«Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see perspective, not the truth» — Marcus Aurelius
We live like we know reality. But our perception of what is real, is actually just a filter of reality. What we see with our eye is just a portion of what is really going on out there. Of all the wave-lengths, we can only see a fraction of them. And even though we can take x-ray photos, we still see these photos through our own eyes, so it’s really just adding a filter on top of another filter. We can’t hear anything below 12 Hz, but that doesn’t mean that sounds below 12 Hz don’t exist. So parts of reality are at all times hidden to us. A fly does not perceive reality the same way as humans, but that doesn’t mean that the fly’s reality is any less real than ours, it’s just a different perspective.
What if we actually had x-ray vision and heard sounds only ranging from 6-12 Hz? What would the world be like to us? What would a tree look like? What would the ocean sound like? How would we construct cities, make clothes or find partners? I guess we would have a completely different sense of beauty and about functionality. In general, our take on reality would be very much different from what it is today, and hence we as human beings would be different and act differently. And what then, if our senses suddenly returned to the ones we have today? What would the colors be like? Textures, shapes, tastes, sounds? What would we look like to ourselves? Would we at all fit in? It is a very intriguing thought.
Now what ifwe didn’t have any filter whatsoever? What if we could perceive reality just the way reality represents itself? What would we see? What would a tree look like? What would a car look like? What would you look like? We can only imagine, and even in our imagination reality is limited to our sense-experience. But let us make an experiment. Let us imagine that what we would have seen was nothing but the color white. There would be no telling a tree from a car or even a tree from yourself — after all, you wouldn’t have anything filtering your touch-senses either, so you wouldn’t really know yourself from your surroundings. And if we were born this way, how would we ever know how to differentiate anything from anything? We would ourselves be everything, and have a feeling of being everywhere. And being everything and everywhere would also mean that we would not have a feeling of time-space as we know it now. It would be like we had never been born, and that we never would die. We would just be a part of the everlasting reality, moment after moment.
It is said that God is everywhere, and that everything is created in God’s image. But if we truly were to see God, everything would have to be illuminated before us, and thus we wouldn’t really know what we saw. Like in our example everything would be just white, and we would have no chance to differentiate between what is God and what is not-God. We would ourselves be God.
Even though we can’t see all wavelengths of light, or hear all frequencies of sound, does not mean that they don’t exist. By saying this, I am not saying that a personified God exists either, I am just saying that everything exists, and even though our senses does not allow us to experience it, we are nonetheless a part of it.
The only way we can have a sense of God, or something absolute, is if God is reflected in the not-God, or if the absolute is reflected in the relative. Even though humans experience a relative world, we are still very much in the totality of reality. This can’t be denied. We are already God, and we are already Buddha. The paradox is that the only way we can acknowledge the absolute is by experiencing relativity, hence we can never really experience the absolute. We can only have an idea about what it is. But since we can’t really imagine what God is, we get stuck in our ideas about what God is, and we misinterpret our ideas for reality. It is because humans get stuck in these ideas, and project these ideas on reality, adding a filter to reality, thus creating a reality which is not there, that we suffer.
Reality is just as it is, and humans beings are just as we are. There is no way to change any one of them. The only thing we can do is to acknowledge the fact that we are already a part of totality, and live a life in accordance to this fundamental fact.