VBT – Meditation 98.3

Higher Reality

A greater reality will shatter the reality which is on the periphery, hence Shankara and others say that the world is an illusion. Not that the world is an illusion, but they have come to know a higher reality and from that altitude this world looks dreamy. It is so far away, the distance is so infinite that it cannot be felt as real. The noise on the street will be as if you are dreaming about it – it is not real.

It cannot do anything. It just happens and passes and you remain untouched. And when you are untouched by reality how can you feel that it is real? Reality is felt only when it penetrates you deeply. The deeper the penetration, the more you feel it as real.

Shankara says the whole world is unreal. He must have come to a point from where the distance is so vast, so tremendously vast, that all that happens there becomes just like a dream. It comes but no reality comes with it because it cannot penetrate. Penetration is the proportion of reality. If I throw a stone at you it hits you. The hit penetrates you and that penetration makes the stone real. If I throw a stone and it touches you but doesn’t penetrate you, deep down you will hear the thud of the falling stone on you, but there will be no disturbance. You will feel it as false, unreal, MAYA, illusory.

But you are so near the periphery that if I throw a stone at you, you will be hurt. Not the body – the body will be hurt in either case. If I throw a stone at a Buddha the body will be hurt as your body will be hurt, but Buddha is not on the periphery, he is rooted in the center. And the distance is so great that he will hear the thud of the stone without being hurt. The being will remain untouched, unscarred. This unscarred being will feel the stone as if it is something thrown in a dream. It is illusory. So Buddha says that nothing has substance to it, everything is ‘substanceless’, without any substance. The world is empty of substance – which is the same thing as Shankara saying that the world is illusory.

Try this. Whenever you are able to feel peace between your two armpits filling you, pervading your heart center, the world will look illusory. This is a sign that you have entered meditation – when the world feels and appears to be illusory. Don’t think that the world is illusory, there is no need to think about it – you will feel it. It will suddenly occur to your mind, “What has happened to the world?” The world has suddenly gone dreamy. It is there, a dreamlike existence, without any substance. It looks so real, just like a film on the screen. It can even be three dimensional. It looks like something, but it is a projected thing. Not that the world is a projected thing, not that it is really unreal – no. The world is real but you create the distance, and the distance gets more and more. And you can understand whether the distance is getting more and more or not by knowing how you are feeling about the world. That’s the criterion. That is a meditative criterion. It is not a truth that the world is unreal – if the world has become unreal, you have become centered in the being. Now the surface and you are so far away that you can look at the surface as being something objective, something other than you. You are not identified.

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