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What is the greatest illusion?

Discussion in 'Theism' started by rsd, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. rsd

    rsd ACBSP77

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    I believe in God and I also believe that life consist of many things, including a grand illusion. What do you see as this grand illusion? What is life's greatest illusion?
     
  2. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    The existence of an independent Self.
     
  3. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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  4. Me Myself

    Me Myself Back to my username

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  5. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    The idea of separation from God.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Illusions can be dangerous things. The best weapon against them is for one to question one's beliefs as possible illusions.

    The OP reminded me of this scene from The Usual Suspects.
    I'm often told that I've fallen prey to Satan's wicked ways by not believing he is behind my rejection of God.
    [youtube]kl0H1EUQ_38[/youtube]
    Satan's clever ploy - YouTube
     
    #6 Revoltingest, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  7. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Well, there's lots, including "maya," but lately I've come to believe that "The Implicit Atheist" is the best illusion to come along in decades.

    Edit: Athough I've always had an affection for autostereograms.
     
    #7 Willamena, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
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  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    What's an "implicit atheist"?
     
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  9. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    Atheist at birth maybe?
     
  10. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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    Well certainly nobody that IS one can mark that as their label :D

    It is like babies and people who haven't heard about God or religion at all.
     
  11. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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    The belief in ultimate knowledge?

    I don't know.
     
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  12. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Freewill is the grand illusion.
     
  13. idav

    idav Being
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    I agree that the idea of the self is the greatest illusion. The free will illusion is rooted in our ego. But then I don't "think" like a cell so there is no telling.
     
  14. Many Sages One Truth

    Many Sages One Truth Active Member

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    Hate, it's based in illusionary thinking
     
  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Hate seems very real. If you feel it, there it is in all its gory reality.

    The truth in "facts" is much more illusory. Much of what we think is true, is just an illusion created by widespread agreement about it.
    If ever you see me arguing about some important facts, then I've fallen prey to my illusions. Just remind me, & wake me up from that.
    (I know, I know...I'm gonna get it from the crowd who like to believe things....& I ain't even thinking of religious types.)
     
    #15 Revoltingest, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  16. Orias

    Orias Left Hand Path

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    Perception.
     
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  17. rsd

    rsd ACBSP77

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    I am thanking everyone for their input!

    Having contemplated aspects of this question on and off since 1965, I am going to try to explain what I feel is the greatest illusion. One of the fellows I use to kick this around with went on to work with Steve Jobs on the very first Mac computer. But Ed and I were just scratching around the edges of this.

    I say that everyday, ordinary reality is he greatest illusion. And by this I mean the simple, straight forward reality that you and I normally experience in the course of a day: like sitting here typing this out; listening to the window a/c running; the pressure under my right forearm that is pressing on the counter; the large window in front of me; looking out at a bridge; streets; a tennis court; the cold air; the cold can of diet coke off to my right; feeling the seat press against me; etc.

    So why do I say that this is the greatest illusion? But how to tell you so you'll understand? After all, my declaration is rather bold. I can challenge myself. I see the two-way radio and just now picked it up. It weighs about a pound and is black. I can see everything in this room; get up and touch everything, if I wanted to. All rock solid. A lot of the things in here I could throw in my truck and take them home. And they would be in my truck where I put them in the morning. All very normal. All dependable actions that myself and others rely on daily. I drive up to the stop light. Vehicles stop and go. Nobody runs into me. I don't hit them. Day after day, year after year, and yet, I still say that this is all the greatest illusion. Why?

    I can only try to explain what I think. I hope you can follow me. I don't tell many people this. OK, this requires you to imagine something. Imagine total blackness. Now imagine a round, hollow sphere floating in the blackness. Make the sphere around 12 feet in diameter. Make it about 4 inches thick. We are not interested in the outer surface. Let's concentrate on the inner surface. Imagine that the inside surface is completely covered with a screen. Every inch of it; top, bottom, sides, etc. However, top and bottom doesn't even apply. OK, soon we are going to "TURN ON" this screen. I'll explain. You have to put on your "Star Trek" thinking cap.

    This screen is not a man-made material like your computer screen, TV, or movie theater screen. Imagine that every aspect of this screen is organic. Nothing like you've ever seen (but see every day). Now imagine that the inside surface of this organic screen is full of different types of sensory units. Organic units. Imagine placing many organic speakers all over the inner screen. Organic surround sound. With your imagination, now place little organic air nozzles all over the screen (next to all the organic speakers), that puff out any conceivable order imaginable. Now imagine this inner screen made with an organic material that is kind of like memory foam. Very sensitive to touch. Now imagine that everything you have created so far also has a unique taste. But remember, we haven't "turned the sphere on," just yet. Now imagine that you have no body, but that you are conscious. Consciousness is an ability more than "a thing." So just BE inside the sphere and just be there. OK, now the screen is going "to turn on." Remember, you are inside, but you are not a thing to be in any particular place. You are just conscious of your surroundings.

    As I said, right this moment I am sitting in this little air conditioned building (at a resort where I work). This is where I am right now. I get off in 3 hours. ...OK, back to the sphere. It is turned on. This huge organic screen of sorts "lights" up. I see a tennis court off to my left. A bridge with a black railing out in front. I am able to look in all directions. Every view is different. I smell something. I see hands in front of me on the keyboard. The keyboard is sensitive and I feel it. "Over there" is the smell of tea.

    OK, I hope you get my drift. What I have been describing is my best attempt to portray what "scientist" say is going on in our brain. Think about it. EVERYTHING you see is a facsimile (picture) of "the real thing." But don't ask me where the "real thing" is because everything I see is a picture of "the real thing." I never see "the real thing." I never do. They tell me that the center of sight is located in the far back of my head. I guess on some organic screen. In fact, all the senses are "pumped" into my skull via nerves....all making up the organic screen I was having you imagine.

    So they tell me this is true. What I see, I am actually seeing way back INSIDE my brain, not OUTSIDE the window; the bridge with the black railing.

    Add all the senses to this organic sphere, called my skull, and years of thinking, "front and back, right and left, up and down, Oh, I see that brown car." But no. They tell me that is not THE brown car. What I just saw is a picture in my brain, of what we all call, "a brown car."

    It just boils down to this (and you can apply and multiply this across the board): what we see is a picture. NOT the actually object. You have never seen an "actual" object, ever; not one time in your entire life. It is not possible. It is impossible. So-called light emanates from "the actual object," enters the lens of the eye, stimulates the optic nerve, impulses travel down this nerve into this organic sphere in the back of the brain and a screen "turns on." And like a fool,I am 100% positive that out there in front of me is a bridge. But out there is actually "in there."

    This kind of puts it into words. Not even sure what to make of all of this. Heck, I can't get anyone to even understand what I am saying. Even so, call me a fool but this is why I say that "reality is the greatest illusion."
     
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  18. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    That's perfect dualism. :)

    Are you familiar with monism?
     
  19. rsd

    rsd ACBSP77

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    Hm...just read on the Net a bit about monism. No, I haven't really given it much thought but I do believe in one Supreme Being and I belive that this one God hold everything together, like pearls strung on a thread. Does that fit the definition of a monist?
     
  20. Jeneshisu

    Jeneshisu Smile ^^

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    The biggest illusion is the illusion that things are separate. We often identify many things as different/separate when they are really the same/connected. ^^

    This notion divides us.
     
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