Illusion is that we vainly imagine that there will be a place where there is happiness without sorrow, life without death, pleasure without pain and smiles without tears. This cannot and does not happen because this apparent world is made of sun and shade; light and darkness. A child is a born optimist. He dreams golden dreams. In youth he becomes more optimistic and does not like to hear anything about suffering or misery or defeat or degradation. Old age comes and all the dreams are shattered. Life is in ruins. Man becomes pessimist. Thus he goes from one extreme to another, pushed to and fro by nature without knowing where he is going.
Then there is tremendous fact of death. The whole world is going toward death. None is to live forever. In his article on the front page of The Tribune dated November 6, 2007 on “Insecurities and illusions of dictators”, Mr. H.K. Dua, Chief Editor wrote that dictators suffer from two major illusions. One is that they will remain in power forever and the other is that they shall live till eternity. On both counts they generally turn out to be wrong, if only they knew.
The fact is that nothing lasts forever though it appears to us that our luxuries, our wealth, our progress and our knowledge would remain forever. This is an illusion. All our vanities, all our progress, all our name and form have an end – death. That is all that is certain. Cities come and go, empires rise and fall, planets break into pieces and crumble into dust. Death is the end of life, of beauty, of wealth, of power, of virtue. We know very well that all die, sinners die; rich die, poor die. They are all going to die. And yet this tremendous clinging to life exists. Somehow we don’t know why we cling to life. This is an illusion.
We are all after the Golden Fleece something impractical. We all know that one in twenty million may get it, yet everyone struggles for it. This is an illusion.
These contradictions in our intellect, in our knowledge, indeed in all our facts of life face us on all sides. A reformer arises and wants to remedy evils that are prevalent in a certain nation and before they have been removed another thousand other evils arise in other places.
In the East, the reformers arise and preach that learning, wealth should not be in the hands of few and they do their best to make it accessible to all but the least amount of happiness and material prosperity that we enjoy is causing the same amount of misery elsewhere. This is an illusion that we see our own happiness, we see our own prosperity. We don’t see the suffering of others. We even don’t realize that wealth does not belong to anybody. The young can’t see it clearly but those who have lived long enough should understand that in this ephemeral world there are infinite illusions.
Reason is that the world we see is not the real world. We cover the Reality as it were, with a mist. This world exists in relation to our mind. We see this world through five senses, but if we had yet another sense it would appear as something still different. It has, therefore, no real existence. It has no unchangeable, immovable infinite existence. Not can it be called non-existent since it exists. It is a mixture of existence and non-existence and that creates illusion.
There is a solution to infinite illusions, which haunts us day and night. Remember that the Absolute does not change. In the little amoeba, which is within all of us that, infinite perfection is latent. It is called amoeba from its amoeba covering. And from the amoeba to the perfect man, the change is not in what is inside – that remains the same unchangeable – but the change occurs in the covering.
A beautiful scenery is covered by a screen and you have a glimpse of scenery through a hole in the screen. As the hole becomes bigger and bigger, you can see more and more of scenery and the whole scenery is visible clearly when that screen is gone.
All our struggles, exercises, pains, pleasures, tears and smiles, all that we do and think, tend toward that goal – the tearing up of that screen making the hole bigger and bigger through regular and deep meditation, thinning the layers that remain between the manifestations under name, form and causation and the reality behind. Once that sun of Reality shines through self-realization and meditation, clouds of these infinite illusions will scatter.