Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
The Sanskrit word maya often is used to describe the world as illusion. In fact, maya refers more to the mind’s propensity to divide the world–which the Veda tells us is one, whole, complete reality–into apparent duality. When we live through the mind, rather than through the essence of what we are, the mind is like a go-between: breaking things down into constituent parts, and seeing us as separate from the whole.
This is further reinforced by our use of language and our dependence upon symbolic thought. (For example, we cannot see a table without thinking of the word “table.”)
We depend so much on the intellect and on verbalized thought and symbolic thinking that we have come to mistake the symbol for the thing itself. Everything is seen as an object, a separateness–my house, my car, my mother, my cat, my body–and we have come to believe entirely in the separateness of everything, and in our own separateness from the whole.
Professor Einstein also said:
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used in creating them.
We absolutely need an ego, a sense of self, to live and work in this world; however, identified solely as the ego mind, we never will be able to see ourselves as at-one-with. We never will have the capacity to feel ourselves as the expressions of nature that we are, as the oneness with nature that we are. For this we must have the experience of being something-other-than this ego mind. For this we have the experience of meditation.
In meditation, we transcend the limited and limiting workings of the ego mind and experience that place deep within where we absolutely are at-one-with all that is. We feel our connectedness, our wholeness. We feel the truth of our being. So that when we come out of meditation, we are able to begin to see this truth in our world as well.
There is only one thing. This thing is consciousness. This thing is you. This thing is me. This thing is all there is. I am That. Thou art That. All this is nothing but That. Not simply as a concept, but as an experiential part of life. A fantastic gift. Available here and now, in this moment.
Today, when my thoughts and my feelings are telling me things about myself or the world that make me feel separate and alone, I will remind myself of this other thing I feel when I am in meditation. I will remind myself that there is another, deeper experience of self always available to me. I will remember that at the deepest level of what I am, what I am is at one with Totality, and I will do what I can to experience this at-oneness here in my world, eyes open.