Putting the Cart in Front of the Horse

Seeing everything as illusion, experiencing Truth, or even acquiring wholesome mental qualities are all effects rather than causes for one to work on.  In other words you cannot practise “seeing everything as illusion” as they are effect of a certain causes that need to acquire first. In the same way you cannot experience Truth directly, nor try to be “compassionate”, “loving”, or non-judgmental. You can, except an imitation.

Imagine you have not eaten a durian before and someone came along telling you how nice the taste is. Without tasting it would it make any sense for you to keep repeating how nice the taste — whether to yourself or to others? That is what makes knowledge and wisdom a huge difference. One is a lie, the other a truth. When I use the word “lie” I am not saying a conscious expression but rather an unconscious experience that is totally devoid of essence.

Thus when one proclaim “everything is an illusion”, without experiencing it directly, one is only adding another baggage to the mind, an idea that is of no difference than seeing everything as real.It has far reaching implication than just baggage. Firstly, it creates conflict to the mind, as in reality the mind has yet to experience it and yet one tries to make the mind in believing in. Now that is a mission impossible as you can’t lie to the mind except lying to yourself. It is like telling a lie and yet ignoring it is a lie. That is compounding lie.

Belief and Realization have different effects altogether. Both don’t arrive at the same destination, though at times we are been convince that belief is the beginning of faith. Belief do lead to faith, but blind faith. Understanding leads to faith, a different kind of faith that sometimes refer to as confidence.

Secondly, misguided view leads to the strengthening of ego. Ego arises from ignorance of what is, an unconscious choice we made in our intent and action. Whenever ego is present, there is no possibility wisdom can arise, unless and until you recognize the presence of ego in you. Even then, it may not be as simply as we think it is. Try recognizing anger, when it arise and you will get what i mean.

In summary, understanding is key to spiritual growth. Specifically, understanding the principle of cause and effect. For example, to come to the result of seeing everything as illusion, one’s cause is realizing its opposite as as unreal. In the same way, to experience Truth, one has to recognize the falseness of things in perception. Or to develop wholesome mental qualities, one has to understand the aspect of the unwholesome mental qualities.

Recognize, realize, understand are all aspect of a wisdom mind. They are the causes to breaking open from what is not to what is, in other words from ignorant to wisdom. Wisdom is the beginning and yet the end of the journey.