Thursday, August 17, 2006

Illusion, real or unreal?

Life is not black & white and so can't be pigeon holed, even though the mind and society tries to. What is real and what is unreal? What is an illusion?

The classic example given is to look down at a piece of rope in the grass and percieve a snake. If this has happened to you, you will know you then acted as if it was a snake. Fight or flight took over and symptoms of increased heart and respiration rate followed an adrenaline release. Sugar was released for the needed energy boost in response to the percieved threat and you most probably jumped backwards out of fear of the percieved danger.

In this moment the snake is real to the nervous system. The central nervous system doesn't say to itself I'll prepare for something that doesn't exist. It sees the snake as real.

So the imagined snake is both real and unreal.

Immediately following you probably looked again and found it to be nothing other than a piece of rope and realized the snake was a illusion. You don't ask where has the snake gone. And in the morning upon waking you don't spend the day wondering what happened to the people in your dream.

While playing a computer game, recently, where a ball (on the screen) is in play and deflected to knock down buildings, I watched the 'ball' act as if it were a ball in a three dimentional room - even if the computer screen only delivered two dimensions. The 'ball' bounced off the surrounding 'walls'. We enjoy these computer games but all the while understanding there is no ball, walls or buildings. It's all just electrons acting according to mathamatical formulae and the computer delivering the illusion according to it's programming. It's a sustained illusion.

Any scientist will attest to the unreality of solidness in what is otherwise percieved as a solid world. Objects looked at closely enough, will be seen as nothing other than minute packets of energy surrounded by lots of space. These packets of energy and the patterns they form make up atoms, molecules and 'matter'. This is a sustained illusion too and yet we believe it to be real. It appears as real because it's looked at and percieved through the central nervous system, without which nothing would appear. The human and nervous system are part of the world of illusion and they report on that world, creating and maintaining the illusion. They are a keyhole into the world for awareness to wittness. You could say God is dreaming. In fact Hinduism calls it Lila - the play of consciouness.

Awareness becomes identified with the appearance and that identification produces the familiar feelings of personal and presence. In this 'dream', we dreamed people play our our various rolls exactly as we are supposed to.

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