The Grand Illusion


Book Details

Author  Swami Vivekananda
Publisher  Temple Universal Publishing
Publication Date   November 16, 2005
ISBN  0972805176
Pages  312

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Maya as a philosophical concept is found throughout the religious literature of India. This model states that there is a fundamental act of misperception to which every being is subject. As a result , a creature labors under confusing ideas about the surrounding world and itself. We're always superimposing our relative perceptions and understandings onto an absolute, spiritual condition. The analogy given is in the late afternoon wherein we might see a rope and imagine it to be a snake or see a tree stump and imagine it to be someone we know. This discovery of mental irresolution with a resulting compensation and psychic projection is a prime contribution that Freud and his contemporaries gave to the world. The idea is that if psychic energy is denied and repressed, the mind becomes energetically projective in a more confining way. Shankara, the 7th Century philosopher of India, took this process of projection to a collective level. For him, every being is ignoring divine Reality and projecting incomplete interpretations onto It through this basic dynamic of maya. Swami Vivekananda interjects an evolutionary model into the process, showing how the hidden destination to which the healing of all of our irresolution and confusion is ultimately headed is an open, holistic perception of Reality, free of compulsivity and distortion. This, in effect, summarizes Vedic psychology and philosophy.

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