A World of Illusions

I’m a big fan of a well done illusion. The magician takes out a deck of cards, shuffles it, and does something that totally stuns everyone watching. It’s unexpected. It’s a fantastic illusion. It looks like magic. It’s just well placed science and art, we know this intellectually, but our eyes deceive our brains. Sometimes an illusion is so craftily put together, so outrageous in composition, that we simply are not capable of figuring out how it was done. It defies all our attempts to explain it.

It’s still an illusion and not magic.

We fall into a similar hypnotic trance if we read a particularly engaging novel. We’re transported from wherever we actually are into a fictitious world that feels almost as real as the one we normally occupy. And it’s no different when we watch a good TV program or movie.

It’s still just an illusion.

When we create scenarios in our minds about upcoming events based on trajectories we’re keen on, we can become embroiled in fights long before they would even occur. We are often adept at creating the very inner-illusion of our problem externally when we meet with the circumstances we foresaw. In fact we do this kind of thing habitually and repeatedly to the point we don’t even notice that we make many of our illusions into an unnecessary and painful reality. 

Being mindful means shedding light on this strange illusion-making habit we have. Maybe we can stop it, and maybe we can’t. Maybe we can change it.

It’s a matter of great curiosity why we continually perform these self-sabotaging ‘magic tricks’ on ourselves. I don’t have any answers or pointers about this. I just find it curious.

I too create these illusions, but then I put them into novel format (whenever I can). I purposefully create the illusion on the page. This achieves a couple of things. One, it often (definitely not always) puts a stop to the outer discord I would otherwise sow. It also helps me release any unrecognized emotions floating around under the surface. Or at least see that they’re there. Sometimes those emotions are too strong and they trip me up as predictably as you’d imagine. 

The idea of using the creative power of inner illusion and putting it on the page is it traps some of the energetic investment there. It doesn’t escape as easily from your projection to the page and out to the people around you because as you review it, you can begin to see the absurdity of it.

Illusions are powerful. We need to be conscious of them because they really can negatively impact our daily lives. Our phones and computers can be a major contributing factor to this–especially social media.

Think about this just a moment: you are reading words on a screen right now. And you’re reading words on a screen when you look at your social media feed. The difference is in what those words evoke or provoke in you as you read them. Now, they could just be words on a screen if you wanted to be all Spock about it. That might even be preferable. But words illicit and influence what we think, how we think about something, and our actions or reactions. 

If you really think about it, our words are programming ourselves and others in a way that has never before in history been possible. Our words are programming a very large audience all at once. Whether that’s through social media, or blogs, or tweets–our words can create powerful and even dangerous illusions that can actually harm others. Or help them. Or really powerfully and radically help and change someone’s life. It’s up to us. 

The amazing thing is that it’s up to us how we want to program and condition ourselves to change our words, create better illusions, and make better realities and conditions as a result. It’s up to us.

With these same hands we can create tools of construction or destruction. That’s on us. It’s up to us. It’s not a ‘one person job’. It’s a collective humanitarian effort. 

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