Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding.
It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded.
Pleasure can be supported by the illusion, but happiness rests upon truth.
Some people gauge their value by what they own. But in reality the entire concept of ownership of possessions is based on an illusion. When you obtain a material object, it does not become part of you. Ownership is merely your right to use specific objects whenever you wish and that no one has a right to take them away from you. How unfortunate is the person who has an ambition to cleave to something impossible to cleave to. Such a person will not obtain what he desires and will experience suffering.
There is no more dangerous illusion than the fancies by which people try to avoid illusion. It is imagination which leads us astray; and the certainty which we seek through imagination, feeling, and taste, is one of the most dangerous sources from which fanaticism springs.
What we give out as scientific truth is only the product of our own needs and desires, as they are formulated under varying external conditions; that is to say, it is illusion once more. Ultimately we find only what we need to find, and see only what we desire to see. We can do nothing else. And since the criterion of truth, correspondence with an external world, disappears, it is absolutely immaterial what views we accept. All of them are equally true and false. And no one has a right to accuse any one else of error.
The function of values is to give us the illusion of purpose in life.
The longing for certainty and repose is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion and repose is not the destiny of man.
If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.
Our unconscious existence is the real one and our conscious world a kind of illusion, an apparent reality constructed for a specific purpose like a dream which seems a reality as long as we are in it.
The God-relationship determines what love is between man and man, then love is kept from pausing in any self-deception or illusion, while certainly the demand for self-abnegation and sacrifice is again made more infinite. The love which does not lead to God, the love which does not have this as its sole goal, to lead the lovers to love God, stops at the purely human judgment as to what love and what love’s sacrifice and submission are; it stops and thereby escapes the possibility of the last and most terrifying horror of the collision: that in the love relationship there are infinite differences in the idea of what love is.
In the last twenty years we have developed this treadmill mentality. We think that by always reaching higher, accomplishing more - more money, a better body, the perfect mate - that we will automatically be happy. That’s an illusion. All this reaching is just making us crazy. We need to rest.
The soiled mirror never reflects the rays of the sun; so the impure and the unclean in heart that are subject to Maya (illusion) never perceive the glory of Bhagavan, the holy One. But the pure in heart see the Lord as the clear mirror reflects the sun. So be holy.
Regardless of how much honor he receives, an honor-seeker will feel upset if even one person does not show him the honor and approval he demands. There will never be an amount of honor that will satisfy him. Physical desires have a saturation point, but the desire for honor is based on falsehood and illusion and is really nothing in itself.
In the root divine Wisdom is all-Brahman; in the stem she is an all-Illusion; in the flower she is all-World; and in the fruit, all-Liberation.
The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed pint of view kills anybody who has one.
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises... If life is an illusion, then so is death-the greatest of all illusions. If life must not be taken too seriously-then neither must death.
We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy.
Who knows what true loneliness is - not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
If these distracted times prove anything, they prove that the greatest illusion is reliance upon the security and permanence of material possessions. We must search for some other coin. And we will discover that the treasure-house of education has stood intact and unshaken in the storm. The man of cultivated life has founded his house upon a rock. You can never take away the magnificent mansion of his mind.