Western science can only manage to look at the external world together with its properties as if such a world were ready made and really 'out there'. This hides the fact that science is actually begging the question. Science’s standpoint wrongly assumes human perception is veridical otherwise known as faithful depiction. But from the Buddha’s standpoint there is, fundamentally, nothing out there. What we perceive is māyā which is a false reality superimposed over true reality. In our daily lives, the percepta are nothing more than mind based constructions. But for most people it’s all quite real and sufficient.
Mystics look within or in more modern terms, they are looking at the pixels on the monitor screen and in particular the programming. What the mystic sees as the world which common mortals take to be real, and take for granted, is really a kind of virtual reality world, a world whose aim is biological fitness (the more fit an organism the more it is able to survive and to reproduce its kind).
Everything the common person perceives through the body’s senses takes place within the biological fitness world which is not the true world—not even close. Buddhism never tires of saying that the world we construct through the five skandhas, namely, physical form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness are false and misleading. It is not our atman (our true nature); it is rather anatman, that is, something we are not.
This leads to a troubling question for the common mortal hooked on and enclosed in the world bubble of biological fitness. “If as Buddhism contends, the constructed world images we see through our five skandhas are not, ultimately, real then what are they good for?” The answer is still biological fitness. That is what they are good for. More pertinent, if you wish to become awakened you have to put aside the importance of biological fitness. Rather it is something to transcend not glom onto as if to salvage in some way. When Prince Siddhartha renounced the world leaving his wife Yasodhara and his son Rahula, meaning “the fetter,” he was renouncing the importance of biological fitness which for him was secondary to discovering the unconditioned: the true essence of reality.
Of the better way of looking, it is looking within.