Supporting Delusion

Supporting Delusion

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)

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  1. Share

    These delusions or what I call, erroneous conclusions, were usually made when we were quite young and our brain still very undeveloped. So it’s understandable that they are erroneous. And because they’ve been around so long, they’ve created strong neural pathways in the brain. But with just one new behavioral choice, new neural pathways begin to be strengthened. Which is all to say, be gentle with yourself in this process. Gentle, but persistent.

    1. Hi Share
      Much agreed. I’ve written about this before also. Further, the tendency to erroneous conclusions is influenced by past life habits. But as they arise in young minds, they’re adopted in more simplistic ways.

      I would add that for strong neural pathways to form, the ‘story’ or error has to be repeatedly reinforced. That’s something that goes on in the mental babble.

      In some cases, the story will just fall away as new choices and habits are made. In other cases, we’ll become very conscious of the story and need to work some to steer the attention to a new way of thinking. The old story may appall us when we realize what we’ve believed. But again, it arose in a very young mind.

      And yes, gentle. This is not about blame. It’s about letting go the stories that no longer serve us. And for some, it will take time. So yes, persistent. Well put. Thanks!

  2. Jim

    One of your best, David (not to discount the other 1700 or so…). Thank you.

    “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.”

    Yes, the body and mind together out of balance, create a mental process of searching for a solution, any solution, existentially. Then our old buddy the ego, co-opts this unease into a story; “self” preservation.

    The way through seems to be an acceptance of responsibility for our actions past and present, yet without holding on so tightly that they automatically weave new verses of empty attachment.

    Also, once firmly established in the Self, our transcendent nature, we continue to grow and expand, not so much uncovering unconscious elements of our personality as before, but dealing with the ongoing integration of the cosmic body. This process can also lead to very quiet stories and buried triggers. Easier to recognize, though still subtly at play.

    In this state of growing enlightenment, almost a reverse motivation appears as well, attempting to limit one’s bounty, as odd as that seems. Even with such multiplying fulfillment of desires and deepening silence, the ego sometimes tugs at the sleeve wanting to say, “and that’s enough, right?” 🙂 The unexpected challenge of getting everything you have ever wanted and more, an infinite dynamic depth of success and satisfaction.

    1. Thanks, Jim

      Trick is, it becomes easy to see all this in retrospect. But when we’re in the middle of it, it can be very tricky. Ego co-opts every spiritual concept and attempt to see beyond it.

      So yes, to acceptance but as you mention, vigilance required that that doesn’t just become another story.

      Happily, the ego is not actually in control.

      And yes to the motivation. I’m glad life limits our success early on or the ego would make such a mess of things. (laughs) When things are more “clean”, desires are fulfilled easily but they’re also more appropriate.

      1. Jim

        Yeah – Very good points, all 🙂 I am reflecting what is, though always along with massive respect and thanks for those who undergo this journey to destroy delusion, and those with the infinite patience like yourself to assist in a consistent way forward – it is a blessing.

        It is my natural tendency to scout ahead. I try to keep it in check, but you know how that goes… 🙂

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