Our True Nature
All an Illusion ... Really ?
Walter, a left-over hippie, and Zimmerman, a left-over commando, are in jail.
Walter: "Those bars are an illusion"
Zimmerman head butts the bars (dull thud)
Zimmerman: "I think you are wrong, Walter" (holding head)
From the ABC Television 2 part series "Stark" (Australia)
Ramana Maharshi considered that
"there is a single immanent reality, directly experienced by everyone, which is simultaneously the source, the substance and the real nature of everything that exists.... is not the creator of the universe, the universe is merely a manifestation of its inherent power and is inseparable from it."
There have been many descriptions of Non Duality, but perhaps this is the most elegant.
The Buddha divided all questions into four classes:
The questions that The Buddha set aside are described in the Avyaakata, the 'indeterminate questions' which are given as ten in number:
It has been surmised that the reason that The Buddha set aside these questions was that any answer would lead away from the Truth rather than toward it.
The labeling and conceptualization of our true nature (which is exactly the same subject) also leads away from the truth and not toward it.
Any description of our true nature - or the nature of the Universe -is just words at worst, or "pointers" as the best case. Tantamount is the understanding that our true nature is prior to the mind and cannot be grasped or encapsulated by the mind. Our nature is ineffable. It is non-conceptual.
The so called "ego" is a collection of thoughts - descriptors - about who we think that we are. Seeing through that is liberation. So the name of the game is letting the descriptors dissolve, not making up a whole new set to believe in.
The Buddha also said
"Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those which a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world. "
Where does this then leave questions about the Nature of the Universe?
Where does it leave statements that the entire Universe is an "illusion"?
Where does it leave statements about Life being a Dream?
It is the Great Unknown - the Great Mystery.
What is the nature of the Universe? Where did it come from? What is the nature of Life Itself?
They are questions to be set aside.......
They are questions that cannot be answered except by a story, normally a nice warm comforting story that is appreciated by the mind.
Stories like "we forgot who we are and now we are discovering it again - which is a story featuring an illusory "me". And "we were born into separation and we shall achieve Oneness again soon" - once again a story starring "me". And...and...and...
Answers that lead away from the truth, not towards it.
Answers to satisfy a grasping mind that wants to know (when it intrinsically cannot).
Just leave it at Not Knowing.......
It is non-conceptual and beyond the mind anyhow!
The real "illusion" is the illusion of a separate person , a "me".
The real "dream" is the dream of "me", an individual
The illusion, or dream, of a personal entity - whether it be a person, or the so-called witness (which is yet another conceptualization of it all).
See through that.
See through the illusion, the dream, that is so close to home.
This is the one where you can see what you are NOT.
Written by Mike Graham, 18 Aug 2009, modified 15 September 2009