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By Alex Bunard, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Copyright © by Alex Bunard. All rights reserved.
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What is Reality?
It is impossible to say what Reality is for
a very simple reason: there is nothing else. Usually, we define any idea
or concept by comparing it to something else. Thus, we establish the boundaries
and impose some polarity onto the primordial mass of raw perception.
But when we talk about Reality, we immediately
lose this ground, and consequently cannot describe it. There is nothing
it could be compared to. There is nothing that is not Reality.
One may decide to challenge this view. For
instance, one may feel the urge to "break free" from this vision of Reality,
and to conceive the following: "This one Reality vision works fine if we
imagine that the coherence of our Universe hangs together neatly. But what
if we assume that there is another, totally different Universe that is
totally separate from ours, and that is consequently subject to the completely
different set of rules and logic?"
In the light of Reality, this argument amounts
to nothing. Even if there is such a bizarre occasion (as an existence of
a "parallel Universe") it would immediately be included in Reality. Whatever
new we may discover, it's going to be included in Reality. Even the exclusion
of something from Reality is included in Reality. This is an Absolute,
a totalitarian discourse that doesn't sit well with philosophers and clear
thinkers. But, that's how things are: it is Reality-as-is.
In everyday parlance, reality check
usually means that someone's overly optimistic attitude is going to be
subjected to the stripping down in order to shake things out and bring
them to bear the witnessing of the harsh reality. Here, we are intent
on providing a very different definition.
Reality check states that there is a difference
between seeing the Reality and being deluded. To perform a reality check
is to test whether our views are deluded or real. How do we conduct this
We start from the understanding that Reality
itself is not harmful. We are Reality, we were not brought into the Reality
from some other place. It follows that if we are engaged in something that
is truly real, we cannot feel excluded, distracted, neglected, abandoned,
frustrated, vexed and anguished.
If our own actions make us feel that way,
we can be sure that they are not stemming from Reality. We know that anguish
only arises from being deluded.
This is actually very simple, and the test
itself is absolutely infallible. However, in almost all cases when this
reality check is applicable, our minds have the tendency to complain bitterly.
The Terror of Rational Thinking
Rational thinking is an amazing tool. It would
appear that only human beings have access to this tool. But, it is very
important to keep in mind that it is only a tool, and nothing else. Upon
mastering this way of thinking, we invariably display the tendency to get
so fascinated with it, that we attach strongly to it. This is something
we should not simply gloss over, because it tends to quickly take over
and to start ruling our lives from the ground up.
Why would this be necessarily bad? Well, by
identifying with our creation (i.e. with our ability to think rationally)
we actually submit to it. We let the part become the ruler of the
whole. Our rational thinking is smaller than we are; it has originated
from us, it is downstream from the source of our being. And yet, we somehow
(magically?) always manage to assign to it some supernatural qualities
and to fall into the belief that what originated from our mind is actually
greater and more important than our mind. We easily fall into an error
to believe that the effect is older than the cause.
In practical terms, this is right down harmful,
because it makes us do things nobody in their right mind would ever dream
of doing. Attempting to lead our lives by relying one hundred percent on
our favorite tool (i.e. our capability to think rationally) is like attempting
to make love by using our favorite tools (e.g. a hammer). It is equally
ridiculous to expect to achieve any meaningful results. This is because
with rational thinking, we can't even begin to scratch the surface of our
lives. This mental tool, one among many others, is so impoverished and
one-dimensional. For some strange reason, though, we still hold on to it
thinking that in it lies our ultimate salvation.
This is why we reject the above described
'reality check' with a knee-jerk assuredness. Because the test of 'reality
check' does not conform to the world view we've arrived at through our
rational thinking, we are adamant that it cannot be valid. As a matter
of fact, under our present terror of rational thinking, we believe that
the proposition that Reality is harmless is right down preposterous and
outrageous. "Only an utter fool would even begin to think such a stupid
thought!" is the first thing to come to our minds when we hear about people
who have managed to liberate themselves from this terror.
The simple truth is that we are so terrified
and harassed by our rational thought patterns, that we flatly refuse to
entertain any other possibility. We act in a highly superficial manner,
all the while hiding behind the facade of what we proclaim to be the world
of reasonable, logical explanations. We are very frightened that this facade
is going to crumble any moment now. That's why we are in such a spasm,
holding on to it thinking that our lives depend solely on this lame, phantom
world of thinly veiled selfish interests. But that's an illusion.
How To Recognize Enlightenment?
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