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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination or Fantasy (Vedanta)



Hi Henry and others,

OK, māyā it is. I wrote maayaa, because of the inability to write the diacritical marks. It's too clumsy to do so, as I don't have that keyboard feature installed or turned on or whatever, so I had to pull out my character viewer to write it correctly here.

Māyā is has to do with the appearance of the world to us, and how its illusions are apparent to everyone and their apparent power, so the illusion is posit in the world, not in the mind of an individual. It refers to the apparent reality we find ourselves in which is called "mithya" (dependent reality). Māyā has to do with power, how it invokes our wonder, like magic does. 

Moha has to do with a person who is deluded, so that would pertain to a state of mind of an individual. It isn't meant to be humiliating, just factual. Māyā and moha are not juxtaposed concepts used together. That's just a coincidence, as I was attempting to figure out what you might have meant by "mara." They both start with "m" and have to do with illusion, though.

Certainly fantasy can be included in that state of mind I'd think, but fantasy isn't the only way one can be deluded. I'd say trying to understand something doesn't make one deluded, that's just being ignorant about something. I can see how easily it is taken that being ignorant is confused with being deluded, and how it might get associated with humilation, or how it can be mistaken that way. I figure if ignorance and delusion were identical then everyone on the planet must be deluded, since no one knows everything there is to know. And actually that fact is what makes us human. And even gives us something to talk about on well established listservs!

Getting back to fantasy: we can have fantasies and enjoy them, but not act upon them, or at least if we do we can do so harmlessly. Child's play is this way, isn't it?

I also consider when I'm in a movie theater and the moment my mind is drawn into the story of the movie, I believe that this is a form of fantasy, also harmless, as the drama unfolds upon the screen. I don't have a sense I am imagining the story, because it feels real to me, even if I am imagining it as real. The self-awareness of imagination is gone when I'm watching the movie, so I feel that experience is a form of fantasy. Maybe this is why we love movies?

I'm not sure how I see my suggestion to imagine a balloon and change its colors as concrete. (And I'm amused to juxtapose the words balloon and concrete!) This doesn't happen in the real world were I to show a balloon and then change it's color. So I'm missing something there.

I'd like to ask if fantasy vs imagination has to do with how they inform our activity or our motivation to act? If there is something to unwind there? In other words, we can have imaginations and we can have fantasies, and then we can act on those states of mind.

Do the activities become problematic based upon how "real" we take our states of mind to be? Or is it something else?

For example, is a revolutionary (not necessarily political, but incidental, or accidental) someone with a convincing imagination? or a pied piper of fantasy? It seems like it depends.

Donald Trump certainly is deluded. And there seems something fantastical in the way he imports himself.

We want to have a better world, but need we be revolutionaries to effect actual change? It's odd that we don't have a different word for a person who inspires change. How about "evolutionaries" (ha! my spell check just changed that made-up word into "revolutionaries"! so even my laptop is against me!)

I agree that the XMCA multi-threads are fascinating to read as they twist and turn and I'm grateful to learn what others have to say about imagination and fantasy.

Kind regards,

Annalisa