Lifting the Veils of Perception
‘Veils of perception’ describes our limited ways of seeing or knowing Reality. Each of us lives simultaneously in two different worlds: one is Ultimate Reality and the other is a subjective version or piece of it. Perhaps the “whole truth of the universe” is more than we can even comprehend (at this stage of our evolution anyway), so the human mind contents itself with smaller versions, filtered through the five senses and variously interpreted.
It is as though each of us wears special eyeglasses blocking anything we are not prepared to process. The prescription has been ground by our personal, social, cultural, and karmic histories. We don’t see the lenses, but we see the world through them; and what and how we see conditions our experience. It’s not that our visions of the world are wrong or right so much as they are partial and limited ….and the source of significant suffering!
The Hindu term maya refers to the fundament ignorance that traps us in illusion and separates us from our True Nature. In ancient texts, maya is described as a material energy binding the soul to its attachments and making it impossible to return to God. Maya is what sustains an illusion of duality or multiplicity; the delusion that we are separate. Maya names the veils we seek to penetrate.
The work of the great spiritual traditions, as well as the work of modern psychotherapy, is to relieve the kind of suffering caused by distorted vision, by a failure to see clearly or see the bigger picture. Whether we call it neurosis, ego, sin, or maya, this restriction creates blockages in the flow of life’s energy; and difficulties in assimilating Energy mean that the pleasure of Being is subsumed or overtaken by a drive for Survival.
If the human being is designed for daily life under the principle of Pleasure and Growth, moving to a principle of Survival only sporadically, during difficult moments, the reality we have created has the pattern in reverse. When the Buddha says “existence is suffering”, he describes life at the “survival” level. This is what we have inherited, re-created, and passed on to our children. Unless we have an intention to heal our vision, we will continue to filter our reality through veils that perpetuate our isolation and suffering; that blind us to our unity, to the absolute and transcendent universe of which we are a part.
A desire to shed our ignorance and know the true nature of ourselves and of the One reality -macro, micro and everything in between - appears like a golden thread throughout the Ontogony journey. It is the work of evolution. It consists of refining perception, cultivating awareness, increasing the capacity to hold and utilize energy, healing neurosis, and summoning courage* to move beyond the “already-known”.
"*Courage is derived from French word coeur meaning heart. This is truly a journey of the heart." – Adapted from The Flow of Life, by Carlos de León
"*Courage is derived from French word coeur meaning heart. This is truly a journey of the heart."
– Adapted from The Flow of Life, by Carlos de León