Is the world around us real or an illusion that we create in our mind? Weird question, isn’t it?
The world around us looks so real, and to proclaim that it is only an illusion seems sheer nonsense. How can this be true?
Well, the world is real for us, since we can see it and touch it, but is it actually real?
The truth is that our thoughts, beliefs, what we read and what we hear determine how we see the world.
Often, the information we receive is not true and this distorts our view of the world, about the news, and about people.
Look at your body. It is some sort of an extraordinary machine, made up of a combination of various materials and functioning as a unit.
Can you confidently say that you are the body, or maybe you are your consciousness-awareness, the part in you that thinks and decides? Is your consciousness-awareness something on a higher level than the body? Do you identify more with your consciousness-awareness or with your body?
- Are you the hair that the hairdresser cuts and throws away?
- Are you your fingers nails, nose, legs or thighs?
- When you drive your car, are you the car or the one driving it? In the some way, are you the body, or the power that makes the body function and do things?
Think about these questions fearlessly and you will discover a wider consciousness in you.
Are You Your Thoughts, Feelings and Body?
A great number of thoughts pass through the mind every day. Can you say that you are any one of these thoughts? Thoughts are like a movie that plays in front of your eyes. Are you the watcher of the movie or one of the characters on the screen?
Do you remember what you thought one hour ago or yesterday? How can these thoughts be the real if they are not permanent and always come and go? You think them, but you are not them.
The same thing goes for your feelings. Is it correct to say, “I am angry”, “I am sad”, “I am happy”? Maybe it is more correct to say, “I am letting feelings of anger, sadness or happiness to occupy my consciousness for a while”?
Like thoughts, feelings and emotions pass through you, they come and they go. You cannot be your feelings, because they constantly change. You are the one who sees and feels them.
After reading the above words, do you still believe that you are your body, your feelings and your thoughts, or something higher beyond them?
If we identify with our thoughts and feelings, we get agitated and disturbed easily, and might believe that that people are against us. If we experience our thoughts and feelings, but do not get involved with them, we stay calm, relaxed and happy, and the world looks to us good and friendly.
Do you see how the thoughts, feelings, and words we use determine how we see the world? Do you realize now, that we actually build a world in our mind based on erroneous ideas and information?
Turning Your Attention Inside
When you can go deep inside you, beyond illusion and reality, you will discover that you are an inseparable part of the eternal, impersonal consciousness that created the world. You will realize that this power infused life into everything, including what you call you – your body, feelings and thoughts.
If you learn to control your thoughts, practice meditation, and gain a certain measure of inner detachment and inner peace, you will be able to turn your attention inside you, away from the the external world. This will make you aware of the Consciousness that is beyond the mind and beyond illusion.
Becoming aware of this Consciousness, which is beyond the mind, leads to enlightenment.
This is what yogis, saints and seekers on the spiritual path seek.
Thoughts and Imagination Create Your World
Thoughts and imagination are creative, and therefore create and affect your world. As your thoughts are, so is your world.
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What happens when you watch a movie?
You get involved with the characters and you experience various emotions. It is the same when you watch a play on the stage.
You know it is a movie or a play, yet your mind and feelings get agitated. You feel and react as if what you are watching is real.
Suppose that while watching the movie or play, you keep in mind that what you are watching is not real. In this case, you will be less involved and affected. You will still enjoy the movie or play, but they will not affect how you think or feel. This happens because you see through the illusion.
When you focus on the fact that what you see is an illusion, you do not become agitated. You know it is just a movie, the projection of light and color on a screen or just actors playing the stage.
This is also, what happens after you rise above illusion and experience spiritual awakening. You see the world and live in it, but at the same time, you understand that it is not real and that is the creation of your thoughts, feelings and attitude.
When you can see and recognize that things are not they seem to be, the outside world will stop disturbing and distracting your mind and your feelings. You will go on living your life, but you will do so while remaining calm and undisturbed.
What is the conclusion? Your mind, thoughts and feelings create your world – the illusion you are living in.
When you are to master your mind and thoughts, you rise above illusion, and awaken to realize the true nature of the world. When this happens, you will be able to change your illusion – your world, through the creative power of your mind. By focusing your mind on the thoughts you choose, you can affect your “reality” accordingly.
Going beyond the mind, beyond the illusion of the world, puts a great power and responsibility in your hands, for then you have the power to affect the world. Your awakened consciousness is an immense power that can stimulate awakening in others.
Calming down your mind, going beyond it, and becoming conscious of your real being, can affect favorably the world around you.
How can all this help you in your day-to-day life? Awakening, and rising above illusion makes your journey through life easier. You stop taking things too personally, you learn to stay calm in difficult situations, you stop building fears and disasters in your mind, and you become a more focused and happy person.