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The Illusion of Worldly Existence
May 4, 2015 at 12:15 pm #303598
Honored Miss Rose Bryce wrote:
Honored Maids, please give me your loving indulgence. “…all of the manifest universe (including food, of course) is an illusion, and only Dea is real.” I just read this in the article Japanese and Novaryan Culture – The Way. This could be a line out of the book I was raised with (Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy) and out of the religion in which I was raised (Christian Science).
I am very interested in maid’s understanding of this outlook and would be most grateful if a maid might respond by explaining her understanding of this phrase. Far from being shocked by the idea I am quite comforted by it. I gladly embrace such an idea but wish to know that I am understanding it within the context that is correct among maids. In amity, Rose Bryce
I have taken the liberty of moving this comment to a thread since that is the proper place for a full discussion.
What we mean by illusion is of course a more complex question than it seems. The everyday meaning of the term is “something seen that is not physically existent”. If we are saying that physical existence itself is illusion, we must clearly mean something different by “illusion”.
There is a discussion on this here:
I think we might summarize it by saying that, like the more usual sense of “illusion”, physical being is a phenomenon of consciousness.
But then we have to be clear that, as this statement logically entails, consciousness is not a by-product of matter. In fact the reverse is true. Consequently, consciousness is not something locked up in individual brains, but is Universal.
Ultimately there is only one Consciousness, which is Dea. Every apparent individual consciousness is a mask or reflection of Her, although, like the moon in water, every reflection is more or less distorted – until it becomes clear.
So the physical existence of things – flowers, stars, everything – is in a sense illusory. But that does not mean that flowers and stars are not real. On the contrary, they are far more real than they would be if they were mere fleeting accidents of random molecular activity.
They are the beautiful ideas of the Cosmic Mind Herself.
May 7, 2015 at 10:13 am #307547
Thank you honored Miss Sushuri, what you explain is very much what I was taught in Christian Science. Perhaps I should not be so surprised. A friend once told me that CS (outside of the context of Christianity) is in essence the “perennial truth.” It is comforting to find the foundation I was raised with in a context that feels more correct to me – perhaps more universal is the word I’m looking for. I left CS simply because I needed the help of medicine at one time in my life and I could not both see a Doctor and follow CS. I believe that Dr. saved my life and so that leaves me in a position where I would go to a Dr. again if there was need. So I have felt that this indicated that I could not ever return to CS. Though I loved it. Thank you again, you have given me much to pray over. In amity, Rose Bryce
May 7, 2015 at 10:50 am #307549
I know very little about Christian Science, but I would say that our view of illusion is universal. Certainly it is that of the Vedanta which is the oldest surviving Indo European tradition and is implied in Platonism and in the Far-Eastern Tellurian traditions.
What you imply about doctors being prohibited or strongly deprecated by Christian Science seems rather typical of current West Telluri thinking, which tends to over-literalize everything and try to translate it into “practical” applications.
Honored Raya sometimes tells the story of a Ranya who teaches that all is illusion and is suddenly chased by a bear. She runs away. And afterward she is asked by her pupils “Why did you run away since the bear was illusion?” and she replied “My running away was also illusion”.
This indicates the truth that while the world is illusion, it is a largely self-consistent illusion, and that everything on the level of that illusion acts in accordance with it. The argument that, say illness is any more or less illusion than health or cream crackers is not really consistent.
Crackers are illusion and butter is illusion on the same level, therefore you can spread butter on crackers. And you can cure physical disease by physical means. Which doesn’t mean there aren’t other means, but as with the Ranya, pragmatism is simply recognition of the self-consistency of illusion.
And of course this is not saying that the consistency of illusion supports the matierialistic popular “scientific world view”. That view is not actually pragmatic since it denies known phenomena such as ghosts in order to fit the world into its ideology. The “scientific world view” (as opposed to, say, physics) is in fact typologically similar to Christianity and Islam.
May 9, 2015 at 6:37 pm #310691
Miss Sushuri, This is fascinating and makes sense – that in West Tulluri thinking things are taken far too literally and there is a pressure to make each idea practically applicable in the material state of life. But that while we live within the illusion expecting to step out of it and heal is not always wise. Every former Christian Scientist has seen needless death and suffering. We accept it because the way of thinking is so all encompassing that we cannot see a world outside of CS. Even small children study or memorize every day until it is hard to see or understand the world outside of CS. There can be a beauty in the consistency of that life but it is also very dangerous in a very physical and life threatening way.
