The World of Make-Believe

"The World of Make-Believe" number 111 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

How to cope with the question of the world of make believe? Robert Aitken points out that "we don't know we are making believe" and these made up believes "encroach on our world and actually endanger it."

This is one of the hopeful signs of Zen practice, this waking up from making believe. Each one of us makes a difference. Someday there will be a tipping point and our world will be a little less endangered.

This 'make believe' occurs on both the gross and subtle levels. Whole cultural genres are grossly make believe. Some are so easy to see how they "encroach on our world and actually endanger it." Violent computer games. pornography, horror movies, patriotism, war mongering, Santa Claus, etc.

Subtler forms of make believe are so much more, well subtle. If we pay attention to our thinking we cannot help but notice all the make believe.

I feel like I've held back here. It is easy for me to say that "such and such" out in the world is make believe. The examples like those above seem outside of me. First we identify those notions that are make believe that are in us. This is some hard work. 

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.