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Illusion - "Maya"


The world is absolutely full of lies, and we have believed many of them. A special part of False Personality is called "Maya" in this system. This is a Sanskrit word that is usually translated "illusion". It consists of distorted perceptions, erroneous beliefs and faulty thought patterns. It usually involves thoughts and feelings about how things "ought" to be thoughts and feelings which are not accepting of the way things really are. It also involves being stuck in attitudes, feelings or behaviors which are detrimental to the person and to others. Mayas come under three headings: mental "expectations", emotional "attachments", and behavioral "habits". All of these "hang-ups" limit freedom of choice and expression of love and Agape. The lesson to be learned from Maya is that all our "problems" come from resisting reality rather than from reality itself. A couple of examples will clarify this.

One major Maya "expectation" is that other people owe you something, such as respect or courtesy or honesty or attention or consistency or explanations or punctuality. The reality is that nobody ever owes you anything whatsoever. The boss doesn't owe you a raise. Your parents didn't owe you a good upbringing. Your children don't owe you obedience. Your friends don't owe it to you to keep your secrets. Your lover doesn't owe it to you to fulfill your romantic fantasies. The government doesn't owe you security. Admit the truth: nobody owes it to you to live according to your expectation. All are just as free as you are to be exactly what they are no matter what anybody else wants.

One major Maya "attachment" is that other people and events make you upset. The reality is that you always make yourself upset over other people and events. You make yourself upset when your child does something stupid. You make yourself upset when the jerk at the office mistreats you. You make yourself upset when another driver cuts you off in traffic. You make yourself upset when your mate doesn't clean up their own mess. You make yourself upset when your car breaks down at an inconvenient time. The reality is that you have no one and no thing to blame for being upset but yourself. Admit the truth: you are the only thing in the universe that can make you upset, unless you foolishly give this power to someone or something else.

Another major Maya is the "If only . . . " syndrome. If only I had more money. If only I were more attractive. If only I had better health. If only I weren't married. If only I were married. If only I had a job I liked more. If only I hadn't done that. If only I had done that. If only they had done/not done that. The reality is that reality is as it is, and you had best deal with it on its own terms. To do otherwise is to waste your energy and cause yourself grief. Admit the truth, and stop wishing and regretting your life away. If you can change reality to your liking, you may do so, but first you must see it as it is.

You can easily identify Mayas, because they always produce unhappiness and fear generally, and sometimes "sick" or inappropriate behavior. This is commonly called neurosis. Are you experiencing negative emotions or thoughts or behaviors? Do you lack "peace of mind" about something? Okay! You have an opportunity here to look for the Maya causing the problem. You may need help finding the errors in your beliefs. Innumerable self-help psychology books have been written in recent decades about Maya, although they did not call it that, of course. For instance, there is the classic "Games People Play" by Eric Berne. The excellent book, "Your Erroneous Zones", by Wayne Dyer, has a good overview of Maya and a good program for overcoming it. There are many other such books on the market today, and I leave it to you to search out these books and combat your own particular illusions if you so choose. If you are not aware of these illusions within yourself, you will probably follow them blindly. Once you become aware of them, you can choose to override them or not, at your conscious discretion. To be fully awake is to have no expectations, attachments, or habits.

There is more Maya surrounding male/female relationships than almost any other aspect of life. We will run into our illusions most severely when we attempt intimacy. It is particularly desirable therefore to disillusion ourselves if we seek love and Agape in a relationship.

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Phil Wittmeyer is a longtime Michael student and scholar of the teachings.  He can be reached at: wittmeyer@hotmail.com


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