We have talked many times about the illusion, but there has never been a single message fully describing what is meant by this term. Now the time has come. I am going to start with the ending and then go back and fill in the spaces. This is the ending: Everything, without exception, that you experience in this physical world is an illusion. Everything. None of it is real. No exception.
Now we will take a giant step backward. In the illusion, you can do that. In reality, there is no place to take a step and no time in which it can be accomplished. What is reality? Let me tell this as a story. In the first part of the story there is God. God is unconditional love, unlimited creativity, unlimited power, and unlimited joy. There is no duality, only the is-ness of these qualities. These descriptors are human terms and unable to do justice to what Jesus called “the Kingdom of God”. The only thing that is absolutely true and real is this kingdom. In the second part of the story, God chose to create beings or entities in the image of Himself. Remember, as always, that the language is limited. There are no serviceable gender free terms, but be clear that divinity, that God, does not have gender. There is no duality in divinity. As a default, we will refer to God as “Him”. To continue, these entities were created in the image of God, beings of unconditional love, creativity and so on, and, of course, gender free. These could be called the Children of God.
In the third part of the story, a group or a portion of the Children of God, who A Course in Miracles calls the Son of God, in their infinite creativity, decided it would be fun to create something that would be secret and separate from God. To begin with, this was an impossible task. There can be nothing separate from God. I will now use the term “We”, because you and I are a part of this group. We are one with God and God cannot be separate from Himself. We allowed ourselves the thought that we could create separately from God and then went into that creation. We then experienced the illusion of separation. This experience was not real because we could not actually create something separate from God. We could say that this creation was like a dream. We went into this collective dream. God could not see this dream any more than a mother can see her child’s dream. In the dream we felt separate from God and had our first experience with fear. We feared that we could never find our way back to God and that He would be angry with us for creating behind His back. These fears were false. It is not possible for God to be angry or judgmental. However, in this nightmare we had created, all of this seemed possible. The ego is what we call that part of us that feared God and believed in the illusion.
In this way we created the physical universe. It is a part of this dream, of this illusion. We have been hiding here in the physical from God. The truth of us is still one with God. This is just a bad dream. As soon as God recognized what we had done, he created the solution. He imagined the means by which the part of our divine selves stuck in the nightmare could reconnect with the Oneness. Because there is no time in divinity, the solution was instantaneous. The problem was immediately solved. You could say that it was over before it began. Boom, boom. However in the illusion there is time. There is duality. So, it seems that we have been trapped in this dream for thousands upon thousands of years, for lifetime after seemingly endless lifetime. Trapped. The idea we have of hell is here. This earth is it, but it is not real. The idea of heaven is our true home, the Kingdom of God, the place of unconditional love and unlimited joy. The challenge for us through these eons of time in the illusion has been to simply wake up to our divinity, realizing that we are and always have been the Children of God. I have called this waking up our Ascension. These physical bodies are not who we are.
This entire physical world, every aspect of it, is an illusion. We created it, not God. This is our nightmare. As long as we hold onto it and defend its reality, it will seem real. The ego’s job is to convince us in whatever ways possible that the illusion is real and that we have no choice but to stay here. The solution that God immediately created is called Spirit, or Holy Spirit. Spirit is the intermediary between God and the illusion. God doesn’t directly experience our dream because it isn’t real. If He were able to observe it, it would make it real. That’s the last road we would want to go down. Then our illusion would be true and we might really be stuck here. Fortunately, this isn’t the case, and God cannot get directly involved with things that don’t exist. Spirit, however, is the link between God and our ego illusion. We can listen to the voice of Spirit and be led home, or we can listen to the voice of the ego and continue spinning through lifetimes of pain, fear, and suffering. Sounds like a slam dunk choice here. However, the ego is whispering in your other ear telling you not to trust Spirit, asking you how these things that you can feel can be less real than some ideas that probably aren’t even true. Ego tells you that your divine nature is the illusion and that God is out to get you. You will have to pay for what you have done. You are guilty, guilty, guilty. Why would you want to go home to a God who is just going to punish you? Instead, you play all kinds of games trying to win God’s favor and His forgiveness. You project blame onto others, hoping God, and yourself, will be fooled and will go after them instead. All of this is impossible because there is no judgment or favor to be won. How can God love you more than unconditionally? It can’t be done. The only thing standing between you and realizing your divinity is you. It is your choice to listen to the ego and to believe its claims that this illusion is real that keeps you trapped here.
Your job is to remind yourself every day that everything except your divinity is illusion. NOTHING that you see in this world is real. No exceptions. Scream it from the rooftops. The bodies are not real. The objects are not real. The stories are not real. The weather is not real. Your problems are not real. Money is not real; well, you probably knew that. None of it is real. The only thing that is real is your divinity and unconditional love. Whenever you make something else more important than your divinity, you stay trapped in the cycle of pain, suffering, and illusion. That’s all there is to it. It is very simple. When you feel trapped, give it to Spirit. Spirit is the link between the illusion and divinity, so that you can ask for support and guidance as you deal with your fears and difficulties in the illusion. Spirit is, always has been, and always will be involved in every moment of your life. Spirit directs your life, presenting you with exactly what you need in this moment to find your way back home. Meanwhile, the ego is telling you to fear the gift of Spirit, so you push away in terror what Spirit brings to you. Maybe Spirit brings a death into your life. When you resist what Spirit brings, you are saying that you want to stay here in illusion rather than go home. Spirit is bringing death into your life to show that death is not real. It is bringing a material loss into your life to show you that things don’t matter. Spirit brings failure into your life to show you that your earthly goals are not important.
The question again is a very simple one. Do you want to listen to the ego, which will have goals for you in the physical, or do you want to listen to Spirit, realize your divinity, and go home? The more successful you are in reaching goals in the illusion, the more attached you will be to staying there. This is why Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You can’t take it with you, not one part is real. It is all part of your dream. That is what I mean by illusion. I am not using a metaphor. I am trying to express as clearly, directly, and honestly as I can. There is nothing in this physical world that is real. You are to give up all attachment to everything physical and to trust that Spirit is always there bringing you exactly what you need to find your way home. Trust everything that comes into your life. Give up the fight and the struggle. If that is hard, give it to Spirit. If it is still hard, do the five-step process in addition. That is also a gift from Spirit to you.
Everything that happens in your life is guidance and a gift from Spirit to lead you home. Nothing here can ever be lost because nothing here is real. It is all illusion. Spirit will play with your attachments until you come into that full realization. The illusion and duality dissolve as you listen to and trust only Spirit, letting the ego go. Then you have no need for the illusion. You have no reason to create heaven on earth because your true heaven is right before you and infinitely more fantastic than anything you could dream up here. Welcome home.
God Blesses You