What Do the Terms Real, Unreal, Not Real and Illusion Mean?

 

Most of us have heard some Eastern Philosophy and/or religion say that the world and everything in it is Illusion or Maya.

And, I am sure, most of those have said to themselves: "How can this be an Illusion or not real. I can see it and I can feel it. So can everyone else. How can we all be having the same Illusion"?

I am not going to get Uber-Philosophical now. I am just going to explain a little about what these terms mean to those who know the lingo well. 

Real means to be manifest as its True Nature. It means to be Unchanging.

Therefore, to be Real means to not be an Illusion. To be an Illusion something has to be manifested in something other than its True Nature.

To be something other than its True Nature means that something is subject to change. 

That's it in a nutshell. To be REAL means to be Unchanging.

Most people profess to believe in at least one thing that is Unchanging or Eternal: God, Buddha, The Dao, etc. Other people have more things on their list: 

Their Soul and Love, to name a few.

Now, let's imagine something that is completely Unreal. That is, something that cannot by its very nature(s) exist.

Can there ever be a true circle whose circumference contains a right angle? 

No. Therefore, that is completely Unreal.

OK, so far?

Good.

In this context, Illusion means something in-between Real and Unreal. In this context, an Illusion is Real because it has or can be manifest. It is also Unreal because it will change.

That makes an Illusion both Real and Unreal; and, hence our confusion with this term. 

It also makes the philosophers correct when they say everything we can perceive with our senses is an Illusion or "Not Real." We just have to remember that "Not Real" is different from Unreal!

Google

 

The Problem with Embarrassment

 

The feeling we call embarrassment has several definitions. The one I like the best is "To cause to feel self-conscious."

This feeling of raised self-consciousness is usually directed at something about ourselves that either we ourselves do not like or that we beleive someone else does not like. 

Defined in this manner, the feeling of Embarrassment serves a useful social purpose: It keeps some people from performing some actions which are not good for society. 

Of course, it usually occurs after one has been caught performing an action they would rather not have been associated with, so it is probably more accurate to say that the feeling of Embarrassment, or the desire to avoid the feeling of Embarrassment, keeps some people from repeating socially harmful behaviors. 

As we can see, Embarrassment does play an important role in keeping society functioning more smoothly.

However, my problem with Embarrassment is that it usually is associated with either the Past or the Future. In other words, we usually feel embarrassment for actions which we already have done or for actions which we are planning to do.

Neither of these situations involve the person who is feeling the Embarrassment. The person who performed the action in the past no longer exists exactly as he/she was. The person who will perform the action in the future will not be exactly the same person as the one who is doing the planning.

Therefore, if a momentary feeling of Embarrassment is necessary make a person to take note of his/her transgressions through introspection, it can be a good thing. However, if it is something that lingers in a form other than intellectual discernment of its Dharmic (Duty), Harmonious and Karmic consequences, it is harmful.

Rather than feel Embarrassed for something that you have already done, we would serve ourselves better by resolving not repeat that action; and, by realizing that the person who just made This Resolve is not the same as the one who performed the action in the past.

The same process holds true for future actions.

If we realize the wrongness of an action and resolve not to do it, then the only thing we can be Embarrassed about is that we are the kind of person who could think such thoughts. 

If we wish not to think certain thoughts we need to resolve to Purify our Hearts in order to change the desires which well-up from it and form themselves into thoughts. If we make this resolve and hold true to it, then we are not the same person who thought such thoughts and proceeded to perform tha asscoiated action(s).

In any case, you can see that I believe Embarrassment can be a good thing if it propells the person into intiating a needed improvement to themselves. It is not a good thing if it is experienced as only a source of pain.

Remember, a person can get used to pain. A person can live with pain. A person can decide that the pain associated with an action is a small price to pay in order to fulfill their desire.

Therefore, Embarrassment is at its best as a catalyst of positive change.

 

Happy Year of The Water Dragon

Happy Year of The Water Dragon!.

 

My Lineage is from Southern China, so we say: 

 

Gung Hay, Fat Choy!

 

For those of you who speak Mandarin:

 

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

 

The year of The Water Dragon 

 

The Year of The Water Dragon promises to be unpredictable. It is a Lucky Year, however the Luch can be either Good or bad!

 

May You Fare Well!

To Turn or Not to Turn...the Waist

 

There are several ways we can utilize the turning or not turning of our waist when performing an action. However, before I list them I have to make sure you realize that the turning of the waist and the turning of the hips are not the same action.

