Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
9th July 2013
What does illusion mean?
Illusion does not mean it is non-existent. It means everything exists, but it does not exist as the mind thinks it exists. In simple terms, man thinks everything that exists in the world is real and that an illusion cannot exist within it, as a reality. This is obvious because the world could either be real or illusory and not both. To man, illusion means a deception in a sensory perception or experience of reality.
Man, therefore, considers illusion insignificant or impractical in his daily life. He thinks illusion is significant or practical if it concerns art or magic. Man thinks that everything that he sees, hears, tastes, smells and touches is significant and practical, and therefore has to be real.
The reality of daily life must include the meaning of a word too. It cannot be ignored as the meaning of words governs daily life, just as reality does. Therefore, man has to be clear whether Illusion is misunderstood as reality, or whether the mind‘s imagined reality is being misunderstood to be real.
Some have rightly understood that daily life, and the world, is illusory and not real. They are the enlightened or the sages. They have proclaimed that life is illusory: a play of light and sound. But man thinks illusion cannot exist as a reality in daily life. This could be true if daily life were real, which means permanent and eternal. But man knows that nothing in the world, including daily life, is permanent or eternal. He has no proof that daily life is real. The only proof he has is that everything in the world, including the brain, is energy, which is light. Therefore, illusion is rightly understood as the only reality, but it is a misunderstanding to think the mind‘s imagined realities as real.
In the present millennium science has evolved by leaps and bounds. It is unfathomable to science how reality could exist, as the world is purely energy, which is basically light. It is equally unfathomable how reality could appear in the mind, which is purely energy. This can only imply that different intensities of light appear as reality to man.
Life is light and the world is like a screen on which life projects an illusion of a world and daily life, which is real to man. Similarly, in a cinema too, a projector projects light onto a screen, which appears like a world and daily life, and this illusion appears real to man. A work of art too can produce an illusion of reality. For example, a painting can depict a sense of a real world. Paint is energy, which is light, and it can cause a sensory deception in the perception or experience of reality.
So what does illusion mean? It means that illusion is the reality in the world, and the reality in the mind is illusory. Therefore, the world, man and mind are not what the mind has understood so far and believes them to be. When man understands this illusion of life in depth, he will realise who he really is.