Reality is that which is universal and which exists as a distinct phenomenon possessing its own intrinsic nature. It is not something that is conceptual, mentally constructed, or conceived. It is the object of real experience, meaning, it is that which is not imagined but experienced.
Water is real. The phrase “Colorado River” is not. It is a name, a geopolitical concept denoting a body of flowing water. We can experience flowing water just as a fish or a bird can. But we cannot experience “Colorado River,” which is a mental construction and linguistic tool so that we may communicate with one another. A fish and a bird obviously do not know what “Colorado River” is. In other words, “Colorado River” is not only not experiential. It also is not universal. So it is not real.
Similarly, a “table” is not real. It does not exist. What really exists is wood (or metal, or plastic). Table is the name given to a particular form or assembly of wood. It is an abstraction.
Conventions and concepts are not universal because they do not exist by the virtue of their own natures. There is no experiential evidence for them. “Table” does not have universal existence because it does not mean anything to an ant or to a woodpecker. But wood is the same for all beings, whether human, ant, or woodpecker.
This may sound a bit dimwitted right now, but bear with me a while longer so I can prove to you the profound implications of what we are discussing.
SOUL RESEARCH INSTITUTE NEWSLETTER, JANUARY 09, 2011
EVENTS AT S.R.I.
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"We live in the maya of names, labels, and appearance of things and miss the real thing. There is a reality. It is us..human beings...and not eastern, western, hindu, christian, black, white, man, woman. When we understand this, we do not feel separate..we become nothing and everything at the same time. That is all."
Meditation Gathering and Potluck on January 09, 2011
This week led by Satish Kumar
Next week will be led by Sam A.
Yoga led by Art Sanchez
Come and go anytime as you like
NO FEES. JUST PRACTICE.
10.00-10.30am: Soul Yoga
10.30-11.00am: Soul Breathing
Noon - 12.30pm: Potluck (Veg.)
12.30 - Whatever: Noble Discussion
Where: Fire Dept. Hall: 2490 Research Parkway, Briargate Area, Colorado Springs, CO
Two easy qualifying tests help us to identify and understand the world around us and ourselves so that non-reality is not mistaken as reality. These are “experience” and “universality.” Anything that fails these tests is only a concept or a network of concepts, which in Sanskrit is known as maya.
In the upcoming newsletters, we will discuss how the sense of separate self (ego) is a non-reality (maya) and how to transcend it.
A man, woman, nation, and so on are additional examples of non-realities—mere words, mere names, mere concepts. A man or a woman actually does not exist. An Israeli, a German, or a Palestinian does not exist. What actually exist are human beings... bundles of consciousness, mind, and matter conventionally called a man, a woman, an Israeli, a German, and a Palestinian.
If these types of non-reality did not blind recent political, social, and religious leaders and their followers we would not have experienced bloodshed in Israel-Palestine, India-Pakistan, Iran-Iraq, and Sierra Leone. New York would not have been attacked on September 11, 2001. The list is long.