The body and/or mind, hence body/mind, is what we usually identify with as “me.” We really think we are this separate character in the world with its joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, sufferings and pleasures, etc. This is the fundamental mis-identification – through which we keep ourselves trapped within the illusions of the mind.
What is the body? Many Indian teachers have called the body just an accumulation of food. In a way, we are a whirlpool. We have a fairly consistent pattern (that does grow and change with age), but there is a river of food flowing through that keeps it going. Cells are constantly splitting and dying. All the cells of the body are replaced every seven years or so. So like a whirlpool, what makes up the form (cells, instead of water) is not the same as time goes by. Continue reading What is the body/mind and what do you mean we are not the body/mind? Part 1.
With this logic, you would not be most of your own body. You are not aware of what the adrenal or pituitary glands are doing right now. You are not aware of what cells in the body are dying and which ones are splitting to form new cells. You are not likely aware of your shins right now…well maybe now that I brought your attention to it. You are not likely aware of the inside of your nose nor your ear lobes. You are not aware of your ear drums. You are not aware of the backs of your knees. You are not aware of how many white blood cells you have right now or even feel one of them. I can go on like this…but I won’t.
My point is…not being consciously aware does not mean separation or not being it. Continue reading If I am everything, why am I aware of only me?
I can kind of see how someone could say nothing happens and nothing is done. When you wake up from a dream in the morning, you realize it was all in your head and nothing really happened and nothing was done (in reference to the “real” world). Similarly, when you watch a movie in the theater…before and after the movie is just a white screen. The movie was a play of images, and so you could say nothing really happened and nothing was really done.
But this is an attempt to separate yourself from what is being experienced. It is a putting down of the experience. During that movie, you did experience things happening and it may have made you laugh or cry. During that dream, you may have experienced flying or being chased or whatever. For the duration of the experience…clearly something is happening and things can be done. Continue reading Many teach that nothing happens and there is nothing done – do you agree?
The past is mental accumulated content. The future is mental imagination.
If there was no thought, now is the only time. “Now” implies other times that are not now, but for lack of better word there is only the timeless “now.” Time is purely a mental construct and a story we tell ourselves based on perceived motion (particularly repeating patterns) and memory/future imaginations. For example, let’s say I see a cat walking. I remember the cat being there a minute ago, but now it is here, and at the rate it is walking in its current direction – it will be there in a minute. This is all in the mind. There is simply a cat walking…now. Mentally we tell a story about where it has been and where it will be. Continue reading What do you mean there is no time but Now?
Whether in the dreaming or waking world, I hope we can agree that there is a happening and events. I do not deny the world’s existence (or the existence of dreams…they happen). Those events are not predetermined and it is not fate and it is not clockwork/mechanical. There is a will creating what is in the moment…ad-libbing and doing improv. There is only the eternal now, which is the Self, and even the Self does not know what will happen. Continue reading Is there free will or is there no free will?
I know when I say the world is an illusion that I sometimes receive a vehement denial from people. From them, I get a sense that they believe “the world is an illusion” is a denial of the existence of the world, a denial about the world’s importance, or otherwise is putting down the world (i.e. reality). This isn’t true of course (mostly), it is their own misunderstanding of illusions.
The world is an illusion, because it simply is not what it appears to be. To explain this further, I will use five analogies – mirages, magician’s illusions, movies, virtual reality (VR) games, and dreams. Hopefully, through the analogies you may get a glimpse to a deeper understanding of what is meant by the world being an illusion. Continue reading Why is the world considered an illusion?