The Reality of Illusion of Reality


SEEN as the dependable Gaia, our Mother Earth is a beautiful and bountiful haven for life in the cosmos.

But day to day living here represents a wide variety of experiences, not all of them necessarily compatible.

For example, artists, writers, poets, mathematicians, shamans, homeless persons, business people, storm chasers.

Each of them experiences our shared planet through their own unique lens.

Each hears, sees, tastes and feels based upon their particular worldview, and these unique affectations manifest in an infinitude of variations.

“Why is it that one person sees poetry in a cabbage or a pig with her little ones,” H. P. Blavatsky asks:

“while another will perceive in the loftiest things only their lowest and most material aspect.”

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Some, she says, “will laugh at the ‘music of the spheres,’ and ridicule the most sublime conceptions and philosophies.”

Mme. Blavatsky’s contemporary, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), under the pseudonym ‘The Duchess,’ wrote many books. In Molly Bawn, 1878, she gave us the familiar phrase:

“Beauty is in the eye
of the beholder.”

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Mme. Blavatsky explained the inner significance of this phrase. Differences of perception, she says, “depend on the innate power of the mind to think on the higher or on the lower plane — with the astral or with the physical brain.

“Great intellectual powers are often no proof of, but are impediments to spiritual and right conceptions,” Blavatsky adds:

“…witness most of the great men of science. We must rather pity than blame them.”

Relative Reality

Blavatsky insists that “illusion is an element which enters into all finite things,” and that is why “everything that exists has only a relative, not an absolute, reality.”

Observer Centric

For example a tiny bug crawling over a painting, is aware only of the hills and valleys made by the artist’s brush strokes, while a person will instantly recognize a face or a landscape.

Any version of “reality,” Blavatsky goes on to say, is dependent upon the observer’s “power of cognition.”

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One of the most revealing dialogs on reality vs. illusion is found in Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, featuring the concept of “progressive awakenings.” Our brain-related senses bring only “material existence into the field of our consciousness.”

“As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities…”

“Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

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Awakenings

“The upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality,’ she writes.

“But only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya [illusion.]”

Convincing proof that we do not all see mundane things the same way, i.e. cabbages and pigs, or matter for that matter, also numbers, letters, words and colors — consider the odd condition of “synesthesia.”

Be aware, because the below short video clip may alter your own view of ‘reality.’

This concept is fundamental to Theosophical teachings. Concerning the numerous strata of substance and consciousness, she famously declared that the various frequencies of these (check your dictionaries) are:

“in Coadunition, but not
in Consubstantiality.” 

Tao of Physics

Madame H.P. Blavatsky’s concluding lines in The Key to Theosophy were: “I must tell you that during the last quarter of every hundred years an attempt is made by those ‘Masters,’ of whom I have spoken,

… to help on the spiritual progress of Humanity in a marked and definite way,” adding that: “Towards the close of each century you will invariably find

that an outpouring or upheaval of spirituality — or call it mysticism if you prefer — has taken place.”

“Some one or more persons have appeared in the world as their agents,” Blavatsky assured her students, “and a greater or less amount of occult knowledge and teaching has been given out…”

One of those who appeared in the year 1975, among other messengers-unaware, was Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, who jump started a popular awareness of Eastern Mysticism  embedded in modern physics.

Worlds in Worlds

The curious world of quantum physics reveals why the hidden, energetic substratum of ‘matter’ is so difficult to pin down. In a quantum world, the atom doesn’t have a locality until it is observed.

The observer is inextricably interwoven with the observed, populating many ‘worlds within worlds,’ a basic Theosophical premise.


Referring to the reception The Secret Doctrine would receive in this century, Blavatsky says that scholars with reputations to preserve, would not regard the teachings of The Secret Doctrine seriously, but that “they will be derided and rejected à priori in this century.”

But “only in this one,” she insisted (Introd. xxxvii). “For in the twentieth century of our era scholars will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine

…has neither been invented nor exaggerated, but, on the contrary, simply outlined; and finally, that its teachings antedate the Vedas.”

Nature of Reality

The ‘discovery’ of the atom forced science to rethink the nature of reality itself. It revealed that empty space isn’t empty at all, replacing our old perceptions with new mysteries to solve.

The Transition

The beginning of this revolution in thought was to begin with a ground breaking discovery that would shatter conventional scientific ideas about the fundamental nature of matter.

In 1897, Marie Curie studied strange rays pouring out of some rare metals she called “radioactivity.” Then, in 1905 Albert Einstein conclusively proved the distance and size of an atom by studying the way pollen moves in water.

At First Solvay Conference (1911), Skłodowska-Curie (seated, 2nd from right) confers with Henri Poincaré. Standing, 4th from right, is Rutherford; 2nd from right, Einstein; far right, Paul Langevin

A few years later Earnest Rutherford performed an experiment that revealed the shape and interior of an atom. The revolution Blavatsky predicted had now picked up irreversible momentum, and there was no going back.

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Progressive Awakenings

H. P. Blavatsky
(The Secret Doctrine 1:40)

“WHATEVER reality things possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world.

“But we cannot cognise any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness.

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“Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

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“As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and

“the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality.’

But only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya [Sanskrit: ‘Illusion’].”

A related essay from the blog Mystic Muse:

mysticmuse

Mystic Muse

“Double Maya”

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Namaste!

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