World of Illusion

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, what is real and what is imagined? Have you ever noticed that some people seem to go through life effortlessly with constant lucky breaks, while you seem to struggle at every turn? Have you ever known someone who never seems to get upset by what goes on around him or her? They just seem to be on another plane of consciousness breathing “ratified air” while you gasp and hack your way through life? Why does this occur and what is the cause of it? Is it pre-destiny, luck, Karma? Or is there more to it than that?

I believe that your perspective and how you interpret and internalize events directly affects the circumstances you experience.

Consider the following example. Two individuals are working separately on very important, difficult projects at work. The first individual, Bob, experiences a serious setback that threatens the entire project’s success and completion. He views the setback as another example of how he usually fails when the going gets tough. He remembers the many times he failed at something, accepted failure and moved on to something else. This line of reasoning causes him to doubt himself and reinforces the feeling that he doesn’t “measure-up” to some of his peers at work. He becomes despondent and depressed. He continues this negative self-talk until he becomes so discouraged that he considers leaving the company and finding employment elsewhere. The more he thinks about the situation, the more it reminds him of other times in the past when he failed. Each time he remembers this, he feels worse and worse.

The second person, Nancy, has a set-back of identical magnitude in her project. The project is important to her both in her advancement and her company’s future. The stakes are high. She examines the setback in a relaxed manner, looking at it from all sides. She sees the problem as a temporary setback and one that, with time she will find a solution. She trusts that no   matter how difficult a situation might appear at first, if one persists, a solution is almost inevitable. She remembers all the times that a seemingly insurmountable issue was resolved in time by  thought, reason, and persistence. She remembers that many times seemingly insurmountable setbacks are often stepping-stones to even greater achievement. She doesn’t panic; she relaxes and let’s go of the problem knowing an answer will come to her.

Which one of these two people do you think experiences more favorable circumstances in their lives? Bob or Nancy? In this example, each experienced similar circumstances. The only difference between the two is how they internalized the experience and how they reacted to it. More importantly, how they thought about it and the feelings those thoughts evoked.

This example illustrates that we don’t really perceive reality at all. In fact, there is no such thing as “reality”. The reality each of us experiences is filtered through our perceptions and most  important, our beliefs. We don’t have the ability to analyze every aspect of what comes into      us and perceive reality per se. We only perceive and process what our limited senses allow us to perceive and what those senses perceive is almost entirely determined by our deeply held beliefs and convictions. 

Now don’t get me wrong. There are certain things that make up objective reality, like gravity for example.  If you walk out in front of a moving bus, no amount of beliefs are going to alter the fact that you will get crushed. We are not talking here about jumping off a cliff reality or getting  hit by a bus reality. We are talking about the process by which subjective reality becomes objective reality. We are talking about how the beliefs of the observer (you) become objective fact.

We all live in a world of illusion and self-delusion which is centered around and based on our current belief system. We don’t perceive reality at all! We experience a contrivance or projection of our mind which we call reality. This contrivance in the form of self-delusion is determined by the thoughts created by our beliefs and deeply held convictions. If you want to change your circumstances, you have to change your beliefs, plain and simple.

It is commonly said in popular spiritual vernacular, that you are what you think. Also that thoughts are things or thoughts become things. To some extent this is true, but more accurately, beliefs determine thoughts which are acted upon and eventually create the things and circumstances in your life. Said another way, what you are currently experiencing in life is determined by the consciousness you currently occupy, the thoughts you think, and most  important, your beliefs and deeply held convictions.

If this is true, how do we change our beliefs so that we create a life that is consistent with our desires or “good” and does not consist of unwanted circumstances (that which we don’t want).

How do we escape this world of illusion and self-delusion to find truth? The answer lies in the understanding of cause and effect in the Universe. Once this understanding is obtained, one must learn how to harness the forces of creation in the Universe and intentionally create good in one’s life and minimize the creation of unwanted circumstances.

Taken from Chapter I of “Being and Becoming” which will be published later this summer on Amazon.

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About Greg Roukema

25 year experience in finance, investment, commercial real estate, and private equity.
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