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The Apparent World of Objects

Things are not what they seem to be, and nothing is what it appears to be. History is a proof of the impossibility to finally trust anything as it is made visible to the eyes. Philosophical insight is an awakening of a new light from within, with whose aid one can illumine the dark corners of the earth, and endeavour to see things in their true colours, rather than be carried away by their chameleon-like shapes and presentations.

The universe is made more of unseen, invisible things than one can conceive of. It is not merely what appears to be present to the eyes. There is a mystery behind it to be unravelled. It is always imagined that joy comes from things outside, from objects of sense. This is not true. This fact must be kept in mind always. Our satisfactions are not the outcome of attachment to objects. On the other hand, joys are the result of harmony with things. The more is man in harmony with the world outside, equally, not with excessive pressure exerted upon any part, the more is he happy.
The knowledge obtained through the senses, gathered through perception, is limited to the structure of the sense organs. If the organs were to be constituted in a different way, the picture that they would present would be quite a different thing altogether.

We mistake these five senses for everything. There are other factors in the object that the senses cannot contact. Suppose we have one thousand senses, we would have seen many other things in the world. It is evident that it would be futile to depend upon the sense organs to supply correct knowledge. None of them can be relied upon totally, because they are conditioned. Nothing can be known by examining the objects through the relative activities of the senses that change according to the spatial-temporal structure within which they can function.

If man were to be living in a different order of space-time, he would certainly not be a human being as he is now. If space and time were not to be there to distinguish objects from one another, it would not be known that things exist at all. The conditioning influence of space and time is such that nothing can be known except as being present in space and time.

Perception is not an impartial knowledge of things. It is a highly conditioned way of looking at things, and man is not seeing things as they really are. We live in a world of appearance. Man is wholly wrong in believing that he is in a world of reality. There is nothing finally real in this world, and even if there be something real, somewhere, no one knows it. Everyone is in a world that is nothing but phenomena. Reality, which the philosopher Kant calls the 'Thing-in-Itself,' cannot be known. No one can see it, because it is not an object of the thought or of the senses.

Objects must be dissociated from their names and looked upon, as they would be without characterisation by name. Do not call the tree as a tree. De-condition your mind by entering into the concept of the form of the tree without bringing in the name or the word "tree."
The psychology of Buddhism tells us that life is a successive flow of momentary discrete links which are really not connected with one another, but which have the appearance of a continuity. Thus, the world is not made up of any continuity of objects. It is made up of a momentary linkage of forces.
Masters like the Buddha consider life as a process of transience. They never considered the world as ultimately existent. Nothing in the world is. Everything passes. Everything moves. Even our awareness of the existence of the world is a process. There is a perpetual asking for the "more" in us.
There appears before us a solid object as it were because of a type of momentariness of mental functioning, although the object does not actually exist as the senses perceive it. Thus, intellectual knowledge cannot be regarded as real knowledge.

It is attachment to things that is to be renounced, and not the things as such. Basically, it is an absence of the taste for things, which is called renunciation, and not an absence of the physical proximity of objects.

When we love or hate something, we do not really understand that thing. Suffering is brought upon oneself by loving and hating things. We are perpetually restless, because we like something and hate something else.

The taste for things and the desire for objects are to be sublimated in a higher perception. Our problems are our desires, not the existence of objects, because the things will always be there. Desire ceases, when there is an absence of taste for things seen or heard or thought of in the mind. This is brought about by the recognition of the true circumstance of all things and their interrelationship with the whole universe. The universe is ultimately not made up of substances, but desires. The more we think of the objects outside us, the weaker we become in our personality. Yet, the more we are able to restrain the urge of the senses and the mind from contemplating outside things, the more is the energy that we conserve and the greater the strength we have.

A like implies a dislike, and a dislike implies a like-they are not actually two different activities of the mind. It is one outlook, one attitude that shows features of a double attitude. When something really exists, it cannot be called a phenomenon or a passing phase. A real thing cannot pass away, and that which passes away cannot be called the real. Thus, that which is, that which is real, cannot be regarded as destructible.

If we coordinate ourselves and cooperate with the activity of Nature, it becomes a sacrifice, but if we interfere with it and adversely affect its normal function, it will also set up a reaction of a similar character. Then, we would be the losers. If you very vehemently circulate a torch, you will find that there is a circle of fire or light in front of you. There is no circle actually. It is only an optical illusion created before you on account of the intensive velocity of the movement of the torch. So a vibration of consciousness in a particular manner becomes cognisable as an object.

You know very well that the shape of a walking stick is different from a table, but from the point of view of the substance, both of them are made of the same wood. So, the knowledge of the walking stick would imply the knowledge of the table also, irrespective of their differences structurally. In a similar manner, the rule can be applied to everything in the world. The Upanishad points out to us that all things in the world are permutations and combinations of the original elements.
We have to be convinced at the bottom of our being that the objects are not placed externally in space and time. If they are not external to us, the whole thing drops at one stroke. This is true renunciation.


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