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Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Fallacy of Illusion

There is a strain of thought, a strain of thought like a lethal bacteria, one that has permeated all the great philosophical and religious traditions since the advent of writing, and the composition of dogma; this pathogen suggests that everything we think of as real and true, that life and selfhood are merely illusions, that everything we experience is Maya, that we are steeped in the illusion of the floating world.

This is false. The world is real, and we in it. It is only our perception that is at times misconstrued.

While it is wise to consider with care the notion that there are some things (most things) that we can never know with certainty, that there are questions we cannot answer fully, that there are circumstances whose antecedents we cannot completely fathom, and that there are choices we make whose consequences we cannot accurately project or predict, nevertheless, the world we live in is real, our experience of it is real, we are, each of us alive, self-purposive agents operating in the eternal and infinite field of being.

This is true, we may be acting in the dark, without the full knowledge of who and what we are, but the dark is real.

Why would we want to believe otherwise?

The claim that all things are illusion is fundamentally flawed, it is beyond the pale of logic. It may be a comforting way of setting aside anguish, pain and disappointment, or even a convenient was to justify our transgressions, but the claim is false.

If the real nature of all things is in fact, that all things are illusions, the nature of things not according to our perception of them, but on the level of their ontology, of their being, if they are illusory in a manner that is independent of how any person perceives it, then we would not be talking about illusion at all, which is un-reality masking itself as reality, we would be talking about reality itself, not its masking, but its real nature, the fundamental essence of what is.

This would be the true state of our affairs and therefore not illusory at all, but actual.

It would serve no purpose to speak about the conditions of our existence in any other terms, than to speak of them as real.

At the foundation of our experience there is always a true state of affairs. The true state of affairs includes the experiential set of things, together with their inherent values, which include the antecedents by which the true state of affairs obtained the condition of reality, things we can never fully know, and because of that they are conditions which may easily be labelled as illusory but are really just manifestations of the unknown.

The experiential set includes the phenomenon of mystery, it includes the reality that things can appear to our thoughts and senses in ways that are illusory, that a thing, or a set of things may appear to be-other than they are.

When we approach our experience with the assumption that there is no truth in it whatsoever, then we are living in a place of perpetual uncertainty.

In such a system of beliefs, a person could never come to know their own-self, because the self does not exist, it is deemed an illusion, an unreliable referent.

The consequence of this is grave.

Without knowledge of self we have no means of knowing any other and all of our relationships become void of meaning.

In such a system of beliefs we stumble through life, blind and unfeeling, with the value of our experience subject only to the capricious appetites of the human will, when everything is seen as an illusion, then nothing matters, because nothing is real.


By cleaving to the truth that we ourselves are real, occupy space in a real world, are living in a real time, by cleaving to this we remain grounded, and the mystery of life begins to unfold through our experience of it.