“None of this is real. All of this is an illusion and your acceptance of that fact is the beginning of the pathway to self-knowledge.” Joe Camel, Frederick Lenz
“Death is nothing, nor life either, for that matter. To die, to sleep, to pass into nothingness, what does it matter? Everything is an illusion.” Mata Hari
“When we see the shadow on our images, are we seeing the time 11 minutes ago on Mars? Or are we seeing the time on Mars as observed from Earth now? It’s like time travel problems in science fiction. When is now; when was then?” Bill Nye the Science Guy
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” William Blake
Note: beer can not only help you see things as they are but can make a cavern into a man cave.
“In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and disappear. Know that they are entirely your own creations, watch them silently come and go. Be alert, but not perturbed. You see the picture, but you are not the picture.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Everyone dies, but no one is dead.” Tibetan Saying
“Know the white, yet keep to the black; be a pattern for the world. If you are a pattern for the world, the Tao will be strong inside you and there will be nothing you can’t do.” Lao Tzu
“Your whole life is nothing but a dream. You live in a fantasy where everything you know about yourself is only true for you. Your truth is not the truth for anyone else.” Miguel Ruiz
This is a photo of an illusion; the table and cards are reflected in an old mirror. The objects may be real, which as you will see is debatable, but the reflected image does not exist.
In an attempt to understand what is and what is not real, I give you The Eight Similes of Illusion by Patrul Rinpoche. These should be taken seriously, and with careful contemplation, you may be able to use your illusion.
“As in a dream, all the external objects perceived with the five senses are not there, but appear through delusion.” This explains all those times I couldn’t find my car.
“As in a magic show, things are made to appear by a temporary conjunction of causes, circumstances and connections.” It’s an illusion Michael; a trick is something a whore does for money.
“As in a visual aberration, things appear to be there, yet there is nothing.” I can easily observe this by looking deeply into my checking account.
“As in a mirage, things appear but are not real.” If you have an illusory royal flush you may want to bluff.
“As in an echo, things can be perceived but there is nothing there, either outside or inside.” Note to self-test for echo.
“As in a city of Gandharvas, there is neither a dwelling nor anyone to dwell.” Fun fact: while Gandharva literally means smell eater, it’s also a term for singers in Indian classical music.
“As in a reflection, things appear but have no reality of their own.” See mirror image.
“As in a city created by magic, there are all sorts of appearances but they are not really there.” This is Disneyland in a nutshell, but you don’t have to tell the kids until they get older.
The Buddha said: “We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”
Deal me out, I got nothing.