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The Illusion

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Jesus teaching

Everything occurs in consciousness.   We are dimly aware of something beyond us, but still identify with the character on the stage. Jesus was aware of his identity with the Divine and could see the world as mind-stuff, so much so that  he could control matter.   Jesus said that we would do these things and more.   He taught His disciples to perform physics defying miracles. Why then do we distance ourselves from miracles?  We pray for miracles but really don’t believe in them.  “Ye of little faith”, is certainly our motto.   There are countless examples of levitation, healings, bilocation, not requiring food or sleep, raising body temperature to ward off cold and many others amongst  Western and Eastern saints.    

In Hinduism, physical life is called Maya, the illusion or appearance of the phenomenal world. This is in consciousness--appearing real.   The cosmic illusion, maya,  literally means, “the measurer.” Maya is the power in creation by which limitations and divisions seem to exist in the Oneness that is true reality. According to Paramahansa Yogananda,  the ancient Vedic scriptures say that the physical world operates under one fundamental law of maya, the principle of relativity and duality. Since God in his absolute form is Complete Unity, the only way He can appear as the separate and diverse manifestations of creation is under a false or unreal veil of maya, or illusion.

I might describe  Maya as that within the unfathomable immensity of God’s Mind, humankind has carved out a tiny space in which it experiences limitation and pain. A little separated mind within Supreme Mind.   Imagine how powerful God is if he can leave a space where mankind is able to create this amazing world, which  does not even touch  the Real Divine Mind.

Buddha is very clear in describing this perception of a material world  as Dukkha.  All separateness is a projection of distortions in our mind.   Searching for anything in the phenomenal world is a fool’s errand, since there is nothing external to our mind.  Even death is a false perception based on our belief in separateness.  

There is a self-hypnotism that we engage in as part of our illusory perceptions.  Don Ruiz calls it the domestication of humans.    Jung developed a marvelous theory of the  collective unconscious to understand the power of our conditioned  belief system. On a deeply unconscious level, we believe in guilt, in a causative dualistic universe.  Further,  we are conditioned by  society and  our family  to see the world in a certain way.   Over many  lifetimes and millennia, we have allowed layers and layers of false beliefs to deepen our ‘hypnotic trance’ of believing ourselves to be limited and unworthy.

It’s no wonder, then, that in the face of a miracle our mind wants to shed itself of the tension between believing in the supernatural and being a sane science minded intellectual.  We often rationalize our supernatural experiences  away.  For a short time, an individual is often grateful and amazed about a synchronicity or a miracle, but quickly dismisses it as  coincidence.

Let me sidetrack for a minute to bring up something that I think causally relates to understanding  the idea that everything  is consciousness.    It is not unusual to hear of someone having a lucid dream.   Lucid dreaming is being aware in a dream that one is dreaming;  In that awareness people experience various levels of control over the dream state.   Lucid dreaming has been widely documented.  In the dream the person decides to wake up, or to fly or to create something pretty in the dream.  This is awareness of a dream state and effort to control the dream, but still not an understanding of the content of the lucid dream.  Not that many people practice Jungian dream interpretation, but a good percentage of professionals subscribe to the theory:  Everything in the dream represents something in our mind.  That makes sense, though it is hard to really follow.  Since the dream happens clearly in our head, it must be that the events and people represent something in our subconscious mind.  Even knowing that, though, we tend to feel victimized by the dream.  It takes determination to truly see that the circumstances of a dream are based on constructs in our own mind.  What I am proposing is much more taxing.  Pay attention to the content of your deeper mind that  affects  your life.  It’s like having a lucid dream and analyzing  the content from within the dream. The lucid dreamer is aware to some extent of being in a dream and works to control the content.  In our waking life folks rarely feel in control and even more rarely work to understand the symbology of their life. Here we are ‘dreaming’ we are separate from God and from the unlimited  good within us  while  trying to seek  it in an illusory world.  We are seeking  that which is already within us. 

When we dream,  things in the dream seem real.  We rarely question even the most absurd things that happen while we are dreaming.   Colors are vibrant, people chasing us seem really bent on hurting us and we feel deep down fear.  Kisses feel like genuine kisses.  But the entire experience is a projection from within our mind into our dream consciousness.

In our sleep dreams we ‘think’ we are making choices on our own, correct?!  Our dream ego believes it is making a choice to go here or go there and do this or do that. But it is not. The dream body does not choose.   That self is a figment of our unconscious fears and wishes.  Those unconscious impulses  drive the behavior of the dream body and  get projected into the dream content.  The unconscious wants that experience so interprets the events as self-directed and purposeful.  The unconscious interprets the events as REAL  Our mind creates the ‘dream self’ and its exploits; then interprets those exploits as revolving around a false self.  See how full and detailed and extravagant those dreams can be.  They seem real.  They seem purposeful within the dream. 

