God’s Illusion Machine
by Māyeśvara Dāsa
In 2006, British atheist Richard Dawkins caused a global stir with the publication of The God Delusion, a highly controversial work in which he argued that the religious suffer from a type of mental illness. Since the launch of the book, an enlivening debate has taken place between theists and atheists over the existence of God leaving a worldwide audience unsure whether God has finally breathed His last or is just playing dead.
God’s Illusion Machine presents a fascinating alternative to a debate that has largely been argued within the framework of Judeo-Christian vs. atheistic concepts. Drawing upon the world’s oldest body of knowledge (the Vedas), the author gradually exposes the material world as the ultimate illusory experience for wayward souls who prefer a self-centered rather than a God-centered existence. Learn about Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who creates the material world to facilitate the free will and independence of individual souls to live and enjoy separately in a world of illusion.
In contrast to Richard Dawkins’s assertion that the religious are suffering a delusion for believing in God, the author argues that both the atheists and the religious are under the spell of God’s own deluding energy called māyā that acts in response to a soul’s desire to experience illusion within the material world. According to the author, even Dawkins himself was inspired by Krishna to write his celebrated book on atheism, simultaneously allowing māyā for the atheists and providing stimulus for an intellectual discussion in which the Vedic concept of God’s illusion could be explained to a Western audience.
By applying the profound spiritual insights of Vedic knowledge along with a healthy dose of common sense and good humour, God’s Illusion Machine is an enthralling exposé of the deceptive nature of the material world and the false claims of materialists regarding the nature of life and love. Reality as we know it will never be the same as the author patiently and gradually unravels successive layers of illusion covering our eternal identity. It is a triumph of spirituality over both atheistic materialism and religious dogmatism.
God’s Illusion Machine is a work of major importance realigning Western religion, philosophy and science with eternal spiritual truths. It is an enlightening read for both the atheist and the religious, bringing spiritual certainty and true love to bewildered souls in troubled times. For atheists who like a good argument, for the religious who are stuck for a reply to Richard Dawkins, for fans of fantasy and sci-fi where forces of light and illusion contend in battle, and for the fortunate reader, this book will forever change one’s outlook on life and its meaning. As the rising sun disperses the darkness of night, so in the presence of Krishna (The Absolute Truth) māyā (illusion) cannot stand.
Māyā: The Ultimate Illusion Exposed
Māyā is briefly explained as an energy of God that facilitates the free will and independence of souls who choose to live and enjoy separately from Him within the material world. To the degree that one wants to distance oneself from God, māyā covers the soul’s original spiritual identity and particular relationship with God so that one can experience various self-centered (as opposed to God centered) activities within the material realm. To the degree that one wants to revive one’s relationship with God, māyā gradually recedes and knowledge of the self and one’s relationship with God is reawakened.
To the atheists, the idea that we could possibly be subject to such a massive illusion created by God is certainly an outrageous proposal to a mindset that is convinced of the present material paradigm as the only reality. To the believers in God, the proposition that they are also living within an illusory experience due to their own many separated interests from God’s own, is also a challenging concept to deal with and may be easily dismissed as a type of science fiction script, not to be taken seriously. However, the concept of māyā is an ancient one, and emerged long before science fiction movies and virtual reality machines started depicting and creating imaginary worlds. Moreover, its strength of persuasion lays not so much in trying to first convince the audience of the reality of things they can’t see, but rather, in its penetrating analysis and explanation of illusions within the world that they can see.
Consider, for example, our sense of personal identity. Whether professing or rejecting a belief in the soul and God, both the atheist and the religious, are, for the most part, firmly convinced that the body is who I am. We very much identify ourselves in terms of matter, not spirit. The average Christian, Muslim, or Hindu may believe sincerely that he has a soul, but he is meanwhile still very much convinced that he is the body. Religious or not, when it comes to self-identity, we are generally in the bodily (materialistic) concept of life.
We Are Not the Body
When we think of who we are, for example, we immediately identify our self with our body; we have a name, gender, appearance, colour, age, nationality, etc., that we accept absolutely as ‘myself.’ When we look in the mirror we think that it shows the reflected image of who I am and what I look like. However, ‘me’ (the man) is not looking at the same body as ‘me’ (the boy). From childhood to old age, the body changes completely, yet, ‘I’, the seer (or observer) of the changing bodies remain. I was present in the past and I am present now, but the body in which I am now present is completely different to the one in which I was present as a child. We are presently not in the same body that we were born in.
The self is the one who is aware and consistently present through the course of life as the witness of those different unfolding events; the body on the other hand is a completely different combination of chemical interactions every few years. The seer or self is thus incontestably and incontrovertibly different from the body, yet an illusion has been created whereby we become convinced that we are the body. Neither theist nor atheist within their respective Western traditions can explain this phenomenon.
The explanation provided in the Vedas does, however, hold the key to unraveling the otherwise impenetrable mystery of human existence, behavior and purpose. In God’s Illusion Machine, the ultimate illusion is exposed: We are not these bodies.