Maya – The Illusion of “Self” Part 3: The Nature of Reality
So what exactly is this body of ours?
Let’s see if we can deconstruct the misguided perception that we are our body and what most of us think of as being “US.”
Our body is a very sophisticated technology with an intelligence completely separate from our cognitive awareness of it. Every atom in our body is borrowed from the Earth to build every cell, every organ, and every tissue that makes up our body. Every cell possesses an intelligence, a software so to speak, that is performing an unimaginable number of very complex processes and activities that we are completely unaware of. We delude ourselves in thinking, we’re running the machine. It’s running itself independent of any and all cognitive awareness on our part.
Made entirely of elements from the Earth itself, it takes everything we eat or drink (which also comes from the Earth) and transforms it into the body that we temporarily inhabit, which again, is merely a living piece of the Earth. We aren’t “living” in these physical bodies, we are “LIFE” itself, simply passing for a short while through and animating these bodies of ours. Just as birth is a passageway, death also is simply a passing through point; a doorway. There are no beginnings and no endings, only transitions . . .
To expand upon that, if you’re reading this, my suspicion is that right now, you think of yourself as being “alive.” But, what does it mean to think you’re alive right now and will someday die? That’s an understandable perspective if we think that we ARE the body, but, consider for a moment that you’re neither dead nor alive. You’re not uniformly dead or alive in any given moment, you’re both in every moment!
When we are born, what is the very first thing we do? We inhale. We enter “the physical dimension or physical plane” by inhaling it. And, when we die? What is the last thing we do? We take our last breath. We “release ourselves from the physical plane” by exhaling it. Only breath keeps us tied into these bodies of ours.
Every breath in between the book ends we call birth and dying, contains both life and death. We inhale the life-giving properties of oxygen, O2, and exhale toxic carbon dioxide, CO2, which is fatal in slightly elevated doses; so much so, that contrary to popular belief, our rate of breathing is not based on our body’s need for O2 but rather the body’s need to rid itself of CO2 in our bloodstream. This is why when you exercise there is a more laborious, forced nature to your exhaling than there is to the effort of inhaling.
Once here, in the physical plane, we (that is to say, our bodies), exist along a continuum between the life and death of our “body,” – not “ourselves.” In any given moment, our body exists only as a ratio of percentages that include life and death, as we move along this continuum between birth and the demise of our physical body.
With the severing of the umbilicus connecting us to our mother, we are locked into our bodies. We will never be more alive! Growing at an alarming rate our cells propagate by dividing and multiplying much faster than they’re dying. With only so much real estate available to occupy in these tiny bodies we’ve put on, all those new accumulating cells continue multiply, exceeding the boundaries of our mold and continue adding to our mass. As a result, we begin growing up. This gathering of mass, weight, and height continues until around the age of 18 – 21 where we hit a break even, and from then until around 25 years of age, we’re in a holding pattern in which our cells are dying at about the same rate our body is producing new ones. From 25 on, our body, at the pinnacle of its growth cycle, begins to go into decline. Now, our cells begin to degenerate and die off faster than the body can repair or replace them. Simply put, we begin to age.
In short, from birth until around 25 years of age we grow up; from 25 on we simply grow old, with every breath along our journey containing both life and death. Again, in the physical sense of our body, we’re neither living nor dead, we’re both.
But the delusion every one suffers from is this idea that we’re living “IN” this body, and when it dies, we cease to exist without it – unless of course one subscribes to any one of the major religions on Earth that market Heaven and Hell as one of two destinations we “inherit” as our “afterlife.”
This idea that life and consciousness is one and the same is misleading because we conflate the two which are mutually exclusive and yet for a while, mutually entangled.
Let me explain . . .
Just as one cannot see light, but rather only what stops or reflects light, we cannot see LIFE, only what contains it. In other words, we cannot see our essence. We cannot see the living entity inside animating this body we’re leasing. We, at our essence, exist only as conscious awareness, (the seat of which has never been found anywhere in the human body) and have always existed. Birth and death are only properties of form, as everything in the physical plane is in endless transition, ever-changing, but we, in our essence, are formless with no beginning and no end. As a living entity, we ARE life, a pinpoint of consciousness, or if you like, awareness, simply passing through and temporarily contained in these vehicles called a human body.
