Is the World Just an Illusion or Real?

Is the world just an illusion or real? This is a question that some of the people who visit this website and blog ask.

The world is not real in the sense that:

  • Nothing is permanent in the world.
  • The reality or lack or reality of the world largely depends on our five senses.
  • Everything is vibration in various wavelengths.
  • Everything is made from the same tiny particles, so the same particles can take different forms.
  • Everything that we call truth depends on our prior mental programming and education. What someone deems as truth, someone else deems as untrue.
  • The world is an illusion not in the sense that it is non-existent, but in the sense that we create this illusion with our attitude, upbringing and ignorance. We often create with our feelings and thoughts an illusory world that does not exist. We create a veil that hides reality.

One can understand clearly the illusion only when he or she can free himself or herself from this illusion, and this does not come from just denying the reality of the world and becoming apathetic. This come from the ability to switch off the mind and look inside, and requires a lot of inner work.

We project our thoughts and feelings on the world around us, like a cinema screen on which pictures and light and projected. The screen is real, but the pictures are not. Yet, we respond and react to these moving pictures. They look real when we watch a movie. So it is with our thoughts, feelings and beliefs, when we project them outside. They look real us, and we do not see the reality that is beyond them.

Many things are made from clay, which we call by different names, such as vases, statues, plates etc, but nevertheless, they are made of clay, only temporarily turned into various objects.

You can many things from gold, bracelets, pendants, rings or earrings, yet they are all gold, temporarily shaped into certain forms, and given names – labels.

The clay and the gold are real stuff, but the forms are only shapes made from this stuff, temporarily existing, and therefore not real. This can give you some notion about really and illusion of the world.

Though the world is an illusion, you live in it. Even if you accept the unreality of the world, you still are subject to its laws. Even highly evolved souls have to eat and drink and have certain material necessities. Running away or becoming apathetic is not the right attitude.

Be in the world, but also be out of it. Do your chores and tasks, do your best in everything you do, but at the same time stay calm and emotionally detached.

People who have been able to rise above the illusion of the world, through meditation and inner work, and who have been able to attain real inner peace and what is called “enlightenment”, don’t necessarily live in secluded places and stop any interaction with the world, though some do. Some continue with the same life they lived before, working and taking care of the day-to-day chores and tasks. Some might start writing, and others might start teaching what they have learned. They don’t become apathetic or indifferent.

You might ask, if the world we live in is just an illusion, Maya, a dream, what’s the point in participating in anything if it’s not real?

You can’t stop participating, and acting in the world. Do what you need to do, but at the same time stay calm and detached. Look at the world, as not being real, but without running away from it.

This kind of behavior would make you feel more free and at peace. Live in the illusion, but at the same time let the life force inside you act and express itself. Always look within you, beyond thoughts, feelings and beliefs, beyond illusion. This will lead to inner peace, detachment and enlightenment.

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About the Author

Remez Sasson

writes and teaches, through his articles and books, about inner growth and awakening, peace of mind, and developing one's inner powers. He is the founder of, a website about meditation, inner peace and spirituality.

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