Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion. ~ Arthur Koestler
Our greatest illusion is to believe that we are what we think ourselves to be. ~ H.F. Amiel
If we only knew what Illusion is, we would then know the opposite: what Truth is. This Truth would liberate us from slavery. ~ Boris MouravieffThe experience of disillusionment is one that is common to all. It is safe to say that at some time or another, every human being has had the experience of believing in something that turned out not to be true. The initial shock that comes when one's perception of the world is revealed to be at odds with the hard facts of reality can range anywhere from mild disappointment to a feeling of overwhelming psychological trauma.
Whatever the degree of deception, the realization that one has been believing in a lie is a painful experience, not only psychologically but physically as well. Like a punch to the stomach, it can feel like one's breath has been taken away. And because our beliefs about the world are interconnected with other beliefs fixed in our brains, the destruction of one belief can often lead to a cascade of collapse of many others.
When a person is confronted with facts that contradict currently held belief systems, they have one of two choices. The first choice is to go into denial mode by rejecting the facts as being untrue in order to prop up their chosen belief system and continue living as before. The second choice is to accept the new data and try and reconstruct a new internal paradigm or map of reality that accommodates the new information, which may mean putting into question all other beliefs associated with the old model.
The second choice is difficult and takes a great deal of strength in order to let go of one's preconceived ideas and accept the new and factual data. The first choice is easy because it requires no effort, pain, sadness, or reordering of one's life or values. It is also more comfortable, and because humans generally prefer comfort over pain, the first choice is often the default option.
The exact moment when a person becomes aware of facts that go against what is believed to be true, they experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance; it is that tense, uncomfortable sensation that what one sees is so out of sync with what one already believes to be true, that the mind instantly rejects it, even when the facts are plain and indisputable.
It is in this moment of experiencing cognitive dissonance (you can recognize it by the tension and discomfort that triggers a "knee-jerk" reaction) that the crucial battle for truth over fiction takes place. If a person can muster the awareness and strength of will to not give in and take the comfortable route by immediately dismissing the facts outright, and hold the conflicting information in their minds while consciously experiencing the negative feelings associated with cognitive dissonance, the resulting liberation can be transformational. It has to be experienced to be believed!
The interesting thing about our tendency to stick with old belief systems, even when faced with hard evidence to the contrary, is the neuro-chemical reward factor. Scientific studies have shown that when experiencing cognitive dissonance (the tension and stress produced when presented with facts that undermine one's normal perception of reality), the decision (knee-jerk reaction) to ignore the factual data and sweep any contradictory evidence under the rug causes the brain to release certain chemicals, making us feel happy and safe again.
So, if believing in an illusion makes us feel safe, happy and comfortable, and any contradictory evidence causes us pain, disorientation and sadness, what possible motivation is there to consciously choose to go through the process of disillusionment?
The love and desire for Truth.
Humans by nature are a curious sort and, for the most part, want to know the truth about things. This love and desire for Truth is why we like puzzles and mystery novels: because of the satisfaction that comes with learning something new. The thrill of discovery, the joy in being amazed and the excitement of finding solutions to complex problems are all strong motivators for people to seek out new and unconventional modes of thinking.
It is only when this process of discovery conflicts with our already entrenched world view that the difficulties of accepting new information manifest. At the same time, no one likes being lied to; no one enjoys being taken advantage of or being played for a fool or turned into a chump. So when we discover that we have been deceived by people we trust, the sense of hurt and betrayal that accompanies this realization can be devastating.
No Virginia, there is NO Santa Claus
Take the Saint Nicholas myth for example. No one would likely criticize or admonish a preschool aged child for believing in Santa Claus. But replace the child with a full grown adult who insists that Santa Claus is real, and that person would likely be considered delusional or insane.
Many children can remember how hurt they felt when they first learned that Santa Claus wasn't real; the sense of utter betrayal that all the people they loved and trusted spent so much time and energy every Christmas propping up the illusion of this magical man in a red felt suit who travelled across the world in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, delivering presents to every child in only one night; even the television, newspapers and radio personalities are in on the deception!
Apologists will say that whatever negative psychological imprinting resulting from this harmless little deception is worth it because, if only for a short while, little children were actually enabled to believe in magic. But what does the child actually learn from this? They learn in a hard and painful way that there is really no magic in this world and people who are supposed to guide you and act as role models can't be trusted.
