to our conditioned ego-minds. (see e.g. Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, verses 60-61)
A century has passed since Einstein’s revolutionary relativity theory revealed that “reality” can’t be reduced to objects or entities in space/time. Since then, quantum science has confirmed that everything in space/time is energy (e=mc2); that all forms and phenomena are merely vibrating and radiating immaterial energies endlessly and inevitably appearing (from unknown causes and conditions) out of and disappearing into ineffable mystery.
Thus, Western science has more and more shown what ancient shamans, seers, and indigenous societies have known throughout history:
That there is a cosmic web of life connecting everything and everyone in Nature from the greatest galaxies to the tiniest sub-atomic particles; that we are each an integral inter-connected and interdependent part of Nature’s web of life – not separate from it; and that, as Einstein observed:
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness”; “reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”; “space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think”.
Inspired by Einstein, I have composed the foregoing poetic Q & A essay titled: “What Are Illusions?”, as preceded by apt quotations.
These teachings are deeply dedicated to helping us find relief from belief,
and thereby bringing us ever-growing life fulfillment and happiness.
From seeing everyone and everything as discrete,
and separated by apparently immutable boundaries,
may we increasingly realize that all forms and phenomena
are ever-changing energies appearing from a common origin
of Universal Awareness – our true Nature and Source,
which is LOVE.
And so shall it be!