Illusion and Reality! Fooled by my own mind. By Mourad Rashad
Illusion and to become disillusioned. What the mystics mean by the term “The world is an illusion”? We have a proverb -where I live- it says “The one you think is Moses turned out to be Pharaoh”. The one you think is Moses is the illusion. You think that this man is as virtuous as Moses; you were under the impression that he is kind and you were bewitched by this impression, you were blinded by the spell of this illusion. The man turned out to be Pharaoh instead of Moses. The man was revealed to you as wicked as Pharaoh. You were freed from the spell of illusion and you were disillusioned. You had been living all your life thinking, imagining and hallucinating that this man is virtuous. Then circumstances proved to you that he is not virtuous.
If you are asked, what is your experience now? You would answer, “The world”. I am experiencing the world. I am in the world. You think that the phenomenal appearances -animals, humans, mountains, rivers and skies- constitute the world which you reside in and experience. This is the illusion. It is the way of viewing and reacting to these phenomena that constitute the world. This means it is my own thoughts about, and what I feel towards, and how I react to these phenomenal appearances, which gives me the impression that I am living in a world. If it is my own thoughts, feeling and reactions that are responsible for my experience of a world in which I reside. It follows that I am living in a world fabricated by my own mind. A world, fabricated by my own thoughts, feelings and reactions. This entails that I live in my own mind and in my own concepts. I come to believe that this world constitutes the sole reality. My only reason to believe that is UNANIMITY. The conventional way of seeing and experiencing these phenomenal appearances agreed upon by mortal humans, not by the Sages or Prophets. For the Sages and Prophets speak differently. For example, Lao Tzu said:
As to the roaming of the sages,
They move in utter emptiness,
Let their minds meander in the great nothingness;
They run beyond convention
And go through where there is no gateway.
They listen to the soundless
And look at the formless,
They are not constrained by society
And not bound to its customs.
Have you ever investigated your experience of these phenomenal appearances without how you thought about them and how you felt towards them. Just like Jiddu Krishnamurti (JK) used to say “Have you ever listened or saw anything without your screens”. How I think about and how I feel towards these phenomenal appearances are my screens. The impression that I am living in a world is due to how I thought about and how I felt towards these phenomenal appearances.
Is there another Reality? Am I going to discover a more solid and truer Reality to this phenomenal experience without my screens?
The human mystical legacy insists that only God Exists and only Truth Exists, there is only One Reality in the whole Experience. Man is carrying out all his activities through this One Reality. Nevertheless, we are oblivious to this Reality, although every mystical writing states that you are living in this One Reality, this Divine Existence. Definitely this reality is not my mind’s world and my fabricated concepts about the phenomenal appearances. If my mind has fabricated my impression of living in a world, based only on UNANIMITY, then Reality is masked and covered by what humans agreed on, masked by convention and this is my screen. Convention is my screen. This one Reality is obscured and tarnished by my impression due to my screen. A screen that keeps on telling me that I am living in a world. The Reality of man’s experience here and now is masked by these screens. This is man’s illusion. An illusion that there is a man living in a world with other men, amid other phenomenal appearances, all tied together by CONVENTION. My mind is the CONVENTION.
To become disillusioned, this is a horse of another color. First you must see that you have been fooled by your own mind. Then we can find a way to become disillusioned.