Now ask yourself, as an adult, would you prefer to believe in lies and fairy tales, or would you rather know the truth? Deep down, it is likely that most of us feel glad that we know the truth about Santa Claus, even though the initial realization may have caused some sadness and pain. Our understanding of Christmas is now all about the spirit of giving and sharing (and hard work in order to be able to do so) rather than an egocentric expectation of having every wish granted with no effort. Our appreciation of the holiday is deeper and richer and we gain more satisfaction from giving than getting (or should). The point is that disillusionment, no matter how uncomfortable at the time, leads us towards to the truth. We are wiser and deeper and more satisfied for it. It helps us grow up and become closer to being free agents in our world.
Believing in illusions is akin to a form of slavery that keeps us disconnected from the real world, and from each other.
An interesting and effective allegory is to consider the human nervous system as a kind of computer hardware. Each of us is born with a basic operating system, heartbeat, digestion, breathing, etc. Then, depending upon the circumstances of our birth, the software installed as we grow up is as varied as there are people on the planet. And in some cases, there can be enormous software conflicts, viruses, and even software that doesn't run properly on the system.
What this means is that our parents' belief systems become our own, whether it be religion, politics, socio-economic status, or favourite sports team. Our national identity is forged by the place we happened to be born. All our likes and dislikes, passions and prejudices, biases and beliefs, are inculcated into us by our family, peers, education, media and society. We are, effectively, a product of a roll of the geographical dice. The entire landscape of our minds is a product of external forces. There are hardly any thoughts inside us that are truly unique and our own.
What really separates these two twin brothers other than the software installed in their brains as they were growing up? Raised together, by either family, there would be the possibility of love, understanding and support between them. And neither family can be declared to be "right" and in possession of the "Truth" because they, too, are products of their familial, social, national programming.
This is how our programming, our illusory belief systems keep us enslaved and at odds with our fellow humans. And it is only by following our strong desire for the truth, confronting these programmed beliefs within us and consciously suffering the pain and despair of disillusionment that we have any hope of becoming free of the lies that bind us to discord and destruction.
The world IS a certain way, of this there can be no doubt. Truth exists, but perhaps would be better described as objective reality. Things happen. There are causes and effects. Some things happen that are never observed which can lead to other things happening that are observed. Some things happen that are observed and cause other things to happen that are not observed. Philosophers, physicists, theologians, and ordinary people have thought and argued about causality and acausality for as long as humans have been self-aware. What we need to fix firmly in our minds is the fact that things that are observed can only be observed within the physical limitations of the observer, and those limitations can include a strong tendency to understand what they perceive one way or another according to the beliefs installed by socio-cultural programming.
Considering the very narrow field of sensory perception in relation to what scientific instruments indicate actually exists, it can be safely argued that humans know very little of objective reality indeed! Still, objective reality does exist out there, and the more you can see, the more prepared you are to respond intelligently and, as a freer agent, to what IS. With practice and sharing of information from other perspectives, we can tune our minds to see more objectively and this, in itself, is a worthy goal.
Imagine the following hypothetical scenario... A car veers off the road in the middle of the night and crashes into a tree, killing the driver, the only occupant in the car. There can be numerous possible explanations for the event, but because the only witness is deceased, we can never know with 100% certainty exactly what happened and why.
We can speculate that perhaps alcohol, fatigue or some medical condition was responsible, that the driver swerved to avoid an animal, hit a slippery patch, or many other possible scenarios might account for the accident.
Forensic experts arriving on the scene to assess the situation can piece together the many possible clues that would explain the crash. Using their knowledge and expertise to examine the facts left behind, they may come to a reasonable conclusion as to the possible cause of the event, but even then can only guess at the real cause given a certain degree of probability of being true. The driver may have alcohol in the blood. But that may not be the reason for the crash; it may have been a mechanical failure or swerving to avoid an animal crossing the road.
The objective reality of the situation, what actually happened at the time of the crash, will never be known for certain and we have to accept that this is the case with most of what we know about our reality. However, the more facts obtained increases the probability of a correct interpretation, though it is important to always keep in mind that probabilities are not certainties, and should not be substituted for the truth. Searching for the truth means accepting probabilities, approximations, and always remaining open to new information.
