I am less a fan of the word “illusion” every time I read it, especially in the context of spiritual teaching and philosophy.
Perhaps the issue is that in our culture, this word/idea carries with it a certain amount of negative connotation and meaning; it typically signifies deception, or superficiality; misdirection and masking.
That makes sense. What you see and experience by the five primary senses — and your mind’s interpretation — is in actuality not what’s really occurring. There are increasing volumes of science and practical evidence that explore this. That’s not the concern.
To awaken, empower and enlighten someone, telling them “none of this is real, and you’re kinda gullible for believing it,” is perhaps a little counterproductive. “You can heal your maladies with thought alone! Why are you choosing to suffer?” Indeed. Not helpful.
There is absolutely no doubt about the veracity of psychosomatic processes, and there are numerous ways to go about reversing damage, and restoring healthy flow.
There is absolutely no doubt that there’s a hell of a lot more going on around us than meets the cornea, lens, rods, cones, receptors and optical nerves of the eye.
But, we’re here, now, to heal the rifts, to bridge the gaps, and to color in the voids. We don’t achieve this any more easily by fostering cognitive dissonance, or self-abasement.
It always comes back to the feels. Before the mind has a chance to qualify, quantify and solidify a notion, behind the grand mirror is understanding. We will all experience this expansive perspective whether in glimpses, or by the occasional flicker in the matrix, or we will engage in a practice that allows us the means to peel back the veil.
Mediation can be a contemplative event, or it can be an act of unraveling the mystical. It can take a lifetime, or it can happen in a single breath. The illusion, perhaps, is that this needs to be difficult, or forced, or anything more than simple surrender.
The pain, the struggle and the perception is valid. It serves us, to a degree. The perspective, however, could serve to alleviate suffering with the smallest of shifts.
What if it is an illusion? If it is, you’ve been granted the license to worry less; don’t take it all so seriously, and have some fun with all this imagery, the props and your fellow illusioneers.
It may all be gone in a blink.