Updated: Nov 10
Illusions that dull the mind
I once came across a line in a movie that stopped me in my tracks and loosely translated to be 'It's more of a crime to be fooled than to fool someone.' It frustrated me for a while, as it sounded as though it's blaming the victim and come across as an encouragement to lie, cheat, steal and scam. The truth is, the statement only comments on what it states and does not imply anything to the opposite of the statement, subliminally or otherwise. In simpler terms, he was trying to convey that 'It is your duty to be vigilant against being fooled.' Such a profound idea isn't something that sprang up in a vacuum, rather it came from a culture with duty as fundamental concept of it's culture in the form of 'Dharma'
Lies, in essence, recreate true reality for an outcome, distorting perception and impeding in our ability to make reasonable decisions for ourselves and those that we love. We live in an era where inconvenient truths are being called 'malinformation', essentially an inconveniently timed truth (although the definition for this new word is set as illegal publishing of private information), the way it is used varies beyond the definition it has been given. If we as a society are willing to bend our realised values, there will be no justification left for truth or any service to truth. This recreation of reality, coupled with the genuine difficulty to perceive the universe for what it is, creates an illusion of reality that coddles, dulls and eventually destroy a healthy mind otherwise capable of surviving and thriving in our world.
Imagine for a moment, the amount of information we interface with daily; from our televisions, radio, social media, advertisements, books, conversations with family, friends and colleagues that constantly shape what we think. All the noise creates layers upon layers of illusion, some even replacing other layers making it virtually impossible to pierce through the calcified veil that separates us from living in harmony with who we truly are.
The devouring delusions of Ignorance
These layers of illusions create maladaptive behaviours causing one to further sink deeper into ignorance. The irony, is that ignorance itself creates delusions which leads us into immense suffering that we no longer know the cause of. Ignorance also metastasizes into arrogance, a fatal and destructive trait that ruins us and the people around us.
Almost everything that is wrong in our lives have their origins in ignorance; from the falsehoods that we are lead to believe in service to someone else's wealth, to the breakdown of relationships between individuals. Prescriptions for these are to listen, read, research and communicate, failure to do so leads to unsavoury outcomes, misunderstanding and suffering.
I have witnessed lives ruined in the pursuit of a hedonistic lifestyle among people I personally know, including myself and my tendencies to justify my own vices in the delusion that I was pursuing happiness. Not having understood that much of my pursuits and those around me stemmed fundamentally from a position of ignorance than an actual experience and knowledge of living a fruitful, wholesome life.
Take a moment to realise this in the context of our own life and our specific experiences, only then will this start to make sense.
Seeing beyond the mind's eye
Truth, paired with acceptance are the most important aspects for unity, cohesion and trust. Discerning truth however, requires a healthy mind that is deeply rooted in reality, to be rooted in reality one has to be aware of their own consciousness. Everything that we do, is witnessed by our consciousness - an omnipresent force birthed from the amalgamation of the material and the transcendent. Every single decision we make, every destructive deed and act of kindness is witnessed by our consciousness which determines who we become and what we suffer.
It is not an easy feat to peel back the layers of illusions we have come to identify with, and for those that are not gifted with a simple mind yet have a strong inertia to pursue truth and unity, it is of utmost importance to reject ideas, words and actions that bring disharmony, but not a subverted and weaponised notion of disharmony the way compassion has been used to justify destructive ideologies. The aim would then be to quieten the noise around us without attempting to eradicate it and truly see beyond the mind's eye that perceives our metaphysical qualities. Understanding and respecting our material and transcendent nature gives us a deep insight into who we truly are in this universe and our purpose at any given time of our lives, eradicating ignorance in all it's form and ushering a renewed, conscious vision that enables absolute presence and harmony.
This is why fire, ignis or agni, is represented time and again through various ancients texts as a parable to consciousness that destroy ignorance. The eternal flame brought by Prometheus to Man in greek mythology, used as a primordial witness in Hindu ceremonies and the scared fire said to be used by Jesus is persistently represented by symbolism and metaphors for this very phenomena. The subtle art of self actualisation is a non-negotiable reality that we will inevitably be confronted with before the dissolution of everything we know. For those that see, you'll be at the precipice of liberation, for those that don't, you shall suffer until you do.
You are the universe perceiving itself; everything, something and nothing all at once.