Maya / Mara

   It was Schopenhauer who realized that Kant’s a priori forms of sensibility and the a priori categories of logic were simply equivalent to the Hindu idea of Maya.  So these two philosophies – European rationalism and Indian mysticism – flow together marvelously in the work of the nineteenth-century German Romantics.  Schopenhauer asks in a beautiful paper of his called “The Foundations of Morality” how it is that a human being can so experience the pain and danger of another that, forgetting his own self-protection, he moves spontaneously to the other’s rescue?  You see a little child about to be run over and you’ll probably be the one who’s run over.  How is it that what we think of as the first law of nature, the law of protecting this separate entity, is suddenly dispelled and a new law takes precedence: that of what Schopenhauer calls Mitleid (“compassion”; literally translated as “suffering with”)?  Schopenhauer says the reason is that in truth a metaphysical realization has come to you and has broken through the veil of separateness – you realize that you and that other are one.  You are, together, the one life that is showing itself in various forms.  That’s the breakthrough to where the gods are; a god is simply a mythological representation of these mysteries transcendent of separateness.     G18


Maya   It was Schopenhauer who first recognized that the Indian concept of maya and Kant’s concept of the forms of sensibility and the categories of logic were equivalent.  TMTT 131