Question: Your book has stunned me (even after a long lifetime of ‘non-duality’ practices) and even though it often seemed like a dream or a game we are all playing I have felt compelled to play, to concede. The nagging question is “is the dream Real, as a dream? Is the illusion, since it occurs, Real as an illusion? For surely even a virtual reality exists, a movie exists even though it isn’t a ‘true’ story. Or am I using logic where it can’t apply? Must we surrender every last drop of common sense, logic and understanding we have ever been exposed to? Including the science you write about?
Response: You’ve long been acquainted with the two truths. What may be left is the recognition that these are not two. Is the dream real? Can’t say yes; can’t say no. Real enough to appear real. It’s Real, then? Can’t say yes; can’t say no. Reality is Illusion (p. 61). Though It appears as many, in Totality It seems as One. There is no point in asking, which is it? Nor is there any need to surrender anything. Common sense and logic can be useful in the everyday world. As for understanding, conceptual understanding is often useful as well—in a limited sphere…as long as we don’t grip it too tightly, or put too much on it. Complete Understanding, on the other hand, we’ve never been without. We only need to wake up. To just see.
Question: It “seems” from everyday experience that humans tend to be delusional...more so than otherwise...the efforts to provide direction toward “seeing” or “waking up” has a poor record for being of interest to us...is there anything to be said about this pattern except to point out its possible illusory nature?
Response: Yes. You can point out actual Illusion.
It is helpful to bear in mind that delusion is belief. Not so, illusion. For example, you see what appears to be water on a highway. You even see reflections of more distant objects in the “water.” As you draw near, however, the “water” disappears. It was a mirage. An illusion. Before recognizing the illusory nature of the experience, it’s easy to be fooled into believing that there’s actually water on the road. This is delusion.
My concern in The Grand Delusion is that people are regularly deluded into believing substantiality is Real—which is the source of virtually all pain and distress. I wrote the book to help people wake up from this “grand delusion.” (You may want to listen to my elucidation of the last page of Chapter 10 in The Grand Delusion. You can find it if you scroll down on the home page and click on the Wednesday discussions. Click on the talk, “What We’re Missing,” dated Feb 17, and then click again at about the 45-minute mark and follow to the end of the talk.)
Question: Does the Mind-that-is-All make substance? If not, because there can be no substance, does the Mind make a kind of a movie type reality in which all operates perfectly as if there were substance and its laws?
Response: You are making a number of assumptions here, but you seem to be pointing in the right direction. I will assume that what you mean by “Mind-that-is-All” (which is not how I would characterize Mind), is what I refer to as “Mind” in The Grand Delusion. So, I assume you are asking, “Does Mind make substance?” It does not, but not because “there can be no substance.” Strictly speaking, Mind doesn’t make a movie-like reality, either. It doesn’t make anything. As Huang Po put it, “There is only the One Mind and not a particle of anything else on which to lay hold….”
Question: Does living out of Reality—and also living in a world that encompasses the laws of physics (e.g., if I drop a raw egg from 3 feet up, it’ll break)—make a person kind of schizophrenic?
Response: Not if you just see. At that time, you might notice that these are not two different realities, ultimately. See page vii.
Question: You say "Reality is Illusion.” Is Reality the constant coming and going of seemingly separate things? What makes Reality different from the illusory nature of this seemingly concrete, conceptual world?
Response to Q1: Reality is the appearance of constant coming and going of seemingly separate things.
Response to Q2: Can’t rightly say It is different. Can’t really say It isn’t, either.