The Illusion of Reality
Eastern religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, etc.) believe the material world is an illusion. They call this illusion Maya. Unlike true reality, which is changeless and eternal, Maya (illusion) is all that has a beginning and an end.
The path of spiritual enlightenment requires understanding of the Seven Pillars of Ancient Wisdom.
1) All things, organic or inorganic, from atom to galaxy, contain a living presence.
2) Every living presence resides within the body of a greater being.
3) Every being is made in the image of an ultimate greater being.
4) The vibration of every living presence is felt by every other living presence in our solar system.
5) Our solar system is constructed from energies which vibrate to seven levels.
6) Energy and matter are interchangeable. The material world is an illusion.
7) There is no death, only a change of state.
In a world where people exist in a temporary life spanning seven or eight decades, feverishly attempting to accumulate things, modern science appears to be catching up with ancient wisdom.
In 1982, physicist Alain Aspect (University of Paris) discovered that "under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them." It doesn't matter if they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart, somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing. This may be one of the most important discoveries in history.
This revelation would confirm step 4 in the Seven Pillars of Ancient Wisdom, which would seem to lend credence to the previous three steps as well. The universe is basically a living entity made up of living entities.
Physicist David Bohm (University of London) believes Aspect's findings suggest that material reality does not exist. Despite the apparent solidity of the universe, it's actually a hologram (a three-dimensional "image" that is an illusion of a three-dimensional solid reality). Bohm contends that the subatomic particles are able to remain in contact with one another because their separateness is also an illusion.
If true, this would verify step 6 of the Seven Pillars of Ancient Wisdom that the material world is an illusion.
Aspect's discovery would explain such human paranormal phenomena as psychic abilities, remote viewing, out-of-body journeys, near-death experiences, precognitive renderings, premonitions, etc. A woman in Detroit has a bad "feeling" about her son in Seattle just before he has an auto crash, or a person who nurtures his plants with kindness has a garden that flourishes. Everything is connected, regardless of time or distance.
Neurophysiologist Karl Pribram (Stanford University), a proponent of a holographic universe, has theorized that memories are not encoded in neurons of the brain but rather in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain. Experiments were conducted whereby various portions of the brain of a rat were removed, yet the rat was still able to perform tasks (its memory remained intact). According to Pribram, the brain itself is a hologram.
The findings of Bohm and Pribram have become known as the Holographic Paradigm in the scientific community. While many scientists are skeptical of this theory, there's also a growing group of researchers who believe these speculations may be the most accurate model of reality so far.
I have my own theory of reality -- I'm the center of the universe and everything else is a product of my imagination. In other words, I'm real and everything else is an illusion.
But if my existence is my own creation, there would be no more suffering and a bevy of beautiful babes would be hanging out with me at all times.
Perhaps I'm not the center of the universe after all. Perhaps I'm just an illusion, masquerading as a human being on a small planet in a far corner of an average galaxy, wondering who created such an illusion and why.
Life is like a dream -- you never know you're asleep, trapped in an illusion, until you wake up.
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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels, which are available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.