Well then,  if sleep dreams seem real but are not, what makes you so sure that waking consciousness isn’t being dreamed, too?   Our minds legitimize the insanity of life.   People come and go; circumstance change capriciously, and we make mistakes that we promised ourselves we wouldn’t make.  Loss, death, and conflict usually make no sense.  A healthy person gets suddenly ill.   One minute a country is our friend, the next it is our enemy.  Now, what were we arguing about?    

I am suggesting that dreams, lucid dreaming and our waking life are all happening in consciousness and amenable to understanding and control.  Analyze the content of your life.  What are the themes that show up in your waking life?   Rather than reacting, observe! Issues of unworthiness, loss, control, and relative victimization are there to understand and be released.  It is not the world that is creating the unworthiness; it is the belief that we are unworthy that creates a limited mindset.  

Deeper issues and beliefs of our mind  get projected and acted out both in our dreams and in our life.   “I, of myself, can do nothing.”, is not only a reminder to relinquish to God, to Higher Mind,  but also that our body really does nothing.  It’s our mind that causes the body to appear to do things, just like in dreams.  But what are we doing in our powerlessness?  Rather than understand and overcome, we argue and stress about religion, God and scientific theory?     

The conflict between science or religion, psychology or philosophy  are specious. It’s not an ‘or’ thing, it is an ‘and’ thing.   When God created the universe, He utilized science.   HOW they are integrated is the question.   Clearly, our mind is part of existence.   It’s not if, but how.  There is clear evidence of the placebo effect and illnesses disappearing despite a prognosis otherwise.   Thus, it’s not if, but how!   This is where psychology steps in and demonstrates how perception and expectation participate in our experience of the world. Projection is a mighty process.

We are acting out our unconscious issues. For example, we don’t want to face our dependency so we either cling unhealthily to a person or blame them for not being enough for us. We then ‘see’ those issues in people and events in our world. It’s called projection, like the movie projector. We project our internal unfinished issues onto our mate, in particular. We don’t want to see it in ourselves, so we see it or a reflection of it in them. At a personal time of insecurity just a glance or voice inflection from the other can lead us to attack. For example, Sam is very tense coming home from work, while Mary is feeling insecure about herself after realizing she is up five pounds. Arriving home, he asks her critically why they aren’t having the chicken and dumplings that she had promised. Obviously upset she yells that he never appreciates her. He dumps his built-up frustration and self-criticism on her while she projects and blames her insecurity on him.

 If we could see this clearly, we would realize we are not controlled by events and people around us, but internally directed. Nevertheless, we react to the world as if it controls us, not realizing that our conscious and subconscious mind is affecting, if not creating, the world around us. So, we react to an event with fear or hurt or anger and guess what? We create more fear, hurt and anger!

Why did Jesus say , “"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.”?  What does that statement point to?   Clearly, he had woken up.   He knew that humans are existing in a dualistic dream state.   Jesus  really knew that inside of every atom of so-called material creation is God and that if we align ourselves with God, then the outer world will take care of itself. Even though the material world seems solid and independent it actually is a subset within God’s Mind.   “Seek ye first the kingdom of God!”, he encouraged.   But we cannot quite get there.  It’s just like accepting a miracle;  the tension between  our ‘rational” science beliefs and  our faith beliefs is too stressful.  We have underlying beliefs that get in the way of our spiritual realization.  Really, what we’ve done in our separated dream state is rationalize the physical aspect as important while  minimizing the deeply spiritual.  Jesus has come to us in our dream and is demonstrating miracles and encouraging us with teachings.   “Do not worry, little flock, …”.   We take the message and convert it into words that are palatable to our ego.  It happened a long time ago, we tell ourselves,  He’s the son of God, or that the story is just a myth.  There are many theologians who believe that the fish and loafs miracle in the new testament was a ‘social miracle’--people shared food they were hiding under their cloaks.   That interpretation is really great, but it does dummy down what probably really did happen.   Our separated mind is able to turn the incident around to fit into the logic of this three-dimensional  life.  We rationalize, deny, minimize, and explain away God moments.  Remember Jesus was awakened. He  realized that human beings exist as a thought in God’s consciousness.  He could see our Oneness.  He realized that the personal self is a dream of fearful separation, from God and from the Body of Christ.