May 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm #307943
I do not know if what I have to add will be any more helpful than what Honored Sushuri-chei said, but maybe it will.
The either/or, right/wrong world view of Western thought really does lead to some strange ideas, I think. I do not know very much about Christian Science, but I have encountered New Age movements that avoided physical medicine as well, saying that everything could be healed by spiritual means.
As an astrologer, I have studied some principles of Traditional Medicine and Medical Astrology. It is not my specialty by any means, but I think that I have studied enough to help a bit here.
While there may have been a time several thousand years ago where most physical illness could be healed by completely spiritual means, from the written record, that stopped working in the West at least 2,500 years ago, maybe before. I am not sure when it stopped working in the East. The reason for this is that in the natural progression into the Iron Age, humans became more consolidated into matter.
In our day and age, certainly mind, body, and soul are all connected, and disease and disharmony in one area often affects the others. In Medical Astrology, one of the tasks of the astrologer is to judge where the primary problem is (mind, body, or soul), and to give guidance to assist the client in discovering the best place to begin. That being said, if a disease has moved to the body, a physical treatment is usually needed. Other treatment may be needed as well, but that is in addition to physical treatment, not instead of it.
Modern Western medicine is mostly antagonistic. It attacks the illness in some way. In Traditional Medicine, antagonistic medicine was only used when the illness had gone too far to be treated with homeopathic medicine, which supported the health of the body rather than attacking the illness. Now, in the West, what is called homeopathic medicine, may or may not be, and tends to be an entire hodgepodge that one needs to sort through.
I do not know if anything here is useful in anyway, but it might be of interest in any case.
May 9, 2015 at 6:52 pm #310693
It is indeed interesting and helpful honored Miss Miryam,
The idea that we have become more consolidated with flesh as time has passed is quite fascinating. And your insights as a Practitioner of healing which allows you to see which part of the self is suffering or is the source of suffering is helpful to one who has always been told that there is nothing in matter to look at because it is unreal. That is hard to live with when one is suffering. But I must be honest; in all my years in CS I never experienced a physical healing. And I have read many testimonies of those who have – so I am perhaps unfair in my thoughts.
May 7, 2015 at 6:03 pm #307945
I think a lot of the problem with New Age thinking and possibly Christian Science too (but I really can’t claim to know about that) is that they have history upside-down.
They are imbued by the modern West Telluri progress/evolution mythos which leads them to imagine that if non-physical means of healing were ever effective they must be so now more than ever, in this New Age.
Of course the truth is that non-physical means are effective now less than ever, as the world becomes increasingly more consolidated.
In fact, modern materialism only became possible because the world had become so much more materialized than it was in earlier ages.
The fantasy that the world is becoming “more spiritual” is possibly of Christian origin – Christianity being the first religion to imagine that it was higher, not lower, than its ancestors.
This is a good piece on the traditional view of history as opposed to current West Telluri prejudice:
May 9, 2015 at 7:01 pm #310695
This is particularly insightful Miss Petite Sorciere,
There is an arrogance of modern thought that places is above earlier thought. And as I read Miss Trent I see how upside down that view might be. The evolution mythos which I have never questioned until now seems to bind us to a physical rather than spiritual outlook, indeed making it harder to see the potential for spiritual healing than earlier mythos might have made it.
May 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm #310753
Did Mrs. Eddy believe in evolution? If she did that must have made a very peculiar philosophical mix. Transcendental Idealism (the world is fundamentally the Mind of Dea) with Darwinism (beings became what they were by a series of material accidents).
I wonder how one can reconcile those two.
May 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm #312042
She’s vague on evolution. She’s a late Victorian so the idea seemed to be a little extraneous to her. She mentions it once or twice but really does not take any stand on it. Once she says it is rather silly. But that’s about it. Her emphasis was that life, all life, is spiritual and anything that interrupts that understanding, as evolution would most likely for her, did not greatly hold her attention. She died in 1907, a very old woman. I don’t know that she spent much time with the idea of evolution.
I believed in it because it was taught to me in school and made a great deal more sense than Adam and Eve. But I’ve done nothing in the way of any real study of it. Reading Miss Trent is the most I’ve ever read about it. Miss Trent makes sense – and she makes sense in terms of the consistency of Mrs. Eddy’s basic thoughts.
Insightful question, by the way. In amity Rose Bryce
May 10, 2015 at 8:31 am #311483
Anna Sophia BernsteinParticipant
Reading all the many interesting things that have been written by mina-sama about the illusion of worldly life, I was reminded strongly of “The Secret of the World” and “Cry Marya” from our Scriptures.
