What is Real
Everyone has at some point read or heard the statement that this world isn’t real. That everything we experience on this level is but an illusion.
There is a brilliant quote from ‘A Course In Miracles,’ that says this sublimely: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
I am one who believes, beyond doubt, that we are trapped in an illusion. That everything we see is but a reflection of ideas, thoughts, desires and emotions emanating from mind.
Everything is projected by mind for us to see and experience as truth.
I also know that we are never alone. As alone, lonely, cold, and frightened as we often feel we never are. I know that he keeps sending me angels to guide and protect and to teach me to fly, and all I have to do is just not quit. All I need do, is but try.
It is always nice however to reinforce ones beliefs, as the below Zen story does.
In ancient India there was a King called Janaka, who was also a sage. One day Janaka was taking a nap on his flower-strewn bed with his servants fanning him and his soldiers standing guard outside his door.
As he dozed off, he had a dream in which a neighboring King defeated him in battle, took him prisoner, and had him tortured. As soon as the torture began, Janaka woke with a start to find himself lying on his flower-strewn bed with his servants fanning him and his soldiers on guard.
Once again he dozed off and had the same dream. And once again he woke up to find himself safe and comfortable in his palace.
Now Janaka began to be disturbed by several thoughts: While he was asleep, the world of his dreams had seemed so real. Now that he was awake, the world of the senses seemed real. Which of these two worlds is the real one, he wanted to know.
None of the philosophers, scholars, and seers he consulted could give him an answer. And for many
years he searched in vain, till one day a man called Ashtavakra knocked at the door of the palace.
Now, Ashtavakra means “entirely deformed or crooked,” and he got that name because that is exactly what hisbody had been from birth.
At first the King was not disposed to take this man seriously. “How can a misshapen man like you be the carrier of a wisdom denied to my seers and scholars?” he asked.
“Right from my childhood, all avenues have been closed to me – so I avidly pursued the path of wisdom,” was Ashtavakra’s reply.
“Speak, then,” said the King.
So this is what Ashtavakra said: “O King, neither the waking state nor the dream state is real. When you are awake, the world of dreams does not exist and when you dream the world of the senses does not exist. Therefore, neither is real.”
“If both the waking and the dream states are unreal, then what is real?” asked the King.
“There is a state beyond these two. Discover that. It alone is real.”
See you in that third state, dear reader.