Though it is true that the world is a figment of our imagination, like the snake, and that brahman is the reality underlying its false appearance, just as the rope is the reality underlying the false appearance of the snake, this application of this analogy fails if we try to extend it further by inferring that just as the snake will be found to be a rope if we look at it carefully, the world will be found to be brahman if we look at it carefully. No matter how carefully we scrutinise the world or any other second or third person object, their illusory nature and the true nature of their underlying reality will not be revealed, because by attending to them we are sustaining and perpetuating their seeming reality. Their unreality will be revealed only if we scrutinise the first person, the ego, which is the false foundation upon which their seeming existence rests.

 –       Michael James Happiness of Being

Note: In this explanation, the first person refers to the phantom "I" or ego, the second person refers to thoughts and feelings, the third person refers to physical objects.

Remember, to know Yourself, return to the silence before words.

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