I think that considering the illusion of worldly life, it may be worthwhile to contemplate what the devision between „material“ and „spiritual“ could possibly mean, when we know for sure that all is in truth nothing but the Spirit, Our Mother.
Does that not mean that really, no such thing as „matter“ exists? What meaning then could „consolidation“ or „flesh“ or „material environment“ have? And our ideas of what “spiritual” is, must they not also change?
I find it almost impossible to express myself on this level at all but I wonder whether it may not be possible to say that „the world consolidates“ is actually the same, only from a different perspective, as saying that maid’s conciousness is more and more turned, as a whole and within all beings, to „things in themselves“ rather than „Dea in all things and all things in the light of Dea“. The Illusion of the material world or “worldy life” is not after all the illusion that is there is no material world because there is only something else spiritual „beyond“ it, but precisely the illusion that the world IS material at all; the illusion that things can and do exist “in themselves”.
To treat all of matter as obsolete, because only the spiritual is real is not radically different from treating all of the spiritual as obsolete, because only matter is real. These two ways of thinking can both only exist within a „thought-world“ where this dualism, this “vocabulary of thought” – that is, only in modern West Telluria and whereever it’s influence has spread. It is like two branches grown from the same unhealthy stem.
I for one do have very little faith in most of modern west telluri medicine. But not because it attempts to “physically heal” illness, but because it seems full of the erroneous misconceptions that all of modern west telluri thinking is so full of – one of these certainly being that the body is a material “thing”. I would however have a great deal more faith in quite a normal west tellurian doctor than in quite a normal west tellurian that proposes to “spiritually heal” me. There is a sort of saving grace to materialism: materialists are mistaken about what they seek to understand, but the very mistake they make also limits their view to a portion of reality that is comparatively “safe”.
I would suggest that Ayurvedic Medicine is a good example of a Traditional Medicine that has been adapted to work in this Age, a medicine “grown from a healthy stem”.
All this being said, to the best of my knowledge what kind of medicinal aid we seek in illness, perhaps akin to what sort of food we do or do not eat, is not something which is or should be anything which is relevant to being suited to being a part of Chelouranya in any way.
May 10, 2015 at 6:36 pm #312043
Wow! You hit quite a few nails on the head! I was especially taken by << The Illusion of the material world or “worldy life” is not after all the illusion that is there is no material world because there is only something else spiritual „beyond“ it, but precisely the illusion that the world IS material at all; the illusion that things can and do exist “in themselves”.>> Insightful and to the point. Yes, in the end, if we do believe that Spirit is all that is real what we eat or how we choose to treat the illusions that seem to attack the illusions of our material body are not really to the point here in this Shining World. Very good point – and good redirection of our attention to what really matters.
May 10, 2015 at 9:34 am #311541
I agree that what medicine we do or do not seek is not something relevant to being a part of Chelouranya. I also agree that there is a certain safety in medicine which limits itself to the physical in this day and age. I think that there are few in the West who are pure enough to even attempt a “spiritual” healing without opening the door to demons and other nasties that are floating about in the Aethyr. For example, I know of one such “healer” who will talk about being careful about what we “put out into the Universe” with our words and our thoughts, yet swears like a sailor and sees no incongruity in this.
I think that the most important part of this discussion, from the standpoint of being a part of Chelouranya, is how we see the physical world. Our philosophy is neither world affirming nor world denying. The material world is an “illusion” on one level, but a beautiful, magical, and wonderful gift from our Mother on another. We are encouraged to enjoy and appreciate with deep gratitude the gift of physical existence and see the signature of our Mother in the beauty and loveliness in the material world, yet, at the same time keep it in its proper perspective as to what it is.
May 10, 2015 at 6:46 pm #312047
Mrs. Eddy once wrote “nature I love your promise.’ This seems to hint at what you are saying about the knowledge that matter is not ultimately true but it is (perhaps) our present highest understanding of Dea’s Truth and Beauty. If I understood you correctly. Please correct me if I did not.
I’m wondering about the demons and such that you mentioned. I wrote down those wonderful prayers against demons because at some level I’ve never understood, I believe in them. But I was taught all my life that if Dea is all that is and all that She is is good and perfect, then there can be no demons and such. Which for some reason which my dear mother worried over, has never stopped me from believing in them. And having those powerful prayers is a comfort. Any sense you can make out of that bit of utter confusion would be gratefully received!
