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Illusions and Perception

There is a lot of confusion these days about what is and is not illusion. Some say “all is illusion” while others say it’s only perception that is illusory. I tend to agree with the latter definition: Illusion is a distorted form of perception whereby one sees things not as they truly are.

The simple definition of illusion is "not perceiving things as they really are." Perception itself is an illusory device, because we never perceive anything as it actually is. We could say that reality is merely different configurations of vibrating energy in a quantum flux. How we view that reality will always be in distortion, at least as long as we are in human form. Then there are psychological illusions that only exist to the perceiver, such as fear. Fear is an energy pattern in the mind of the perceiver.

”Evil” is a state of distortion whereby one separates out one or more parts of creation as being less deserving of Infinite Love than other parts of creation. It involves judgment, projection and blame. The illusion of duality is created by separating oneself from part or all of creation, at least mentally (in actuality it is impossible to separate oneself from Creation).

”Good” does not triumph over “evil”, but rather, the illusions of “good” and “evil” are dispelled and the reality beyond duality is remembered. The Oneness has always existed, and existed all the time we were having the dream of duality.

The natural world and all creatures in it are not illusions; however, the way we perceive the natural world and other sentient life is an illusion.

The Universe consists of energy patterns, waves and particles, and even this is not an adequate description. In other words, the description is part of the illusion. The word is not the object, the mental picture is not the reality.

Perhaps the question really is: Can we directly experience the reality behind the illusion of appearance? I especially like the Matrix analogy presented by David Icke in his various books. The so-called “real” world is nothing more than particle-waves (like the binary computer readouts in the Matrix movie). It is our consciousness and the consciousness of all life that organizes the particle-waves into energy patterns that we can perceive. Another recent movie, “What the [bleep] Do We Know?” explores the quantum Uncertainty Principle in a highly entertaining form. The Mind of the Creator and the individual minds of the extensions of the Creator (known as souls) collectively make up the Matrix. There is an energetic reality beyond the personality or ego self, but it exists within a collective field, at least in this manifest Universe. In the higher realms, things may be a bit harder to analogize.

The key, then, is to learn to transcend perception and experience life directly through inner knowing. The problem is, it’s usually the ego trying to do this. The ego obviously cannot transcend itself, but perhaps it can understand itself well enough to realize its true position as servant and not master. When the ego stops trying to control everything, the higher senses (psychic, intuitive, clairvoyant, etc.) are able to arise, and perception changes. Self-awareness is the key to transcendent perception.

The Power of Belief

Randi the magician has an ongoing offer to pay $1,000,000 to anyone who can demonstrate that psychic phenomena is real.* It's my bet that he'll never have to pay up. Why? Because to him, it doesn't exist, and no amount of “proof” by Russian scientists will ever be enough to satisfy his extreme denial. What we don’t want to see doesn’t exist for us, and unless something comes along to sufficiently shake our belief, we go on living on a flat earth**, so to speak.

[*As of this writing, Randi the magician was revising his beliefs regarding UFOs.]

[**There is an actual group called the Flat Earth Society that still believes the Earth is flat.]


Fear is one of the most prevalent illusory perceptions in today’s world. We see it every day in the media. We see its subtle forms, such as anxiety, stress, nervousness and restlessness. In my book Life On the Cutting Edge, I give a proof that fear is an illusion. It’s based on the illusory belief that someone or something outside ourselves can harm us or destroy our peace of mind. This is only true if we believe we are separate from God and Creation. Once we remove the belief in separation, there is no fear. Seeing that this is an illusion, we can move right through the fear to the reality on the other side.

We must stay fully present with fear -- notice everything about it -- it's color, texture, bodily sensation, how it arises, how it dissolves, what thoughts it generates, what actions we take, how we try to deny it, etc. Avoiding IS the fear itself. Only awareness dispels it.