Made up of only 11 elements (out of the 148 known elements), all of which come from the Earth, we are just a scoop of the Earth held together for a brief period of time by our breath. Nothing more. Our bodies are on loan; we borrow them from the Earth, temporarily animating them, and when we depart from the physical plane the Earth will reclaim them. The human body is simply a medium that allows life to pass through it. They are “ours,” but they are not “US.”
Our “current” physical state is just one aspect of ourselves, a shell, an outer dimension hiding a much deeper and far more expansive part of ourselves that exists beyond the boundaries of time and space and beyond form.
Thanks to modern physics and our recent understanding of thermodynamics, we now know energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be converted from one form to another. In other words, all the energy in the universe that exists is all the energy that has ever existed and ever will exist. All that is, has been part of the known universe since its inception. All the energy, life, and even consciousness contained within our body has been part of this physical universe since its inception. In that sense, the body you are currently borrowing is as old as the universe itself. Ponder that for a moment. The energy contained in every atom of your body is 13.7 billion years old.
With bodies made up of elements pulled directly from the Earth, which is an amalgamation of elements that coalesced from the dust-like remains of burnt out stars, we are quite literally made entirely of stardust, and stars were woven out of the fabric of the universe itself. We’re not living in the universe, we ARE the living universe!
Earlier I stated that at the level of our senses our perceptions are deceiving? Advances in physics, and more recently quantum physics, in drilling down into the smallest units of physical matter, discovered something quite unexpected – there is no “physical reality” at least not in the sense that we perceive it as “physical” or “real.”
What they discovered is that our physical reality is not made up of – how do I put this? – “physical matter,” and an emptiness between the molecules and between the stars. Rather it exhibits the characteristics of a vast sea of intertwining fields of energy in which everything we perceive as physical is in fact just a dense field of energy that vibrates at a frequency commensurate with our 5 senses. In other words, we only perceive it as “real” because we can observe it and “experience” it through our five sense organs. But how can we trust our senses as a reliable marker for what is real and what is not? So limited are our 5 senses, it’s like looking through a keyhole and trying to surmise what is in every room of a 150 story building . . . that of course, we can’t see and don’t have access to.
Of all the fields of energy that exists, we, as humans, perceive less than 1% (0.0035% to be exact) of them with our 5 senses. More than 99.9965% of the fabric of this universe is imperceptible to us through our senses organs, and yet we’re convinced that what we can experience through our senses is all that’s “real” – and believe there is no other reality or dimension to our being other than what we can sense by looking in the mirror.
So, what is “REAL?”
When we observe the fabric of reality at the quantum level, more and more evidence seems to point to the idea that the entire universe is a conscious field of energy, a canvass of sorts, that we as individuals, and collectively as an aggregation of sentient beings, project our conscious awareness onto, which creates the experiences that we have. In other words, we each are the center and the circumference of all of our experiences and are the center of our “own” universe. Our “realities” simply overlap with one another’s.
Here’s the odd part. Nothing, in reality, seems to exist until we consciously project our awareness onto it. In other words, reality appears to be only a conscious projection of the mind.
Just as Einstein stated, that reality is just an illusion, what if what we think of as “reality” is really just another dream state, another form of consciousness? Like a dream state, only in high definition?
Sound absurd? Though some may think of that as straining the threads of credulity, outside of the fact that during our waking state things tend to be more vivid and clear, ask yourself, “is reality really that different from our dream state?”
In a dream state, we see, yet without employing the use of eyes. We hear, yet without employing the use of ears. We taste things, but what are we tasting and what are we tasting them with? We engage in dialogue with others, experience tactile sensations, even sensations such as moving or falling. In our dreams, we experience all our same emotions and experience virtually every perception we experience in our waking “reality” and yet dismiss it as an “unreal“ fabrication of the subconscious mind.
What if “reality” is simply a conscious projection, just as quantum physics is implying it is? Far fetched? For most of us, that’s a leap perhaps because we’ve never taken the time to consider what we really are beneath the surface. That may all be slowly changing.
Artwork by Salvador Dali
Love and Light to you in your continued journey of Self-Discovery!