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Illusions we hold dear


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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Our lifetime is not enough to know all the experiences of life. Therefore, we need to have other sources in maximizing our understanding of the many facets of our existence. In this regard I am bound to share with you the most powerful materials that have shaken my foundation and have changed my life as well as the lives of many.

Life is full of questions but I have found answers in perusing the books: The Road Less Traveled, Man’s Search for Meaning and The Power of Now, these has given me light on the deepest nature of man. Still, in searching for ways of enhancing my life I have found: Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big and Thick Face Black Heart. In matters of understanding my mind I was greatly enlightened by the suspense filled novel’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior, A Rich Man’s Secret and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And finally, I have understood the pattern of my finances through reading Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.

Everything we wish in life will come upon us if we first seek the wisdom of knowing.

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47 Responses to “Illusions we hold dear”

  1. Steven says:

    Strict pessimism towards the human race? As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with what you said.

    But as much as you emphasized on the ignorance of people and our blindness to our masking illusions, there are people who have escaped, there are people who understand and work towards the unity of the human race.

    Technology advances year after year, meaning massive abundances of information are therefore transferred and shared more conveniently and broadly. Where there is information, there is a chance of increase of awareness – thus a window of consciousness, a break from illusions.

    But you are right, we are imperfect beings who created the imperfect society, filled with information of the mass media, governments, religions, relationships. Our minds get subconsciously programmed throughout our lives, making us the puppets under the control of our community.

    Many of us have not realized the illusions we are in and many won’t for their lives. But many of us will escape the trap and ultimately gain and retain a mind of our own, where passion and desire of authenticity arise.

    However, like I said, the information age is growing ever so quickly, it’s only a matter of time where the species grow aware enough to break out of the illusions.

    .-= Steven´s last blog ..Comic Lesson #2 : Don’t Ever Disrespect Yourself =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Steven – I do hope all of us should be aware of our mistakes, for the world is manifesting the atrocities of man. Our climate has changed due to our advancement and more people are destroyed by our latest technology. We should take responsibility for our actions instead of dreaming a bright future. :-)

  2. Great idea to write about illusions! It always amazes me how otherwise mature, intelligent adults can often hold really naive and simplistic view regarding life, love, happiness etc. I guess smart people do believe dumb things. :) .-= Ideas With A Kick´s last blog ..Constructive attitudes after getting fired =-.

  3. Hey Walter, what you said in this article makes sense to me, but it’s so dense I’ll have to read it again later :D

    I’m a bit concerned about eternal love, because while it’s true that it can’t exist, our society moves on the opposite direction.
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..One Hundred Pushups Challenge =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Oscar – Our society moves on the opposite direction because they follow a false aspiration. We long for something that will reunite us with the feeling of bliss, yet we don’t realize that such bliss can only be attained through the growth of one’s spirit. :-)

  4. Krishna says:

    Hi Walter,

    There is a concept in Eastern Mythology called “Maya” loosely translated as illusion. I was reminded time and again of this concept when reading through your article.

    Everything in this world is impermanent including material wealth, power, position, emotions. The only permanent thing, say the wise ones, is the realization of God. On a more practical note, at least we can be cautioned and expect most things in life to not last. “Roll with the punches” – or learn to accept and work with what is dealt to you :-).

    .-= Krishna´s last blog ..Believe your way to Success =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Krishna – I do believe in God and I also believe that we are part of Him. In our journey in this life we must seek our inner self and discover who we really are than living a life of reactions and illusions. :-)

  5. Cyndi says:

    What an amazing article. It’s all true. I am especially interested in the illusion of falling in love. We all grow up believing in the myth of happily-ever-after. We think that once that initial “magic” wears off then we are no longer in love. How many marriages break up because one or the other claims to love their partner but not “be in love” anymore. All they mean is that they no longer feel the exciting passion of a new romantic relationship. Real love is much deeper and rewarding and chasing that first rush of someone new only leads to more and more disillusionment and regret.
    .-= Cyndi´s last blog ..Field Of Ignorance =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Cyndi – We mistake attraction for love and here is where we stumble. Love goes deeper, it goes beyond our self. True love is not all heaven and bliss, it is sacrifice, selflessness and discipline. :-)

  6. Well written article that really makes people think! I have to respectfully disagree about your thoughts on eternal love though.

    I believe in falling in love and I also believe in eternal love. Sadly, I think that society has steered us away from that idea. There has to be a reason why divorce rates are much higher in the US today than half a century ago. A lot of it has to be culture. Love hasn’t changed but some are wrongly led to think too short-term. For me, there’s nothing more heartfelt than watching two seniors still holding hands and madly in love with each other.
    .-= Gabe |´s last blog ..Verizon Motorola Droid: legit iPhone killer or just the flavor of the month? =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Gabe – Love is really a complicated matter and I respect your dissecting opinion. We all have different views of love and no one will really grasp its true nature. As for the old couples holding hands: a picture of true love. :-)

  7. Hi Walter,

    What a beautiful post about illusions. I totally agree with all that you wrote. So many of the things that people are unhappy about are rooted in illusions. I think the one that has held back many people is the one about romantic love. People think romance means so difficult moments or that another person will complete you. It is so much more than that. :) .-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog ..What Do You Know For Certain? =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Nadia – Oftentimes, we have to be aware of our false aspirations. This is important in order for us to grow in life. :-)

  8. Robin Easton says:

    This is a thought provoking post.

    I think the things is to discern between eternal love in a relationship and simply the existence of eternal love irrespective of humans or anything else. Simply Love as a force in the Universe, which in itself may eternal.

