>From: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: maya
>Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 03:00:49 EDT
>Just to keep things simple, I don't think you can go wrong translating
>"Maya" as "illusion," and that's the English word I've seen used most
>often. But then you really have to read the Fire Sermon to get a feel for
>what he means by illusion.
Words are rarely, if ever, simple.
Maya, semantically and conceptually, is of Hindu orgin. Derived from the
root ma (to measure, measure out, form, create, construct, display) has
multiple meanings referring to the power to create an illusion, the illusion
itself and the illusional quality of an object or concept.
As pointed out in the previous message, maya is most often associated with
the feminine. Experiencing maya equates fascination, charm and possibly
deception. It's probable that maya originated as an eastern parallel to
western's archetypal stereotype of the disingenous woman who weaves lies
(illusions) to meet her goal(s)... but that is something of a tangential
snippet of my own.
The Mythic Image, Joseph Campbell:
As a cosmogonic principle--and as a feminine, personal principle also--maya
is said to possess three powers:
1. A Veiling Power that hides or conceals the "real," the inward, essential
character of things; so that, as we read in a sacred Sanskrit text: "Though
it is hidden in all things, the Self shines not forth."
2. A Projecting Power, which then sends forth illusory impressions and ideas
together with associated desires and aversions--as might happen, for
example, if at night one should mistake a rope for a snake and experience
fright. Ignorance (the Veiling Power), having concealed the real,
imagination (the Projecting Power) evolves phenomena. [...]
3. The Revealing Power of maya, which is the function of art and scripture,
ritual and meditation, to make known.
Maya-as-projection, ie, maya as an illusion, is set in precise opposition to
ascetic revelation. There is evidence that TSE wants to make the 'illusions'
of urbane desolation ("Unreal") a specific counterpoint to ascetic epiphany.
The "impressions and ideas" which arouse the squalid "desires and aversions"
permeating A Game of Chess are indeed maya--illusions which prevent
ascertainment of shantih.
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