Its an Illusion!
David McArthur spoke last Sunday. David is a skilled speaker and he was answering tough questions. What a challenge! More importantly he shared something really personal, something he doesn’t often share and it was deeply emotional. I thought that he was going to break down and cry.
This shows the power of having sacred space where we can feel safe to be vulnerable. To be free from judgment and openly share. This is powerful because together we are greater. A popular term for this is Synergy, where the total is greater than the sum of the parts. With Synergy, 2 + 2 may equal 5 or even more.
Watching David, I thought, “I speak next. He is a hard act to follow. Good thing there is a week in between our talks.”
That was my starting joke. But just in case it fell flat, a common problem when engineers tell a joke, I have a backup. My friend Swami Beyondananda is a new age comedian. He tells a joke about the power of television. Television is where I tell a vision and you tell a vision.
I start off each day with a meditation and sometimes I hear a word or a phrase. These are often significant.
On July 2, I heard, “It’s an Illusion!” It sounded happy and light. For example, I might be worrying about something, deeply into it, searching and searching for a solution, perhaps I am in a dark place and then I hear, “It’s an Illusion!” I know from past experience that a Vision can come in on multiple dimensions. So I think that the lighthearted sound is a part of this message. Also the feeling that it is an answer is part of the message. So for me there are four “dimensions, to this Vision:
1. The meaning of the words.
2. The lighthearted sound.
3. The feeling that it is an answer.
4. It is important for me now. It is what I am ready for.
So what is “It?” If I can figure out “It” then I will know what is an Illusion.
I am familiar with illusions like Movies, Books, or Magic tricks.
My last Talk was Half & Half. We are 1/2 Human and 1/2 Devine. So my Human 1/2 is part of the illusion. But I am not sure that there is a clear boundary. Part of what I think is Devine could be part of the illusion.
The concept of the physical world being an illusion is ancient. I looked it up on the Internet and wasted half an hour wandering between what is real and what is illusion. I was an Engineer and studied no Philosophy or Comparative Religions, so I can quickly become lost.
I heard Rev. Richard Levy say, “It is not what I say that is important; it is what you hear.” And I would add, “… and what you remember: what you believe.”
What I remember hearing comes from Tibetan Buddhism: “The World is an illusion because it is always changing. But behind the World is an Unchanging Truth.” And there is a religious symbol for this concept of Unchanging Truth, the Dorje.
The concept of “Illusions” is also in my past. In 1977 we attended our first meditation class taught by June d’Estelle. June was Carole Glenn’s mother. More than 10 years passed between the time we met June and the time we met Carole. Right after the first class, my wife, Kay, gave me the book “Illusions, The adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach. It is probably my favorite book. When I was writing this talk, I pulled a copy off the bookshelf and started rereading it. I relished it for at least half an hour before I realized that I had better get back to work.
Here is a quote from the book jacket that tells what the book is about. “What if somebody came along who could teach me how my world works and how to control it? What if I could meet a super-advanced … what if a Siddhartha or Jesus came into our time, with power over the illusions of the world because he knew the reality behind them? And what if I could meet him in person …?” On the back of the book jacket is one of my favorite sayings, “Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”
It’s an Illusion. But what is “It” in this vision?”
Perhaps this is a continuation of the Vision that I had a few years ago of a big black disk, like a phonograph record with a Column of Bright White Light coming upward from the center. My interpretation is that the big black disk is Life and even more. Perhaps even the time between lives or existence as other beings. The Column of Light is the way out of the big black disk. Death is not the way out.
One thing that I remember from the Course in Miracles is “Nothing Real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Here in lies the Peace of God.” Since everything in the Physical World can be threatened, this says that it is not Real. It is unreal. That means that it does not exist. When I first thought of this, it was disheartening. What I am focused on does not exist! However, I go back to what I learned from my first Vision Quest: “I am fooled by the Physical.”
Rather than being disheartened, I want to go back to thinking of half and half. I need to pay attention to the Physical half because my body is in the Physical. It may be an illusion, but it is a very convincing illusion.
So how can I navigate?
As I have mentioned, in our Course in Miracles class, lead by Brian Jones, we are reading books by Gary Renard. Gary Renard’s information comes from what I would call Ascended Masters, who have appeared to him. As I remember, they said that Holy Spirit and the Higher Self are the same. Now this is an important concept for me. I have felt that I have received information from God or my Higher Self, but I never felt that I was in touch with Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, at times I have felt left out, separate. I know that this is a human reaction, but that is what I felt.
How can I navigate? 1. Higher Self or Holly Spirit.
I believe that Intuition is a direct connection to my Higher Self. Now I have long said that my Intuition is always right and that my interpretation of it can sometimes be the problem. I was recently reminded that Ego could sometimes interfere with Intuition. If I get an intuitive answer that I like, I consider that Ego may be involved. It I get one I don’t like, I go with it. If I get one that I really don’t like, I check it out three times in different ways, and if it is the same answer, I go with it. I also want to mention that sometimes the answer may not strictly be true, but it is what I need to motivate me. It gives me a perspective that works. It is true for me.
