First there’s reality. Then there’s my experience of reality. Finally, I have the stories I tell myself about my experience of reality. My stories may or may not have anything to do with reality as it is. However, they are what I base my life on. All I have is my stories. I eventually become my stories and reality conforms to it.
The more I l learn about the mental phenomenon of perception and memory the more It seems that I am living in a virtual reality apart from what is really going on. Even worse, some of you seem to be sharing my delusions. If enough of us tell similar stories they become the “isms” and “ologys” that have embittered our society and seem in danger of ripping it apart from the seams of our imaginary fabrics.
At last the Zen koan, first there is a mountain…then there is no mountain…then there is, makes sense, peripherally, at least. The problem is I still see the mountain and not the mountain as it is. I’m trapped in a self-created history seemingly doomed to repeat parts of it while I struggle to learn from it.
Buddhist masters teach that all sentient beings are essentially buddhas, we just need to awaken to that fact, or reality as I’ve talking about. Buddha is our essential nature. When I stop telling myself the same old stories I began to clear the sand from eyes. At least that is the theory. Of course, it’s quite possible that old Prince Siddhartha was as delusional as any desert prophet shouting at us through scripture and their post modern mouthpieces standing above us in their Sunday morning pulpits.