Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Illusion

Illusions seem to make sense when they appear or are brought to mind; they often project an aura of an idealized atmosphere in which success, if not love, conquers all; dreams and hopes come to fruition.  The rent somehow will be paid because, the illusion tells us, right action produces desired results.

The entire universe, illusion whispers in our ear, is an interlinked network of cooperative cause and reward-oriented effect.  We may not be paid in the coin we visualize in our separate illusions, but we will be paid in some coin because for every action, there is a reaction, equal in force and opposite in direction, right?

How ever fraught the universe may appear to us in the more practical terms under which predators lurk in anticipation of supper or unseen dangers and fatal surprises must surely await, some small part of us still grows the avocado pit in a flowerpot, nourishes in some way or other an illusion that some small part of all will someday, somehow be well.

You give up some illusions each time you begin a new project, each time you fall in love, each time you are asked to prepare a resume or curriculum vitae.  Illusions are neither all positive nor by any means all negative.  The ease in which an illusion with potentially harmful effects may be surrendered is equal to the force necessary to let go of an illusion built on a moral high ground or platform of unending cheer.

Is it an illusion for us to imagine we have given up the illusions of our more callow years?  Is it an illusion for us to believe we have substituted common sense, whatever that may be, for illusion?

Some of the Eastern philosophies have gone far along the track of objectifying illusion, even to the point of giving it a name:  Maya.

Vanity of vanities, one prophet says, all is vanity.

It is possible, isn’t it, to substitute illusion for vanity?  Maybe vanity is illusion, or illusion vanity.

Some of the same Eastern philosophies that have named illusion Maya take matters to the extreme position of saying there is only one reality, that being the godhead.  Everything else, they argue, is Maya.

In some cultures, the individual who falls in love with anything but the godhead is regarded as a fool.  Yet other cultures regard the individual who does not fall in love as a fool.

Is being foolish all that bad?  You are not a reliable source to venture opinion on that because of your perception that foolishness is your default position.  Of course, foolishness may be an illusion, but if it is, then there is likelihood that its polar opposite may also be an illusion.  Indeed, all judgment maybe an illusion, leaving the possibility that the only non-illusory things are those that can withstand the rigor of scientific observation, evaluation, and demand for proof.

Two parallel lines have been hypothecated to meet only in infinity.

Can the same be said of illusion and foolishness?

Why?

If someone says of you that you look different, is that a complement, an accusation, or an illusion.

You do know this:  it is more difficult to write something in actuality than to imagine having written it, and that observation is no illusion.

You are also aware of the illusory nature attached to something you have actually written that strikes you as being good beyond the ordinary degree to which things you have written seem good.

Why do the words “seem” and “appear” fill you with suspicion when you see or hear them?

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