Last Updated on January 20, 2020
UPDATE (January 29th, 2010): I wrote the following blog entry back in March 2004. Please see my book Peace, Power, and Presence for a far more up-to-date exploration of what I now refer to as Wisdom for a Life of Freedom. Compared to the following blog entry, I am sure you’ll find the book far more coherent and less rambling in nature.
Here I attempt to give a brief outline of what I am referring to throughout this web site when I refer to ‘The Illusion’. I give this outline for the sake of clarity in order to help ensure that we are standing on common ground—at least intellectually if not experientially—as I explore various topics in the numerous articles now on this site [referring to my old website at feal.org].
So, what is the illusion? Well actually you’re looking right at it. These words, this web site, your computer, the internet, everything around you is actually all a part of ‘it’. Obviously it’s necessary for me to elaborate which is of course what this article is all about.
I am going to attempt keeping this as simple as possible—yet already as I write I am aware of how complicated the human ego-mind has become and hence it will invariably complicate things when you read my simple explanation of the illusion. In light of this it may be necessary for me to directly address some of that complication in order to give you a better chance of going beyond the complication and returning to the simplicity. Let’s see how we get on.
Simply put, ‘the illusion’—or Maya as it was referred to in various eastern spiritual traditions—is everything I perceive through the five senses. The word ‘illusion’ simply means “something appearing differently from how it really is”. Actually let’s take a look at the dictionary definitions from www.dictionary.com:
- An erroneous perception of reality.
- An erroneous concept or belief.
- The condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief.
- An unreal image presented to the bodily or mental vision; a deceptive appearance; a false show; mockery; hallucination.
These definitions pretty much sum it all up. What I would like to impress upon you is that everything you perceive—see, feel, touch, think, smell, etc—is an illusion. Now please read that again and then read the above definitions again. Do this again… more slowly this time. Allow what is being expressed here to sink it. Give some time and space to consideration just what it is that you have read.
So, that was the simple explanation. It says it all yet the nature of the human ego-mind is that by now you have probably already had a whole lot of thoughts and feelings thrown up into your perception that are trying to make sense of just what the implication of the above statements really amount to. So, here’s some further explanation for those that want it or believe they require it in order to get a clear feeling of what I have just explained. Oh, and I will add that I don’t anticipate you will necessarily understand simply through reading these words. Really understanding the illusion is an experiential state of being that has to be unveiled within you. These words may simply assist with some of the early steps toward that unveiling.
As far as I can ascertain this world is a projection of our collective mind.
This universe is also the projection of an even greater collective mind.
Creation as we know it is something the ego-mind has dreamt up. That which I AM is the Creation of God—an extension of God created by God. God created that I AM in His—or “Her” if that works better for your ego-mind but for simplicity I will use either—likeness. Hence the Creation of God has the same power to create that God has. Somewhere in the scheme of things the ego-mind created the illusion of separation from God. (Actually even that’s not entirely accurate. I struggle to put this into words.) As it is not possible for separation from God to actually exist, the ego-mind created it in a way that is not too dissimilar to how you make things up in your dreams at night. The reason it is not possible to create actual separation from God is because this would against what God created—namely that I AM an extension of God and hence at One with God. The only way I can create something that contradicts this Truth is to simply dream it up. The ego-mind is the product of mistaken identity. It is neither “good” nor “bad”. It simply is what it is. So long as this world has meaning for you then I would suggest that the ego-mind has purpose and should be taken care of, or at least not ignored or squashed.
The whole universe has been dreamed up in this way.
The whole universe has been dreamed up in this way. Yes, it is a grand illusion. I am still trying to experientially work my way through this dream and until I do that’s about all I can say.
Something I find rather beautiful about the illusion is that it requires the Light of God to illuminate it. I will use a metaphor that might explain this in a clearer way.
I would like you to imagine a film projector. God created the projector. The projector is You and I as the One and only Son of God—I trust you can cope with my use of fairly traditional Christian terminology in explaining all this. I am not a Christian but I have no issues with this sort of terminology and find it relatively meaningful. I am aware that for some people “it get’s right up their ass” or at least makes them pull make because in their experience Christianity has given Spirituality a pretty bad name for many people. If you are one of those “quite all this Christian crap” people then please do your best to get over it and realise this has nothing to do with any religion and nor does it have anything to do with whatever past memories and experiences you are meeting this article with.
