From a brief email exchange:
Wow. Good questions! I guess we all have to explore it for ourselves, but here is what comes up for me. (See below.)
Here are my question(s):
If the so called ‘physical world’ is nothing but an elaborate illusion (which btw I agree with this…) then what is the purpose of this illusion. Why does this ‘illusion’ exists at all? Does ground like to play hide and seek games with itself? Is it that bored that it needs some sort of entertainment? Is this why humans do all this unnecessary drama? Maybe our actions mirror the larger ones of ground?
It does look like a game of hide and seek, but that is of course just a way of talking about it.
Any “reasons” for it that we can come up with, including boredom, curiosity, evolution, experimentation, and so on, are all in the realm of form, it is all content of awareness, and Ground (awake void) is inherently free from all of that. So in an “ultimate” sense, there is no reason. It just happens. My guess is that it is inevitable, somehow inherent in how it is all set up, and yet for no particular “reason” as we think of it.
It may be a little depressing from our point of view, but it also gives a great deal of freedom. It means that we can experience just about anything as a “reason” for life in general, and our own life in particular. And if we know that those reasons are not any “absolute” reason, then only better, because it frees us up. There is nothing we need to “get” or do “right”, apart from living in a way that makes sense to us here and now.
[The game as it plays itself out: In my own awareness, I find awakeness on the one side and its content on the other (which is awakeness as form, as its own content). And when awakeness is aware of itself, and its own content also as itself, it is what we call awakening. When its content take itself as all there is, it experiences itself as a separate self in a wider world of form, and there is “delusion”. And at some point, even if awakeness “forgot”, it awakens to itself. (Maybe not in this life, but at some point.)]
If ‘ego’ (etc) is an illusion and not the ‘real’ essence, then why the need for the existence of ‘illusion’ at all in the first place? Why for? After all, even if its just an illusion, the ILLUSION ITSELF IS REAL!!!! Thus illusion exists in reality. Thus imperfections, however illusionary they are, do exists! So how can nonreality exists within reality? How can imperfection exists WITHIN PERFECT? Don’t we get CONTRADICTION!
Yes. At least, the illusion of a separate self is experienced as real, so is real in that sense. And the same with imperfections, etc.
I guess the usual way of answering that question is that from the “view” of Ground, or Big Mind, or God, it is all Ground, Big Mind or God. It is all the play within and as God. So it is also all perfect, as it is, no matter how it looks. At the same time, it can be experienced, when there is a sense of separate self, as imperfection, suffering and so on. And that experience is real too, although not the “ultimate” truth.
It is maybe similar to a movie on a screen, where the content of the movie can take any form, including confusion and imperfection, yet is also perfectly light on a movie screen (or dots on a TV or computer screen).
The Emptiness if full. The Void (aka Emptiness) is not nothing, and yet simultaneously not something. What is going on here? This is just circular logic and doesn’t really get down to solving the puzzle of what really is the true essence of totality of existence?!?!?!
Why the need for different DISTINCTIONS and variations of the ground? If all the sensations, emotions, appearances and stories are in actuality different manifestations and expressions of the larger ONE-IN-ALL-SAME-ENCOMPASSING ESSENCE/SOURCE/VOID/BIGMIND/GROUND/GOD
(whatever you want to label it) then why doesn’t this ONE homogeneous ‘essence’ just exists alone and by itself, without the need to be separated and artificially segmented into different spectrum’s (like how pure white light can be separated into the infinite different colors of the color wheel) ??
i.e., if ultimately, love, lust, beauty, ideals, math, physical world, spiritual world, platonic world, gluttony, fun, happiness, etc (all the qualia) actually come from one true pure ‘ground of being’, why does this ground of being protect this illusions and feel compelled to divide itself endlessly into the different qualities and unique distinct ‘what it is likeness’ of experience?
From ONE, to many, back to ONE. Why the trip? What for? Why is Ground not happy just being ground? Why did ground have to invent this mess called the illusion of physical world, for us humans to have needs and wants and be subjected to torture and confusion and illusions and all just so we can ‘find the truth’ and to find the path BACK to one, when we were ONE to begin with without doing the journey? Isn’t this the ultimate hide and seek? And for what? What’s the point? The irony is there was never a POINT (literally and figurately and metaphorically and metaphysically and existentiall and whateve elese) was there? This is the ultimate catch-22 and paradox CONTRADICTION!!!
Yes. What comes up for me here is that whenever there is a full awakening, and a looking back at all that mess, it was all worth it. (At least that is the testimony of the ones where there has been an awakening.)
Also, Ground on its own is just awareness, and it seems more “fun” (or interesting) when there is a content of this awareness, when it has something to be aware of. In a way, it is maybe God’s way of exploring itself, to see what it is able to create in terms of form and content of awareness and how it all plays itself out. And this content is God itself too, so whatever happens is really OK, even if it can be experienced as torture and confusion at times.
What I am not quite clear on myself is why it wasn’t sufficient to have awareness and content, and full awakening (awareness awake to itself, including itself as its own content). It seems that the “game” gets more “real” and involved when this awakening is not around, so maybe that is why. It is almost like losing oneself in a movie, forgetting for a while that it is only a movie.
Since Ground (awake void) is free from any inherent characteristics (void), it allows any and all forms. As you say, there is no “point” inherent in any of it, but that is also the beauty of it, because it allows for a wide range of experiences of what is the “point”. It can be love, money, happiness, awakening, accomplishment, just living an ordinary life, having fun, learning, experiencing, or whatever else, and it is all OK. They are all valid experiences and goals, but they are also neither of them any “absolute” or “final” point.
I hope this helps! It certainly helped me explore some of these topics in more details.