How to recognize truth from illusion.

Yesterday, we learned why there is a need to recognize illusion as the source of suffering and to turn, instead, to truth—the source of eternal joy. But how can we recognize illusion or truth with any level of certainty? As the introduction to A Course in Miracles states:

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.


If something can be threatened or altered, it cannot be truth. Truth is unchangeable. What meets the criterion of being beyond threat? Nothing of physical form does—which does not mean there is no truth, just that truth doesn’t have a form.

All matter, what we perceive as “stuff”, can be easily threatened and constantly changed. Stars can turn to supernovas, worlds can end, and our bodies can be murdered. But what is beyond threat and never changes is no thing at all. It is empty space, itself.

On the surface, this may seem pointless or uninteresting. The mind only cares about form. But recognize, for a moment, that what you really care about is formless. Can you see or touch love? Where exactly is the energy of life located? Do your ideas have a shape, or does a good feeling, or can you touch safety or inspiration?

Everything we care most about is formless—it is imperceptible. If we care about stuff at all, it is only because we believe the stuff is going to somehow help us reach a good inner state—which is actually all we really care about. This is the error we are talking about—believing that we are lacking something and that it must be found in the external world.

All things arise from the blackness, the nothingness of empty space. This is the source. Nothing creates everything, and everything returns to the dimension of nothing when it dies.

You can try to swing at nothing or attack it, but your fist will pass right through. This is the empty space between the stars and planets—and that same empty space is within you in the same proportions. Inside each of our atoms, there is 99.9999999% empty space between the nucleus and the outer shell. The same is true about all matter. What is real about anything is the emptiness—the dimension of being, consciousness itself, God. Herein lies your eternal identity, which continues unthreatened after the death of the body. To know this is to die to this world and to enter heaven—which can be done now even as your life goes on.

To align with this dimension, stop taking thoughts and the stuff of the senses so seriously. Recognize that there is no inherent meaning in the realm of form. We infuse meaning into the world with consciousness, perfect love, presence. To recognize these truths is to set yourself free from illusion.

There is no truth in these words. Words are form. But look to what these words point to and be released from the suffering caused by chasing the false idols of the world. Go within, embrace the love and life energy you find there, and learn to align with it each moment.


The implications of accepting this change in perception are so profound that you see everything and respond to everything with clarity, without confusion, and effectively. This, the outcome of gaining this understanding, is what I write about and talk about each day.
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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.

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How can a rational, educated person turn to spirituality?

I was raised Christian. For some time as a teenager, I was a true believer and reading the Bible or going to church brought me great comfort. But in college, I learned to place my faith in rationality and reason. I realized that the stories in the Bible cannot literally be true. I came to find religion silly and declared myself a proud agnostic.

For the next 22 years, my life as a non-believer was normal. There were constant peaks and valleys, good times and bad, but I played the game and accomplished almost everything that is supposed to make us happy.

Still, I lived in a constant state of stress, woke up frequently in the middle of the night with panicked thoughts, and suffered from pain and illness. I practiced deception and was needy in relationships. In business I was dishonest and, in friendship, I was always trying to prove superiority. Somehow nobody ever seemed to agree with me about how special I was—so I tried ever harder to conquer the world.

By age 40, my approach clearly wasn’t working. My life was falling apart, and my suffering was unbearable. Could I turn to the church for comfort? No. Not only did I not believe the stories, I utterly detest institutions and do not believe they offer salvation.

Then I started reading a book called A Course in Miracles. It isn’t a religion, but it does require its students to take a leap of faith. The author, Helen Schuckman, claims that Jesus appeared by her bedside and told her what to write. Obviously, I didn’t believe that to be literally true, but found the text fascinating and kept reading.

The thing is: every word in this book—which is about the same size as The Bible—is dripping with a wisdom and truth that is beyond question. There are no inconsistencies or holes—but you do need to suspend disbelief, to humble yourself, and to accept the use of words like “Jesus”, “God” and “Holy Spirit”. These are words I had strongly rejected for 22 years—and yet slowly I was beginning to embrace them.

If you truly go through it, A Course in Miracles offers assured salvation for anyone like me—someone who was raised Christian but has not been living the faith. It is not for everyone. If it is for you, you know.

I later found that there are also other paths that deliver spiritual awakening outside the structures of religion. For some, religion offers the community, the tradition, and the stories they need which often point to a higher truth. Others, like me, are turned off by conformity and ritual, and are suspicious about the worship of stories which are not exactly true. Yet we can agree, across faiths, that there is a higher truth!

For people like me, our path toward awakening is more of an inner journey, taken in freedom, guided by direct language—but we need the right guides or we will continue to be misled by our ego. 5 years later, I have been re-reading and writing about the book nearly every day. It always offers exactly what I need, and like any spiritually alive text, each time I read it I pick up something new. This is also the case with the works of Eckhart Tolle, the Tao Te Ching, and countless others.