The problem of becoming more attuned to objective reality gets bigger when we factor in the programmed software in our brains that acts as a filter or distorted lens by which we perceive the world. Our belief systems and prior life experience can alter the way that everyday life events are interpreted, making us react in ways we are not even conscious of; and very often, these reactions can harm us or those we love. What we don't know about our minds and our world can hurt us!
Take for example a new boss with red hair hired to take over a group of office workers. One of the workers had a nasty red-headed gym teacher in high school who had humiliated her in front of the other students. Another of the workers had a kind red-headed gym teacher who helped her develop a love of sports that she continues to practice to this day. Both workers have an immediate impression of their new boss, one very positive and the other extremely negative. Neither is aware of the reasons why the new boss invokes such strong feelings, but their future relationship with the new boss, their work performance and employment satisfaction are going to be greatly affected.
Our minds do this all the time. Every minute of every day we experience the world through a distorted lens of entrenched beliefs and past history, while the objective reality of the situation, the truth, for the most part, remains elusive.
Of course this problem is only a problem so as long as we are unaware of it. Once we gain the knowledge of how our minds work, we can consciously strive to see any situation for what it is, gather facts, apply this insight to all we have learned and experienced, assess reality based on probabilities, and most importantly, share what we have learned with others. It is by sharing with each other our own unique and particular point of view, and really listening to others when they share theirs, that we can broaden our horizons and come closer to understanding the objective reality of any event or situation.
"Six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant's body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a tree trunk; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a snake; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a spear."Each of the men is experiencing their own subjective reality of the elephant, but by sharing information with each other, together they can come closer to seeing the objective reality of the elephant. You may not be able to see the whole thing yourself, on your own, but you can create a much better mind-map with good feedback from others that you take into account.
The Big Seven Illusions of our time
So, now that we have a better understanding of how the belief systems and past history in our minds can colour and/or distort completely our interpretations of the world, now that we know we can only accurately assess our reality in terms of probabilities based on factual data, and now that we know that sharing of data with others gets us closer to understanding objective reality, we can then turn to the final and most important part of this essay; the necessity of conscious disillusionment.
The process of choosing disillusionment as a remedy to subjectivity and a desire for truth is a form of conscious suffering. We enter this process willingly, knowing that the final result will be worth the temporary pain and sadness, because we know that the truth, only the truth, shall set us free from these controls placed upon us from birth, without our free choice.
What I will present here are probably the seven biggest illusions commonly held by most people in the world. This list has been created after years of work, research, and feedback from many others, so it's not just a list that is made up based on the preferred illusions of a single individual or small group of individuals. Even though the reader may find themselves in agreement with one or two, it is likely that something in this list is going to rub you the wrong way. That will be because some things on the list go against the mass programming of your socio-cultural milieu that you have absorbed as your own beliefs about what is or is not true.
You may find yourself railing against several of the ideas presented here and that is understandable. You may experience an instantaneous aversion to a few of these proposed illusions, where a voice in your head screams "preposterous, ridiculous, blasphemous!" That is good also, as it is part of the process. Remember; no pain, no gain. What you need to keep always in mind is that mass beliefs are generally created by an elite ruling class for THEIR benefit, not yours. Remember that those at the top of the heap will always promote what keeps them at the top.
Suffering helps us grow, it's how we learn our lessons and become wiser human beings. We must stumble and fall before we can walk and run. We must try our hardest and fail many times before we can succeed. We must know the pain of rejection, heartbreak and betrayal, before we can truly learn how to love.
Here is a proposal for a simple experiment that you can do silently while reading this list: No matter what your first reaction is to any of these seven ideas, try for a moment to not immediately reject them and sweep them under the rug. Try to avoid the tendency to come up with arguments to dispute them. This automatic reaction, however normal, is a product of our already ingrained belief systems railing against possible growth. Things ingrained don't like to be changed and will fight tooth and nail to uphold the status quo.
What is being asked of you is to, if only for a few moments, sit with the idea in your mind as if it were true. Be conscious of your inner state while doing this experiment. How do you feel inside? What questions does it raise? Ask yourself what it would mean for your life if the statement were true? How many other of your beliefs about the world are interconnected with it, and what else would have to change in order to accept it? And lastly, what would you do about it? Then, after considering all this, do some research on the subject and come to your own conclusions.