May 10, 2015 at 6:54 pm #312049
Honored maids, I am so grateful at how seriously you have taken my concern. It is a relief to find the “perennial truth” in a non-Christian context. Frankly Mrs. Eddy had to change quite a few things in Christianity in order to make it all work together. There is a consistency in what you say that is a relief.
Here is another concern though. Just as in CS I was taught that Jesus (who was not seen as god) did not die to relieve us of our sins but to show us the way to overcome them (perspective of CS, not Orthodox Christianity). I’m a little confused by Maid’s decent into the underworld. I need to reread it all but I got the impression that it was in a savior role that she decended and rose from the dead. Why would she need to do that if sin and such are a lie of mortal belief? No criticism meant here at all – just trying to sort these things out. In Amity and gratitude for all your letters, Rose Bryce
May 10, 2015 at 7:31 pm #312107
Those are very good questions, Honored Miss Bryce, and I will do my best to explain as well as I can (even though there are others far more qualified than me to speak to this).
Unlike the Christian narrative, our Mythos does not take place in space and time. We believe it to be True, but we do not believe it to be literal. Historical facts speak to things that may or may not be true. Mythos can not NOT be True.
In our Creation Mythos, after Primordial Maid spent a time that cannot be counted laughing and dancing with the Mother, she was tempted by the Snake to ask the Mother to create Darkness so she could rest. During that time, the Snake attempted to destroy Creation, but it was saved by the Mother.
After this, everything changed. The world was no longer Golden, but took on all colors. At this point, the Mother became too bright for us to look upon. Grieved by this, the Mother gave birth to the Daughter, whose Bright Silver Light we could look upon.
The Daughter discovered that there was a part of the world and a place in the heart of every Maid where the Mother’s love could not reach. The Daughter’s sacrifice was to bring the Mother’s Light to all places, even the deepest, darkest regions.
The conflict between Good and Evil is a part of manifestation, and indeed, an indispensable part. We do believe that manifestation at some point will return to the Mother when she breathes Creation back into Herself, and everything, including demons will return to Her. Any state other than ultimate reunion with Dea is temporary.
Even so, the Daughter Sustains us within Creation and She brings the Mother’s Light even to the deepest Darkness.
While we can say that even demons and Evil are a part of Dea, because nothing can exist apart from Her, and they, too, will ultimately return to Her, that is not something we can truly understand from a manifest, Unenlightened state. We are Daughters of the Light, and as such we fight for the Light against the Forces of Darkness, and we are the bane of demons.
I hope I explained that correctly and this helps somewhat.
May 15, 2015 at 4:03 am #317892
Thank you honored Miss Rill, your comments are very helpful and quite clear. In amity, Rose Bryce
May 11, 2015 at 7:22 am #312769
Anna Sophia BernsteinParticipant
I am definitely not qualified to answer to such questions. Please forgive me for not having said that earlier, too.
I hope that I may be forgiven for sharing more of my thoughts as I do so hoping that, should I say something wrong, I will have the chance of learning through correction. Please keep in mind that I am simply a fellow „student“ when reading my words.
I think your question, honoured Miss Bryce, may touch upon the same paradox that is also the topic of this thread and that is expressed in the words of the Filianic Scripture as
“If thou wouldst find union with our Mother, know that thou hast never left Her. If thou wouldst escape the veil of matter, know that there is no matter and no veil.“
Here and now and always there is no matter and no veil and I have never left the Mother – and yet, clearly, my experience and your experience is: we are not one with Her. We know that this experience is illusion, it is not true. But it is where we are right now: in this illusion, in this false understanding. We are „fallen“.
In our Scriptures it is said of this Fall that „at once she was turned from the Light of the Mother to the lights of the things that are.“ As I understand it this is precisely entering into the „illusion of worldly life“ because it is where Maid started to no longer see only „the Real“: Dea.
So in a certain sense it may perhaps be said that the Fall of Maid was her longing to not see Dea but see „things in themselves“. Since Dea is Being, it is actually impossible for things to have existence „in themselves“. But by creating an illusion of something apart from Her, our dear Mother has granted us our wish and saved us from the non-existence toward which we had turned by turning away from her. So the very illusion that allows us to experience seperateness from her is at the same time that which saves us from non-existence and is a means by which, since it is an expression of Her, we can also turn back to Her. This is the way in which I understand the world to be both an illusion and a blessing. This unconditional Love by which Our Mother saves us, though we have turned away from her willingly is the Daughter „whose nature is perfect love“.
While the illusion is that which saves us from non-existence, in our current situation it is also that which stands between us and returning to eternal communion with Dea. It is in this sense that we experience it or parts of it as something „evil“, that is, something that turns us away from the Mother.
