Illusions carry only guilt and suffering, sickness and death, to their believers. The form in which they are accepted is irrelevant. No form of misery in reason’s eye can be confused with joy. Joy is eternal. (A Course in Miracles)
“Reason will tell you that the only way to escape from misery is to recognize it and go the other way. Truth is the same and misery the same, but they are different from each other in every way, in every instance and without exception. To believe that one exception can exist is to confuse what is the same with what is different.” -A Course in Miracles
The question here is why we should care about illusion vs. truth. Illusion may produce boosts of pride or pleasure—maybe even the temporary feeling of happiness—but it is always short-lived. Interestingly, the price of this happiness—always paid in suffering—is always greater in measure. Thus, our suffering increases as we age and the need to find joy becomes evermore urgent.
It should bring great comfort to understand that, as the course puts it, “illusions must give way to truth, not to other dreams that are equally unreal.” In reality, illusion always does give way to truth—it can be no other way. This appears to take place in time, as our bodies age and we eventually die. Whatever illusions we were clinging to are then instantly gone, and we are released to the dimension of truth, where there is eternal joy if we are prepared for the transition.
But if we wish to end suffering, to experience eternal joy, and to awaken the world from this hell now, we can recognize truth from illusion while we are still alive. These illusions all exist in the external dimension of physical form. Seek meaning or release from suffering there, in the external world, and you will only find more of it.
Truth is in you. It is beyond even words and concepts, which are also form. But there are words and concepts which point to it—such as "God", “perfect love”, “consciousness”, “being”, or “presence”.
The purpose of establishing a daily spiritual practice is to recognize and align with truth each moment. You can still take part in the illusions. You can play the game of life and dance the dance—but in a way that you are not expecting it to save you from suffering or bring you joy.
Our purpose here is not to seek salvation in the external illusions; rather, to recognize the truth within. Tomorrow, I will describe in more detail how to recognize truth vs. illusion. Today’s post was about why, tomorrow’s will be about how.