If a special spectacle can produce a 3D effect out of a 2D movie, what would you think the mind can produce out of your seeing? Would it be possible that everything “out there” is probably 2D? Possible isn’t it? If you see me and everything around you as 3D you can be sure the eye consciousness has the function of translating a 2D to a 3D image. There is a lot of truth in this statement. Consider that each mental frame per nano second in the mind is actually an image, a perception, rather than something dynamic, a video. Like the original Walt Disney movie, when all the frames are been placed together seamlessly we see the illusion of movement arising out of that picture. In truth, movement cannot be seen, except felt, just like sound cannot be seen except heard. So what we see as moving is actually an optical illusion.
Do we see shapes? No we don’t. Shape is an illusion deriving from the color edge. What we really see are colors but not the shape. The mind (perception) translate the edge to a shape. Take a look at Diagram A. There is only black. Differentiate what you see and what you perceive. There are two functions happening here – one is the eye consciousness and the other is perception. The eye consciousness only see black color (together with the white color background). Perception makes the shape out of the colour. Perception is an illusionist. We see color, perception makes us imagine shape.
In the same way, I don’t see a circle in Diagram B except a black line. Perception plays the function of taking the edge of the line into a shape – circle. What about C? There are shades of grey in it – that is what I only see, including the feathering below it. But perception thinks otherwise. It makes imagination out of it. The placement of feathering in Diagram C and D makes me think one is floating and the other on the ground. I invite you to take a moment to just see it as it is. And you observe in the mind the two functions interplaying with each other. But what you see is only blob of colors – that is all.
Thus when I see the world I am not seeing anything except colours. Without colours there is no form, no bodies, no one out there. Imagine the color of my shirt does not end. It just keep flowing all over. Do you see a shirt? What about the color of my body? Just colors. So the whole world is an optical illusion. What my perception formed is actually an image in the mind. There is no form out there. It is occurring in the mind, not in the world. Bizarre isn’t it? Am I a walking zombie, being trick into thinking there is a world out there?
But you may say “I can feel the sensation – it is real out there!”. “Feel the sensation is the function of touch – touching consciousness. Whenever I touch, I only touch either hard or soft. I don’t touch the floor or anything for that matter. The perception again creates an imaginary idea of floor. Now try doing this experiment. Touch the “floor”. What do you feel? You can’t “feel the floor” except you feel either hard or soft. Let me pose you a question: Is the hard or soft you? In other words, is the “floor” you? No, you just felt the hardness. There is no “you” there. Now move your hand and touch any part of your skin. What do you feel? Soft? Do you feel “your skin” soft or you simply feel the softness? Observe the perception playing its function of labeling what you feel with a meaning, in this case my skin. Now is the softness you? “Of course”, you may say – it is my skin. But that is an imagination of perception. Why is it that the floor hardness is not me and yet the skin softness is me? Why don’t the floor is mine? Why only the body? Recognize that the “my body” is an imagination created by perception. Just an imagination.
But you may go further by disputing this recognition. You may say “because the body never left me, thus it is mine!” But isn’t that an assumption? An assumption based on what perception is imagining? You have never left the earth. Do you say the earth is me? By the way, the body left me when I am dreaming – I totally forgotten of this body “here” and instead I become the body “there” – in the dream!
Now, this is not about you, as a reader, or anyone else, but as a wakeup call to truly investigate whether the mind that we call as ours is truly telling us what the world is or simply an imagination. I trust you may have not ponder upon this before. Is the body me? Is the mind me? Hmm…. it will surely keep you guessing for awhile.
Thus you may, with this little glimpses, start to understand what the age old sages mean when they mention that the body is not “mine” but an illusion. Neither is the mind. What a revelation!