Lakshmi Series

Pleasure, Pain and The Senses

Lakshmi Series - Pleasure, Pain and The Senses

Our journey today concerns illusion, the nature of illusion and the way out of illusion.

Illusion is a state of mind. It's a way of seeing things that is not exactly correct. Everything that we see with our eyes, feel with our bodies, taste, touch, hear, everything that we think, everything that we feel with our emotions, all things that we are drawn to because we consider them to be pleasurable, all things that we seek to avoid because we consider them to be painful, these are all a product of illusion.

Illusion means to not see things exactly as they really are.

Illusion comes in many different forms. Illusion means to not see things exactly as they really are. If you're depressed you can walk through a field of flowers and see nothing to make you happy. If you're joyful, if you're elated, you can walk through a dark and desolate area and feel nothing but joy. While perception on the physical level certainly colors our experiences, perception on the mental level or on the emotional level has even a greater effect upon our awareness. But let's begin at the beginning. Let's begin with pleasure, pain and the senses.

In order to get a clear picture of reality, of what we are and what we are not, it's necessary for us to look beyond the body. Most people use their physical body as the ultimate point of reference, as the polestar in determining their life's awareness. We conceive of ourselves as being a body, occupying a certain amount of physical space, being so many centimeters tall, weighing a certain amount, being a particular color, having green or blue eyes - we think of ourselves as being physical, in other words.

Now, my point all along has been that you're not really physical, that you are, if anything, a breeze. You are a wind, a wind of luminous awareness that is sweeping through a dream, a landscape that constantly changes that's made up of a variety of different colors, and that as the breeze of your awareness blows through the valley of your dreams, through the different colors, it gives life to them. Death is the transmutation of this awareness, when the breeze blows in a new way or ceases to blow at all and becomes something that we really can't feel. You might say it goes someplace else.

Life is the beginning of the wind. What was before the wind? What remains after the wind? Only eternity and eternality, that which has always been and that which will always be - nirvana, the void, completion, ecstasy beyond imagination, God.

Here we deal with the wind. And when the wind blows, even in the outer world, in the physical world, it's always a good sign. Because there's energy or prana in the wind; the force of life itself is the wind.

In the realm of the senses there is little or no wind. That which you call a body, that which appears to be dense and physical, packed full of atoms and molecules, DNA and RNA, protoplasm, that which you call a body I say is not physical. I say that it is only physical because you think it is physical. Simply because you can touch it and taste it and see it, simply because you can put your ear to someone's chest and hear their heart beating, this to me proves absolutely nothing. This to me is a dream of limited awareness, as all of life is a dream.

The senses are dreams, five different dreams that run together. The senses are the dreams of limited awareness. You are, if anything, spirit, what I call the wind. The wind blows and frees us all from the trap of maya or illusion. You consider yourself to be physical. When you think of yourself you think of your body. I would suggest that your body is only another image in the dream, a dream that is given life by the wind.

Rama smiling with his arms crossed wearing a designer suit
Seeing is the ability to tell what really is.

The works of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz are reprinted or included here with permission from

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.