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The Flight from Reality

It was Woody Allen who quipped: “What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case I definitely overpaid for my carpet.”

Although written for comic effect, the idea captured by this simple witticism reflects a school of thought whose existence can be traced down through the centuries. Recently I heard a story, told by an easterner, concerning a guru who expounded the “illusion theory” in relation to pain and suffering. Shortly after spouting forth on the subject for several hours, one of the guru’s disciples saw him running for safety while being chased by a wild elephant. After the guru had climbed down from a tree in which he had taken refuge, his disciple asked him why, if pain and suffering were illusionary, did he run away? Pausing for thought, the guru replied “The elephant is illusion, my running away is illusion, everything is illusion.”. . .

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Michael Ramsden

Michael Ramsden, Apologist, is the founder of The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He spent most of his childhood in the Middle East and later moved to the UK, where he worked for the Lord Chancellor’s Department investing funds. Michael went on to teach jurisprudence at the University of Sheffield, while doing research in law and economics. His passion is to engage with people of all backgrounds and cultures about questions of faith, which he has been doing for over twenty years. He speaks in business, academic, political, and other settings across the globe, ranging from Europe and the Middle East, to Asia and the Americas.


COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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