This is my first blog post, and while I do have a great deal of time to catch up with the whole blogging thing, I’ll start off by writing about something that I have often thought about ever since I was a kid. What is real and what is not. I mean, all our experiences, perceptions, sensations, dreams, thoughts and feelings are forms appearing in consciousness, right? Life is made up of experiences, some more unusual than others and these experiences are translated into memories which make us who we are.
Let’s take this for example, when I see a car, it seems as if I am looking at the car directly but science tells something different. Light entering the eye through the cornea triggers chemical reactions that in turn produce electrical impulses that are carried by the optic nerve to the brain where the image is produced. But that says that what I am actually experiencing is not the car itself but only that image that appears in my mind. And this is true of everything I experience, from sound, color, every feeling of pain, love, anger and so on. It’s all some sort of form appearing in the mind.
It is sometimes said that our image of reality is an illusion, but that is misleading. It may all be an appearance in the mind, but it is nonetheless real – the only reality we ever know. The illusion comes when we confuse the reality we experience with the physical reality, the thing-in-itself. The Vedantic philosophers of ancient India spoke of this confusion as maya. Often translated as “illusion” (a false perception of the world), maya meant wisdom and extraordinary power in an earlier language, but later the word came to mean illusion, fraud, deception, witchcraft, sorcery and (a false belief about the world). We suffer a delusion when we believe the images in our minds are the external world. We deceive ourselves when we think that the car we see is the car itself.
Just a little bit more on Maya, under the influence of the three gunas, the soul is (1) misled by matter, and (2) subsequently entangled and entrapped. Under maya’s influence, the atman, (the soul) mistakenly identifies with the body. He accepts such thoughts as “I am black and I am a man,” or “This is my house, my country, and my religion.” Thus the illusioned soul identifies with the temporary body and everything connected to it, such as race, gender, family, nation, bank balance, and so on. Under this sense of false-ego (false-identity) the soul aspires to control and enjoy matter. However, in so doing he continuously serves lust, greed, and anger. In frustration he often redoubles his efforts and, compounding mistake upon mistake, only falls deeper into illusion.
Lastly, has any of you ever heard of the theory of solipsism? It’s somewhat similar to the Matrix, basically saying that there is no way that we can prove that the universe we live in is real. We could actually be part of a computer program that’s tricking us into believing that everything we are living is real, and we are not somewhere hooked up into some big machine?
But solipsism is actually a little more complicated than that. From Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self” is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. Solipsism (Wikipedia) holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. So, basically everything is a fantasy that only exists in your mind, and what you thought was your life is just a really detailed dream. Not only are you the center of the universe–you are the universe.
Mind blowing? Yes, I cannot cover everything in one post and I’ll be continuing this series later. I’m a fan of philosophy and weird theories, quantum physics and what note. But there is a ton of other stuff I’ll be writing about, humor, technology, gadgets, life, relationships etc etc. I hope I’ve done okay for the first, and I hope I’ve left some of you confused. What’s life if we cannot get confused?