Please keep in mind, that for this article, we will only be looking at turning of the waist with the hips as one structurally intact unit.

Here are the different ways we can utilize the turning of our waist when performing an action:

  1. We can not turn our waist at all; and, instead use it to help stabilize our body during the action.
  2. We can turn our waist with the action. This will add additional power not only from our core muscualture, but if done properly, from our legs also.
  3. We can turn our waist before we begin to turn our torso. This has the effect of using our core and leg muscles to push, as well as, pull our torsos across our centerline. Done correctly, this sequence of action can be method of twisting and/or turning our torsos.

Even though it will take a fraction of a second to ‘cock” your waist first, this method can also result in the fastest acceleration of our bodies.

There is no hard and fast rule as to which way will be the “Best Way” for a particular situation. You need to examine all of the variables and see which method will give you the most advantages for what you are trying to accomplish.

Some of the variables you need to consider are:

  • The amount of time you have to act.
  • Your starting position: are you in balance? Shifted left or right? Vertically in line or leaning? Where are you arms relative to your torso and each other
  • At the same time you are computing these variables for yourself, you need to get the same answers for your opponent.

At the same time you are computing these variables for yourself, you need to answer the same questions for your opponents actions.

And of course, all of this has to happen in a split second. How will you ever “Know” the answers to all of these questions so quickly?

The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: Practice! Practice! Practice!

 

A Nail in the Heart

Here is one of my favorite stories:

Once there was a young boy who developed the habit of always saying nasty, hurtful things to the people who were closest to him.

Eventually it became so painful to be with him, that his mother made a plan to change his habit.

She told him that for each and every day he said something nasty, he had to put a big nail into the beautiful white picket fence that surrounded their backyard. He had to continue this until he could go a whole day without saying something nasty and hurtful.

If he could do that, he could pull out one of the nails he had put into their beautiful fence.

In the beginning, he put a nail in their beautiful fence every day. Soon the whole fence was almost filled up with nails. The once beautiful fence began to look so ugly that young boy started to feel ashamed of himself. Eventually, he decided not to put any more nails in the fence.

With some effort on his part, he soon began to pull one nail out every few days. Soon, he was pulling out a nail every other day. Eventually, he stopped putting in new nails and was only pulling nails out.

After a few months, to his surprise, all the nails were gone!

He was so excited, he ran to get his mother so he could show her there were no more nails in their beautiful fence.

When his mother saw the fence, she said: I am so proud of you. You have not said anything nasty or hurtful for a long time. Now, you must make sure not to put any more nails in our fence.

There is one more lesson I need to give you:

Look at our fence. It is no longer beautiful. There is a hole in it in every spot you pulled out a nail.

The same thing happens when you say something nasty and hurtful to someone who loves you. Your words will pierce the heart of the person you said them to. That hole in their heart will remain there long after the words have been said.

It is much better not to put the hole in their heart in the first place than to have to try and fill it in after their heart has already been damaged.

What is Violence and What is Not?

What exactly is Violence and what is an Act of Violence?

What is Ahimsa (Sanskrit for Non-Harming) and what is not?

Unfortunately, the English language is not really precise in its definition of Violence. It confuses the amount of and suddenness of force with intent.

Normally most people will call a hurricane violent. I say it isn't violent.

Why?

It has no intent. It is only a physical reaction to too much heat in one geographic area that needs to be brought back into Balance according to the Laws of Nature.

It means no harm to anything. It has no will of its own; and, therefore, no Free Will. Of course that doesn't mean it can't destroy and kill things. It only means that there is no intent, harmful or otherwise, on its part.

A Google search defines violence as:

  1. behavior involving Physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or something.
  2. Strenght of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force
  3. The unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.

As you can see, numbers 1 and 3 involve intent and the use of Free Will. The meaning of number 2 does not. Yet, usually there is no distinction made in the minds of the listener between the two sets of definitions.

Yet, this is the crux of the problem; and, the basis for my argument that there must be intention to hurt and the use of Free Will for an action to be considered violent.

One other point to keep in mind is that thinking and feeling are actions, even if they are not apparent to someone other than the person performing the action.

Remember the old philosophical question: If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it fall, did it actually fall?

Well, how about: If you chopped a tree down in the woods and no one know about, did you chop it down?

Almost everyone will agree that in my question, you chopped the tree down. But, the first question has been debated for a long time.

What is the difference?

The Unity of Opposites in Life

We all know about opposites: Good and Bad, Light and Dark, Short & Long, Male and Female, etc. One of a paiQigong spirit imager of opposites is exactly what the other one isn’t and vice versa. Since they are truly opposite it is very easy to tell them apart and to keep each in its proper place.

