by Charles Feldman (Prana)
Maya is "what we are and what we see around us." The mind cannot go beyond the limits of time, space and causation. The world exists only in relation our minds. Our life is "a contradiction, a mixture of existence and non-existence." We are torn between our impulse toward selfishness and the morality of unselfishness. All aspects of our life have one end - death. We cling to life due to Maya. We each think we will get the golden fleece, due to Maya. Attempts at reform bring new evils in their place. The strong prey upon the weak, and this is Maya. The more we progress, the more we are open to pain, and this is Maya. Maya is a statement of fact that "the very basis of our being is contradiction . . . that wherever there is good, there must also be evil, and wherever there is evil, there must also be some good. . . . Nor can this state of things be remedied." Vedanta says that at some point, we will laugh at our being afraid to give up our individuality. We do good because it is the only way to make ourselves happy, and the only way of getting out of this life of contradictions. Desire increases through our attempts at enjoyment, as when butter is poured on a fire. Chastity is the life of a nation. Vedanta is neither optimistic nor pessimistic, because "our evil is of no less value than our good . . . ." Life is a search after the ideal. All religions struggle toward freedom. Vedanta has found something beyond Maya, and the Personal God is only the beginning.