Many wise teachers have stated that it’s more imporant to show a person how to think than to fill his or her head with mountains of facts.
Yet, we live–or, for practical purposes–must pretend we live in a physical world where everything from reality to raising a family to enjoying one’s idle time is dependent on facts. We may not memorize them, but we rely on them as though they are our primary currency.
In The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, Deepak Chopra asks us to consider that while the facts appear to say otherwise, the self is not confined to the physical body. That is to say, the self might considered nonlocal, as no more within the body than anywhere else.
Science has been toying around with the concept of a holographic universe meaning also that the atoms within every object contain–in latent form–every other object that exists.
Of this, Chopra writes, “The whole universe is contained in every point just as the whole ocean is reflected in every drop within its depths. In Vedanta, this insight is expressed as ‘What is here is everywhere, and what is not here is nowhere.’”
Our comfortable reliance on facts urges us to repudiate such a notion. The fact is, we think, that everything certainly isn’t here because some of it’s miles away in Paris and some of it’s in South America and some of it’s within the far stars.
Is it? Or is that part of the illusion of physical matter?
Insofar as everyday reality is concerned, the world seems very solid, very nonillusory, so we can set aside–for now–just how one might navigate from place to place with one’s physical body if one fully understood the workings of the illusion.
We can though, like Chopra, consider the wisdom of the poet Rumi who maintained that the entire universe is contained within oneself. As we search for spiritual truth, such a notion brings us closer to all that is even though we may never physically leave our own back yard. It is, like the Kingdom of Heaven, within us.
Let the facts be stacked up like cordwood for the tasks where facts matter, but on our personal quests as seekers on the path, the facts are counterfeit money.