ILLUSION:Imagine being born into a dream: a mass illusion transformed over thousands of years by billions of people into what today you call reality. The billions of people subdivided into territories they called countries, into belief systems they called religions and into groups they called races. Countries subdivided into states, provinces and cities, which then subdivided into neighborhoods that subdivided into buildings or single-family homes. Religions divided into conservative and liberal sects, which then grew into more conservative and liberal branches. Races divided themselves by all of the above, including color, tone, ethnic makeup, and financial status. Each group then teaches and defends that its way is the way and its truth is the truth, and each group creates its own reality out of what it believes. Each group then tries to sell you on its current forms and laws, telling you that this is what is "right." Each teaches you that the closer you are to following its form, the happier, more successful and peaceful you will be. And somewhere deep within, you know that it is your right to be happy and to be at peace. So you buy into it, and regardless of how little sense the illusion makes, you keep participating for if you stop you will be judged as an outcast, a trouble-maker, a bum. You are taught that if you stop participating in the group's way of life, your hopes for happiness, success and peace will also end. The group tells you that if you go against the norm, you will not find happiness, peace or success. So you buy into the illusion the group offers, believing that there is no other way. You carefully weave and contour the illusion into one you can live with for now. But my friend, regardless of how you choose to weave, contour and experience the illusion, it is still an illusion.
In the world of illusions, success can be measured a hundred different ways, and failure a thousand others. In truth, you achieve success through your simple participation in the life experience. You experience growth, and that is what you have come to do. If you accomplish what you have come to do, then you have succeeded. In that sense, there is no more need to ever talk about being a successful human being. Yet, the ego offers people the opportunity to set different parameters around the idea of success, and they usually bite at those offers. Trying to set parameters around an illusion of success simply leads to confusion and disillusionment. For how could you ever succeed at putting parameters around something that does not exist? So you end up having many different ideas of what having a successful life really means. All these ideas are judged against each other, each chipping away at the other's views. Yet part of what the ego tries to sell you about success is that you cannot really be a complete success unless others also view you as a success. Due to the many individual perceptions of success, this makes the task even more difficult and confusing. To add to your confusion, the ego-self so narrowly defines success that many times there is no place for also achieving happiness. The ego-self very often sets success and happiness so far apart that you must sacrifice one to achieve the other. Finally, even if others perceive you as a success, deep within, the ego will try and convince you that you are lying to yourself and others, that you are really just a fraud who will soon be exposed.
As you continue to work on yourself, understand that if something is causing you anger, stress, unhappiness, regret or any other "negative" emotion, you are, by definition, experiencing an illusion. You will experience the illusions you still think are real. You will do so because you have made the unreal real and the best way to understand that what you see as valuable is actually valueless, is to experience its valuelessness. Many times, when people awaken from a particular illusion, they hold themselves in judgment for having so viciously defended it. I gladly and gently remind them that they should not judge themselves, but should be grateful for the experience, and proud of their awakening. My friend, it is an awakening once you realize that the unreal, regardless of how real people want to make it, is unreal. The greatest gift any illusion can offer is the opportunity to let you see it for what it truly is.
By- James Blanchard Cisneros, You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey From Perception to Knowledge