An Unreal World of Appearance
“Why take as our standard a material world where existence is affirmed by nothing more trustworthy than the sense impressions of ‘normal men’; those imperfect and easily cheated channels of communication? The mystics have always declared, implicitly or explicitly, their distrust in these channels of communication. They have never been deceived by phenomena, nor by the careful logic of the industrious intellect. One after another, with extraordinary unanimity, they have rejected that appeal to the unreal world of appearance which is the standard of sensible men; affirming that there is another way, another secret, by which the conscious self may reach the actuality which it seeks. More complete in their grasp of experience than the votaries of intellect or of sense, they accept as central for life those spiritual messages which are mediated by religion, by beauty, and by pain. More reasonable than the rationalists, they find in that very hunger for reality which is the mother of all metaphysics, an implicit proof that such reality exists; that there is something else, some final satisfaction, beyond the ceaseless stream of sensation which besieges consciousness. ‘In that thou hast sought me, thou hast already found me,’ says the voice of Absolute Truth in their ears. This is the first doctrine of mysticism. Its next is that only is so far as the self is real can it hope to know reality.” ~Evelyn Underhill
World of Appearance
Many people do not realize that the world we live in, the world of matter, is not what is seems to be. That is not just the beliefs of mystics, but science—or at least the science of Quantum Physics—agrees with them. It isn’t that the physical world doesn’t exist, but what it actually is may be quite different than what we think it is.
As Ms. Underhill says, the existence of things in this world is affirmed by nothing more than the opinions and the physical senses of ordinary men. Senses and beliefs which are easily fooled. So it is an unreal world because it isn’t what the vast majority of us think it is, not because it doesn’t exist. Of course, there are some spiritual schools and gurus that say that anything that is temporary is unreal, so in that sense, the realm of matter is an unreal world. Continue reading “Unreal World of Appearance and Opinion”