Posted by: xeper | February 3, 2009

Of Illusion.. and Reality

It is 5 o’clock in the morning, and I am allowed today to be late to work, so I can at last sit and write to you before the hussle and bustle of Cairo cloud my mind and invade Alberraao.
Last year saw a few important landmarks in my Xeperian journey of Becoming and Realization. Becoming in its most abstract sense as in my page on “Why Xeper”, and Realization in both senses; Realization of the Meaning of Reality, as well as Realization of my potential into Reality.

Around mid last year I attended a workshop in Lebanon about religious dialogue. I met many Real people there, which is something very rare these days. So rare in fact that I forgot to include this category of people in my typology of people; for, if I didn’t mention it before, I have a typology of people and life. In brief, it says that anything on earth is one of three categories: Land, Talking Land, and People. Please remind me to tell you more about it later.

Real People are just that; Real. They belong to a Real World that we cannot see in our hectic everyday life, and they look for it with intent. You are probably a Real Person yourself. In fact, this blog is designed to attract Real People and repel people who are not Real. I hope I was able to do both. Yesterday I unlinked this blog from my facebook profile for this reason. I discovered I wanted to reduce access of unReal people to allow me to write more freely to you. If I was to write it again, I would keep my name Xeper, because it describes me and why I write to you, but would probably change the name of the blog to something more like “Open Letter to Real People”, though probably I’d have to mention Egypt too in the title. But anyway, so Real People, as opposed to Illusionary People, are people who realize that the life we live in is illusionary, or mostly so.

How our world is illusion.  In many ways. I’ll give you my two main explanations, though you may check the Buddhist or other explanations. So here’s how I see it.

First explanation: Consider the things you Really want to do. This constitutes your Real life. Consider the time you spend doing this and compare it to things that physical, social, and other needs force you to do. Which are more? I recently joked with participants to a public lecture that our problems in time management come from the wrong belief that a day includes 24 hours while it only has one and a half hours (Cairo life, elsewhere even in Egypt probably 3 or 4); this is after you take away sleep time, commuting, and doing things youd rather not be doing now. I might be exaggerating, but you get the idea. Most of the time, though our wrist watch says we’re alive, we’re not Really alive. Most people dont realize it. Real People, however, do what they have to do during the day but realize this is not their Real life, and for that they seek an unseen Reality that surpasses the mundane necessities of earthly life. They feel the Reality of the Unseen aspects of Life more than the visible unReal aspects. Hence they may consider our earthly lives as unReal or illusionary, since we have the illusion of living 24 hours but in Reality we live only one or two hours every day. Two hours out of 24 makes our lives less than 10% Real, or in other words, more than 90% illusionary.

Second explanation comes from my meditation on my favorite piece of literature in 2008, the wonderful Chapter 10 of the recently-published novella “By Monet”, by Mary Mourad. In this chapter, Mary presents in parallel the technique-philosophy of impressionist painting and the many levels of worldly Awareness, thus explaining each using the other in a most beautiful, natural, and simple way. I will not ruin the book nor much more of this specific chapter by saying much more of it, so I will use this idea of many-levelled existence to ask you what are our ancestors to us? How do they affect us? Like dreams, at best, which we may cherish or believe or fear or enjoy, or even forget.. but nothing more. And how Real are our dreams? Just as Real as we want them to be. Otherwise just mere illusions. We too will be ancestors, and our forechildren will decide how Real we are for them. What kind of Real can be erased by another?? Hence our existence is illusionary to us, as far as permanence and persistence goes. And thedisbelieve the authentic Reality of impermanent existence. Let us call this the Forward Dream Rationale of the Illusionary State of Human Existence. (Hehehe, just to show those scholars of the year 2300 that we were very serious and therefore real, hehehe).

Then there is what you can call the Parallel Dream Rationale. How Real are we to the owners of our companies? To people in other places? To even those who supposedly represent us politically? How Real was my existence to you before you met me? What about now? Whether you like what youre reading or not at all, or will read it again later when you have time to think about it and maybe comment, I am more Real to you than I was before we first met. Even now, as you read those lines, I could have left this world, and would you notice? I am a dream to you. We are all dreams to each other. Floating islands in the river of life; together, yet separate. Your own internal organs are but theory to most of us. Dreams. Some live on the cellular plane, some on the organ, others (we) on the organism plane, yet others on the business plane, others on the country plane, etc. We should note here that size is not the main matter here, at least not always. There are companies and real estate projects larger in land area and population than some recognized countries, yet the attention, awareness, and actions of the huge business are mainly business-motivated business actions, while those of the tiny country are state affairs, no matter how tiny the state. Each lives on a different plane that is sometimes so irrelevant to the other’s interests that they may not be able to communicate at all in some issues; not due to diagreement, but to incomprehension, even though they may seem to agree. Those isolated from each other by an important difference in Nature of activity, Geography, Historical era, Size, to name a few, live on different planes, and to each other, they are only as remote, unimportant, and only occasionally Real as dreams.

And my last explanation of the illusionary state of our lives will be the Vertical Dream Rationale, which also stems from the fact and personal perception (in this order) that dreams are only as real as we consider them to be, and that there are higher levels of existence more Real than us, for which we are as real as dreams, or breaths of air, are for us. These are the metaphysical levels of existence. Beauty, Wisdom, Corruption, War, Peace, Harmony, and other abstract values are more real than we are in almost all definitions, and their forces and powers are more real to us than many physical things. How Real are we to them? Are they more Real to our Creator than we are? Many scriptures from Ancient Egypt to Islam describe our lives/spirits to be a breath of Soul from the Creator into matter. Is a breath more Real, persistent, meaningful, or memorable than a dream? This Vertical Dream Rationale links back to the Constituency Rationale, if you want, that was my first explanation: we are only Real when we do what we want and believe in, not the other things; so for one hour a day you can be a seeker of Wisdom and the rest of the day you follow other values. Your life is therefore only such and such % Real.

It is already 8 in the morning, and I have to catch some sleep then do many mundane things before I can come back to finish this introduction.

[To be continued… Next time God willing more on Imaan, Spirituality, Religion, Reality, Real People, and God]



  1. Reality or illusion that you’re going back so powerfully to fill the pages here???????? and all in silence?????

    Amazing that this one hour per day can do so much!

    Thanks for the compliment btw: a friend told me about it. I’m back, are you?

  2. Still struggling to be back to blog online.. for the time being, I blog offline.. in my mind..

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