A Course in Miracles Blog

How to recognize illusions for what they are

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"Illusions recognized must disappear."

Let's say there is a monster behind the door. It's dark back there, and there was a strange noise. Something seemed to move. Because of the darkness, there is a lack of ability to see clearly, and things are obscure. You're having to make evaluations based on a lack of clarity and not having all the facts. You can't see the whole context so it seems reasonable to conclude there is some strange dark beast lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce.

However, when you switch on the light, and you move the door aside, you see that in fact there is no monster there. It was a trick, a deception. What you thought was there, is not there. And all you see is some clothing which was hanging on the door which slipped off the door hook and fell down. You suddenly realize this is what made the sound you heard, and are relieved to realize this is "all that it is". You simply see the whole picture clearly, you have all the information, nothing is hidden or obscure, and "in the light" it becomes clearly obvious what is there and what is not. And upon seeing this, the illusion of a monster has disappeared.

This is what it's like to go through a transition from believing that illusions are real, to realizing and recognizing that they are not. Learning to recognize what the situation actually IS, rather than what you thought it was. Learning to SEE clearly, so that you only see things for what they actually ARE, instead of what you were making of them. And once you see the illusion for only what it is without adding to or removing anything, it no longer holds any threat or implication. It only is what it is, nothing more and nothing less, and what it is is false, not something to believe in or be upset about. And seeing it for what it IS, doesn't make it REAL.

A similar thing happens with puzzle solving. Let's say you have some puzzle, perhaps a three dimensional set of object pieces that you're supposed to disconnect but you can't see how to do it. You start out deceived by illusions. Something about the appearance of the puzzle has deceived you, causing you to make assumptions that are false, and so you're starting out with distorted perception OF an illusion. But you believe them, and so you are blind to the "solution" because you can't see past your deluded mis-perceptions and mistaken evaluations.

Eventually after much trying, it suddenly occurs to you that something you were seeing was not actually the case. It seemed to be something, but was actually something else. You suddenly remark "oh" and recognize what's actually happening. You recognize the illusion, see through the illusion, and awareness of a larger context dawns on you. In that greater light or perspective, outside of the illusions, you can suddenly "see" the answer, and WHY the puzzle was deceiving you.

You see through its deception and recognize the mechanisms of deception, and now can solve the puzzle. It is obvious then. And you kick yourself for having not seen something so blatantly obvious all along. Afterwards you can never see the puzzle the same way again or be deceived by it, because you have learned to recognize the truth and would have to deliberately blind yourself.

The same thing also happens with your beliefs, which have an effect on your perception and how things register to your awareness. What you believe is true, will seem real to you. And it will take on properties of power, causality, will, intensity and permanence. And by investing it WITH truth you will take it to be telling you the truth, as though it is factually real. But just because illusions appear to be real, doesn't mean they are. And so if you have illusions ABOUT illusions, you are having false perception.

If you have a belief, let's say, that you are an unworthy person who doesn't deserve love because of something you did 3 years ago, that's going to skew your perception and make it appear that it's TRUE of you that you don't deserve love. And because you believe in that, which ultimately is untrue in the big picture, you are blinded by this belief. You can't see past it or accept the truth about you - that you deserve love. Illusions about you seem to be true, rather than illusions about you being recognized as false.

But then if you work on this "true" belief, you transition from believing it is true, to recognizing and believing it is false. As you make that transition, how that belief "strikes" you or registers with your mind, changes. When you believed it was true it seemed to hold power and truth, to threaten and define you, and upset you, and seemed to be a CAUSE or reason why you are unlovable. It seemed to have truth in it and you were upset by it. But now, as you see it from a different vantage point, you STILL SEE IT, but it registers to your perception in a different way. It now just seems false, you don't feel like you believe in it, it doesn't appear to be true to you, and it doesn't hold any of that seeming "charge" that gave it a sense of power and causality. You now see the belief as nothing, nonsense, totally untrue, and something you are now WILLING to surrender and let go of.

