Bô Yin Râ: Being Conscious of Reality
The Kober Press

Bô Yin Râ:
Being Conscious of Reality

Bust of Bô Yin Râ

The following is a translation of the chapter "Wirklichkeitsbewusstsein!" from a work titled Das Gespenst der Freiheit by Bô Yin Râ. It was originally published in 1930.

The copyright to the German original is held by Kober Verlag, Bern, Switzerland. This translation is also copyrighted. Permission is given to copy this file solely for personal use in limited quantity.

Copyright B.A. Reichenbach, 2016.

All human beings living on this earth in full possession of their mental faculties and their material senses, believe, in their own ways, to be conscious of  their true existence, because they know they have a body, and, owing to that body’s organs, are conscious of reactions to the outside world surrounding them.

In addition, all know of the names that others once had given them; and to some degree they are familiar with the tree of forebears to whom they owe their physical existence, as the fruit of bodily union, even if they rather felt like cursing those who gave them mortal life.

They know of the position they occupy in life; know of what they had been able to acquire by their work and efforts, but also what is still denied to their desires.

Most definitely they also know the titles and the privileges granted them from birth, or earned in the course of their activities in life on earth.

And yet, for all of that, they still are very far from knowing anything about their true identity; for everything they know about themselves is no more than an accidental trapping, taken on for a limited time, but which shall with unquestionable certainty one day again be taken away from them.

Something there is, however, which no one needs to take on, nor to lay down, because it is what all have been from eternity, are now, and shall remain forever; even if they deprive themselves of the power eternally to experience their identity with that which thus in truth defines their essence.

There is within us something that is not of this material earth, even if in our mortal life it can be apprehended only in a form determined by this earth.

That is what one should discover and explore.

Of that, above all else, one must become aware within oneself.

Those who have not probed the depth of that one gift within, resemble a beggar who aimlessly searches through empty streets in the dark, facing houses with firmly locked doors, and who looks up in despair to the brightly lit windows showing him that the others are now enjoying their feast, while he is still far from being “called” to his own.

There still are many who, like such a beggar, endlessly stray through such “streets in the dark,” seeking to intoxicate themselves in every squalid cellar den dispensing poison to benumb their souls, trying to forget their misery, while some no longer even feel ashamed of their despair, and brazenly will flaunt it.

If egotism is rightly condemned as reprehensible, insofar as it is self-assertion that will not recognize anything else beside it, one nonetheless is tempted to call for the like, when seeing that so many thousands neglect their own self-interest without thereby in the least being useful to others.

Wedged within a multitude whose individual members, excepting a few one can easily count, have long since forgotten their sense of self, and instead believe they have named that “self” when they have said their external “names,” all of  those carried away in the crowd are seldom aware that they know nothing about their true self, and are familiar merely with the temporally added, colorful tatters defining their persons.

This kind of denying oneself truly displays far too much self-effacement in respect of those others, who likewise know nothing about their own self.

Here, egotism might be called a virtue, since those who show concern for their true self might thus encourage also others to follow their example.

It continues to be almost unbelievable to the rational observer that millions in this life on earth derive exhilaration from wearing the assorted masks they have created, given that they know no longer who they truly are.

Wherever Reality is forced to give way to seeming appearance, deception is sure of its triumph;  and all deceive themselves who know no longer who they truly are, and have been from eternity.

The highest honor which external social life is able to bestow can never be worn as more than a covering robe, or an ornament.

Those who in this guise appear will then be judged as actually being what these tokens signify to all who greatly value them; yet what their wearers are in truth such value judgments cannot alter in the least. 

If, wearing this conferred apparel, they deemed themselves of higher worth than in their naked human creature state, they still live merely in a world of dreams, as the pathetic victims of hypnosis by their vanity, infinities removed from the remotest notion of who they truly are.

From long forgotten consciousness of their enduring nature, the faint sensation still reaches human mortals that everything that here oppresses them is alien to their being, and lies outside their timeless essence.

The unconscious striving toward oneself will thus become transformed to the most certainly conscious pursuit of freedom.

As everywhere else in earthly life, however, this pursuit promptly calls forth the phantom vision of freedom, which beclouds the clarity of sober thought by visions of beguiling promises which cannot ever be fulfilled.

Thus will human beings also here search for a “freedom” that is not rooted in necessity, and so accept as their “reality” the phantom image of some muddled theory, which day by day will only lure them farther from what truly signifies Reality.

Unless the shock of insight can still in time induce them to reverse their course, the fate of all such hapless wanderers through endless deserts will be the desperate starvation of their souls, or their suffocation in the searing waves of sandstorms of illusions, conjured up again from ages lost in darkness.

Preventing such an end, however, is a task that even rational thought is able to assure, by no more than the logically derivable conclusion that freedom rooted in Reality can only be achieved by virtue of alert sobriety, which promptly recognizes every groundless promise, however brilliant its appearance, as simply an empty illusion.

How could freedom become a prize to be found by those who themselves put on chains, at once to suppress all instinctive resistance, as soon as a phantom-born spook seeks to beguile their minds’ self-conceit?     

How could freedom be gained by human beings who themselves will eagerly forge the bondage they want to escape?

All the striving for envisioned freedom is here in truth inspired by the will that causes human beings to search for their own self.   .

Lacking the courage to admit they had lost themselves, they now will hide their anguish behind bitter laments for freedom, which only was lost because, in the carnival of masks displaying their need to seem important in the most external of domains, they also had lost  their own self.

Although they still may know their mask, they are no longer able to grow aware of the Reality for which their mask serves merely as a cover here on earth.

Besides, they long since have become so thoroughly accustomed to their mask that they accept it as their true identity.

They no longer know, nor do they care to know, that they are also something other than their mask.

