Linking the sessions on cognitive filters with the ancient concept of maya, and realizing that maya is not an illusion, but a filtering of reality, whereby you, the filter (maya) and reality are not separate but all parts of the whole – All-That-Is – casting itself into experience.
Saturday 9/21/2019 9:05 a.m.
Beautiful morning. Waited too long to sit outside, now the neighbors are going about their Saturday chores in the yards and such..
The Club: You can do all this inside as well. As a matter of fact, this whole thing is about going inside of yourself and finding insights.
True, but sitting outside connects me with a great “me.” I already wonder how I will do this come winter.
We will find a way, smiling, it is all how you set up your filtering system.
Ha, nice segue. So back to filtering, the topic of our last sessions. How we filter reality, or rather to summarize, how All-That-Is sets up filters appropriate for the various scales that make itself appear to it as separate, thereby allowing for experience at all.
Well said, so…
Writing about all this last time, I realize we are talking about what the ancients termed “maya.” Only here it gets cast in a more modern language, like cognitive filter, pattern matching, and so on.
But essentially it is the same concept as the Hindu concept of “maya,” as seeing reality as if through a veil.
Talk a bit more about it, set the stage so to speak.
OK, in Hinduism there is an “ultimate reality” (a wrong way of saying this) called Brahman, which is infinite, formless. This would be equivalent to what we call All-That-Is of the cosmic hologram, etc.[or even "God," in a very loose sense].
Now, out of Brahman come three main deities: Brahma (Note the difference: Brahma, not Brahman!), Vishnu and Shiva. But only Vishnu and Shiva are revered, Brahma is not, for he is “the creator” of reality as we see it. Brahma sees nature in its purest form, and gets scared. So in order to understand it, and subsequently rule and master it, he creates maya.
Maya is often thought about in the West as the great illusion, or delusion, in that the world we see is not real but an illusion.
But that is wrong [more on that below.]
Maya, really, is tied to the word “measure.” Maya is a measuring stick applied to pure Being, measuring it by our standards, overlaying a grid over reality (whatever that may actually be) so we can understand it.
Vishnu then engages with this world, with maya and the various forms it presents, to keep it all in balance, sending avatars of himself (like Krishna) to right the boat, so to speak. Shiva does not engage with maya, but thereby un-constructs the measurement, being able to undo all forms and rejoin the formless.
So in a way, we Humans are Brahma (form) and also Brahman (the formless). The infinite or formless experienced -- by Brahma through his maya -- as the forms or reality we are accustomed to.
Whew, long write-up.
Good, but it captures the essence of the process. Remember that these stories are just allegories, presented as myth, so that common people some two or three thousand years ago could have an access point to this. Nonetheless, the whole thing captures the process well.
We set up a filtering system – maya – to look at whatever reality actually is, and thereby see it as this world. Before we talked about pattern matching and more modern cognitive terminology, but it is the same as in the story.
Now, the important thing you hinted above was this:
Maya is not, as commonly understood, an illusion.
The word as you see it is not an illusion, but it is filtered reality, true reality but only a slice or aspect of it.
Right. I used to already understand that our 3D view and “ultimate reality” (if we may call it that) are but two side of the same coin. Now I understand that it is not even that, but truly the same thing, undivided. Just filtered, by a filter that is part of this reality itself.
And that is so important to see. This filter itself is part of the whole deal, this system [this process]. It is not 3D (consciousness, matter, time) VERSUS All-that-Is, but that 3D AND the filter AND All-That-Is are really one undivided whole.
All-That-Is is filtering itself into you looking at All-That-Is:
So maya is then: a measuring.
Who or what does the measuring (using maya) All-That-Is AS you.
What is measured (using maya), and why: All-That-is, to be made graspable by consciousness at that scale, that is for example, you.
What is the measure (maya): All-That-Is itself is the measure, laying a grid over itself that represents itself to you, that consciousness [that is you, which is also All-That-Is].
This really is the mechanism that allows for experience to arise.
At the “bottom” (wrong term, but you understand) it is all All-That-Is, or the cosmic hologram, which contains all including itself.
Now compare this [process] to pure white light, and how a prism can then break that light into, say, component colors, all the colors of the rainbow. So then maya, the filtering mechanism as befit to the respective level of consciousness, is like that prism and casts the infinite forms and entities that you see. [But unlike the prism in the example above, maya is not separate but part of the whole itself].
Now, it is important to notice that as it filters itself, maya continually changes. As we talked about, there is an expansion into this space / consciousness / filter, and contraction into oneness, and then a choice exists as a tension in this which brings out the next “shih” ( thing- event- moment), and so on.
During this reintegration Maya and the filter are changed.
Clearly, genetic filters like your senses are not [changed from moment to moment], but you also bring back further understanding of the total situation, that changes how you (being All-That-Is) look at All-That-Is in the next iteration.
That is why sometimes there are paradigm shifts in how you see a given situation. Maya has changed, or parts of the filter representing (or based on) understanding. And thereby you, All-That-Is AS YOU is able to look at itself changed. And thereby have a different experience.
So this is an aspect of the purpose or meaning of life (life in general, not your specific life): to maximize experience for All-That-Is.
Very good. I guess I am working on Maya all the time when we do this, have these sessions.
Yes, but also it goes further. You are working with Maya all the time, changing it, even in your dreams. You are, and we are with you.
Maya is the engine that helps All-That-Is recast itself into realities (plural!).
So it is not something to overcome, as in an enemy, but something to be worked with! It is not that Maya is this illusion, but the enabler of this reality that you live in.
And thereby you got this great paradigm this other day: samsara is nirvana. Switching religions here, so to speak, from Hindu to Buddhism (laughing).
[added later: also Atman is Brahman].
Laughing, it’s all good, all the same, right?
[They are] Different ways to look at this. But back to the topic, it is to realize that this world/reality IS All-that-is, with all its perceived faults and pain, but also IS in fact "the ultimate."
You ALL experience true reality, filtered for you and by you. There is nothing more, in a way, as this includes: All-that-Is (all!), plus its filter, plus thereby you, seamlessly.
Now, does it always seem “good?” Of course not! But that is a judgment set up by your Maya, your measuring stick of reality, your filter and pattern matching system, casting some things as desirable and non-desirable.
So awakening [or enlightenment], you understand, is not an escape from samsara. It is not to go to some deeper space, some more blissful state, it is to realize that here in samsara all that is already there, undivided.
And that you can have constant access to it, if you but tune your Maya a bit.
Well, if we take the awakening, that was a pretty deep direct insight.
Right, but the point is then, through a change of attitude, to keep this alive in every moment. That’s where you fail. We talked about this before.
One access is to know, to really know, that when you look at the other, you are looking at “yourself”, at All-That-Is, which is expressed as “you” by itself. Of course, “yourself” and “itself” are but linguistic terms where we do not know how to say it differently [to express the oneness].
So today, play with YOUR Maya. Reset the filter. See “things” are they are: one. Smiling.
Always the best intentions for me, don’t you?
We smile, now run along, “enjoy” the day.
Namaste — I and the Divine in me bow to You and the Divine in You.
Copyright © Hanns-Oskar Porr