So, let's begin...
1) The illusion of free will
This illusion is a tough one for most people to accept because it seems to go against the very obvious experience of day to day living. We all make thousands of seemingly innocuous choices every day, and we are all under the impression that we are free in making these choices. And in some sense it is true, but the important thing to keep in mind is that the choices people make are a product of their environmental programming and are therefore limited by the confines of what is available as 'acceptable choices'. Combine this with the fact, previously discussed, about how our brains are programmed with certain belief systems due to geographical location and peer group influences that determine how and what we choose, and the picture is rather grim for 'free will'.
The example of the failed New Year's resolution will provide some insight. Most everyone has had the experience of declaring that they wish to make a certain change in their life, and no matter how determined they are at the time of making that declaration may find themselves later doing exactly what they said they would no longer do, or not doing what they set out to do. The reason for this is due to the fact that inside our brains exist multiple different programs, each with their own motivation and agenda. Depending on which program is running at the time, the choices that one makes can vary. The program that 'chooses' to start a new diet is influenced by the fact that it is thought to be good, in our society, to go on that diet and that the New Year is the time to make a positive life decision. So, making that resolution feels good at the time it is made. But then, after all that New Year's reinforcement has faded away, other programs become more dominant, such as "I worked hard all day and I deserve an extra bowl of ice-cream with Oreo cookies." Or: "I'm really stressed lately and I NEED some comfort!" Or "It's my 40th birthday, I can have 3 pieces of cake if I want!" Obviously, if there are a number of these types of programs that get triggered throughout the subsequent days, weeks and months, the initial resolution at the beginning of the year will become gradually buried. You see, each of these programs has its own justification and can take over and run our operating system any time the requisite external stimulus gets it going. It could even be said that these program loops, little belief systems, are different 'personalities' or parts of the total self. One 'I' resolves to eat healthily all year because, at that moment, it feels good to make this decision; a second 'I' has learned that it is normal in life to reward the self with food, and it feels really good, too! A third 'I' has learned within the family and culture, that food is for comfort: "Have a little of this, it will make you feel better..." A fourth 'I' is distressed by growing older and knows that some extra cake will light up all the feel-good neurons and help to forget that life is passing and success is still elusive.
Our minds are literally not our own, they are the result of a myriad of conflicting desires and motivations, with each voice screaming to be heard and taking charge when the situation allows. So, combine this litany of competing desires with programmed belief systems telling us what to think and do and it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that we are not truly free at all. The reality is, we are machines, merely reacting to things and not acting from a real center of gravity.
Before rejecting this supposition, try to sit for a moment with the awareness that you are not free, that you are a machine, merely reacting to your environment like a programmed automaton. How does this make you feel? Are you willing to accept the possible premise that we are all prisoners of our own belief systems, that our minds are not our own nor in control of any decision we seem to make freely? And if this were true, what could you do about it?
Perhaps it is more accurate to say that free will is something that can be gained over time with awareness, discipline, diligence, determination, discernment, strength and knowledge. Once we become aware of how our minds are enslaved by embedded programs and the presence of competing personalities, we can then strive to grow our will so that the choices we make are truly free and based on an understanding of objective reality.
2) The illusion that there is 'good in every person'
Some people are just plain evil, through and through, born that way, and there is nothing anyone can do to change that fact. They are called psychopaths and have been estimated to make up at least 1% of the general population, with some researchers suggesting the number may be as high as 15%. This means that between 1 in every 100 and one in every 7 people you meet is a pure psychopath. Think about it. If you know 100 people, then odds are that you know or have had an encounter with a psychopath, and possibly many more. With the higher percentage, if you know 7 people, one of them could be a psychopath. Those are scary numbers.
The illusion that "there is some good in everyone" is favoured by many wide-eyed optimists, naive new-agers, or kind-hearted religious folk, whose tendency towards compassion and forgiveness can be a recipe for disaster both for themselves and those they love. They believe that these types of people are just maladjusted, misunderstood individuals with a bad childhood who can be rehabilitated or cured with love, or therapy or, at worst, a period of incarceration to "learn their lesson." Nothing could be further from the truth.
