The Web of Illusion–Monday Meanderings


Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Friday was the Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year, the first day of summer. I turned my meditation corner around the day before, facing my chair looking out the window instead of looking at the eerie but beautiful reflections of the leaves of our ornamental pear tree fluttering on the blank wall of my room. While the images were hypnotic, I couldn’t help but think of Plato in his cave and the thought haunted me that this was illusory beauty.

Photo Credit: Sara Loverling

Photo Credit: Sara Loverling

Looking directly at the trees, deep into our yard and yards beyond our own allowed me to see the play of light and shadow, and only a slight flutter of leaves. For the moment, stillness was able to come in…until illusion reappeared in the form of a bird that land on our roof and projected its shadow onto the side of our neighbor’s house. The shadow appeared long and skinny, almost like a sand piper or a heron, but since we don’t have either of those birds here in Reno, I realized I was once again facing illusion.

As I age, I’m aware of the imperative to dispel the illusions I’ve so carefully fashioned to carry me through life. A few months ago, I began digging through old journals, over forty of them—reviewing life, tearing up pages, letting go of secrets, negative emotions, anger and hurt, unfulfilled dreams, dusting off the mysterious web of illusion and, yes, celebrating growth, insight and success.

Photo: themanagementninja.com

Photo: themanagementninja.com

It’s interesting to see how the same old issues that cropped up back in 1988 are no different than those of today. I had to chuckle at my observations on then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Benedict XVI) ultraconservative stance that I found alienating to so many. If I’d only known.

And then there was/is my need to control—my perfectionism. I complained that I was only getting 6 hours of sleep because, when I awakened, I thought of how much I had to do and couldn’t go back to sleep. This morning I was up at 4:00 trying to see the Super-moon (couldn’t find it) and, of course, stayed awake thinking of how much I wanted to get done today. It’s like that most every day.

And thus: illusion. Here I am—approaching the end of another decade of my life, still believing that so much, everything, depends on me. In another ten years, if I’m still playing this wonderful game of life, will it still be the same?

A few questions to reflect upon: What are your illusions? What purpose do they serve? Is it time to do something about them? You can comment if you like, but my intent is just to get you thinking.

Happy Monday!

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8 thoughts on “The Web of Illusion–Monday Meanderings

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    This and several would be perfect for Bardo.

    Have you noted how Francis is shaking things up at the Vatican? Really nice.

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  2. Mary says:

    Victoria, truthfully I think there is comfort in the fact that the issues/ habits that were important in 1988 are still important today….and I would say it would be a positive thing if you are still struggling with them in 10 years. I think it is the same for me really. I think the core person stays pretty much the same over the years. I too fight perfectionism. As far as the next decade…hmm…I am not willing to relinquish. I just want to keep on being the me I have always been….with the same illusions….or not. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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  3. How beautiful to know that you keep your journal because I’ve kept a journal since I turned 13 and your questions have all been asked in my own diary! I’ve honestly had few illusions in my life because of my condition and to me, illusions are without validation ~ perhaps a few sweet dreams are still possibilities. Such deep observations from a wise observant ! It was a glorious elegant and eloquent super-moon!

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  4. brian miller says:

    smiles. i keep a journal as well and even now look back to see where i was, what has changed and what stays constant…i am not ready to admit it does not all depend on me yet…smiles…my illusion is that i can actually do something to change the world…that each life is an opportunity for that…hoping that one is not an illusion you know….

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    • That’s a goal to hold on to. Yes, caring for one person at a time. It becomes an issue when we believe we are the only one who can take care of things and when the objective is not important. If it’s more about self than the ones we set out to help.

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  5. annotating60 says:

    All of life is an illusion because it filters thriough us much like a shadow we cast on a bright day. Reality or whatever, is that thing we agree on to be the truth. But it is not ‘the’ truth. The real truth to our lives lies in our actions, our choices what we decide is important to us, who we dispose ourselves to really love. If we are not among the last then all of our live remais illusory because until we learn to love ourselves we can have no base from which to venture out to create our reality for ourselves.>KB

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  6. Jamie Dedes says:

    Provacative questions. A good post.
    Happy Monday, Victoria.

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