“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
This famous Einsteinian quote perturbs me a lot and puts me in a dilemma. Dilemma of existence of this very being, dilemma of futility of the fourth dimension of space i.e. time in which everything is so intertwined and submerged that it will take a whole lot of humanity to destroy and reincarnate itself to abolish its significance, dilemma of the very purpose of this life, dilemma of the boundaries existing between us and the Forces that tend to unite us all, dilemma of the presence of atoms, molecules and the protons and the neutrons within. If everything according to Einstein gets narrowed down to an illusion (a stubbornly persistent one), an illusion which being persistent is not stable, it continually moves with us, it breathes with us, lives with us, eats with us, mourns with us, laughs with us (rather laughs at us) and dies with us in this illustrious soil; then everything becomes so simple, completely uncomplicated and completely comprehensible. Ahhhh! At last the problem is solved. What a relieving and exhilarating moment! A wait has finally ended and moksha has been attained. Now no problems seem to sneak and trouble the mind. The answer seems to have been present with us since ages. We should have looked for it and it would have been ours a long time ago. We would have been the masters of this universe and this world would have been our baby. We would have conquered the invincible and plundered the nature of its splendor and glory. We would have been gods, gods in disguise of an illusion, gods in search of an illusion, gods in fight with an illusion and gods in love with an illusion. But is it so easy to believe this so called fact and reduce everything to an illusion and be a part of this illusionary world and the illusionary glamour? Does our search for the answer ends here, here in this illusion? If everything is an illusion, then why are we deceiving ourselves every moment, trying to ignore the existence of this very illusion? Why are we struggling every second and dividing the illusion into past, present and the future? Why are we always busy in drawing the lines between you and me? Why are we always making comparisons between the things that don’t really exist? If Everything is an illusion, then all the distinctions, distinction between good and bad, man and animal, reality and idealism, virtue and sin, knowledge and ignorance, holy and profane, cryptic and candid, benign and sinister, seem to become redundant and lose their meaning. All differences seem to have hugged and accepted each other in their indifferent form and being. But does masking everything with a veil of illusion solves the mystery of our existence and struggle in this illustrious world? A question has been answered but a part of it still remains unanswered.
Herman Hesse in his masterpiece novel Siddhartha tries to make to make the things simpler and uncomplicated when Siddhartha, the central character of the novel, explains his friend Govinda ;
“Never is a man or a deed wholly Samsara or wholly Nirvana; never is a man wholly a saint or a sinner. This only seems so because we suffer the illusion that time is something real. Time is not real, Govinda. I have realized this repeatedly. And if time is not real, then the dividing line that seems to lie between this world and eternity, between suffering and bliss, between good and evil, is also an illusion. The potential Buddha already exists in the sinner; his future is already there. The world, Govinda, is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a long path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment; every sin already carries grace within it, all small children are potential old men, all sucklings have death within them, all dying people - eternal life. It is not possible for one person to see how far another is on the way; the Buddha exists in the robber and dice player; the robber exists in the Brahmin. During deep meditation it is possible to dispel time, to see simultaneously all the past, present and future, and then everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman.
Accepting the fact and living with it are two different things. If today I accept the fact that I am an illusion and time, in which everything finds its measure, is nothing, but an illusion, then will this acceptance make the things simpler or more difficult for me, blocks my mind with ambiguity. Siddhartha answered many unanswered questions but it has given me more questions to ponder over. A traveler on a long and arduous journey in search for his destination finally attains it but when he reaches there, he finds to his surprise that path which he took to reach his destination never existed and what he has attained in the end is nothing but a betrayal. It’s like waking up from a fulfilling dream and then repenting over. It’s like robbing you of your entire wealth when you have finally earned it. It’s like arriving at an orgasm and then finally withdrawing from its inexplicable pleasure. It’s like stripping the mother of her smile when she finally sees her baby after the pain she went through during the delivery. But there can be a another side to the coin also if I find that whatever I wanted to attain, fulfill, earn, arrive or smile at never actually existed for me. It was never meant for me or if it was meant for me then it was always with me. The fault existed within me. I never endeavored to look for it. I never tried to feel it. I never struggled to comprehend it. It had always lived with me, always, throughout my trifles and my failures. It used to laugh at my disappointments. It used to ridicule mehttp://l.yimg.com/www.flickr.com/images/spaceball.gif throughout my expedition. But I never felt its existence. In both the situations I will attain nothing but restlessness and disappointment. Does that mean I should continue living the way I have been living till now or should I accept the fact and make my life more complicated, more onerous, more incomprehensible? The answer remains to be found. May be its possible that the answer itself is an illusion but following it remains the only answer to the puzzle…