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Karma and Free Will
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Illusions and Perception
There is a lot of confusion these days about what
is and is not illusion. Some say “all is illusion” while others say
it’s only perception that is illusory. I tend to agree with the latter
definition: Illusion is a distorted form of perception whereby one
sees things not as they truly are.
The simple definition of illusion is "not perceiving
things as they really are." Perception itself is an illusory device,
because we never perceive anything as it actually is. We could say that
reality is merely different configurations of vibrating energy in a
quantum flux. How we view that reality will always be in distortion, at
least as long as we are in human form. Then there are psychological illusions
that only exist to the perceiver, such as fear. Fear is an energy pattern
in the mind of the perceiver.
”Evil” is a state of distortion whereby one separates
out one or more parts of creation as being less deserving of Infinite
Love than other parts of creation. It involves judgment, projection
and blame. The illusion of duality is created by separating oneself
from part or all of creation, at least mentally (in actuality it is impossible
to separate oneself from Creation).
”Good” does not triumph over “evil”, but rather, the
illusions of “good” and “evil” are dispelled and the reality beyond
duality is remembered. The Oneness has always existed, and existed all
the time we were having the dream of duality.
The natural world and all creatures in it are not illusions;
however, the way we perceive the natural world and other sentient
life is an illusion.
The Universe consists of energy patterns, waves and
particles, and even this is not an adequate description. In other
words, the description is part of the illusion. The word is not the
object, the mental picture is not the reality.
Perhaps the question really is: Can we directly experience
the reality behind the illusion of appearance? I especially like
the Matrix analogy presented by David Icke in his various books.
The so-called “real” world is nothing more than particle-waves (like the
binary computer readouts in the Matrix movie). It is our consciousness
and the consciousness of all life that organizes the particle-waves into
energy patterns that we can perceive. Another recent movie, “What the
[bleep] Do We Know?” explores the quantum
Uncertainty Principle in a highly entertaining form. The Mind
of the Creator and the individual minds of the extensions of the Creator
(known as souls) collectively make up the Matrix. There is an energetic
reality beyond the personality or ego self, but it exists within a collective
field, at least in this manifest Universe. In the higher realms, things
may be a bit harder to analogize.
The key, then, is to learn to transcend perception
and experience life directly through inner knowing. The problem
is, it’s usually the ego trying to do this. The ego obviously cannot
transcend itself, but perhaps it can understand itself well enough
to realize its true position as servant and not master. When the ego
stops trying to control everything, the higher senses (psychic, intuitive,
clairvoyant, etc.) are able to arise, and perception changes. Self-awareness
is the key to transcendent perception.
The Power of Belief
Randi the magician has an ongoing offer to pay $1,000,000
to anyone who can demonstrate that psychic phenomena is real.* It's
my bet that he'll never have to pay up. Why? Because to him, it doesn't
exist, and no amount of “proof” by Russian scientists will ever
be enough to satisfy his extreme denial. What we don’t want to see
doesn’t exist for us, and unless something comes along to sufficiently
shake our belief, we go on living on a flat earth**, so to speak.
[*As of this writing, Randi the magician was revising
his beliefs regarding UFOs.]
[**There is an actual group called the Flat Earth
Society that still believes the Earth is flat.]
Fear is one of the most prevalent illusory perceptions
in today’s world. We see it every day in the media. We see its subtle
forms, such as anxiety, stress, nervousness and restlessness. In my
book Life On the Cutting Edge,
I give a proof that fear is an illusion. It’s based on the illusory
belief that someone or something outside ourselves can harm us or destroy
our peace of mind. This is only true if we believe we are separate from
God and Creation. Once we remove the belief in separation, there is
no fear. Seeing that this is an illusion, we can move right through the
fear to the reality on the other side.
We must stay fully present with fear -- notice
everything about it -- it's color, texture, bodily sensation, how
it arises, how it dissolves, what thoughts it generates, what actions
we take, how we try to deny it, etc. Avoiding IS the fear itself. Only
awareness dispels it.