Believing the Drama is Real

Ram Dass once said, "Before enlightenment it was me and my STUFF!!! Now, it's just me and my stuff." The “stuff” was still there, but swami's awareness had grown so much that the stuff was now just a little pile of poop instead of a mountain of sh*t. You’ve heard the expression “Don’t make mountains out of molehills.” And I’m sure you’ve known at least one (probably several) drama kings or queens. These folks take life way too seriously. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You might lose your body. Someone might kill you, or torture you. You might wither away, alone and in poverty, starving and wasting from disease. All your loved ones could die horrible deaths. The world could be destroyed by nuclear weapons.

Notice a pattern? All of these involve the physical body. But we are soooo much more than our physical bodies. Once we realize we are Spirit, our bodies become merely vehicles for communication on this plane of existence. Not only are they no longer all important, but moving into Spirit automatically causes us to draw into our lives only experiences that promote our spiritual growth – and that rarely involves any kind of violence or suffering.

That's how it is for a lot of us now. We've been around the block a few times and have learned to recognize how the ego blows everything out of proportion as it vainly tries to save us from ourselves. More and more we are coming from center (Spirit or Soul) instead of from ego, and it feels wonderful in a solid sort of way. Of course, things can still blow us off-track, but they don't seem to consume us as much anymore.

We cannot wish or do away with the ego. That's because it's the ego that wants to do away with things in the first place. When I'm centered and clear within, I laugh. When we’re tempted to buy into one of the illusions of the world, such as "I'm at the effect of forces beyond my control," that's when it’s time to remember Who We Really Are. We are soooo vast. We are loved by God so much that our minds will NEVER be able to conceive of more than a tiny fraction of that love.

Choosing Spirit

A Course In Miracles says “every moment we are choosing between the resurrection and the crucifixion.” To me, this means that every thought can be life affirming or life denying, loving or fearful, real or illusory. Are we giving power to illusions and trying to make them real, or are we embracing our Divinity? In the Bible, the "knowledge of good and evil" refers to the belief in duality. This knowledge of good and evil brings with it a burden, as stated in Genesis. But isn't knowledge better than blissful ignorance? Yes, but we must go from knowledge to transcendence. Knowledge includes being aware of just how deeply we bought into the belief in good and evil. Once we see every crack and crevice of the darkness inherent in this belief, the light of awareness dispels the illusion of duality and we remember that all is Spirit.

A Word About Compassion

An important point that I’ve made before is that once we realize the power of belief, and the truth that our perceptions (thoughts) create our reality, we may be tempted to dismiss the suffering of others as “their belief; they created it; it’s their karma.” Or we may go one step further and say, “It doesn’t matter that children are starving because the world is an illusion.”

To review our lesson on dimensions and densities, let’s remember that it’s 4th dimensional consciousness that spouts the "all is illusion" rap in order to avoid looking at issues. Fifth dimensional consciousness is love and unity, and love always finds some way to respond to a call for help. Millions of our brothers and sisters are calling out for help, and the Love Within will respond if we open to it. Love's help may or may not appear as outer action, but closing our hearts to suffering is definitely not a 5D response.

The real question here is about being guided by one's own God Presence to help in the best possible way. My soul often attracts other souls either to help me or be helped. I do not need to go out of my way seeking to help others, nor should I be worried about rejecting a plea of help. Love is spontaneous and natural and if I'm listening to WHO I AM, I will respond appropriately. Sometimes it may look like active intervention; sometimes like nothing at all. Spirit knows what it's doing, my ego does not. Our egos do not know all of the ramifications of any assistance we offer. Maybe that spare change we gave to the man on the street went for alcohol. Then this drunk man stole a car and mowed over a dozen people. Or maybe that smile we gave prevented the suicide of someone who later became a major figure for change in the world. All of us affect the world more than we can imagine.

All of the above discussion can be distilled down to one sentence regarding perception: God’s Love within us is real; all else is illusion. Yes, it’s that simple.

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