Updated: Apr 23
"Your world, of desires and their fulfilments, of fears and their escapes, is definitely not my
world. I do not even perceive it, except through what you tell me about it. It is your private dream world and my only reaction to it is to ask you to stop dreaming."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The above excerpt is taken from the book "I AM THAT" and is in answer to a question about the wars and suffering of the world.
For me, this is one of the most powerful statements in the whole book but one that many people find difficult to understand. So perhaps I can attempt an explanation...
In short, we cannot prove the existence of anything that we do not perceive in our own consciousness. Modern-day Quantum Physics is now reaching the same conclusion. That every apparent object exists purely as potential until it is observed. In other words, until it is created in our mind. Think about this for a moment...
Let's say you are sitting in your office. What proof do you have that the room next door exists? None! It only appears in your consciousness when you apparently go next door.
Now, let's extend this example to cover the topic addressed in the quotation above. What proof do you have that all the apparent troubles of the world actually exist? None! They are simply creations of your own mind based on desires and fears and the desires and fears of the collective consciousness to which you voluntarily subscribe.
This is why you should never try to change the world. Moral crusaders that think they can go out and change things for the better have failed to notice that they themselves have first created the problem! By stating that there is poverty, for example, one has subscribed to the concept that poverty exists and thus goes out in search of poverty to fix. Then, since it is a creation of one's own mind, one inevitably finds it. Thereby continually perpetuating the very problem one wishes to eradicate!
So what to do?
Be very still and very aware. In that still awareness, see that the world you perceive arises as a dream and is a reflection of the state of your own mind. It is consciousness knowing itself as itself. You will see that apart from the mind, there are no problems. In fact, ultimately, there is no mind thus no world thus no problems. There is only consciousness.
As infinite consciousness, live your own truth free of problems. This is Self-realization.
If every apparent person, the relative collective consciousness, were to come to this truth, then where would the problems of the world be?
Do not try to change the world. Change yourself.