“Deluded by ignorance, man mistakes one thing for another. Lack of discernment will cause a man to think that a snake is a piece of rope. When he grasps it in this belief he runs a great risk. The acceptance of the unreal as real constitutes the state of bondage. Pay heed to this my friend…”
from Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination
It’s just the nature of the way our minds work that the world as we perceive it seems like a pretty important, pressing, and immediate thing. It’s really the tiny bubble of anxious circumstances that surround us – the bills we have to pay, the kids we have to pick up, the movies we ‘have’ to see, the politics we need to get our panties in a bunch about. In this ‘western’ society we live in, even when we expand our focus beyond that personal immediacy, we tend to look to mainstream media as the window to the rest of world – but in fact that is a tiny bubble of delusion, too. We end up getting our heads [literally] wired into a kind of sphere of presumed realities, when if we simply step back from it all and look at it objectively, we can see most of it isn’t really real at all.
What we all seem to have here is actually a perception problem – or let's call it a limited perception problem.
There’s a lot of powerful forces that play with us in this way these days, what with all of the devices that we're constantly engaged with – hi-tech pocket belief-inseminators that enclose us in a kind of “protective and secure” bubble of reality, where our fears are managed by our ability to confirm what’s most comfortable to us. They don’t simply connect us to a very particular world, they monitor the complexities of our every reaction, and keep instant tabs on our fears and desires – in order to better form the realities they would have us presume. We walk around, staring at screens, surrounding our heads in a bubble of ideas that support a “safe” and entitled worldview—when just beyond the bubble’s confines, we clearly see that certain very very important things are going terribly wrong, and require some legitimate, immediate and principled attention too.
Our mainstream media even goes so far as to constantly parrot that those profound values we’ve always taken for granted – values like honesty, sanity, responsibility, civility, and charity – are passé and archaic. We’re continuously told that we live in a “post-truth” world, when the actual truth we all know intuitively is this: NO, WE DON’T.
We’re told that we have to look at things in one of two, or possibly three ways only, and by that volition we’re given the precious (democratic) gift of “choice,” when, in reality, if we’re only looking at the three choices presented in that one little bubble of delusion, we are actively surrendering a virtual ocean of far superior choices – the truly powerful potential we are actually swimming in all the time. That “acceptance of the unreal as real” is what “constitutes the state of bondage.”
It’s time for us to start paying attention to what we’re paying attention to!
“…illumining with the candle of our ego a bright circle of awareness, we also darken the remainder of the room…The process of making conscious thereby also makes unconscious…the ego concentrates into one pole the divine primordial half-light, thereby also darkening the divine.”
James Hillman, from Senex and Puer
The destruction of our planet's environmental balance, the willful vivocide of the planet’s biodiversity, the aggressive misappropriation of the Earth’s resources by a fearful minority, the rejection of the very values that keep humanity a going concern, and the suppression of Life’s collective intelligence, reason, and spiritual sanity are the ruinous symptoms of living in that little ego-bubble of delusion – of only casting light on to a tiny bubble of manufactured interests at the expense of keeping our real well-being, and our responsible stewardship of the planet and all the life on it, ignored in a realm of increasing darkness. We’re painting ourselves into a corner and trying to be happy cowering there because we’re essentially being brainwashed to think it’s the “best” choice we have.
Break out of that bubble now!
Turn away from that artificial technological reality, and place your faith in the miraculous underlying spiritual technology that supports and sustains all of being. Fear is what separates us, fear is what divides us – Love is our unifying reality. The presence of Love as a defining inspiration for change and growth is what must free us. The true reality of this amazing life is alive in that surrounding universe of infinite creativity—everything that isn’t within that tiny bubble of fear—the ocean of innovation, interdependence, and the energy of Love alive in all things, and available in absolutely every other direction we have to choose from—where all the spiritual solutions we need plainly are awaiting us.
“As you become more truly alive, you see an infinitude of universes, a beginningless, boundless sea of life, energy, and delight, full of goodness, aware of itself in its absolute ultimate peace and security, freedom and happiness.”
Robert Thurman, Infinite Life
The latest book:
How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor from Llewellyn Worldwidecan be ordered direct on this page or online; and the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available the same ways – but ask for them it at your local bookstore!