Opens the door . . .

I recently posted about a book that my dear friend and spiritual sister Anita suggested I read. Last night my wife asked me to help write the review the seller asked us to write from the website where we bought the book. The last line of the book review was, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.”

Well, that may not be true for everyone, but it is certainly true for me. I completely believe that the Toltec wisdom was on to something profound, but for me it presents a major challenge.

Until I was about 11 years old, I do not remember having any internal voice in my head. The book I’m reading (now for the 2nd time) calls that voice by a few different names, including “The Voice of Knowledge” and “The Prince of Lies”. Both are accurate – but as I was saying, I never heard that voice until I was about 11 years old. That was about the time I learned that I could use memory to replay music in my head without hearing it on a stereo or radio.

That was, for me, 48 years ago. Since then, that voice has progressed from being a jukebox to being an ever present companion. It is so constant that I never feel I’ve slept anymore. That voice presents dreams, illusions, fantasies, and evaluations of current events in my head during the hours I am trying to sleep. It never stops, and I never arise from trying to sleep feeling well rested. Plus, now that I’ve read this book, I have to ask myself one question – “How do I know the difference between truth and lies?”

Some things, with the help of the book, are almost easy. If a decision is based on fear or hate, it is based in a lie. However, there are other things that I consider that are harder to quantify. For example, I’ve seen X-ray and other evidence to support that my body’s bone tumor caused permanent damage. Is that true only because I believed the “medical professionals” who said it did that? What about the arthritis? The migraine headaches? Lies in our “Voice of Knowledge” can be inherited from others – so where do I draw the line? How do I go about proving what is real from what isn’t?

I’m starting to regret telling my wife to end the book review with the line, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.” It’s beginning to feel like a vast understatement.

Just spit it out . . .

I’ve had an idea for a post rattling around in my head for weeks now, but I never thought I had it together enough to write a blog with it.  Part of the problem is that I haven’t slept well in ages, it seems.  I go to bed, and a half hour later my body hurts so bad that I get back up.  Or – I have a migraine and don’t sleep anyhow.  When I do sleep, I get perhaps 3 hours before I roll over on my hip or shoulder, and wake myself up.

Anyhow, I decided to just toss this out there, and see what everyone thinks.  Please forgive that it isn’t very polished.

It’s about Illusions.  I was a youngster when I first read Richard Bach’s “Johnathan Livingston Seagull” – and that was probably my first brush with Illusions as a concept of reality in this world.  A follow-up book by the same author was “Illusions: the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”.    I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I think this world is not real – but recently I started to ponder the deeper question:  If it isn’t real, why do so many believe that it is?

As I pondered that question – I began to realize that my video games held a clue, even if accidentally.  THEY are created illusions, and people actually pay money to dive into them for entertainment.  As I looked at this, I realized that each illusion world was supported by MANY other, lesser, illusions built into the world, that define what the world is and how it works.  When people accept the rules of that world, playing the game becomes “real” to them for as long as they are plugged into it.

Which leads to a supplemental question about OUR world – what illusions exist to define it, that are accepted by so many people as to make it “real” to them?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have attempted to formulate a list of such illusions.  I don’t really know the best way to present this, so I’m going to just make it a list.

Dignity, Morality, Nobility, Organized Religion, family, society, nations, governments, power, success, wealth, health, pain, illness, possessions,  duty, honor, sacrifice, obligation.

There is a proof to the fact that these things are illusions – just challenge someone else with the idea that one of them isn’t real and watch their reaction.  If they bought into it, they will become livid over the suggestion that they are wrong – but they can’t PROVE they are right.  They can only prove they are willing to use force to make you withdraw the accusation.