Now, back onto the topic at hand. The projector is You and I as the one and only Son of God. The film running through the projector is the ego-mind. Don’t ask me how in God’s name—no pun intended—it got there, but I will let you know when that is experientially revealed to me. For now I don’t think it matters. The image on the screen—the screen of your Mind—is everything you perceive. Whether that be all the details of normal daily human existence, UFO’s and spiritual entities channeling all sorts of spiritual mumbo-jumbo, heaven and hell, other dimensions and planes of existence, time and space… you name it, it’s all a projection on the screen of your mind.
Now, the significant point illustrated by this metaphor of the projector is that there has to be a source of light. The film itself has no light and has no power and can not produce any image. It is the Light that passes through the projector that is then altered or qualified by the various vibrations (colours) on the cellulose film and this produces the appearance of various moving images on the wall. You Awareness, which is an extension of God, is what provides the light. It is also what ultimately sees the images on the wall, although you will not know this until you’ve stopped identifying with the ego-mind (the film strip) and started again identifying with the projector and ultimately with God—the creator of the projector.
So why do I say this is significant?
I say it is significant because it means that no mater what you are seeing in terms of the illusion it is always going to imbibe or be infused by the Light of God. Do you get what I mean? The image on the screen of your mind is everything you have ever perceived in your life (for instance), and that image has been possible because there is a source of Light going through a ‘film strip’—your ego-mind—and projecting out onto the screen.
So what this means is that if the illusion is perceived in the “right way” it is possible to use the illusion to untangle yourself and set your Mind free from it all. It also means that everything you see around you is profoundly symbolic of the Truth or that which is behind the film strip. It means that it is possible to “see the gap between one frame of the illusion and the next” and in that gap will be the pure Light of God and That which I AM which—with enough discipline—you will be able to focus onto within your awareness and follow it back out of the illusion. I don’t expect any of this will make much sense but I suspect it has by now started creating a sense of struggle and strain within your ego-mind. Well it will do if you are giving serious attention to what I am saying here.
There are many things that can be said about the illusion. For instance, time is part of the illusion—so the linear continuum of time that you are so used to actually does not exist. It too is a product—or projection—of the ego-mind. What this means is that everything that you perceive to have happened within the illusion over the course of time has in fact all taken place simultaneously in one Now moment. Even more to the Truth is that in fact NONE OF IT ever ‘happened’ at all. Just like the dreams you have at night. They seem oh so real when you are in them but when you wake up you wake up to the fact that “none of it happened”. Again, read over this a few times and let it sink in.
Separation is also a major aspect of the illusion. First and foremost is our apparent separation from God. ‘Apparent’ because it is not true. Then there is the apparent separation between you and all the other people on this planet. Then there’s also the separation between this planet and the other dozen or so in our solar system. Separation is a major facet of the illusion and again, it simply is not how things are. Something else that arises through the belief in separation is ‘the belief in more than one power’. What I mean by this is that in our relative world of illusion there God is NOT the only power active in our experience. Disease has power. People can have power. Countries have power. Laws and institutions have power… etcetera etcetera The Truth is that there is ONLY ONE POWER and that is God. If you could but grasp the full ramifications of this Truth your whole world would change in every regard.
Obviously there are millions of rather interesting ramifications of what I have just shared with you. It pretty much undoes all of what we have considered to be true and real. What you specifically attach to and identify with within the illusion will determine just what the ramifications of the illusion will be for you in your experience. I don’t intent to go into any more at this time, but please explore these within your own meditations and times of contemplation.
UPDATE (January 29th, 2010): I wrote the above blog entry back in March 2004. Please see my book Peace, Power, and Presence for a far more up-to-date exploration of what I now refer to as Wisdom for a Life of Freedom. Compared to the above blog entry, I am sure you’ll find the book far more coherent and less rambling in nature.