November 7, 2022•367 words
The illusion seems complex, and it is the deeper into the details you go, but it can also be cut off at the root and made simple.
A simple way to see it is that there's the real and the illusory (though in truth they're one process). What's real is seeing, what's unreal is what appears to be seen. What's real is hearing, what's unreal is what appears to be heard. What's real is smelling, what's unreal is what appears to be smelled. What's real is tasting, what's unreal is what appears to be tasted. What's real is feeling, what's unreal is what appears to be felt. What's real is thinking, what's unreal is what appears to be thought. The illusory is that which is attributed to what is sensed/experienced.
This is all relatively speaking in terms of how "things" are categorized and defined and is still more complex than the actual reality. What I mean is that the apparent object of perception isn't really what it appears to be to (what we typically attribute to) the eyes, ears, skin, nose, mouth, mind, body. In reality, what's perceived is inseparable from the experience of perceiving. The illusion is that there are countless things "out there" to perceive. The reality is that there is no "out there" or "in here" to begin with.
Going a layer deeper than sensation (though these layers also only "appear to be" within the same mode of differentiated perception), there appear to be countless thoughts and all these separate feelings. In reality, there is the sensation of thinking and feeling. The contents are interdependent and arbitrary in essence. Get caught up in the contents and you get lost in the illusion. Recognize their arbitrariness and you see the reality.
The perceived contents are arbitrary because they're composed of projected conditioned interpretations. Engagement with these interpretations causes one to experience them as incredibly complex. In a sense, it is complex. In another sense, it's simple. It depends upon the point at which one recognizes the inherent unfathomability of what's perceived. The point at which one recognizes that on the level of thought/language we're only ever engaging with ideas about, rather than the thing itself.