As you work on transitioning from false perception to true perception, this is more or less the same process you will go through. False perception is a state where you are experiencing or presented with illusions but you are having illusions ABOUT those illusions, causing you to BELIEVE THEY ARE REAL. You believe they are true, are blinded by them, deceived by them, tempted by them, and you can't see past their *appearance*. You think they make sense and are valid, because you believe IN them and have placed a sense of trust and truth into them, seeing no reason to question their "reality."

Over time, you will still continue to see these same illusions, BUT, how they APPEAR to you, how they strike you, how they register to your awareness, will transition from that state where they seem to have power and causality and loom over you like they are unquestionable, to where they have lost all their seeming strength, all their power and causality, all their truth and validity, you have WITHDRAWN your belief in them, you see PAST their appearances, you no longer put your belief IN them, and therefore they simply now seem to be UNREAL. They have deflated and collapsed down into nothing. They register to your mind as FALSE. You see a bigger truth, in light of which these smaller lies are OBVIOUSLY false and cannot be believed. You wonder why you ever believed such nonsense in the first place.

Recognize here then that up until you are done perfecting your true perception/christ vision, you are in a state of being surrounded WITH illusions (the physical world), but are learning to RECOGNIZE them for what they REALLY ARE, rather than being deceived by them and believing they are true. And that means you're still going to PERCEIVE them, it's just that HOW you perceive them is going to change, and how they LOOK to you is going to change. What they MEAN to you is going to change. And whether or not you believe they are TRUE is going to change. The world is going to transition from seeming to be REAL, to being clearly UNREAL!

When illusions are seen but NOT recognized for what they are, two things are happening. There is a seemingly external illusion, PLUS you have a distorted vision which can't see past the appearances and takes the illusion to be real. So now there are TWO layers of illusions. When you are learning to OVERLOOK (forgive) the illusion, it is STILL SEEN for a while, BUT the DISTORTED INTERPRETATION *OF AN ILLUSION* changes to an ACCURATE interpretation of the illusion. That which is illusory is not merely your mistaken perception OF something. There are two layers to illusions. The illusion ITSELF (e.g. physical world, bodies), and whether or not you are DECEIVED by it (believe in it). Just because you undo your deception/misperception doesn't mean that you are done undoing the illusion ITSELF. Your misperceptions OF the world, merely reveal to you the truth ABOUT the world, the "reality" of it, which is that IT IS NOT REALITY.

When Christ vision is perfected and you no longer believe in ANY illusions, the illusion DOES disappear. Or shall we say, when you no longer believe that this ILLUSORY WORLD is real, and can RECOGNIZE IT for what it is - a dream - it will disappear. Along the way, as you undo your belief in ANY illusion being real, the illusion "THAT IT IS REAL" disappears, revealing the illusion FOR WHAT IT IS. That it IS an illusion, not a reality. And eventually the view that it is ALL an illusion becomes very clear and obvious, and then the entire thing disappears.

To "see through" the illusion is to OVERLOOK it, which is what forgiving it means. "To forgive is to overlook". By NOT BEING DECEIVED *BY* the illusory world, causes you to forgive the world and therefore produces "the forgiven world". But "a forgiven world cannot last", because IF you forgive it, ie if you recognize it for what is "really is", you WILL recognize that IT IS AN ILLUSION OF A WORLD. NOT a real world. "The real world still is but a dream." And this is why forgiven worlds MUST disappear BECAUSE they don't really exist!

This world, including Earth, is an illusion of a world. It is illusory ITSELF, a fake world made of illusions and deceptions. regardless of whether you RECOGNIZE it as that or not. And if you DON'T recognize it as that, you WILL believe it is REAL. And that is FALSE PERCEPTION. It was made to tempt you and deceive you. If you are still seeing it, you must believe in it to some degree. But as you transition towards Christ vision, you will gradually learn to regard it as FALSE, unreal, and untrue. This means you will be withdrawing your belief in it, withdrawing your faith from it, and learning to register it as false, or in the category of "unreality". You will no longer be deceived BY the illusion, or have illusions ABOUT the illusion.

***Just because your misperceptions become corrected DOES NOT MEAN that you are unveiling reality to yourself. It means you are unveiling the TRUE NATURE OF the ILLUSION!*** And reality is BEYOND IT!!!

