isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter iii (religious sects)

“A people brought up and nurtured for countless ages among all the psychological phenomena of which the civilized (!) nations read, but reject as incredible and worthless, cannot well expect to have its religious system even understood – let alone appreciated. The profoundest and most transcendental speculations of the ancient metaphysicians of India and other countries, are all based on that great Buddhistic and Brahmanical principle, underlying the whole of their religious metaphysics – illusion of the senses.

Everything that is finite is illusion, all that which is eternal, and infinite is reality. Form, color, that which we hear and feel, or see with our mortal eyes, exists only so far as it can be conveyed to each of us through our senses. The universe for a man born blind does not exist in either form or color, but it exists in its privation, (in Aristotelean sense), and is a reality for the spiritual senses of the blind man.

We all live under the powerful dominion of phantasy. Alone the highest and invisible originals emanated from the thought of the Unknown are real and permanent beings, forms and ideas; on earth, we see but their reflections; more or less correct, and ever dependent on the physical and mental organization of the person who beholds them. Ages untold before our era, the Hindu Mystic Kapila, who is considered by many scientists as a skeptic, because they judge him with their habitual superficiality, magnificently expressed this idea in the following terms:

“Man, (physical man), counts for so little, that hardly anything can demonstrate to him his proper existence and that of nature. Perhaps, that which we regard as the universe, and the divers beings which seem to compose it, have nothing real, and are but the product of continued illusion – maya – of our senses.”

And the modern Schopenhauer, repeating this philosophical idea, 10,000 years old now, says: “Nature is non-existent, per se. Nature is the infinite illusion of our senses.” Kant, Schelling, and other metaphysicians have said the same, and their school maintains the idea. The objects of sense being ever delusive and fluctuating, cannot be a reality. Spirit alone is unchangeable, hence – alone is no illusion. This is pure Buddhist doctrine. The religion of the Gnosis, (knowledge), the most evident offshoot of Buddhism, was utterly based on this metaphysical tenet. Christos suffered spiritually for us, and far more acutely than did the illusionary Jesus while his body was being tortured on the Cross.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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