Believing the Drama is Real
Ram Dass once said, "Before enlightenment it was
me and my STUFF!!! Now, it's just me and my stuff." The “stuff”
was still there, but swami's awareness had grown so much that the
stuff was now just a little pile of poop instead of a mountain of sh*t.
You’ve heard the expression “Don’t make mountains out of molehills.” And
I’m sure you’ve known at least one (probably several) drama kings or
queens. These folks take life way too seriously. After all, what’s the
worst that could happen? You might lose your body. Someone might kill you,
or torture you. You might wither away, alone and in poverty, starving and
wasting from disease. All your loved ones could die horrible deaths. The
world could be destroyed by nuclear weapons.
Notice a pattern? All of these involve the physical
body. But we are soooo much more than our physical bodies. Once we
realize we are Spirit, our bodies become merely vehicles for communication
on this plane of existence. Not only are they no longer all important,
but moving into Spirit automatically causes us to draw into our lives
only experiences that promote our spiritual growth – and that rarely
involves any kind of violence or suffering.
That's how it is for a lot of us now. We've been around
the block a few times and have learned to recognize how the ego blows
everything out of proportion as it vainly tries to save us from ourselves.
More and more we are coming from center (Spirit or Soul) instead of
from ego, and it feels wonderful in a solid sort of way. Of course,
things can still blow us off-track, but they don't seem to consume us
as much anymore.
We cannot wish or do away with the ego. That's because
it's the ego that wants to do away with things in the first place.
When I'm centered and clear within, I laugh. When we’re tempted to
buy into one of the illusions of the world, such as "I'm at the effect
of forces beyond my control," that's when it’s time to remember Who
We Really Are. We are soooo vast. We are loved by God so much that our
minds will NEVER be able to conceive of more than a tiny fraction of
A Course In Miracles says “every moment we are
choosing between the resurrection and the crucifixion.” To me, this
means that every thought can be life affirming or life denying, loving
or fearful, real or illusory. Are we giving power to illusions and
trying to make them real, or are we embracing our Divinity? In the Bible,
the "knowledge of good and evil" refers to the belief in duality. This
knowledge of good and evil brings with it a burden, as stated in Genesis.
But isn't knowledge better than blissful ignorance? Yes, but we must go
from knowledge to transcendence. Knowledge includes being aware of just
how deeply we bought into the belief in good and evil. Once we see every
crack and crevice of the darkness inherent in this belief, the light of
awareness dispels the illusion of duality and we remember that all is Spirit.
A Word About Compassion
An important point that I’ve made before is that once we
realize the power of belief, and the truth that our perceptions
(thoughts) create our reality, we may be tempted to dismiss the suffering
of others as “their belief; they created it; it’s their karma.” Or
we may go one step further and say, “It doesn’t matter that children
are starving because the world is an illusion.”
To review our lesson on dimensions and densities, let’s
remember that it’s 4th dimensional consciousness that spouts the
"all is illusion" rap in order to avoid looking at issues. Fifth dimensional
consciousness is love and unity, and love always finds some way
to respond to a call for help. Millions of our brothers and sisters
are calling out for help, and the Love Within will respond if we open
to it. Love's help may or may not appear as outer action, but closing
our hearts to suffering is definitely not a 5D response.
The real question here is about being guided by
one's own God Presence to help in the best possible way. My soul
often attracts other souls either to help me or be helped. I do not
need to go out of my way seeking to help others, nor should I be worried
about rejecting a plea of help. Love is spontaneous and natural and
if I'm listening to WHO I AM, I will respond appropriately. Sometimes
it may look like active intervention; sometimes like nothing at all.
Spirit knows what it's doing, my ego does not. Our egos do not know
all of the ramifications of any assistance we offer. Maybe that spare
change we gave to the man on the street went for alcohol. Then this
drunk man stole a car and mowed over a dozen people. Or maybe that smile
we gave prevented the suicide of someone who later became a major figure
for change in the world. All of us affect the world more than we can
All of the above discussion can be distilled down to one sentence
regarding perception: God’s Love within us is real; all else is
illusion. Yes, it’s that simple.
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Karma and Free Will
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