Vikshepa

Mental Distractions

18 Nov 2019

Reality versus our vision of it

So I was thinking that spiritual teachers so often see a version of reality that corresponds with their natures. Describing reality in one manner inevitably leads to the disparagement of alternative ways of describing it, which seem to have a different or opposite vision. It is not so different from the flaw in our everyday vision, according to which we define objects by their function or usefulness to us. In many languages gold or silver have come to mean “money”, while our word “salary” indicates a measure of salt.

In Islam, God has 99 names or attributes. But it would be an error to define God by any single one of them. In order to be able to see reality, we must discard all limiting notions and theories about it. Understanding can come only through a spirit of openness.

They always say in Hinduism that if we want to describe a faint star in the sky to a friend, we point instead to a brighter star and say that the star we mean is just to the left of that one. But in reality the attributes we use are not very helpful and bring us no nearer to understanding. To say that God is peace, or harmony or love inevitably conjures up notions that have little to do with what is actually meant. These are simply impositions from our egoistic human experience.

Tags: spiritual-life
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