Everything we care about: love, feeling good, health, fun—it is of the spiritual dimension. It cannot be seen or touched—it is formless. There is a spiritual dimension of truth and it is not of this world. It does not contradict rationality, it requires not that you believe in any crazy stories, but it does require a willingness to suspend disbelief and look at reality honestly.

This is what I write about and practice each day, and I wish you the same ongoing joy, freedom, and abundance in life that I have found—which is yours after spiritually awakening to consciousness and aligning with perfect love.

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12 signs that your life is controlled by your ego

Most people do not know that it is possible to live without ego controlling our emotions and behavior. Transcending the ego is far easier than living with it—it’s just that people don’t know exactly what the ego is and what it does.

So here are my top 12 signs that a person is stuck in the egoic state of existence:

  1. You are afraid. Worried thoughts that are believed cause panic and fear, which leads to stress, loss of sleep, ineffectiveness, and exhaustion.
  2. You get angry or attack. If something that someone else does causes your heartbeat to accelerate, pulls you into an argument, or leads to any sort of mad reaction, then you’re still giving control of your life to the ego.
  3. There is someone you have not forgiven fully. Non-forgiveness is always the ego’s attempt to blame something external for the suffering that, in fact, it is causing.
  4. You don’t enjoy the present moment. Your mind keeps pulling you to problems or situations of the past or to worries and hopes about the future. Now never quite feels good enough or right.
  5. You experience wild emotional swings of ups and downs. Every thrill or high (which you usually get from an escape or boost to your pride) is followed by a low that is even more severe (depression).
  6. You feel the need to change the world to be happy. You tend to control other people and situations—and get frustrated when it doesn’t work.
  7. You are jealous, suspicious, and afraid to trust. You are taking personally what other people might choose to do for their own reasons. You feel that someone is going to cause you harm—that they are against you.
  8. You attach a set of rules and expectations to love. That isn’t love; it’s an arrangement. Real love is unconditional, open, and accepting without any limits.
  9. You break or avoid relationships. The ego always seeks salvation by separating from others. When your ego gets bruised, you run.
  10. You are frequently ill or suffer from an addiction that makes you feel lousy.
  11. You feel a need to be right or better than others. The ego will argue, debate, brag, or do whatever it takes to prove superiority. Obviously, this is harmful to relationships.
  12. You lie. The ego believes it can keep its own reality hidden. Of course, lies are always eventually exposed and, in reality, do not work.


This is not a perfect list. In fact, I could easily add 12 more symptoms of ego—all of which are considered perfectly normal in this insane world. Nonetheless, anyone can see that the ego causes problems that nobody would want if there were a choice. There is a choice.

If I recognize any of these signs in me, I observe it, acknowledge that it is ego, and re-commit to aligning my thought system to perfect love. Others choose a conscious practice of present moment awareness. A practice of always telling the truth and wanting only truth will also destroy the ego.

If you can break any of these habits, then the ego is losing its grip. If you can love unconditionally, if you can eliminate fear, if you no longer feel anger or jealousy sweeping over you, if you no longer feel the need to debate, if you can forgive everyone by seeing error and trying to lovingly help the correction—then you are one of the millions of people in the world who have awakened from the ego, which has been the cause of all the world’s problems for several thousand years. By merely look at ego and recognizing the illness, we can evolve beyond it.

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Why do people lie?

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Nobody wants to lie. We only do it because we are afraid of what someone might say or do in response to our truth. People learn to tell you the truth to the extent that you unconditionally accept what they are saying and who they are.

To lie is always an error for many reasons. But putting someone in a position where they feel the need to do so is much worse. Nobody has the right to project their own arbitrary preferences and tastes upon someone else through a set of rules and expectations, and then attack or call them a liar when they cannot comply. This shows zero love or respect.

When you understand this, you can easily forgive lies is by making it 100% clear that, with you, there is no need to hide anything. You can always accept someone's truth calmly. This creates the space, the trust, the openness required for a beautiful relationship to flourish.

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Many resist what they do not want; few allow what they do.

Saying no to what we don't want requires some bravery, but it is only the first step toward claiming freedom. Too often, we get stuck on the level of resistance and eventually end up in a sort of paralysis where no positive steps are taken toward what we do want.

The best way to resist something we do not want is to take the opposite journey toward what we do. The best way to end a bad relationship is to open your heart and mind to a perfect one. The way to break an unhealthy behavior such as an addiction is to become obsessed with healthy habits instead. Likewise, if you are going to quit a low-paying job, do so by starting a high-paying business.

Too often, we claim our power to resist something seen as negative only to end up waiting around for someone else to bring us what we want. This doesn't work. Politicians are not going to save us. The economy is not going to be fair. The next romantic interest is not going to make anyone happy. More likely, the cycle of resistance and waiting around will only continue.