    Here is a quote I use in my book: “Love is not something we ‘fall into’; Love is who we ARE.” ~ © Robin Easton

    So in that light if we only perceive love as something between two people that must be eternal, then yes we might be disillusioned, but not necessarily always. Some beings have reached a stage where they are capable of eternal love between them.
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..When I Die I Want… =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Robin – Yes Robin I agree, love is a force in the universe. But the thing is people have a misconception about it, and they have interpreted it according to their predilections. And without any doubt you are right: Love is who we are. :-)

  9. Kaushik says:

    You’re of course right about illusions. Seeing through the romantic love illusion is one that people resist the most. There is nothing wrong with romantic love–it’s just that it’s not always the same as big Love. Love, with the capital L, as Rumi says, is the way the Sun love the Earth. It’s expansive and inclusive of all and not directed towards a one person.

    Great article, thanks.
    .-= Kaushik´s last blog ..Healing… =-.

  10. askcherlock says:

    This is very profound. We do tend toward illusions and then wonder what happened. Love of the spirit within a person can be much more gratifying, especially after that initial glows fades. Finding the many layers within another and appreciating them, can also be a deeper, more fulfilling love.
    .-= askcherlock´s last blog ..No More U.S. Troops to Afghanistan =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Askcherlock – We live our life with many layers of mask. But we can never grow with our mask, we must seek our true self and allow its emancipation. :-)

  11. “Love starts when attraction ends.” Bam! That sounds about right, although I’d never have come up with it myself. How did you get so smart?
    .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..NaNoWriMo =-.

  12. “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.”

    This one really hit home as I sometimes catch myself being way too attached to my material objects and my reputation. All of which really are just illusions that will past. Great article Walter!


  13. Jonny says:

    Right thats it, I’m gonna have to get rid of my novelty mirror that makes me look thin then.
    .-= Jonny´s last blog ..Cubical With A View: The Office Of A Traveling Entrepreneur On Holiday =-.

  14. elmot says:

    Thanks for the comment on my post. I really appreciate it. :D

    I think one greatest illusion I am pissed off is about the promise of salvation. It only gives the people a false promise of greater things to come than motivate him to actually move and forge his future despite sufferings and challenges.
    .-= elmot´s last blog ..Sex Education with Paris Hilton. What about That? =-.

  15. Zengirl says:


    I love your writing style!!, very expressive. I have many illusions, or I would like to call it aspirations, hoping if I think often enough, it might turn into reality. :-) Although, little illusions helps us during stark and dark phase of our lives sometimes.
    .-= Zengirl´s last blog ..Laidback Mornings: without an alarm =-.

  16. THE GUYS says:

    In our opinion, attraction actually GROWS as love enters. That’s when that initial “fantasy” turns to reality and people CHOOSE to stay. And each day they choose it again and again….because it is a choice.
    But love w/out attraction isn’t very exciting. You can have both.

    THE CYCLE: People seek power and fame, to gain money, which in turn helps them find that “love fantasy” you describe…which gives them more power, fame, etc. A destructive path indeed…..but, maybe fun for a few years!

    But we all must evolve at some point.
    .-= THE GUYS´s last blog ..The Malaprops: Mystery Veggie =-.

  17. Evita says:

    I love the premise of this article Walter and how you started about how we as adults make this world of illusion a reality is just brilliant.

    I love the examples you use and this makes me want to add so many other illusions here that people think is reality like most of what the entire medical system is based on… not to mention the illusions that people hold around the need for protein, of needing to eat meat, that dairy does their bones good, of vaccines saving us, etc, etc….

    Sorry my holistic health passion came through and I just had to throw all those in too, as in my experience with people and health, and consulting those are some of the hardest to break when it comes to having better health for most people out there.

    There is an awesome book that I highly recommend called “Virus of the Mind” – talks about how thoughts come to be accepted as reality in society, even though they are totally false at the root.
    .-= Evita´s last blog ..Choice Point 2012 – Boston 2009 Conference – Alberto Villoldo =-.

  18. That’s really interesting, and timely, as it were. In terms of love, I think we use the word “love” too loosely in our society. Most people fall in lust, or attraction as you put it, and would be well served to understand what you said: in many cases, love begins when attraction ends. Although I’ve felt love for another before I was ever attracted to him. So there’s room to play in that theory you purported (from my experience).

    I like the illusion of insignificance you talked about, too. Sad, but true. I’ve seen my own ego lift me up and then throw me down, over and over again, like I was a ragdoll. It’s only in disengaging from my egoic state, and becoming a third-person observer of how my mind works, that I was able to separate from the cycle and disempower ego. Doesn’t always happen that way, but when I’m able to detach, it’s amazing how much clearer I can see things — my life especially.

    Thanks for writing this, and getting these ideas out into the ethers!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..Love Leaves Again =-.

    • Walter says:

      @Megan – Detachng ourself from the person we are not is very hard to master. However, it is much better to make an effort than to decay in the manipulation of our mind. :-)

  19. Tim says:

    Walter, thanks for another great blog post. You are my favorite kind of writer: you think about matters much deeper than others and you explain them in a way that hasn’t been explained before. I would even go as far to say that you are a real life philosopher. I’m definitely going to keep reading from you.
    .-= Tim´s last blog ..Why You Shouldn’t Resort To Revenge—Even On People Who Deserve It =-.

  20. Mike says:

    Powerful article, thanks!

    The fallacy of insignificance is one all to easy to adopt in the world we live in. Beliefs we embrace from society instill a notion that mediocrity is comfort, and great things are only done by a select privileged few.

    With this idea in mind we throw away the one life we are fortunate enough to be given, and waste away the days and hours we could be using to achieve greatness and self mastery.

    Thanks for the inspiration,

    • Walter says:

      I’m glad you are aware of this very important wisdom about people. We are all capable of greatness, we only need to choose it for our self. :-)

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