Chapter 14: The End of Illusion
Sometimes it also happens that the spider itself becomes caught in its own cobweb and has difficulties getting out. Sometimes the cobweb becomes entangled, some gust of wind may cover the spider with its own cobweb. Sometimes the cobweb breaks and the spider hangs in mid-air. The interesting thing is that the cobweb was a self-creation of the spider - it comes out of its own stomach - and it can also entrap the spider. Sometimes the spider is so trapped in its own cobweb that it is unable to get out of it; the same cobweb which was its life can one day become its death.
Maya means the capacity of man’s mind to weave a dream world around himself. This dream has much pleasure in it, otherwise he would not create it; it also has much happiness in it, otherwise why would he create it? This dream also contains a lot of suffering in it, otherwise why would a Buddha or a Mahavira attempt to get out of it? The pleasure of this dream only lasts as long as we are dreaming it.
And it is very interesting that the object around whom this dream is created becomes the reason of the dream shattering - because, in fact, this person is not at all according to our dream; he has his own existence, his own dreams. You meet a person - very loving, very beautiful, charming - and you project your dream onto that person. It is not necessary that that person also projects his or her dream onto you. This is where lovers get into trouble.
Lovers come to me and one of them asks, “I love him so much, so why doesn’t he love me?” He doesn’t have to, he has the freedom to fabricate his own dream. He may make you the hook to hang his dream on or he may not - he may have chosen some other hook. It cannot be forced upon him. He is weaving his cobweb from his own support, his own hook, and you are weaving yours on him. Trouble is bound to arise someday: at one time your web will feel like a bondage to him and at other times his web, woven around someone else, will be painful for you. Even if we suppose that two persons weave their webs around each other, then too a struggle is inevitable because each is weaving their own cobweb. Pain is inevitable, their paths conflict, expectations shatter and the dreams are broken. Each has his own plans to weave his own inner dreams.
Understand it like this: if two persons are projecting two different movies from two projectors at the same time onto the same screen - two films on one screen - trouble is bound to arise. Everything will overlap and nothing will be clear. But here not only are two films being screened, but perhaps ten, fifteen or twenty persons are projecting their films on one screen. It creates a confusion, nothing is achieved, and it is all sorrow and suffering. Every dream is shattered. At the end of his life the only treasure a man is left holding in his hands is disillusionment; only the ashes of shattered dreams and entangled webs.
Mind has a double capacity: one is of projecting, of spreading an idea, a feeling, a fabrication, and the other is of becoming hypnotized by its own projection - a state of autohypnosis, of getting caught in its own fabrication. First we put beauty in a face, first we say, “You are beautiful” - but we ourselves are creating the beauty and then we are charmed by it! This is the other part, the autohypnosis.