To be sure, from time to time they well may have some doubts, but once they are again surrounded by the long-familiar masquerade, their every question promptly fades, and every doubt disintegrates.

Accustomed from youth to be seen in a mask, they are afraid to lay it aside.

In every mirror they have always seen themselves the way they wished, and now are feeling doubts they might no longer recognize themselves if they removed the well-known, trusted mask.

And, truly, it is exceedingly difficult in this day to discover oneself again under one’s mask.

Seekers who would find enduring certainty  revealing their primordial nature are besieged on all sides by teachings of the strangest kinds, as a rule promoted by self-appointed teachers, and all assert their claim to be accepted as indisputably certain “truth.”

In all these teachings, whether they would breathe new life into the wisdom of ancient times, or have sprouted from the brains of modern mortals, one certainly may also find reflections of conditional truth.

Many a word conveying wisdom is thus recorded, whether presented in modern form, or adopted from the treasuries of ancient peoples, which doubtless should be taken seriously by everyone earnestly seeking truth.

Even so, how very little has all that to do with the Reality wherein are found the strongest, most deeply anchored roots of human beings on this earth?

We must endeavor to gain consciousness of that Reality within ourselves if, after the millennia of ceaseless brawling, like beasts of prey that fight to defend their food, we finally still would establish forms of life that shall at least raise us to such a level that the human being’s fellow creatures on this earth, were they endowed with human faculties of judgment, would not for all time have to feel ashamed of humankind.

In order to attain such awareness of Reality there is no need for either some religious creed, or any system of philosophy.

No teaching of religion has been able to prevent that humans slaughtered each other, or tormented their fellow mortals far more cruelly, before their release by death, than ever a starving tiger, crazed with hunger, tore his prey to shreds.

No of the intellect, resulting from the optimistic mental labor of the great philosophers has ever kept nations from cutting each other to pieces, the moment when hatred, and envy, and craving to rule, as a trinity, inflamed the human creature’s animal instincts, and minds became enslaved by the obsession to annihilate.

We need to reach deeper levels if we would find the earth’s nourishing soil within us.

We must at long last think more deeply if we would also reach the conscious state within the roots of our being, as only then we learn to recognize how we ourselves will block the veins that give us life if, driven by the will  to climb, we suffocate the flow of life for others.

Guided by profoundest reverence we must discern the ground of what in our being is Reality, so that our feeling may perceive the grounds that call for a new orientation of collective will, which humankind must of necessity embrace, if it would not in rapid steps degenerate, and turn into a garbage breed of the creative will that brought forth creatures on this earth.

The blood-soaked and by muddy slime of putrefaction flooded path to such a back-formation into a species of animal that one day would look upon the apes of the jungle as “gods” from on high, regrettably has been already entered by multitudes of self-deluded souls on earth, so that it truly is high time explicitly to warn against that danger, which will not be averted by the dismissive laughter of benighted folly.

If you, a reader of these words, would consciously perceive Reality, you must let go of all assumptions that the goal here shown you, which your will is to pursue, could ever be attained by strange contortions of the brain, or any kind of mental acrobatics, through which the would-be “master” of his thoughts instead becomes their thrall, possessed by wishful longing after secret powers.

Nor is there need that you acquire knowledge of the kind that may be taught and learned in school.

Those who undertake to search for their own reality within themselves can only reach the goal for which they strive if, from the beginning, they pursue the path Reality itself has offered them in life on earth.

The issue here is not, in imitating Pilate, to enquire, “What is reality?”

We shall confidently leave that to those subtle minds that nine times have conclusive answers, but at the tenth reveal themselves as fools.

Here you should at first consider that as real what also a child perceives as  its reality.

Do not hesitate to speak of this reality in words your education taught you to employ, in order to distinguish concepts needed in the realm of thought.

Even though you are a skillful master of making such distinctions in the mental sphere, you surely need not sacrifice the knowledge of your intellect, since for the sake of the goal here to be reached, even what is merely an effect of final Reality may for once be accepted as “reality,” as it appears to physical senses.

Although you may no longer look upon as “real” what your body’s senses permit you to perceive, that which you experience by virtue of your earthly senses nonetheless remains the basis for the concept of “reality,” no matter to what heights your thought may elevate that concept.

In the same way, that which you perceive as “real” owing to your earthly senses,  must now become the point where you begin your path.

The very closest physically perceived “reality” you know is your own earthly body;  and only from that body will a straight and certain path allow you to advance, if in the end you also would discover absolute Reality.

The path you now will have to cover, by careful, steady, measured steps, is without question fairly long.

The goal, however, to which you in this way are coming ever closer, will also lend you strength to continue on your path with confidence and patience.

Set out with the conviction which every human endeavor demands if one day it is to reach a successful conclusion.

Here as well applies the old adage that the first step is always the hardest.

You are free, however, to determine yourself how you want to begin.

The only thing demanded of you is that you seek to let your entire body, from the feet to the crown of your head, become part of the consciousness that your true self embraces.

You well may think that this has long since happened, and no longer needed any special effort; but even so, you truly may believe me when I say that you are surely mistaken.

If you have not entered yet the path that here one needs to follow, you do not know what it demands of you.      

It is one thing to be conscious of your body’s cells by virtue of the brain, but quite another to sense that your entire mortal body is pervaded by the radiant current of your conscious self.

In order to achieve this goal, necessity demands enduring effort, uttermost consistency, and indefatigable patience.

Then, however, you can be absolutely certain you will reach your goal; and having finally attained it, all your struggling efforts will then seem but a paltry price for the riches you have gained, and shall not ever lose again.

Secure within the consciousness of your eternally engendered own reality, you have achieved the highest form of freedom; and now you only shall look back with horror on the days when also you were found among the crowd of the deluded who take a phantom from the depths of misdirected longing for the freedom they so fervently desire.