Maya

Why do people believe in God? Why are they scared of power? Why are they paranoid and don’t want others to know everything about them? Why do they fall in love and why does it confuse them so much? How does the illusion of separateness, how do idol worship and fear survive? Is it all because they can feel the presence of something greater than their selves? Perhaps it is the reality of their connectedness that makes them dizzy with freedom and scared of the world, of others, or then fall in love with them. Because what is greater than their selves scares them, but also draws them towards it. But it’s also their self that’s a part of that collective life that is greater than the sum of its creatures. So it’s also their self that they are scared of and that they fall in love with. And they don’t know others well enough to actually feel how similar they all are. They haven’t experienced what others have been capable of, or how distictly human every one of even those has always been and remained still. They simply aren’t used to seeing, much less have any idea about how to explain, the infinite synchronicities sourrounding them.

maya

The Supreme Self (or Ultimate Reality) who is Pure Consciousness perceived Himself by Selfhood (i.e. Existence with “I”-Conciousness). He became endowed with the name “I”. From that arose the basis of difference. He exists verily in two parts, on account of which, the two could become husband and wife. Therefore, this space is ever filled up completely by the woman (or the feminine principle) surely. And He, this Supreme Self thought (or reflected). Thence, human beings were born. Thus say the Upanishads through the statement of sage Yajnavalkya to his wife. From the experience of bliss for a long time, there arose in the Supreme Self a certain state like deep sleep. From that (state) Maya (or the illusive power of the Supreme Self) was born just as a dream arises in sleep.

Sri Shankaracharya

Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems.

 

We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.

Niels Bohr

Alain Aspect is the physicist who performed the key experiment that established that if you want a real universe, it must be non-local (Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance”). Aspect comments on new work by his successor in conducting such experiments, Anton Zeilinger and his colleagues, who have now performed an experiment that suggests that “giving up the concept of locality is not sufficient to be consistent with quantum experiments, unless certain intuitive features of realism are abandoned.”

Be clear what is going on here. Quantum mechanics itself is not crying out for such experiments! Quantum mechanics is doing just fine, thank you, having performed flawlessly since inception. No, it is people whose cherished philosophical beliefs are being threatened that cry out for such experiments, exactly as Einstein used to do, and with exactly the same hope (we think in vain): that quantum mechanics can be refined to the point where it requires (or at least allows) belief in the independent reality of the natural world it describes.

Quantum mechanics makes no mention of reality (Figure 1). Indeed, quantum mechanics proclaims, “We have no need of that hypothesis.” Now we are beginning to see that quantum mechanics might actually exclude any possibility of mind-independent reality⎯and already does exclude any reality that resembles our usual concept of such (Aspect: “it implies renouncing the kind of realism I would have liked”). Non-local causality is a concept that had never played any role in physics, other than in rejection (“action-at-a-distance”), until Aspect showed in 1981 that the alternative would be the abandonment of the cherished belief in mind-independent reality; suddenly, spooky-action-at-a-distance became the lesser of two evils, in the minds of the materialists.

Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.

Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger on Unreality
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2 thoughts on “Maya

  1. broadensharpenuse says:

    There can’t be anything without it’s opposite. Of course, everything is there, but at the same time, there is nothing. To experience anything, to have sensations, thoughts, separation is necessary. Separation of body and mind, of mother and child. There can’t be union without separation. And that’s what life is about: Union and separation, again and again, so patterns can emerge and be resolved.

    And yes, pain is the prize we pay for this wonderful illusion. Because for some reason we think union is better than separation, light better than dark. Once you realize the perfect balance and the joy that comes out of separation, the pain subsides.

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