Zero = Infinity    *****    If you can enjoy sadness, then nothing can stop you from being happy always    *****    Love is the flow of positive energy from one soul to another   *****    An atheist can realise God more easily than the staunchest theist
January 11, 2006

Relationships - The illusion

A few experiences in the recent past have opened my eyes to see what relationships truely are. And I see them to be mere illusions. They simply are not real. Hence they deserve no special attention. This particular view is quite opposite to what most people probably may hold. However, this is what I see it to be.

To understand relationships, on which we spend so much time and energy, I have classified them into three different types.

1. Non-exclusive or All-inclusive relationships: This is the kind of relationship that each entity has with every other entity in the universe. It is based on the premise that everything in the universe is inter-related, and hence there is a relationship between any two entities in the universe. Now, this is a kind of relationship which is of no concern to anyone, because by the "all=none" principle, there is nothing special about any particular relationship. Therefore, it is unimportant for any entity to think of its relationship with any other entity. These relationships will always exist, no matter what happens. In any case, in normal daily language, we do not associate such a meaning to the word 'relationship'. Therefore, though this kind of relationship is real, it is not necessary for me to discuss this further.

2. Exclusive relationships: As the name itself suggests, these relationships are possible with only some entities in the rest of the universe, and the other entities are excluded. It is this type of relationship that is of concern to us, because, by the word 'relationship' we invariably mean this. We are concerned only with this kind of relationships. Under this, there are two types:

  • Exclusive-natural: These are those relationships we have, that have its origin in our birth. The fact that we are born as humans implies there is a father, and a mother. We may have a brother or a sister, who shares one/both of our parents. All the siblings of our parents are our relatives, and we have some kind of a relationship with them.
  • Exclusive-unnatural: Under this category comes friendships, love, and all our social contacts.

It is obvious to everyone that all these relationships would cease to exist the moment one of the persons dies. That itself renders all these relationships as illusionary. But unfortunately, when any kind of intimacy develops in any of these relationships, it begins to appear real. When we get emotionally involved, there seems to be a strong force which makes us believe that we have some kind of feelings for that person, and that the feeling is going to be lasting. Under that state of mind, we often tell ourselves, and the other person how important he or she is to us, and how much we love them, so on and so forth. But we fail to realise then that we are simply lying to ourself. We fail to realise that these relationships are simple creations of our mind, and that they therefore do not exist anywhere other than in our minds. A few simple observations would make us realise why it is so.

Firstly, was it not possible for us to live without them before they came into our lives? Will it not be possible for us to get on with our lives without them? Further, if at all something terribly goes wrong in the relationship, due to which we break-up, what happened to all those feelings? Does it not mean that every nice sweet word that was uttered when everything was alright is a plain lie? Most importantly, every relationship of this kind has its own limitations, due to which there is always a point where it can break, and it will break.

All this has led me to conclude this about relationships: Relationships are like the sand castles we build on the beach. They amuse us when we build them. But it takes only one large wave for it to be destroyed, leaving only the ruins, while we stand and watch in despair.

I will end by quoting a verse from the Bhajagovindam:

का ते कान्ता कस्ते पुत्रः
सम्सारः अयमतीव िविचत्रः |
कस्य त्वम् कः कुत आयातः
तत्त्वम् िचन्तय तिदह भ्रातः ||

Meaning: Who indeed is your beloved and who indeed is your son? Strange indeed are these family bonds; who belongs to you and to whom you belong? whence did you come, Oh brother! Reflect on the truth of it all.


Anonymous vinodh natarajan said...


ur quote "All this has led me to conclude this about relationships: Relationships are like the sand castles we build on the beach. They amuse us when we build them"

really shook me.. i think thats a good phrase.. u made me think there..

u really did.. good work on the blogs dude..

i visit here often.. keep it up!!

PS: no more orkuting

Blogger amused said...

affection without attachment...sort of bridges the exclusive and non-exclusive. when you let things happen through you, this is so natural.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you define relationship?

I give below my opinion on some of your statements:

"It is obvious ... the persons dies."

No way. You still cherish the memories.

"We fail to realise ....other than in our minds." are right. Where else did you expect relationships to exist. A written proof in court or what?

