What does it mean to be in an illusion?

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2019 1478 words 6 mins 34 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2019 Paul West

llusions from the outside are not illusions at all. With the perspective of knowing everything about the illusion, the truth of it, you can't be deceived by it.

Being outside of an illusion is like knowing how the magic trick works. Or it's like solving a puzzle and never being able to go back and do the same puzzle again because you already know the trickery involved.

Once you've seen the truth, you can't go back. Once you know the answer, you can no longer pretend that the question is valid. Or even worse, it's like the joke that you heard several times already so it's just not funny any more.

This is also why the world is hell-bent on finding the next big illusion, because people keep wanting to be unconsciously absorbed into the trickery and deception of appearances. Once the 'show' has been experienced, it becomes 'old', and the ego keeps lusting after another illusion to replace it, in order to avoid the possibility that you might awaken.

Illusions can only be maintained while something is hidden from your awareness. And in fact what that means is, your awareness itself is hidden by something, because you can't see the whole picture - the answer eludes you. Only by being unaware of the whole truth can you be deceived by an illusion, so it requires your participation and willingness to become unconscious.

When some portion of your own awareness is unaware of what's really going on - you are in a state of semi-unconsciousness. And it's only in this state of unawareness that you can be deceived by an illusion. Only when some portion of your awareness has become hidden and blocked can something seem to make sense and yet be mistaken.

So let's say there are two characters standing on a stage in a play, doing their theatrical production. In the play, the two are enemies. The victim character has this big long story about how the perpetrator is against them, how they're so wrong and bad and guilty, and how they did this all to them. The perpetrator in the play sees the victim as some fake people-pleasing nutcase that needs to be taken down a peg or two, and they believe they are justified in attacking them. So the two are at war.

Now, in order for your awareness to believe the illusion of these characters, you have to have fallen for some kind of trick. The trick here is, that you believe both characters are being acted by two separate people. You also are somewhat absorbed into the story from each character's perspective and can see how each one seems justified in being enemies with the other. You see how they both are against each other, very much separate from each other, and want nothing really to do with each other. This entirely hinges around the appearance of SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES, and that a sense of IDENTITY has been associated with those differences. This reinforces the idea that these are two separate individuals, which is part of the power of the illusion.

What you suddenly find out, as the play ends, is that in fact, both characters have been acted by the same person, at the same time. Now, obviously this seems nonsense to the ego, impossible even. But to your mind this is perfectly possible. And when these two characters are actually inside your own mind, having a go at each other, your mind is in a state of unawareness - a split mind at war with itself with multiple artificial identities. The stories and the separate identities and the costumes and the drama and their relationship all goes towards painting this picture that each of them is separate. And given they are both characters in your mind, that means your mind has become split and is unconscious that it's actually playing both of them at once.

When it is revealed that in fact there are not two identities involved, but only one - and that this one is you - it then becomes impossible to believe in all of the illusions that suggest these two characters are two separate people. The cover is blown. The mask has come off. The truth is out. And now it becomes literally impossible, upon seeing that both characters are really one person, to believe any of the lies and stories that each was telling about the other. In fact their stories must be completely invalid and fictional and UNTRUE, because nothing that each one claims about the other can make sense if both of them are one person.

The victim can't possibly truthfully claim that the victimizer is out to get them, when the victimizer is the exact same person. Because then the victim would be literally attacking themselves through this person. And the victimizer can't be truthfully claiming that the victim deserves to die, because the victim is themselves also, and that means they'd have to believe about themselves what they believe about the other.

So when awareness comes, that there is a UNITY, a ONENESS, that spans what you THOUGHT was two separate things, illusions - obstacles to awareness - are blown and seen through and can no longer be believed. You only can have a single identity. There can only be one you. And if that one you has been pretending all this time to play out this drama with two identities who seem to be enemies, then admitting to having done BOTH of those roles has to reveal to you the truth. The truth is that you are one whole self, not two selves, and these two characters cannot be who you REALLY are, and their stories must be completely false.

So in order to step out of illusions we need to recognize where there is some sense of separation, or some story about how this is not that, or this person is not that person, or this person is separately doing something to that person without being affected by it, etc. That's the ego's illusion - that one part can be separate from another part and do stuff to them without any side effects. It's a total lie, because both parties are the same person attacking themselves. Once you admit to this and step outside of it, the bubble bursts, reality comes in and the lies are shown for what they are. You can no longer believe the story, or the joke, or the trick, or the question, or the puzzle, and now you SEE the truth. And you are whole.

This whole drama is going on inside you right now. There is a character in you which you think is all that there is to you - your persona self, which is trying to be all spiritual and special. And there is another character in you which you hate and want to be separate from and have nothing to do with, because it seems to victimize your little persona self, and you disassociate from that self and project it onto other people where you can keep attacking it to get rid of it. But it's really inside your mind and it's part of you. And all along, even if you block it out, YOU are playing the role of it at the same time as playing the role of this 'partial you'. And both are the same self.

When this truth comes to light and you accept it and recognize it, you can no longer believe the ILLUSION that someone else is doing stuff to you against your will. Or that someone else is victimizing you. Or that you are a victim in any way. Or even, that you are this small little persona self that's left over and separate from the other venomous hateful self that you tried to pretend was not you either. Neither of these selves are you, because they are both just illusory characters. Your ego - your persona self - is not you, and your 'alter ego', your shadow self, is also not you. And all along you've been pitting these two characters against themselves in your own mind and living out a nightmare. Wake up from that! You are one self, not two selves.

So illusions are just that, the illusion - the deception, the trickery, the appearance, the lie, the *seeming* truth, that what was one is two, and what is joined is separate, and that you are not your own enemy. And while you're inside of one or the other roles within that illusion, you will believe you are only that, and will be unaware, unconscious, of your whole self. Only when two become one will you snap out of the deception and become FULLY AWARE of who you really are, your whole self - your Holy Self, joined in Oneness with Holy Spirit. That's who you really are, behind the illusion of being unwhole and incomplete.

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