So, you think you’re grown up and circumspect enough to fall for childish illusions? Think again. If children have fairly tales to which they conjure a make-believe world, we grownups have ours; but there’s a big difference, we generate a reality from it. The more we advance in age the more complex, creative and destructive our make-believe stories. In our effort to make sense out of life, we have conjured an illusory system for which we could ascribe meaning, understanding and happiness. Generations after generation it has been passed down, this legacy of distorted truths and comforting myths. Look upon yourself, maybe you can identify herein.
The first illusion people usually fall for is the misconception of eternal love. This seemingly romantic tale has put scar upon the hearts of many and embed false hopes upon one’s soul. It all starts when we stumble on a strange phenomenon of falling in love.
Upon initial impact, our mundane existence becomes magical. Suddenly, everything is wonderful, the sun shines even when it rains, every sound is a melody and smile is always painted on our faces. For the first time we live in a carefree realm of the present moment—no worries, no hurries, only bliss. A truly wonderful feeling this called love, until the villain of reality snatches us from this ephemeral experience: for when love culminates in union, we snap back into our original self, bewildered of the spell that has come upon us.
The sad part is we seldom get pass over this fantasy, we long to go back to its hypnotic bliss; and with this longing we try to find it again by falling in-love all over again—this time with the another individual for whom this longing is triggered. This is the main contributory factor for infidelities and separations. For most of us, the illusory promise of eternal love will always be a magnificent experience worthy of preservation.
In the language of science “falling in love” is nothing more than an evolutionary mechanism to insure the survival of our species. This is also the reason why we fall out of love when the union is consummated. We mistake attraction for love. Attraction is ambivalent and never loyal; love is divine and absolute, it is never about attraction. Love starts when attraction ends. Think about this before you indulge in your so-called “love.”
Another illusion that we cater is the promise of salvation (in spite of inaction). This is the author of most of the sufferings of humans. This belief depicts that the more we succumb to helplessness the more mercy we shall receive; the more we lack, the more we will be rewarded; the more we are poor, the more we belong to the kingdom of heaven. With these illusions as gauge, I think heaven will be pretty congested with victims, who never really tried to make an effort to improve their lot. Being poor like I was, I spend all my energies practicing this false hope of salvation. While rotting in squalor, I put much effort on envying, cursing and judging the fortunate lot of successful people. No wonder I’ve been poor for so long, I cling to the false belief that the rich are privileged and the poor are helpless—and that I can do nothing about it. This belief has nothing more than deprecate my being. It is fortunate that I have awakened from these deteriorating illusions that have kept my true abilities from manifesting. One thing I shall never forget: salvation comes to those who reach for it, not to those who wait for it.
Upon further inquiry I have also discovered yet another timeless illusion which takes its form in the seemingly incorruptible promise of material permanence. Despite its various manifestations—fame, fortune, vigor and power—one cannot resists its powerful spell. Pharaohs have been lured by this illusion in a monumental scale; they have even built themselves monoliths to embody these outrageous beliefs: well, the structure proved its timelessness san their person.
Celebrities, leaders and moguls all fall prey from this insidious poison that eats one’s soul. Having something that is scarce, we took great pride its possession; thanks to the aid of our ego, ignorance and folly, we become obsessed with our prized object and status. We go to greater lengths to defend and preserve these representations of our superiority and authority. We are so caught up with control that we fall out of control. And at the end of our time, when the reality of decrepitude has caught us up, it’s too late. What should have been important we cannot acquire anymore; as we lay on our death beds, our feeling of emptiness is more deadening than our approaching demise. To you my fellow brothers and sisters, always remember your last when you embrace something you consider important.
One last illusion I want to emphasize is the fallacy of insignificance. This mighty illusion has been the cause of mediocrity among majority of people. Those living under this lie believe that they have nothing to offer; they settle themselves in status quo despite their tremendous ability to make a contribution. This world could have been a better place if most people believed in their abilities and work on something for the advancement and well-being of all inhabitants of this planet.
If you have been keen in your observation over these past few years, you must have noticed something different in this generation we are currently in. Conflicts are everywhere, war is always is always a threat, calamities have desolated many nations, climate is changing and people are anxious than ever before.
There’s only one truth I want to emphasize here. The negative changes we are experiencing is not a prophecy, it is not within any religious admonitions. We are the ones who make this world unstable. With all our illusions, we destroy the natural balance of things, and we clock our own destruction.
Foolishness and ignorance, powered with genius, creativity and necessity, is a sure formula for destruction: another one of this in our nuclear age and man will surely be extinct.
“Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort.”
– Jean Cocteau
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