Just because you have illusions ABOUT the world, does not mean that the world itself is REAL! Or that by "seeing what is true about it" is to see it AS true. Or to "see the reality of it" means it IS real. IT IS NOT REAL. Just because you misunderstand what the world IS, doesn't automatically mean it IS REAL or true BEHIND your misunderstandings. Your misunderstanding OF the world is that YOU THINK IT IS REAL WHEN IT ISN'T!!!!! It only means that you are not seeing WHATEVER IT IS, correctly. False perception does that. And it does not follow that seeing the world "truly" will show you that it is REAL, only that its "true nature" will be revealed, real OR illusory. It will show you the truth ABOUT the world. It will show you the "reality of" the world. But what the world is, in reality, in truth, IS UNREALITY. The world *ITSELF* is an illusion of a world, which you have been having illusions ABOUT.

***False perception falsely perceives illusions (with more illusions) and believes they are real.***

***True perception CORRECTLY perceives ILLUSIONS and RECOGNIZES them as FALSE.***

Undoing your illusions ABOUT the world therefore isn't going to lead to you realizing that this world is REAL, or reveal to you "its underlying reality". It SHOULD lead to you realizing that this world is UNREAL, and that it couldn't possibly have come from God, only from YOUR DREAMING. It's unreal precisely BECAUSE when you believed it was real, you were MISTAKEN. When you thought IT was true, you were mistaken and having misperceptions of insanity - believing that something illusory HAS REALITY. And so learning the truth ABOUT it, should revel to you that it is NOT REAL, AND NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WAS. False perception is a state of FALSELY INTERPRETING AN ILLUSORY WORLD. ***It is a state of HAVING ILLUSIONS ABOUT AN ILLUSION.*** Not falsely interpreting reality. True perception is a state of CORRECTLY INTERPRETING AN ILLUSORY WORLD TO BE FALSE, whereby the illusory world is OVERLOOKED (forgiven) and the REAL WORLD (heaven) comes into sight in place of it.

What the course typically calls "the real world" is that state of mind you get into when you solve the puzzle, or realize there is no monster behind the door. It's a state where the world is still briefly SEEN, but NOT BELIEVED. So that means, as you approach the real world, and you are seemingly IN THIS WORLD, in a body still, you SHOULD be realizing AND recognizing and perceiving this world AS. .... nothing but A DREAM, a fiction, UNTRUTH, UNREALITY. Walking around it in the "awareness of dreaming" KNOWING that it IS a dream, NOT a reality. Being aware that this world IS ILLUSION and holds nothing that you want. "It takes great learning to both recognize and accept that this world has nothing to give." And in that state of recognition, you are like dipping your toe into an unreal hell only for the sake of helping others to leave it.

The world should hold NO REALITY FOR YOU!!! NONE. The world IS NOTHING. IT DOES NOT EXIST! THERE IS NO WORLD! "The world will spin into the NOTHINGNESS from which it came."

To be a teacher of God is to be aware of dreaming. That means being aware that you are IN A DREAM WORLD. It is not the END of dreaming. You are still IN the dream, RECOGNIZING that it IS a dream, not a reality. NOT believing it is true or real. NOT believing in it. NOT buying into what you see. NOT buying into sickness. NOT believing bodies are really people. NOT believing that anything you see is TRUE or permanent or irreversible or happening in reality.

Yet still perceiving it, just enough that you can still operate in it temporarily. And eventually your clarity about the truth becomes so complete, there you will see THROUGH the illusory world fully, having NO ILLUSIONS ABOUT THE ILLUSION, such that the illusory world completely disappears, revealing the real world, and then you will transition effortlessly to heaven. Where is the illusory world then? It does not exist, and it never did, because there is no world.

When illusions are fully recognized, THEY DISAPPEAR. The illusory world, Earth, WILL disappear, BECAUSE it is an illusion. The body's eyes can see it BECAUSE the body can ONLY see illusions. The world and the body are both dreams. None of them are real. That is what true perception is supposed to reveal to you, NOT that this world is "actually real" behind your misperceptions of it.

Reality is BEYOND ANY PERCEIVED WORLD. It is beyond the falsely perceived illusory world, and it is beyond the truly perceived illusory world. It is beyond perception ENTIRELY.

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