Monday, April 9, 2007

4) The ego - the idea of separate existence

From the Hindu perspective, Maya (This link may be more illuminating than what I have to say ! - or is it just as confusing?) or illusion is said to be the cause of all our woes. Many writers and speakers refer to Maya, penetrating the veil of Maya and such things, but their explanations seem little else than confusing to sheer double-talk (Click Here for an excellent example - though what follows may be a better one). Seldom do you find any sort of clear explanation, if any at all! They make it all sound so important and mystical, but what does it mean? I'll attempt a clear explanation, beginning with the simplest perspective and moving on from there. I hope it is not just more confusing double-talk.

Maya, or illusion, is simply not perceiving things as they actually are. Don't say, "Well, Duh ! !" just yet. That may be better said later 8-) The implication of this is reflected in this quote of the fourth paragraph of my first post, Basic Thoughts, ". . . you, myself, and each and every aspect of existence is nothing other than the Infinite Consciousness we refer to as "God"", manifesting all that 'exists' as a sort of thought, and are therefore nothing but that Infinite Consciousness itself. "God"." The state of Maya is not perceiving this as Truth.

Expanding this further, Maya, illusion, delusion, ignorance or whatever name you care to use for it, in it's most profound form, is the idea that each and every thing we perceive, including our 'individual' self have separate existences, both from one another, and from that Infinite Consciousness which we refer to as "God", if we even believe such as Infinite Consciousness, or "God" exists. Assuming that that Consciousness does exist, and that It is in fact infinite, It would be all inclusive - no thing can exist outside of what is truly infinite, and since infinity is indivisible, no thing can be in any way separate from it. This idea of having a separate existence is what constitutes the human ego, which once formed, is sustained by pride in one's self-existence. Since the ego is based upon the false concept of having a separate existence, it does not actually exist other than as an idea, and the pride, being in a non-existent thing, is then false. So, the ego, and that which sustains it, are both false. The ego is Maya, the veil of Maya, that obscures our perception of Truth.

Assuming that what I've just written is understandable, and you can accept it, at least hypothetically, let's go one step deeper into 'reality'. You should now be able to surmise that since we have no separate existence, our thoughts, concepts and memories as well have no existence separate from the Infinite. Only the Infinite Consciousness exists, and nothing else is. If that is clear, you may well say, "So what?" Well, the "So what?" is that, as said above, you yourself are that Infinite Consciousness, and are experiencing reality 'through' the veil of Maya, the non-existent ego, and that experience, the experience of coming to understand that it is so, as well as the further experience of actually realizing yourself as that Infinite Consciousness, all exist only as Consciousness. This realization of the Infinite Self as the Truth of our existence is what the true religions and spiritual teachings point the way to experiencing.

Few are able to understand this and, even though compared to being "God", perceived reality is of little importance (actually, of no importance), few of those who do understand, and then attempt to do so, are able to attain this Self-realization. Why is this so? Well, if that is a question that you can have, or that you can't answer based on what I've written, you haven't actually understood my meaning (perhaps my explanation is not clear). It is the Infinite Consciousness that both is and does all things, ". . . and that to all this we contribute nothing at all . . ." (from Paragraph 1 of my first post). All that is exists within and of Infinite Consciousness, which determines as a sort of dream or a gigantic image (as it is it is described by Swami Ram Das) within itself, whatever it is that happens in this reality. Again, 'we' do not exist separate from that Consciousness.

In the New Testament, I think it is Paul who wrote, "We live, move and have our being in Him" (Acts 17:28). A couple of places in the New Testament (and I'm sorry I don't have more exact references, but you can find them with a concordance if you want) it is stated that all those who are to attain salvation have already been chosen. So, "Why . . .?" Well, all that is, has been and will be, exist as the Infinite Consciousness, "God", which has already 'chosen' them to be as they were, are and will be, and it up to us only to contribute a ". . .disposition that desires what is good" (also from Paragraph 1 of my first post - see the following post). The 'dream' or 'image', 'dream image' if you will, all of it - past, present and future - already exists, and 'we' are that single Consciousness witnessing it all through the myriad perspectives of the myriad beings that can be said to exist, but which exist only within that dream image. Shakespeare said, "All the world's a play, and we but players in it. We have our entrances and our exits." "It is all pre-written" (Swami Padmanabha - 40 meters from whom I live). The Hindus refer to this concept as "God's lila." Lila is Sanskrit for ". . .'play', 'amusement' or 'pastime. . .'". We, each and every one of us, are that witness, and nothing other. We have nothing to attain, as we are already It, as Ramana Maharshi taught, but we think otherwise, and there's the rub. And though it is the Infinite doing the 'thinking' otherwise, there is then the idea of separateness, which is also the Infinite, and so, enters Maya, illusion or "God's" lila, all our own being.

I hope that is not too confusing. I'll read it another time and edit it if I think I can be more clear. Maybe someone who sees this blog - Hello ! Is anyone out there? - will point out what is not clear. Also, see the picture at the bottom. Anyway, that's the long and the short of it, except that I mentioned in the first line of this post that Maya is said to cause all our woes, that is, our suffering. How is this? - next time.

1 comment:

Jim D said...

Don't be a sucker for maya!