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Living in illusion

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

This is a question from an internet friend, who was wondering what buddhism has to say about “living in illusion” because that is what he thinks he is doing.

Perhaps the NewBuddhist sangha can help him out as I was only able to give a few short pointers.

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    First advise him that he himself is an illusion... So how can he say he is living in it, when he IS it....?

    kandoShoshin
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited July 28

    What the world seems like it is doing to us is usually different than what it is actually doing. For example the setting sun, it seems like the sun is a small ball descending below the horizon. What is actually happening is we are spinning, at hundreds of miles an hour, away from an object millions of times larger than than the earth itself.

    Much of the what we perceive in the world depends on our definitions, our mental constructs. For example, we think that colors truly exist out there in the world, while in reality much of the colors we perceive depend on the words we use to describe them. People didn't perceive blue until words were created to describe it. This video is great.

    I don't agree with idealism, that we create the world wholly from our minds, I think things are actually happening out there. But what we think those things are have more to do with our definitions than reality. A traditional narrative is that beings from different realms will perceive a river differently, a human or animal perceives it as water, a hungry ghost as pus and gods as ambrosia. But at a base level they all perceive a river and not an orange or a lake.

    kandosatcittananda
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    Is he feeling like he is living in an illusion and nothing matters and this is a source of despair, or is he feeling like he is living in an illusion and this is simply an observation of his about his environment?

    Those are two different feelings to be dealing with.

    personDavidkandoShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Thanks for the help... there were also a few interesting contributions on Quora. You never know what google may find (if you search in English).

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    There are different takes on this and Buddhism is a pretty broad scope but this Buddhist sees this in a positive light.

    The illusion of our separateness is a tool of expression and exploration but we are all in this together.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kerome

    All I can say is WTF (What The "Flux" :) ;) ) .......

    If one knows that one is living in illusion then this knower-self too is an illusion( some have already mentioned this)..... because the illusion itself thinks it is (paradoxically) so...

    The phenomena arise and our condition states (in this case "perception") creates/moulds into shape the comfort zone illusions (wholesome & unwholesome...we are not fussy ;) ) that we choose to lives by ...We do have a choice but for the most part (and due to our conditioning) we live as though we don't...hence why one practices the Dharma...

    I'm reminded of this dedication prayer ..

    "May I clearly perceive all experiences to be as insubstantial as the dream fabric of the night and instantly awaken to perceive the pure wisdom displayed in the arising of every phenomenon"

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The more we know, have opinions, a strong sense of self, the crazier/more crazed we become. This is different to unbalanced egos, that feel they are empty of delusions and illusionary being ...

    or to put it another more helpful way ...

    @David said:
    There are different takes on this and Buddhism is a pretty broad scope but this Buddhist sees this in a positive light.

    The illusion of our separateness is a tool of expression and exploration but we are all in this together.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/self-no-self-whats-a-self-450190

    KeromekandoShoshin
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Never underestimate the long-term consequences of your actions. For as long as the mind has the obscurration of grasping at an inherently existing “me”, then there will be karma. No matter how far on the path one is, no matter how realised one is, no matter how many miraculous powers one has attained, for as long as there is even a subtle trace of this obscurration, karma is there.
    That is why Padmasambhava, an enlightened being not even affected by it, had skilfully told ordinary beings, “My realization is higher than the sky, but my observance of karma is finer than grains of flour.”

    ~ Chamtrul Rinpoche

    lobsterkando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    The phenomena arise and our condition states (in this case "perception") creates/moulds into shape the comfort zone illusions (wholesome & unwholesome...we are not fussy ;) ) that we choose to lives by ...We do have a choice but for the most part (and due to our conditioning) we live as though we don't...hence why one practices the Dharma...

    I'm reminded of this dedication prayer ..

    "May I clearly perceive all experiences to be as insubstantial as the dream fabric of the night and instantly awaken to perceive the pure wisdom displayed in the arising of every phenomenon"

    That's brilliant @Shoshin, my kind of prayer. Such stuff as dreams are made on, to quote the Bard and Humphrey Bogard :)

    Shoshin
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Until enlightenment, we are all living in illusion. Thinking about this is useful only if we use it to motivate us to do our Practices.

    lobsterperson
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @person said:
    What the world seems like it is doing to us is usually different than what it is actually doing. For example the setting sun, it seems like the sun is a small ball descending below the horizon. What is actually happening is we are spinning, at hundreds of miles an hour, away from an object millions of times larger than than the earth itself.

    Much of the what we perceive in the world depends on our definitions, our mental constructs. For example, we think that colors truly exist out there in the world, while in reality much of the colors we perceive depend on the words we use to describe them. People didn't perceive blue until words were created to describe it.

    Perception is very subjective, and nothing reveals it more than the way different people see colours. I've heard a colour described as blue/violet/purple/green! Same colour, different eyes. Painters always love blue, for some reason. Derek Jarman did an entire film in it.

    personShoshin
  • satcittanandasatcittananda UK Veteran
    edited August 1

    I've just found out my daughter is RG colour blind! This is an awesome thread...

  • satcittanandasatcittananda UK Veteran

    Thank you all contributors to this thread. My daughter will be wearing rose-tinted spectacles in a couple of weeks as she is in the 1:10000 females who suffer from RG colour-blindness...

    However, I would like to draw attention to the over-intellectualisation of buddhism. You all have to look at the definition of illusion, and determine whether you are either wearing rose-tinted spectacles or need to look at how you perceive the world in another way.

    Its easy to put yourself down; I would rather that you task yourself to see yourself as the author of the illusion. Bear in mind that as the author you are caught up and part of it; because its who you really are...

    I can help my daughter by purchasing glasses. How can you help yourselves?

    These are gentle reminders btw...

    person
  • satcittanandasatcittananda UK Veteran

    practise practice!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ...Makes perfect, perfect!

    kando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    One of my rosy illusions, taken from a journal :)

    KeromeShoshin
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @kando you have really nice handwriting :)

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    I do when I make an effort @kundo :)

    Kundo
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