Ananda went to visit the dentist. He selected that dentist because the price was very reasonable. In his perception, that dentist was a “smooth talker.” The dentist worked on Ananda’s teeth cavities. When Ananda went home; one of the tooth fillings came out.
All of the sudden, Ananda’s suspicions gathered unusual strength: “That dentist is a fake.” He said. “He just wants money from me.” Ananda created additional thoughts as to how to “prove” the dentist to be wrong. Ananda did not feel sure about getting “good work” in his teeth. Ananda woke up with these feelings of suspicion and of being taken advantage of. Ananda created suffering in his mind.
When he went to the dentist, he had his tooth redone. The dentist explained about all his work to Ananda, so Ananda felt satisfied.
Was Ananda right on his appreciation?
It doesn’t matter. The issue is to stick to the facts. Ananda created unnecessary suffering to himself due to his own beliefs, although they seemed “right.”
Ananda left that faraway place after a week. He was just visiting and taking advantage of the occasion to get dental work done at very reasonable prices. When Ananda arrived to his place of residence… that tooth filling came off again! 🙂
That is what is known as a karmic account which needed to be settled.
In this little story we can recognize what is factual, but at the same time how Karma works and the importance of maintaining equanimity and not “jump at the gun.”
Let the actors fully act and then be ready to act when it is the time to do it. Ananda wasn’t wrong, but neither right. His creations of thoughts and emotions were all in his mind. Not real… but real to him.
Ananda was happily talking in a reunion with family members. All of the sudden Ananda said something unwillingly which wasn’t taken “right” by someone in the reunion. Ananda was reminded by his sister about it, afterwards. ‘
Ananda “swore to God” that he didn’t say that. That was his sister’s invention. Ananda wasn’t lying. In his mind; he never uttered those words. However, “reality” was that he actually said those things.
Is the reality of Ananda “messed up”? Is Ananda crazy? No.
Ananda learned that our physical senses are unreliable. Many times we do not realize what we do or say. We are “unconscious.” The reality for others, wasn’t real for Ananda. Although he agreed to that reality when someone else agreed with his sister. Reality by “consensus.”
There are many “killers” who have denied committing the crimes that they are prosecuted for. Many of them are not lying in his views, even though it does not match “reality.” They are simply unaware of what has happened and under extreme anger performed their actions, which clouded their perception of “reality.”
Finally, let us consider the example of Meera. She is the devotee who fell in love with Krishna. For Meera, Krishna was “real.” He was so real that Meera was ready to leave everything for him. No one else could experience that experience. Was Meera out of “reality”?
No. Krishna was real for her. However, there is a fine line in the reality game. That line is not what we perceive and experience but what we learn from it, what it makes us realize, how it makes us grow. That is what differentiates a person with “sanity” and others without it.
Every realization is a step forward into greater consciousness once we are engaged in spirituality; without that “time off” to observe what is going on with us and digest the teachings of life, we will be living life just like a “normal” person.
What is the trademark of a “normal” person? Unconsciousness. Oops! I forgot. That is a common excuse understood by others. I forgot to feed the dog, I forgot to fulfill my duties; that is OK. It happens to everyone. Sorry. That is the greatest acceptable excuse.
It is fine if no one else sees Krishna, but how is that experience changing Meera’s life? Is she aware of that?
To recognize that our physical senses could fail in perceiving what is known as “reality” is to grow in wisdom. The issue is not to be “right,” but to grow wiser. Life is made by experiences an everyone will have a different take on them. With this new wisdom, we could treat a human being not as if we have the “truth” and the facts, but with the healthy knowledge that we could perceive a different “reality.”
What we “perceive is what we are.” Life will just make that obvious through “mirrors” (people, circumstances, etc.) When that which we “are” changes at one point in time, our perceptions will change.
In short, reality cannot be perceived as such. It is a perception. Because the “majority” agrees that something is real; it does not mean that “it is real.” Ask Galileo.
We are always dealing with perceptions of reality, which obviously differs according to our level of awareness.