“The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a reality to be experienced.”
— J.J. van der Leeuw, “The Conquest of Illusion”
Jacobus Johannes van der Leeuw (1893 – 1934) was president of the Dutch Theosophical Society from 1930 – 1931, but, as was fairly common among the more philosophically inclined with family money, he’d also spent time testing the waters of various religions, and practices. He’d been a close friend of J Krishnamurti, but unlike Krishnamurti, he’d not lost his hopes for the New World Order that the Theosophists were promoting. He was killed, relatively young, in a plane crash in Africa.
Not a huge fan of the Theosophists, I do nonetheless appreciate the writings of some of their more noteworthy adherents. This particular quote is another one of those that serve as a kind of affirmation for me. Another way of remembering to keep everything in perspective – and to keep enjoying the ride.
I deviated a bit with this quote by giving the source material. I recently discovered that this particular quote has multiple attributions, but the earliest I could find was from van der Leeuw’s 1928 book on the nature of consciousness – the illusions we hold on to and the search for the reality behind the illusions.