In our fear, we have twisted the truth and believe God kicked us out of Heaven.  That is so irrational, it defies logic on the face of it.  An all-loving Creator, who knows how undeveloped we are is going to personalize our dream of fear. We ate a metaphoric taboo apple and God banishes us from the kingdom?  Come on.   It was us that turned  our back on God and moved  away from Eden.  It was probably innocent enough at the time: “I wonder what it would be like to be totally  on my own?”, said the Body of Christ.   Even though we are not apart from  God Power,  our human mind dreams of separation. In our guilt we blame it on…the woman.  That’s a good one……no, the sneaky serpent.  Ah!! But that’s not sufficient. We end up blaming it on  God.  We are so evil even God can’t love us, which is ridiculous.  Remember, this is all in our dream within a dream.  All the while we are totally connected to God but imagining we are separate!  It’s obvious, isn’t it?   All the power we have, we get from the Divine.  We Choose -right now!- whether we are abiding in God or doing it on our own.  It’s still God’s energy.  Right?!  We are inside God and He is in us.  It’s our decision whether we want to do it in harmony or with effort, whether we allow God’s love to flow through us or color it with our baggage.   “Do not take thought for tomorrow..what you will wear…”  Over and over, we are told:  Trust the Father’s love and be in a space of Love and what you need and want will be brought to you.  We can assist the state of Grace by trusting, by getting quiet, by being Love and by not tensing up in our life-dream when something happens that is not in harmony.

Another frame of reference that supports these ideas of connectedness is in the science of quantum mechanics.   There is much controversy; however, numerous studies point to what  many of us suspect to be true:  The physical universe does not exist separate from our thoughts.  Our individual mind participates in the actual structure and events of our life and the physical world.  The experiments are amazing.  Utilizing subatomic particles, they point to time collapsing and the observer affecting the actual state of the energy particle being observed.   This is all just as complex and difficult to grasp as the ideas of Oneness and life being in consciousness!   It does help, though, triangulate on the validity of our spiritual vision.

This can be hard to grasp at first; we are so accustomed to thinking that the world and events around us are causative.    The reality, though,  is that our individual and collective mind influences the shape of the world. Spirituality has taught this for centuries, but scientifically it is difficult to prove.  Quantum science is  endeavoring to verify a multidimensional theory with three-dimensional science.  There is much supportive evidence, though.   Carl Jung led this theory over one hundred years ago with his ideas of the collective unconscious.  Indian mystics have known this for centuries.   Many of us believe this to one extent or another already.  Jesus reportedly  changed water into wine.  That qualifies as mind affecting matter.  Many scientists doubt that fact, religion makes it super-something, even though Jesus told us we would do that and more.  Suppose you evolved to the point that you could turn potatoes into pears. What do you think would happen?  People would flock to you, call you a magician, ask you to fix their clocks, be on their TV show, but would they ask you the secret to life.   Very few would. 

Why do we not seek more deeply  the secret of life?   Do you truly want to know that you are One with God?     I think most people are fearful.  The habitual activity of our life feels safe.  The spiritual path does not feel safe.  The ideas of mind over matter are curious but they turn our whole life on its ear.   Do you really want to face being called to be a miracle worker?    There is often an internal cringing from that path, which is a hurdle the seeker needs to cross.  Spirit will not open a door we do not want.  Do you desire the union with God more than anything?    If we did dream ourselves out of heaven, then it was our choice.   If God is total Love, then He wants us to return. We need to choose the door Spirit is pointing to. 

In my opinion, everyone has a slightly different path.  Each door looks slightly different.   But there are mostly similarities on the Path.   Do you believe you are being called?  Do you desire the door to be opened?   We need to believe that Spirit is an aspect of God’s Love ever pulling us inward.  The path is about listening, having Faith in the calling, trusting our inner sight.   We need to decrease our reactivity to the illusion of the world and increase our love and gratitude.  It is simple but difficult to give up our past conditioning.   You are now opening to the Truth.

Despite being an illusion, the world is our experience. Within that context, what we experience is real. Losing someone is painful. Getting fired from a job because someone threw you under the bus is frustrating and scary. That is real. Recognizing that our experiences are a dream within a dream, that our fears and desires are getting played out in our life, though, can take the sting out of the ups and downs. The unfairness of life is mitigated when one realizes that the circumstance is a theme being acting out on the stage of life.  One hurts, cries, feels frustrated but does not retaliate or become excessively despondent because they see the karmic cycle of life.   Love is the antidote.  Faith in the unseen is a key. Trust in your ability to face the loss and recreate your life. Then, by digging deeper into your inner spirituality you discover the well of tranquility and abundance that is your true Self.


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