Focus on what you do want. Openly and honestly do exactly what inspires you because doing is knowing. This is how you move forward in life and get unstuck. You find out what something is and what it isn't. This is the proactive approach to life, and the only way to be and to experience everything you want during your stay in this dimension. Enjoy!

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Why do people ignore the spiritual message? Why is it so hard to help people heal?

I completely understand why almost everyone ignores the ideas people like me try to share. As my friend, Sara Bini told me just now, “People are so identified with their own personal needs and sometimes conflicting goals that they can’t even conceive of letting go of their egos.”   

Let’s get real, I didn’t care about any of this stuff either when I was trying to hold it all together. What I cared about was my marriage, my public image, my life story, what people thought of me, and my goals. Back then, the idea of spiritual awakening seemed insane—it would undermine everything about my life. I paid it no attention.

The promise of ending suffering is uninteresting until that day comes when you face a total existential crisis. When it all falls apart, and you can finally say “fuck it” to everything—that is the moment these ideas become everything. Until suffering becomes intolerable—which it does someday for everyone—none of this is interesting. Until then, please remember only this: there is a way to end suffering and to leave the hell behind.

My life crisis came about 5 years ago. I wish it had happened when I was much younger, because my life only began at the age of 40. This is a pretty normal age when we come to understand all the world’s lies, violence, and insanity and when our errors catch up with us. We can finally realize that we are not going to find happiness by fighting the world around us or by achieving anything. From there, we can choose to let it go and be free, or we can grumpily fake our way through life as we accelerate the slide into misery and old age.

When that moment comes, the few choose heaven over hell. They choose to die to this insane world by allowing the destruction of ego. Their lives then become a perfect reflection of everything that is true about every one of us—our goodness, love, and complete perfection at our core.

But nobody is going to take away anyone’s right to hide their perfection, to be unfree, to ignore the deeper truth about love and life. I get that and respect everyone’s decisions fully; but I am still going to make sure these ideas are lying around for those who may one day need them.

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What if you looked within and saw no sin? (A Course in Miracles)

We are afraid to look within—to explore our inner dimension honestly and deeply—because we are afraid of what we might find. We’re afraid that we will see our own darkness, ugliness, and errors—and that this is the truth about who we are. But anyone who has ever looked deeply within has found just the opposite.

What we have found by looking within is that we are good. Do you not believe you are good? Deep down, everyone does. So why the fear to look within?

To truly look within is not to find guilt; rather, to recognize that all the errors, all the violence, and all the dishonesty in your life is from the external. Sin is of the world, not within us. It is only our belief in a violent, dishonest world that leads us to attack others and do harm.

We lie and treat one another violently only to the extent that we believe in the violence and dishonesty of the world—to the extent that we believe in the media and other centralized institutions of power. To put our faith in these violent institutions is to carry out their violent agendas against our brothers and sisters; hiding the truth of our goodness while causing others to needlessly suffer.

If we look within and come to terms with what we already know to be true—that, at our core, we are pure love and goodness—then we must speak the truth about us and the world. This is what we fear most because we believe the world will punish us for it. The opposite is true.

The world already punishes us though endless, escalating sacrifice and abuse—but this stops when we learn this very lesson. Once it is learned, personal suffering ends because we are immune to the horrible effects of the sick thought system of violence, fear, and abuse. This is the escape from ego and, when this happens, love becomes the only thought system, honesty the only language, and perfect joy the only state of being.

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Faith and vision and belief are meaningful only before the state of certainty is reached. (A Course in Miracles)

“In Heaven they are unknown. Yet Heaven is reached through them.”

These teachings are simple and are ultimately about just one thing: establishing complete certainty about love. This—the entering of heaven now, the awakening from the world’s dream of hell in this life and for eternity—cannot be achieved without first taking a leap of faith and trusting an inspired vision.

It is only through faith, vision, and belief that perfect love can be applied and put to the test in reality. Only when love is practiced completely, in every situation, can the truth about love be proven. This is how certainty is reached, and then there is no sliding back into confusion.

Establish faith, see the vision, and believe that perfect healing, total success, joy and salvation are possible. This is an inner journey that requires no sacrifice at all; rather, that you stop holding back your goodness, your truth, your passion, your freedom, your beauty.

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Abscondo tells his true story of marriage, sex, monogamy, polyamory, threesomes & cheating.

I talk a lot about being open and honest, but before this video I was still holding back. Today I share the true story of my marriage, my sex life, my affairs, divorce, threesomes, and what I have learned along the way.

There is a way to overcome jealousy, live your fantasies, and avoid problems in romantic relationships. You can create a lasting, life-long, blissful union without arguments, resentment, or sacrifice.

This is part one. 

Part two is a short conclusion to the talk. You can find out how to put some of these ideas into practice by visiting this blog every day and enjoy the free daily teachings, free eBooks, a podcast and so much more.

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