Myths are stories of invention and imagination, without a determinable basis of fact or natural rationale. Some are invaluable as the cultural epics, and stories we grew up on, that served to inform, entertain, teach and develop our capacity to think, visualise and question. Some, on the other extreme are plain wrong, No matter how common and widespread, the latter kind lead to severe debilitating effects, regardless of the degrees of literacy or educational pedigree of the subscriber. Quite some remain in use to ‘ rationalise ‘ inferior customs in social institutions that are stark and abominable. and for perpetuating, holding and propagating, popular memes that promote regressive values and drive people to subhuman conduct.
Here are a few myths of ignorance that I have found tellingly dark and macabre in their effects …
Maya : Hindus are often heard saying, ” all this is an illusion.” Many use this belief to pass off insensitive behaviour, apathy or cruelty, as matters that ought to be accepatable. Some go beyond, perversely declaring to themselves and others that even the worst dehumanised conduct was not real, and was hence below our criticism; that, prevention had no meaning since ” all this is nothing but an illusion.”
To me, such people always seem to be caricatures and I could have a laugh at their comical inconsistentcy, if the beliefs also did not prove tragic for both the believer and the people about him. Deeming the world to be false, and nothing worthwhile, is based on a very popular but misunderstood premise : The world is a lie; Brahman alone is true.
These ” spiritualists,” religionists and neo-preachers teeming on social media seem ludicrous while drumming up a following for glory, from their living in controlled environments and soft conditions, savouring the privileged pleasures they very awaredly obtain from this very world about them – companionship, travel, food, sex, drinks, income, wealth, power, position and fame.
In actual fact, Maya alludes to the ‘ effect ‘ upon and within ourselves … of the world, people, being and things. The ” world ” in the saying alludes to our own mind, the personal relatedness we feel for, and differentiately value, in our perception. It is the attached universe that is exclusively our own. It is our ego and its world … id, existential or superconscious.
The Upanishads say, ” All this is Brahman.” And, Adi Shankar : This universe is Brahman…
The only thing false is the ego – differentiated – being with its broken perspective and the universe of meanings, of good and bad, it is laden with.