In the process of becoming more conscious, we’ll discover deep, long-held delusions. Some of them will be carefully defended and stashed in unconscious corners. Yet they’ll continue to influence our choices and behaviour.
For example, we may seek enlightenment as an escape from our problems. Or think I, personally, will get enlightened. Or the right partner will meet all of our unmet needs. Or money is a solution. Or money is evil. Or I’m a sinner. Or I can be perfect. The list goes on and on.
The key feature of a delusion is that it’s something we hold against what is here. It’s an illusion we paste over the appearance of the world. It’s not just a wish, it’s a rejection of what is.
Usually, a delusion revolves around something outside of ourselves. A specific person or circumstance or thing is seen as “the answer” or “the problem.” This is why “specialness” can be a red flag.
If we find our life experience is not meeting our expectations, we know there’s a delusion at play. Something is not being accepted.
Because of this tendency to hide the delusion (perhaps ‘story‘ is a gentler word) from ourselves, we also hide the desire it’s trying to meet. That puts us out of touch with our needs. And that inclines us to suppress emotions, creating a soup of disconnect. Life becomes a shadow.
Even though all this is a little hidden, it’s still very active. Events will unfold to fulfill our unmet needs. But if we don’t recognize this, they appear to be an annoying hassle that keeps repeating.
Yet nature has an art to its performance. Nature sees things better than we do, so presents different scenarios to help us become more conscious.
For example, the “solution” arises in our life so we can see it’s false. But if we’re not conscious enough, we run the story thinking the solution has arrived. But because it’s a solution to a delusion rather than a need, it will always disappoint. The perfect partner will be flawed. The great new job goes off the rails. We again blame what is outside of us for what we’ve essentially invited, however unintended.
Another way this can show up is the opposite. Every step we make towards our goal is stymied to prevent it. We’re blocked at every turn. It’s clearly not being supported.
The challenge in both cases is recognizing the intent of the signal. And that takes becoming more conscious. Otherwise we don’t know if our way is blocked because it’s not yet time or because it’s the wrong way. Or maybe we only need a little adjustment. The point of an event may be to learn something rather than fulfill a goal.
This does not mean over-thinking events in our life. The solution is not more story from the mind, it’s more clarity of awareness and less story. Mind does not have the answers here.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
— Albert Einstein*
As we recognize our stories and let them go, the signals get vastly more clear. The way is not so obscured by mental and emotional fog and wind.
*and a group of other scientists in 1946, concerned with the hazards of harnessing the atom. (the many other versions of this quote are false)