Far from being the insane monsters and serial killers depicted in popular culture, these often seemingly respectable 'people' are well aware of their peculiar temperament, and use it knowingly to prey on others. They have been described as charismatic, charming, confident, glib, superficial, arrogant, opinionated, domineering and cocky, but they can also play the role of pitiful, downtrodden, luckless and hapless waifs. Psychopaths are pathological liars and their relationships with other people are defined by manipulation and exploitation whether accomplished via overt or covert dominance. They are born this way and will die this way, and no amount of understanding or intervention can change this fact.
A likely genetic abnormality leaves these social predators without a conscience. They have no ability to feel compassion or empathy for others. They quickly learn the conscience-based societal conventions shared between normal humans, which they see as a weakness, then use our capacity for natural emotional responses against us in their reptilian desire for power and control.
They also learn to recognize others of their 'type' and use their lack of conscience to lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, betray and/or bully their way into positions of power within many organizations and institutions. It is safe to say that a large majority of those at the very top of many political, religious, educational, medical, military, media and corporate entities are psychopaths. This is a sad and unavoidable fact of life in our reality today, and can account for most of the world's problems including, war, oppression, poverty, exploitation and starvation.
So, how do these assertions make you feel? Do you know, or have had experience with, someone who never seems to learn from their mistakes, who appears to enjoy or participate in the suffering of animals and other people? Have you ever had an encounter with someone who could lie easily and effortlessly, who deliberately tried to undermine your work or feelings, who would literally do anything to advance their own self-interest, even at the expense of other people, without a second thought or moment of regret?
Accepting for a moment the idea that psychopaths are real and prevalent in our society, what would you do about it? How would it change the ways in which you see the words and actions of our so-called 'leaders' when they talk of peace while waging war? What other beliefs that you hold about humanity are challenged by temporarily accepting this premise? And what does it say about the people who coined the term "all men are created equal?" Again, a few hours of internet research can literally save you a lifetime of pain, or your life, or the life of someone you love. That is assuming that you, unlike psychopaths, are capable of loving at least one other person.
3) The illusion of democracy
This illusion is a big one, and is intimately connected with the preceding one. From the moment of birth, in the Western world, this lie is repeated constantly and endlessly without pause by our parents, teachers, peers, government institutions and media. This lie is so pervasive and ingrained that to question it seems absurd. Unfortunately, the truth is that real democracy has never existed and is only purveyed as an ideology by those in power to keep the masses enslaved while believing that they are free. Like a mental prison with invisible bars, the illusion that we have a choice about who will lead us as head of state is orchestrated and manipulated from beginning to end. For the controllers, the outcome is never in doubt. Power will do anything to ensure its continued control.
Like the bread and circuses of ancient Rome, these pseudo so-called 'elections' are staged every four years or so to engage the populace in meaningless activity and reinforce the notion among the masses that their vote actually counts for something. The reality is that the game is rigged, and always has been. There is no choice when all you have to choose from is two sides of the same coin: psychopaths in power advocating one ideology or another. It's like giving a dehydrated person who is dying of thirst the choice between only Coke or Pepsi, where water doesn't even enter the equation. And like these artificially flavoured carbonated sugar drinks, the artificial choice in politics today is just as toxic.
The reality is that whoever is at the helm of either political party vying for power is irrelevant. The fact that they have made it to the finals means that they have long been bought and paid for by the multinational corporate military-industrial complex, which has the funds and influence to make sure their interests are the interests of the candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. Whether Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal, Socialist or Nationalist, you can bet that those at the top of their particular party have long been vetted and approved by their corporate masters. Because psychopaths have the requisite lack of empathy to do whatever it takes to rapidly ascend into positions of power, there is a high probability that whoever's name is on the ballot, that individual does not have your best interests at heart. Whatever your political persuasion, know that voting is a waste of time and energy. Nothing will change and the status quo will remain.
Now, before your mind has a chance to come up with its myriad of reasons why this cannot possibly be true, please try for a moment to sit with this idea inside your head as if it were real. What if your vote never counted for anything? What if all the debates and hoopla running up to election day were just a ruse designed to keep you enthralled? How does this make you feel? How much time have you spent arguing with your friends and neighbours about such and such a political candidate or policy? How does this information change your views on those running for positions of power? And next time an election rolls around, what will you do about it? What can be done about it? What are the options?
