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Creating Reality: Beyond Philosophy

November 26, 2013

Holding a purely philosophical view of things can be a bit too safe and bland. It can be a way to secure yourself from criticism more than anything. And so it is determined by what opinion you think others will have of you, rather than being guided by what you feel is true deep inside. So I am going to make an attempt to be a bit more bold, a bit more brave.

In the back of my mind this last few weeks a conviction has been rising that the option provided by the Upanishads best matches the kind of religious and spiritual insight I feel is true, deep inside.

The ultimate reality is the Self, the subject, the perceiver.

I think it was this conviction that struck me all those years ago when I read the idealism of George Berkeley and was completely taken in by it.

What this means is that reality is our creation, and in so far as we are prisoners, we are prisoners of our own limited self-awareness, rather than prisoners of a physical arena, in which we are a passive victim. We are the active source, the creator of our world. The people most in touch with this source are the people who shine brightest in this world, and are the ones we should be looking up to and aspiring to.

This quote from the Lord Upanishad puts it much better:

Whatever lives is full of the Lord. Claim nothing; enjoy, do not covet His property.

Then hope for a hundred years of life doing your duty. No other way can prevent deeds from clinging, proud as you are of your human life.

They that deny the Self, return after death to a godless birth, blind, enveloped in darkness.

The Self is one. Unmoving, it moves faster than the mind. The senses lag, but Self runs ahead.

Unmoving, it outruns pursuit. Out of Self comes the breath that is  the life of all things.

Unmoving, it moves; is far away, yet near; within all, outside all.

Of a certainty the man who can see all creatures in himself, himself in all creatures, knows no sorrow.

The Ten Principal Upanishads, pp 15

It is an extraordinary claim to make on the face of it. For we are raised so certain in the belief that physical reality is primary and that we are just a minor and temporary upstart from it.

But we didn’t start out this way. We are brought to this belief by others. Which leads to the question, is this a growing acceptance of reality, or a growing conformity with others beliefs? Are we being guided by what is true, or by what is comfortable and easy?

I think it is the latter, and that what is true is the self source from which we come, from which our awareness and uniqueness emerges. The world of objects is a world of illusion created for the sake of order and control of some by others, or merely a result of our own passivity, and inability to maintain self-awareness.

We can free ourselves of our entanglement in this world of illusion that ties us up in bad habits, and repetitive frames of mind of defeatism. All we need to do is recognise the illusion for what it is. Have that moment of insight. From there we can begin the process of returning to our Self source.

To clarify, this is not a solipsist viewpoint. I am not claiming that only I am or exist. It is not idealism either. It goes much deeper in seeing that I, myself, am also currently part of the grand illusion. And I can perceive others who are more free of this illusion than I am myself, who I can aspire to, and look up to. The illusion is multi-layered, we are all embroiled in it currently, and the goal of our existence is to peel away the layers, to become ever more self-aware, to return to the Self source at the center of existence.

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