The Conquest of Illusion

This book is remarkable for its very clear exposition of the nature of illusion and the need to pierce its veil and find the reality that exists at every moment of time. “We always seek in the wrong direction,” says Dr. van der Leeuw, “we always want more time; we demand even endless time in our quest of immortality. Yet the infinitely greater Reality is ever ours to enter if we but will.”

Dr. J. J. van der Leeuw, the author of this book, received his Doctorate of Letters at Leyden University in the Netherlands. After serving as head of the Theosophical society in the Netherlands and actively working for the Society in various parts of the world, he came in the thirties to the United States of America, where he was a university lecturer and a field organizer for the New Education Fellowship.

“The author has something to say, which he perceives to be true and useful, or helpfully beautiful. So far as he knows, no one has yet said it; so far as he knows, no one else can say it. He is bound to say it, clearly and melodiously if he may; clearly, at all events. In the sum of his life he finds this to be the thing, or group of things, manifest to him-this, the piece of true knowledge, or sight, which his share of sunshine and earth has permitted him to seize. He would fain set it down for ever; engrave it on the rock, if he could; saying, “This the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved, and hated, like mother; my life was as the vapour, and is not; but this I saw and know; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.”
RUSKIN, Sesame and Lilies.

The Conquest of Illusion

By J.J. van der Leeuw LL.D.

Author of 'The Fire of Creation', 'Gods in Exile,' 'The Dramatic History of the Christian Faith,' &c.
Alfred A. Knopf: London and New York
1928
[Republished by Kessinger Publications in 2003]

TABLE OF MATTER

CHAPTER ONE THE QUEST OF LIFE
The Philosophy of Experience--The Birth of Wonder--The Mystery of Life--The Vision on the Mount
………………..1

CHAPTER TWO FROM THE UNREAL TO THE REAL
Our Dual Universe-The Way of Sense-Perception-Our Body too Part of our World-Image-Our World and
The world-Illusion and Reality-The Experience of the World of the Real
………………… 15

CHAPTER THREE INTUITION AND INTELLECT
The Twofold Mind-Intuitive Knowledge and Logical Proof-Science and Philosophy---Occultism & Mysticism
…..44



CHAPTER FOUR THE ABSOLUTE AND THE RELATIVE
The Realization of the Absolute-Can the Absolute be Known?-Absolute and Relative in Religion-The Absolute and the Relative in Man-Wrong Problems in Philosophy-Esoteric and Exoteric…………………………………….68

CHAPTER FIVE THE MYSTERY OF CREATION
The Problem of Origins-The Scientific Answer-The Insufficiency of the Scientific Answer-Wrong Problems
and Wrong Answers-Time and the Eternal-The Rhythm of Creation-The Absolute as Creation………………..92

CHAPTER SIX SPIRIT AND MATTER
The Problem of Duality-Monistic Solutions-Matter and Spirit as ‘Aspects’-The Problem Itself Erroneous
-The Experience in the World of the Real-Matter and Spirit as Relations ……………………………….116

CHAPTER SEVEN THE PHANTOM OF EVIL
The Opposites, Good and Evil-Good, Evil and Reality-Good and Evil in the World of the Relative-Our Social Code of Ethics …………………………………………………137

CHAPTER EIGHT THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL
Freedom and Necessity-Analysis of the Freedom of Choice-Freewill and License-The Problem in the World of the Real-Misinterpretation by the Intellect-The Reality of Freedom---Partial Views ……….155

CHAPTER NINE THE JUSTICE OF LIFE
The Problem of Injustice-Substitutes for Justice-The Doctrine of Karma and the Justice of Life-The Erroneous Nature of the Problem-Justice in the World of the Real ………………………..179

CHAPTER TEN THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL
The Quest of Immortality-The Denial of Immortality by Materialism-The relation between Body and Soul
-Survival not Immortality-The Illusion of Immortality-Eternal Reality … ……………………….199

CHAPTER ELEVEN IN THE LIGHT OF THE ETERNAL
The Meaning of Life-Practical Philosophy-World-Affirmation and World-Denial-The Practice of Reality
-In the Light of the Eternal ………………………………………………………………..218



THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO

J. KRISHNAMURTI

AND TO THE MEMORY OF HIS BROTHER

NITYANANDA

IN TOKEN OF AN UNVARYING FRIENDSHIP
AND IN REMEMBRANCE OF
OJAI DAYS