How can I navigate? 2. Intuition
Recently I heard a phrase in my morning meditation: “You underestimate the power of steps”
How can I navigate? 3. I can take it by steps. Sometimes baby steps.
I am a Mystic. Mystics get information directly. Books, classes, the Internet, etc. usually are not for me. In 2003 I was told in meditation that I was to be a Mystic. When I asked, “How do I do that?” I was told, “You already are one. It happened on the runway at SeaTac.” in 1998 I left to find a monastery someplace in Nepal. It was when I left my job, family, farm, etc. and flew off into the unknown. I remember thinking as the plane begin to lift off at SeaTac, ”This is it, no turning back now.” At that instant I became a Mystic. But I didn’t know it. I had to be told five years later. I have a story about that I want to share. I was at Breitenbush Hot Springs and saw a woman who my intuition said would benefit from a didgeridoo session. So I asked her and she said yes, she would like that, but wanted to trade a reading in exchange. She told me that she had done something like 3,000 readings up to that time. As I remember, she was from the mid-west or the east and I had never heard of her. Now I was not at all interested in a reading, but wanted to follow my intuition, so I agreed. I really don’t remember the didge session, but I remember one thing. She said, “You’re a Mystic.” I said, “Yes.” She said, “No, you really are a Mystic. Some people call themselves Mystics, but they are not. You really are one.” There is comfort in getting reinforcement, in getting confirmation from others.
How to navigate? 4. I am a Mystic, so I need to pay attention and information will come to me. If I share it, perhaps this will reinforce you. Or perhaps you will be able to reinforce me. Synergy: We are more when we work together.
Movies offer a good example of illusions. I saw a behind the scenes look at a movie set for a series that I have watched. In the series, there are these great scenes of the actors at a beach looking out over the sea. On the actual set, instead of looking at the sea, these actors are really looking out at a huge concrete building. For some reason, that really rocked me. The power of illusion! Also I had an experience with a recent movie. I missed it while it was in the local theaters, so I got on a waiting list at the Library for the DVD of the movie. The movie title was “The French Dispatch of the Liberty Kansas Evening Sun.” My intuitive answer was that this movie was important for me to see. I did not watch it right away. One night I realized that it was getting close to when the DVD was due. Although I was very tired, I decided to watch it. I thought what might happen is that I would fall asleep if the movie was boring. What actually happened is that I fell into a state where I drifted in and out of consciousness. I had some concerns in my mind about my life and these became intermixed with the movie. I knew that the movie was fiction. It was made up. I begin to feel the same way about my life. And in my mind, neither of them made sense. I finally woke up enough to check with my intuition about continuing to watch the DVD or perhaps watch it the next night. The answer was to do neither. I apparently had learned what I needed. And what did I learn? That my life might an illusion. Books also can offer an example of illusions. I have had an experience where I started to read a novel and quit reading it because it was too “made up.” Now all fictional novels are “made up.” So on the surface this seems ridiculous. But some are more believable, or more entertaining, more unpredictable so I enjoy reading them. Lives can be like that.
Illusions, like movies and books, always end. So no matter how good my life is now, the good will come to an end. In Life, all things come to an end. My experience tells me that I need to be grateful and take advantage of when things are good. Now may be my best opportunity to identify what is illusion and take steps to move beyond it.
I also want to mention how magic tricks give me an insight into illusions. There is a series on TV that I started to watch. It presented great illusions, like making an elephant disappear. An elephant! That is powerful magic! After showing the illusion, the series showed how the illusion was performed. It wasn’t magic, it was illusion! Interestingly enough, I stopped watching the series. I enjoyed knowing how more when I was young, now I guess I enjoy the magic more.
I once heard that “I underestimate the power of Ego.” So where does Ego’s power come from? From illusion. The illusion of money, power, or fame seems to overcome the knowledge that it will all end. We can’t take it with us. Realizing what is illusion will help undo the power of Ego.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is “It” in the vision. What is the illusion? That we are separate. And the illusion has become stronger. I can demonstrate the power of the illusion by just a single word. That word might be “abortion” or “guns.” How about “war” or “peace?” And then there is “masks,” “vaccinations,” maybe “hugs.” Or even “God.” Note that I don’t have to take a position, it is like a boxing match; just a word starts us moving to opposite corners.
Bottom Line: A common thing that people say now are that we are Spiritual Beings having a Human experience. Perhaps we are Spiritual Beings trapped in a Human experience. Or Awareness caught in an Illusion.
If we are Going Home – we need to get beyond the illusion. To get beyond the illusion, it is important to recognize that it is an illusion. Then when we are caught up in it, when we are focused on circumstances or drama, we can say, “It’s an Illusion!” We can do the things that bring us together. Today we have music thanks to Marcia Hill. We have Zoom thanks to Kristyn and the crew. We have prayer thanks to Debbie. Singing thanks to Carole and the choir. And I have brought the didgeridoo.
Introduction to the Meditation: To a Mystic, this is the most important part of the service. The Physical may be an illusion, but it is a very convincing illusion. My talk has mainly been from thinking. Now let’s be unencumbered by thinking. Let’s experience.
Let’s join in Transcendence – moving our awareness beyond the physical, beyond the illusion.
Meditation – Harmony, Oneness (with the Long Didge)
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