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Chapter 1: The Great Illusion

So mind, because it is afraid of the journey, creates the illusion. That mind should be afraid of the journey is only natural, because it is going to be a journey into death for it. The one who sets out in search of godliness will lose himself. But in referring to a dictionary there is no worry about losing oneself, in reciting the scriptures there is no question of losing oneself. But one who seeks enlightenment will disappear, because no enlightenment, no liberation, is possible without disappearance. Basically, it is the “I” who is the bondage. Then how is enlightenment possible until this “I” is dissolved?

This “I” is the wall between oneself and existence. Until this wall falls, how can it be experienced? This journey is a journey of death. The seeker has set out to die. But only through dying is the ultimate life attained; only by losing oneself is one found. Because of this, mind is afraid.so it creates illusions and substitutes.

Understand well this law of substitution: to find substitutes is the greatest art of the mind. What is not found in life, mind provides in dreams. You are thirsty and fast asleep at night, you are dying of thirst. You will have to wake up. You will have to interrupt your sleep to go and find some water. But no, it is then that mind creates a substitute; you start dreaming of a fountain, and in your dream you approach the fountain and drink to your heart’s content. No need to interrupt your sleep! Not until you wake up in the morning do you discover that the water was no water, the fountain was no fountain, and there was no quenching of your thirst - it was all illusion. But only after waking up do you come to know this. The sleep in the night continued undisturbed; mind found the substitute to keep it so.

Mind creates substitutes in life too, so that our sleep in life itself is not disturbed. If you are to know godliness, your sleep will be disturbed; it will come to an end. And we have a great vested interest in our sleep, because for lives upon lives we have treasured and cultivated only sleep, that is our only creation. And up to this very day our family, wife, friends, children, money and prestige have all been part of our slumber. The moment our sleep ends, all this will disappear too. The whole edifice will disintegrate. If sleep ends, this whole world that we have thought of as our world and all we have seen as ours, will disappear. When we wake up in the morning we cannot find the friends who inhabited our dreams. When we wake up in the morning we cannot find the palaces that crowded our dreams. After waking up, there is no way to find the treasures that were ours in the dream; they are gone, gone forever.

All this we have created in our dream; hence the fear that the dream may be broken, our sleep may be broken. So we live an unconscious life. The name for this unconsciousness is mind. And wherever there is any fear of the sleep being broken, mind immediately creates a substitute. In knowing godliness our sleep will end, but in knowing the word God, there is no cause for our slumber to end. On the contrary, our sleep deepens and is fortified. If we go to seek the ultimate, the world will disappear. By reciting the word God, we make God also a part of the world.

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