“The Buddhists talk about samsara, the world of illusion. It is the place that most of us live. Mistaking illusion for reality is said to be the root cause of our suffering. Yet in some immensely elegant way suffering itself can release us from illusion. Often in times of crisis when we reach for what we have considered our strength we stumble on our wholeness and our real power. …
“Integrity usually comes to people slowly and takes them unawares, as part of a natural process of maturing or through the need to be there for someone else who is counting on them. But it can appear full-blown in times of crisis or loss. …
“With certain people we may get to try on a greater wholeness for a time, to actually experience being more. These experiences are a sort of grace. They help us know not only the direction of our personal wholeness but how it feels and even tastes.” ~Rachel Naomi Remen
World of Illusion
The world of illusion isn’t limited to what you see on stage during the performances of a magician. Virtually everything that we think we know of the physical world of matter is an illusion.
We need first to clear up one thing about the idea of the physical universe being an illusion. Many people jump to the conclusion that if you say something is an illusion, that it doesn’t exist. Therefore, they think when they read that the physical realm is an illusion that is doesn’t exist. It’s a dream, nothing real. That is not what illusion means at all.
When you say that the tricks of a stage magician are illusions, that doesn’t mean nothing is happening on stage. It means that what is really happening is not the same as what appears to be happening. For example, the assistant that appears to disappear in a puff of smoke really descended through a hidden door in the floor of the stage. The same applies to the Great Illusion of the physical universe. It isn’t what it appears to be, but it is something real.
One thing that has become very popular in recent years is “Manifesting”. By this is meant manipulating the physical world according to our desires. Besides the fact that this results in attaching us more firmly to the illusion, what is the point of manipulating fantasy?
Reality Behind the Illusion
So what is the reality behind all that Illusion? That is something that most say must be experienced for yourself. But I think I can give you some hints, although I don’t claim to entirely know the answer myself.
We all know that, according to the basic laws of science, matter and energy cannot be destroyed, only changed. There are simple changes and more complex ones. Carving a rock into a statue of David is a simple change. Only the shape was changed, the substance is still marble. That is, within the illusion, it is still marble. Turning milk into cheese is a slightly more complex change. Burning wood to make heat is a complex or complete change. Changing matter into energy or energy into matter is the most complex type of change. At least if we limit ourselves to the physical world for now. But the fact that energy can become matter, and matter can become energy should teach us something. It should teach us that there is no fundamental difference between matter and energy. To put it in simple terms, matter is slow energy, energy is fast matter.
While that is a concept that has been taught in spiritual schools and mystery schools for ages, it is only recently being accepted and taught by empirical science. Specifically, the quantum physicists are now telling us that the apparently solid universe is actually a hologram of light. Not matter with light shining on it, just light. So matter is being recognized by science as an illusion. A wonderful discovery of theirs that has been taught in mystery schools for several thousand years.
But even the discoveries of quantum physicists are limited to the physical universe. We need to dive deeper to get beyond illusion altogether. We need to enter spiritual realms. When we do, we will discover, among other things, two fundamental truths. The first truth is that spirit is real and permanent. And it existed long before matter. Therefore, the soul cannot be an offshoot of matter. And consciousness is a spiritual thing as well. Therefore, it is not a creation of the brain. Second, things happen first in the spiritual world before they descend to the physical realm. Not everything because such things as disease and death don’t exist at all in spiritual worlds. But for most things, they must form first in spirit, then become matter. What this means, if you think about it, is that those who access spiritual realms get a look into the future because they are seeing things that have not yet materialized. While that should not be your primary reason to start spiritual development, it is certainly a good second one.