You can have lunch of "dried bread and jam" or a "big feast". Substitute lunch with life and the dishes stands for the various relationships in life. Even after having the dish, even though the dish is over, you still remember the nice feeling. But sometimes, it may cause stomach upset and can give you bad feeling :)

Blogger The Ignoramus said...

your opinions are right.. and it only goes to prove my point that relationships are illusionary. if what you have in your mind is anything from the past or the future, then obviously, you are not in the moment, and that makes you withdrawn from reality. Reality is what is. It is not what was, or what will be, because neither the past nor the future exists. That in itself makes the whole thing illusory.

The taste that is left is in your mind. Not on your tongue. The taste you feel when you eat is reality. The memories of it is just memories, and therefore an illusion.

To understand that it is an illusion, you need to have had the experience of thoughtlessness. An experience of total blankness of mind, which is when you just exist right in the present.

Blogger The Ignoramus said...


i would like you to have a name. perhaps you could be considerate enough to reveal it. even if you are my sworn enemy, you can comment here by showing your face.

Blogger Trespasser said...

There is only one relationship called love. Love is of two types :
1) Humanistic / Communistic : This is what you refer to as non-exclusive

2) Exclusive : This is marked by complete dedicationb and trust. When I say complete, I mean complete. For me, this does not branch out further into subcategories like natural and unnatural. It is all the same to me. The unnatural love is hard to find. The natural love is always there with you.

Blogger Trespasser said...

Relationships are illusionary ? Everything is illusionary except love.

Blogger Akshaya Aradhya said...

First of all -> It never occured to me , that one can express something so complicated (relationships etc) with the help of something simple like math logic :((

Secondly -> Sometimes, when you believe in something, it'll come to you.... no matter how impossible, illusionary, unrealistic it sounds... :)

Lastly -> Loved the post. If I am not wrong, this must be the best post you've written so far :)

Blogger The Ignoramus said...


Love is also an illusion. I am talking about the love that you are talking about. Not the filmi love. But it is the least dangerous of all illusions.


First of all -> I don't see the math connection.. wonder how u see it.

Secondly -> which is why a rational approach to God also cannot start with the belief in God. This however doesn't mean agnosticism or atheism. Another post may come to explain this better.

Lastly -> Compliments acknowledged.

Blogger Satya Smrti said...

I am happy that you came to the same thing I was trying to drill into you last year - remember, in my room? You concluded just like I did. By quoting Sankara. Who else can put things so beautifully?

Blogger Satya Smrti said...

Btw, good effort. Keep going.

Blogger Trespasser said...

Love is not an illusion. It is the only reality. I have experiencd it and I know that true and exclusive love can never be illusionary.

Blogger The Ignoramus said...

hmm.. perhaps.. it depends on what you mean by 'love'. If love is a feeling as it is often construed, I disagree.

Blogger pushkala said...

hmm.. yaeh... relationships are indeed a maya we knowingly get entangled too...
but do u realise that teaches us the differnce between happiness and despair.
relationship isnt jus limited to that extended amongst fellow human beings.. but largely encompasses the mode to GOD too....
countless great souls like the nayanmaars and al have adopted the method of establishing a relatioship with the almighty so as to enable them to connect to HIM..!!
as for me...... the castle that gets washed away when a wave hits..strenghtens my grit to develop a better castle a bit far away from the reach of the next wave...!
a lesson or two is to be learnt from evrything we see around us,

if we start saying all these are maya and if we start moving away from them......then .....its not maturity but cowardice in disguise..!
i personally feel, mayb , this is the reason y hindu dharma has put vanaprastha stage of life as the last phase.. aftr a man has gne thru all other stages!
maturity is something which one gains with experience.... maturity though can be virtue of relating to other's experiences.....its better when a first had experience is obtained!

so is this Maya... u need to know it .. feel it to understand the complexity!

sorry if my comments are too kiddish.. i jus typed in watever came to my mind! NO SECOND THoughts yaa!!

Blogger bharath said...

superb post.

It makes me kick myself for not reading ur blogs all that often.

Anonymous Katie said...

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do fo r that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
to provide you with guidance and support,

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share,
grow or learn...

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,

Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson,

Love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i certainly agree to a point that a relationship materializes out of emotional need to feed the nature. beyond this point there s no law of attraction or need to establish any relations. no beauty, no influince, no love, no sex, no change.

Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

<< Home

Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox with a 1024 X 768 resolution or higher

Get Firefox