4) The illusion of 9/11
The official story of 9/11 is a myth. The traumatic events of September 11, 2001 were planned, orchestrated, financed and carried out by elements of the American and Israeli secret service, perhaps with the full knowledge, complicity and participation of the political ruling elite of the time. This fact is beyond dispute as any careful research into the available data will confirm.
Boeing 757s do not disappear into 18-foot holes leaving no trace of wreckage. Buildings on fire do not suddenly collapse and free-fall within seconds into their own footprint without help from previously planted explosives or other high-technology devices. The idea that 19 so-called "hijackers" with almost zero flying experience and armed with only box cutters could infiltrate and outwit the largest, strongest and most sophisticated defense system on the planet is laughable and absurd.
This official conspiracy theory put out by the government and supported by the mainstream media regarding the events of 9/11 belongs in a book of fairy tales along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Yet people continue to believe the propaganda over the obvious facts. This is the one illusion that pretty much goes without saying. A little research and the ability to look at the data from an open-minded, non-emotional viewpoint is usually enough to dispel this illusion completely. But "non-emotional" is the key word here and, on the topic of 9-11, it is very difficult to escape the emotional program that was implanted into you in the days and weeks following 9-11 via a deliberate and cunning series of psychological ploys well known from the researches of cognitive science. In other words, if you believe the 9-11 government conspiracy theory, you have been Transmarginally Inhibited, in the terminology of Ivan Pavlov.
Unfortunately, because this illusion is ingrained and intertwined with so many other similar belief systems, it remains one of the most difficult and painful to overcome. What does it say about the country we are so proud of, the institutions and values we hold so dear, if our leaders would knowingly and deliberately murder their own citizens in the pursuit of some hegemonic agenda? How many other beliefs would have to collapse in order for you to accept this reality? Your government not only lies to you, steals from you and serves only to manipulate and control you, it also cares so little about you that they would murder you without hesitation if it would benefit them. How does that make you feel? Are you even a little angry yet? You, your family, friends, co-workers and fellow citizens mean nothing to them. We - the masses - exist only as statistics and stepping stones or obstacles to their agendas. We are merely bags of meat to be used and discarded at will. That is the reality.
And now that you know, what are you going to do about it?
5) The illusion of the well-balanced diet
Regarding diet, the truth is that saturated animal fat is the ideal fuel for the human body. Eating fat helps you lose weight, sleep soundly and think and perform better. Organic pork, beef, lamb, chicken and fish, the fattier the better, should be part of every meal. Cholesterol and salt are beneficial and necessary for optimum health. The ideal diet consists of 70% saturated fat and 30% protein with a maximum limit of 70 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Vegetables contain lectins and other anti-nutrients that are bad for you. Gluten (wheat protein), casein (milk protein), soy products and refined white sugar are all toxic to the human body. This means that all breads, pastas, wraps, sauces, grains, yogurts, cheeses, ice creams, candies, chocolates and other processed foods are literally making you ill, obese, diabetic, inflamed, shortening your lifespan and diminishing the quality of your life.
Now, before you reject these ideas right away, take a moment to observe how these statements make you feel. What does it say about all those medical experts who promote a low-fat lifestyle for good health? If the above premise were true, wouldn't you be angry with them for lying to you about so much for so long? What other beliefs do you hold that are associated with diet and health have to be modified in order to accept the premise above?
Take a look in your refrigerator and cupboard. What would you have to throw away if these statements were accurate? What changes would you make for the well being of yourself and your family if you knew that everything you thought about diet was the exact opposite of what was actually true? Would you be willing to suffer through the loss of these illusions in order to know the objective reality of what it means to eat well and be healthy? A few hours of internet research into the assertions above may literally save your life, the life and health of someone you love, possibly your own children, and contribute to regenerating the entire ecosystem of the planet. Do you love them enough to expend some effort to really dig for the Truth on this topic?
6) The illusion of linear time
There is no beginning and there is no end. The universe did not just all of a sudden start from nothing, nor will it abruptly come to end in nothing. Life did not start at the moment of birth, nor will it end at the moment of death. Everything is cyclical, repeating over and over in limitless combinations and permutations, forever in eternity. We are born, we die, we are born, we die, we are born, we die, we are born... and so it goes.