However, I believe the true extent of how opposites are one and the same thing is not fully understood by most people in regards to how the human body and mind functions.

First of all, in most instances there is really no such thing as opposites. What we call opposite is really just a convenient way for our mind to grasp and make sense of what we are thinking about by judging it against something we already think we know about.

For example, let’s look at the opposites of Hot and Cold. There is actually no such thing as Coldness. There is no such quantity as “Cold.” There is only Heat (or lack of Heat). Thermometers cannot and do not measure the amount of Cold there is. They only measure Heat. The concept of Absolute Zero, where all motion ceases and even matter changes its nature is not the greatest amount of Cold possible. It is the total absence of Heat.

The same is true for Long and Short. Rulers do not measure the Shortness of something. They can only measure its length, whatever that length maybe.

Finally, let’s look at Young and Old. There is no such thing as Youngness. There is only Age. If something has more of it, we call it old. If it has less of it, we call it young.

The Problem With Being Human

 January 2010
 

As if you didn’t know it already, it is actually difficult for most of us humans just to live our day to day lives. Sure, we can blame Fate, Karma, Luck, the Original Sin, Adam and Eve or whatever else strikes your fancy.
 
However, have you ever taken the time to notice that this seems to be a uniquely human problem? No other creature big or small, animal or plant, aggressive or passive seems to have the same kinds of difficulty in living their lives as they should as us humans do.
 
Exactly which difficulty(ies) am I referring to? Well, I don’t mean the day to day troubles of getting enough to eat or avoiding being eaten, getting sick, finding a mate, etc. The difficulty I am referring to is the problem of being no more or no less than human.
 
Think about it.
Does anything else in Creation try to be what it isn’t?
Does anything in Creation have a problem knowing how to be what it is?
Not that I know of.

Everything knows exactly what is expected of it and acts according to its own innate nature. Even beings on the different planes of existence act according to their nature. Demons and Devils act just like Demons and Devils without any remorse. Beings on the higher planes, such as angels and other gods, do good things without having to think about it.
 
Only humans get confused. Why? Because we have more than one nature. Why?

How to Change Your Life (Part I)

In this two part article I am going to share with you two of my personal methods for changing my habits, and therefore, my life.

They are both very simple. How difficult they are to implement depends upon your State of Being.

The first method I use to control my desires is the most straight forward. I simply remember to ask myself what would be different about me tomorrow if I did not do whatever it is I am considering. If the answer is "Nothing." Then I have just put whatever it is into its proper prospective. This enables me to make a rational decision using my Power of Discernment and not my sense desires.

The same procedure works for actions you don't want to do. If you ask yourself what will be different tomorrow morning if I don't do this action; and, the answer is something rather important, it will be more difficult to ignore the action. If you still have trouble taking action, then ask yourself if you are Happy with the way things are now. If they answer is no, the only way to achieve the changes you want is to make changes that take you closer to your destination. Remember, if you do not change the direction you are heading in, you will probably end up where you are currently heading to.

The Truth about Yin & Yang or The Unity of Opposites in Life

Mention the word meditation, and most people envision someone sitting in an uncomfortable position with their eyes closed, trying empty their minds and think of nothing until they can’t take it any more.

This is actually probably an accurate portrayal of many would-be meditators. However, even if the portrayal of the meditator is correct, the meditator’s process is all wrong.

First and foremost, meditation is a state of consciousness. It is not a place, position, train of thought or method of breathing; even thought all of these things may facilitate the onset of the state meditation.

Traditional Yoga texts refer to four states of consciousness:

· Waking

· Dreaming Sleep

· Dreamless Deep Sleep

· Turiya

Only in Turiya are you meditating. In fact, that is what Turiya is. It is the state of consciousness known as meditation. It is a state of unbounded Bliss based upon Union with That Which Is. Therefore, Turiya is both Meditation and Yoga.

Now for the bad news: you cannot consciously go there and enter into Turiya. Turiya will come to you when you are ready to receive it and not before. It is the same process as with any other state of consciousness. No matter how much you may want to go to sleep or to dream, you can’t get there using the force of your will.

You can prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally; but, that is the best you can do. You can’t do more than that. If that is not enough, guess what? You are out of luck. You won’t go to sleep or dream.

Are you ready for some more bad news: the state of true Turiya is extremely difficult to obtain and thus is relatively rare.

But, what about all of those people who seem so peaceful, so removed from their everyday reality? What about them?

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