|Art by Igor Morski|
The question of life as Maya, or illusion, is not an ancillary matter. For me, it is crucial. Through my daily practice, I learned that my thoughts are not necessarily true (or real). They’re a thought. That’s it. If I assess it valuable, extend to it the privilege of investing my time, my attention, or of tormenting me, it is simply a choice. The choice can also be an illusion, as the nature of the choice I make can be rooted in my perceptions (which are often in my case, illusions). My perceptions are rooted in past events or results. My memories are illusions of time – as now is the only reality and truth. I determine my perceptions to be of importance in informing my illusion of self, of my ego.
Is my life an illusion of an illusion? I would say I choose to live my life as an illusion or as detached from the illusion. The former is where I was and the latter, the Christian life, respectively. The former life I lived was grounded on the perceptions I had (and have) about myself, my past, my “Self,” and of others. I also harbor expectations about myself and others. Most of these are adopted standards others have (according to my perceptions) about what others see in me and think I am capable of (or not). All of these illusions contribute directly to a life of shadows, smoke, and mirrors, where fantasies and negativity trigger my emotions.
The Christian life, my Christian life, is a divorce from all these expressions of Maya and embracing the unquenchable pursuit of my true self. This is made possible by grace and through the practice to grow in a deeper comprehension of my being as a child of God without expectations or judgment. I believe in Christian Universalism. I do not believe my life as a Christian is about escaping eternal damnation. Rather is a free exercise in lovingkindness – Metta – toward God, my true self, and others. True Christianity, for me, is a genuine and free relationship with my Creator, God the Father. The living parable illustrating how that love looks to God and me and how it should like for others is Jesus. And the reason for being in this relationship is love, without judgment, shame, or guilt. This is the Holy Spirit.