The human experiential life cycle is full of lessons that are meant to be learned. We will keep repeating this pattern until all these lessons are learned, and then perhaps move on to learn other lessons. The universe is the perfect school and gives everything required in order to grow, for as long as we need. This truth has been known and shared by mystics, seers, philosophers and shamans throughout history.
This truth has also been corrupted and turned on its head by mainstream science and religion to keep humankind bound either to the material plane on one hand or the promise of heaven on the other. Science would tell us that the universe began with the 'Big Bang'. Where there was a void before, everything appeared at once out of nothing. Religion would have us believe that the universe began with "the word" issued by God. Where there was a void before, everything appeared at once out of nothing. What God was doing before "the word", and how long he was doing it for, is anybody's guess.
The point is that both the creationist view and the materialist/evolutionist view are different versions of the same illusion, that everything started at one point in the distant past and came into being from essentially nothing. And like the false dichotomy in the left/right political spectrum, the choice between mainstream science and mainstream religion are two sides of the same illusory coin. Neither is a true nor accurate representation of the reality we live in. Notice that both versions of this "belief" - Big Bang and Divine Creation - require you to believe just because they say so, against your own natural observations that everything in life is cyclical.
Consciousness, in all its different forms and manifestations, is the driving force of nature. It is our - and the universe's - raison d'etre. Consciousness is expressed through the vehicle of physical existence from the smallest particle to the large human brain. Evolution is a by-product of consciousness and not the other way around.
Whether you are an atheist who firmly believes that all life comes to an end at the point of death, or a church-going fundamentalist who believes that Jesus is waiting for you in heaven after you die, it is likely you will be disappointed. The reality is that we've been fed a lie about the real repeating nature of the consciousness experiential cycle in order to keep us blind to the truth. There is no afterlife in heaven as imagined by the true believers and we did not evolve from single-celled organisms by random, mindless chance, only to be extinguished forever after one short lifetime.
We are here to learn as much as possible about objective reality, the way things actually are and not how we wish or believe them to be. The best way to start seeing reality objectively is to challenge and let go of these preconceived illusions and belief systems promulgated by popular scientific and religious institutions.
This same illusion also applies to the idea of cyclical global catastrophes. Many differing cultural and religious belief systems have some sort of apocalyptic or end of the world scenario as part of their mythos. This is no accident, for this archetype exists precisely because the earth, in all its history, has undergone many such drastic global changes that were perceived by people of the time as the literal end of the world.
From Plato's destruction of Atlantis to Noah's Ark to the Biblical battle of Armageddon, these myths persist because they relate to actual ancient historical events preserved in time by the telling and passing on of stories from one generation to another. The earth has gone through and will continue to go through periodic upheavals, marked by plague-bearing cometary bombardments, extreme weather, volcanic and seismic activity, all resulting in the death of a large majority of the population. But the world - and life - is not going to end, nor is the Cosmos going to blink out in the Big Crunch.
Endings and beginnings are cyclical. They happen over and over again whenever the human population reaches a point where its current numbers and destructive activity are no longer sustainable. It's almost as if the universe knows when its limit is reached and acts in such a way to restore balance. (That is a thought that should give everyone pause!)
The important point to keep in mind is the fact that, despite these recurring global cataclysms and loss of life on a global scale, the world did not come to an end during those times and time itself did not stop. Even after a civilization, more technically advanced than our own, was essentially wiped out and bombed back to the stone age by the Cosmic Balancer, life went on and will continue to do so when it happens again.
And it will happen again, very soon, in fact. You can take that to the bank. All the conditions that are recorded to have preceded prior destructions are currently in place on our planet, so it is extremely unlikely that the human race will escape what falls on any population in Nature that destroys its environment. Certainly, some will survive; it is during such times that Natural Selection plays its destined part; those who see and know, are prepared; as it was in the days of Noah...
So, try for a moment to accept the possibility that life on this planet as we presently know it is essentially doomed, that upwards of 90% of the human population will probably be dead within 5 years. How does that make you feel? How much real value do all your material possessions have now? How would the accuracy of this assertion cause a rearrangement of your priorities and lifestyle? Most importantly, how would you act and what would you tell your friends and family if you knew that a majority of human life on this planet was about to be obliterated?
