Thursday, June 24, 2010

From the Unreal, Lead me to the Real

from Darkness lead me to Light

Mankind has been exhorted by the ancients, and their writings throughout time, to seek-out knowledge which would elevate a person to a higher state of consciousness and being; bringing one closer to the essence of that which really is.

The following is an old Sanskrit verse:

“From the unreal, lead me to the real;
From darkness lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality,”
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, 1.3.28.

So, how is it that we, who live in this post-Modern world, which is literally filled with distortion, misinformation, and fabrication, able to find that which is real?

The plain and simple answer is "think!" It means that we use our minds to critically analyze what we see and read, and not just accept anything that is presented to us.

Any article may have a tiny kernel of knowledge embedded somewhere within its content, and this kernel may seem to give the whole of what is written credibility. Yet, this kernel may oftentimes be simply a siren’s call. A siren’s call which often masks the overall distortion contained within the written material.

The ancients have left guide-posts for us to follow, if we but use them, and are, indeed, sincere in our quest for knowledge and wisdom. These guide-posts will, indeed, lead us from the unreal to the real.

One of these important guide-posts is known as discernment, or in some cases as differentiation, or discrimination, and is a technique that may be used in finding out what is real. Discernment, itself, may be defined as a keen perception of judgment. Discernment is vitally important for a person to be able discern the difference from what is implausible and that which is plausible.

In Sanskrit, discernment is termed Viveka, and most often means discerning or discriminating between what is real and what is unreal. What is an illusion, or false, and what is true. So, why is it so important to exercise our mental ability? The importance is that through discernment we may, indeed, gain enlightenment, and see “beyond” the illusory world we live in, and into that which is real.

Discernment also comes through the practice of making choices by deciding what is rational and makes sense from that, which does not. “Discernment has been central to the life of faith, at least since Biblical times, and is referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures and the writings of the New Testament…it is most closely associated with Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Jesuit order,” writes Kris Haig.

To embrace anything without first thinking about it, applying discernment, or verifying it in some way is called blind faith, and there is a reason the word “blind” is used. Michael Simonson says, “My definition of blind faith is to ‘believe in something you know nothing about.’ The act is reckless, senseless, thoughtless, mindless, short-sighted, unthinking, and an absolutely lazy approach to your thought-life.”

So the next time you read or see something, or perhaps even something you may have already read, and it seems a “little” bit out there, practice discernment and see what happens, and as the old Sanskrit verse goes, “From the unreal, lead me to the real.”

© Roger Allen Baut


  1. I think, *this* is awesome. Some of the stuff I get sent on FB, Twitter, etc. is so far out, or it's based on something way out of date, or clearly inaccurate. A quick google almost always turns up the facts so easily. And a lot of weird Internet stories just don't jibe with reality as we experience and know it ourselves, yet people forward those along the soonest, I think! I always wonder, why didn't they just google this before they mashed share to just blast on to their friends.

    Anywaze, good job with this essay, Roger, I am glad there are still folks like yourself that get it!

    1. Thanks Steve! Appreciate your thoughts and perspectives on this subject, and I agree with you 110%, with what you have written!

      Roger ☺

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