May 15, 2015 at 4:08 am #317893
Thank you honored Miss Bernstein, your explanation is very helpful and insightful. There is much here I shall have to ponder over. In amity, Rose Bryce
May 12, 2015 at 12:17 pm #314366
The similarity of Filianic mythos to some aspects of the Christian can be very confusing to those of Christian background.
The similarities exist because Christianity uses ancient motifs that Filianism also uses, but recasts them in a “moral” rather than a cosmological light.
This article on Original Sin and the Snake in Filianism should clarify the position greatly even though it is about an earlier part of the mythos.
The descent of the Daughter is not a legalistic “redemption of sin” (like paying a fine on someone else’s behalf” but is a cosmic act of reconciling the “paradox” of an existence that is “apart from Dea” and yet cannot be “apart from Dea” without ceasing to exist.
The Daughter, by comprehending the Cosmos even to its lowest point, maintains it in being and harmony. (And, as Christianity and “Science” both forget, harmony is essential to being: in Greek, the opposite of kosmos is kaos).
This is a mystery we cannot fully understand and it should also be remembered that Filianists, unlike Christians, do not say that this is “the literal truth”. There are other traditions in the Motherland. They all represent Truth. No one is “the only Way”. All are conveying to our material, time-and-space bound minds Truths which transcend material being.
May 15, 2015 at 4:12 am #317953
Thank you honored Miss Sushuri, The clarification concerning Christian literalism is very helpful. As is the rest of the letter. Again, you give me much to ponder over. In amity Rose Bryce
June 9, 2015 at 8:56 am #355085
I have not vanished – but as I said have been set by your letters to pondering. I have just reread them all and feel I have something more of a grasp of what you believe. To be truthful the whole topic sent me into one of my (very frequent and not to be concerned about) spiritual crisis. Somehow I have long thought that if only I could find the perennial philosophy of Christian Science in a feminine form I could accept it. It has not been nearly as easy as all that! Perhaps I am a little frightened of thinking that matter is not a reality. I grew up thinking it but have been away from it long enough that there has come to be a certain comfort in matter. Miss Sophia, you addressed this well. A few days ago I just prayed ‘Mother let me sink into Your arms and need no answers.’ Immediately, Mary, as the Holy Mother (not in Her Christian mythos) opened Her arms and I just started repeating a simple prayer I have to Her and stopped trying to make everything make sense. We are just simple creatures after all – we do not have what it takes to make all of this make utter sense. Though you Maids have been doing much better than I. I’ve been going back and rereading the three books you have available. Frankly The Feminine Universe goes over my head on a regular basis. But simple, basic scripture holds together in my little brain.
This idea that the mythos of fillianism is not literal holds me and grabs me and I still don’t think I get it. But since literal mythos (the orthodox Christian point of view) leaves me cold. Your position that you do not intend to be literal is something quite wonderful . But again I feel like I just bairly hardly grasp it. I’d be awfully grateful if one of you could address it again – sometimes going through something a second time will make things clear.
I’m so grateful for how patient you are being with me. Thank you good Maids, Rose Bryce
June 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm #355465
I think the simplest way to understand that Filianism is not literal is to realize that we do not share West Telluria’s faith in the potential omniscience of the rational, literal, verbal mind. There are things that cannot ever be expressed in verbal formulae.
What these things are, is pretty much agreed by Traditions that have not confined themselves to “fighting” dogmas (that is dogmas specifically designed to promote one tradition and denigrate others). The only tradition that has really produced “fighting dogmas” is the Abrahamic one, which denies “other gods” and its offshoot, scientism.
The Vedic, Buddhist, Platonic, Taoist, Shinto and tribal shamanist traditions (to give these vast thought worlds the silly “ism” names that Telluria loves to stick to things) all say what we say in slightly different languages.
The Abrahamic traditions at root say something similar but have been rather damaged by their hostility and its concomitant oversimplification (“propaganda” always has to be over-simplified).
It is not actually surprising that hostility is the key problem with the religions that currently dominate Telluria (Abrahamism/scientism) since they have their root in the unbalanced Vikhelic tendency of Iron Age Telluria and are its most “advanced” expression.
What we are saying is essentially what everyone is saying outside of the Abrahamic/scientistic tent. And everyone has their own way of saying it, because unlike Abrahamists/sciensuperstitionists we do not think it is possible to reduce the Absolute to anthropomorphic literalities.
June 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm #355529
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