Nandini Gosine-Mayrhoo
6 min readMay 27, 2020

The Eastern Philosophy We All Need To Get A Grip Of Now.

Photo by Nonsap Visuals on Unsplash

In Indian philosophy, Maya is illusion. Ultimately, it represents our individual and collective illusion that we are in any way separate from the Force from which we are created (call that Force what you may). Think of the gods performing magic, making us believe in things that turn out to be an illusion. By accepting everything as an illusion, we become attached to nothing. And by being attached to nothing, we begin to understand that we ourselves are nothing….yet everything — in the same way that the Force that holds the Universe in perfect order can be seen as nothing, yet everything.

Understanding Maya asks that we see beyond our everyday existence, to question the truth of things, in a way that we are not naturally inclined to do. It is an esoteric concept, but one that holds an acutely mundane relevance to what we may be experiencing now in this pandemic….cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when we have conflicting thoughts and emotions around any particular subject, which leads us to behave in ways that may contradict what we think we believe. For example, we may believe that the corona virus is highly infectious and accept that we must take the necessary precautions to contain it. But at the same time, we may question the advice we receive from experts on the subject. For example, we may question why big box shops can remain open to the public, while small businesses are asked to close their doors. Can’t the same precautions being taken by the big shops be taken by small business owners? So you raise this point with friends and family, who in turn question your views on the virus…whether or not you see it as a serious threat — which you do.

Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable. It forces us to think over, reconsider…mental gymnastics for which we simply don’t have the energy, especially since we’ve been sapped of all motivation by the sameness of our days. Every day is Blursday.

Well, these may be perfect conditions to get to grips with Maya. When things are ordered, when things make sense, it is difficult to not think of things as real. When things are chaotic, when things no longer make sense, it’s much easier to buy into the illusion theory. What exactly is true and real? Is any of this distorted existence real? By real, I mean…is…

Nandini Gosine-Mayrhoo

Shifting Paradigms Freelance Writer/Ghostwriter/Editor Connect with me