7) The illusion that human beings are at the top of the food chain
Every living thing eats something in order to survive. Plants take up nutrients from the soil and energy from the sun. Single-celled organisms feed on chemicals from their environment. Some animals eat vegetation, others prey on smaller animals. Animals die and become food for smaller organisms. The balance of nature is based on endless consumption and assimilation of physical matter into energy in an ever repeating cycle.
It is often mistakenly assumed that human beings are at the top of the food chain, given that they feed on lower consciousness animals and plant life, are equipped with advanced technology and are not the usual prey of wild predatory animals. But is it so much of a stretch to imagine that, if everything in nature feeds on everything else, there might exist a type of being that feeds on us as well?
Like the cows in the stockyard who are unaware that they serve as food for humans, humans too are unaware that they are also kept in psychological pens to be served as food for other beings that exist beyond the range of our normal perceptual apparatus. I realise that this proposition sounds like something from a science fiction novel, but the facts are such that, although these beings can normally neither be seen or heard under everyday conditions, their presence can be detected by the footprints they leave behind.
The alien greys, UFO abductions, biblical miracles, bigfoot, chucacabra, mothmen, monsters, faeries, demons, ghosts and other supernatural and cryptozoological beings are but the shadows and remnants of this hyper-dimensional world in which our own reality is embedded. In this larger realm, it seems that there are beings who may literally feed off the energy emanated by human beings. The evidence suggests that they prefer negative emotional energy and go out of their way to elicit these emotions in humans in order to absorb/consume them and thereby live.
Perhaps this last illusion is just too much for the average person to accept as it is just too far outside the normal range of human experience. However, I am not expecting you to believe with certainty the truth of this premise. All I am asking is that you accept the possibility that it might be true and hold it momentarily in your mind, then be aware of how this information makes you feel.
What if all the wars, disease, famine, strife, anger, hate and pain in this world were orchestrated deliberately, or at least opportunistically exploited, in order to nourish a type of evil negative beings whose 'life purpose' is to farm, harvest and feed on ordinary human beings and who therefore have strong motive to keep this information hidden from their food source?
This last illusion is the biggest and perhaps most important one of all, for it is the root of all the others. This is the big ultimate secret that those in the upper echelons of power are intimately aware of, but most desperate to keep hidden, because if the truth of this state of affairs was understood and accepted by a majority of human beings, then they would no longer hold any power over us. Knowing such a truth, or even just contemplating such to be true while you observe things happening around you, means you can keep your eyes open for its manifestations in your life experiences and take effective counter-measures. That is, knowing the Truth can make you free.
The psychopathic elite who sit atop the pyramids of power on our planet are the tools by which these 'paranormal beings', let's call them, act upon our reality. They are likely in some form of communication with each other. Slaves who remain unaware of masters who keep them imprisoned are no threat to the slave owners, especially when they can effectively hypnotize their slaves into believing that they are free. But knowledge is power and the slaves who become aware of their imprisonment can then organize themselves to find a way to free themselves.
It is advantageous to imagine the universe as a self aware system, and that we are conscious beings who experience reality as part of the universe's way of perceiving itself. Animals and plants who have a different form of conscious awareness than humans have little difficulty perceiving the world objectively. They intuitively know what foods are safe to eat, where to find shelter, and to react appropriately in the face of danger. Humans on the other hand exist as a myriad of competing desires, clinging to their illusory belief systems and are thus largely responsible for the sad and sorry state of the planet in the present time.
The best way to restore balance to the planet and heal the wounds of humanity first and foremost, would be for its human population to begin the long and painful process of conscious disillusionment. We, as a species, need desperately to put aside our cultural conditioning and begin to see the universe objectively, as it really is, in all its terrors and joys, not just how we wish or believe it to be.
Even though the process of ridding ourselves of illusions is guaranteed to be psychologically and even physically painful, and it may seem that everything we hold dear is to be taken away from us, this process is necessary. There is no other way. We have lived as slaves to psychopaths in power for too long. We need to stand up and take back our freedom. There are more of us than there are of them, and our ignorance is their power. But we must first consciously choose to see reality as it is and the universe as a self aware system - of which we are a part - will ultimately reward us for our struggle and sacrifice.