Reality. We think we know what it is – but what we take to be the ‘real’ is only an unreal illusion. We can start the journey to the real by recognizing what is not real. Even that which we take to be ourselves – the mind, emotions and body – are not the true reality. The world is also not real in the way that we believe it to be.
The Master Jesus taught that the kingdom is within. It is not of the world, and neither are you. Enlightenment scriptures, masters and sages tell us that our first contact with Reality comes about when we transcend sentimentality. Somewhere beyond our emotional attachments lies the true reality.
The dramas of daily life, relations with others and the so-called facts of science are not only unreal, they actually prevent us from experiencing that which is real. We experience our thoughts as if they our own. We take the emotional interactions we go through with others not only as real but sometimes as being critical to our happy lives. We move and take action with the body, and believe that we are that body.
All of these things that we take to be real are merely phenomenon, an illusion created by a limited ego. The analytical mind of science is the least real of all, giving us pictures, ideas, names and forms that hold no significance in the true reality. This mind can never take us into Reality. Scientific instruments seek to expand the range of the senses, but only give the mind new problems while bringing us no closer to wisdom.
The great sahajin Lewis Thompson wrote, “All direct knowledge is mystical. All direct experience cuts across and disorganizes conceptual continuity and is immeasurable.” Such deep experience is self sufficient – there is no way to explain it. It does not fit the concepts of an unreal everyday world. There is no way to express this experience – it transcends language. It is no less than the experience of absolute oneness. This unspeakable, transcendental consciousness is Reality.
The world of objects, emotional drama and mental analysis, the body and the appearance of ‘others’ in our lives are created by the ego, itself an unreal illusion caught in a dream of separation. The Earth itself is only as solid as our perception of it. All of the things that keep our attention and emotions engaged throughout each day are merely symbols that might point us toward the Real if we could only realize them as such.
By detachment, awareness and mystical experience we build a bridge to the Real. When we receive light from above and within, it illuminates the shadowy, unreal world created by ego and allows us to experience the Presence of the true Self – that living, loving Reality that provides eternal refuge from all error and delusion.