Illusions of the Mind

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Two Faces or a Wine Glass?

When you look at the black part of the picture below you see something different to what you see when you look at the white part.

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Duck or Rabbit?

Looking at the picture below one way and you see a duck's head and looking at it another way you see a rabbit's head.

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Making it up

Looking at the white part of the picture opposite the man's face you see a face which disappears when you look at the man's side view.

People facing each other or pillars

We can see the pillars but we can also see the people facing each other in the picture below.

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Making the world up

Optical illusions give us a glimpse into our mind's ability to make up what isn't there. It is as if we are programmed to fill in the blanks and make some kind of sense of whatever is put before us.

We do this all the time and because we do it so efficiently without even having to think, as we sometimes must do when faced with the unfamiliar, we have forgotten that we are making it all up.


Externalising the internal

We look at people and circumstances and rather than appreciate that what we are looking at is a scene we are being shown inside our brains we imagine that it all exists outside of us.

We make judgements based on the shadows presented to the brain and we colour the images of the people and the experiences we imagine as outside of ourselves with our own interpretations.


Narrow mindedness

We perceive the world through our five senses and we call our perceptions reality. But how can a world seen through reflections of a limited view as the narrow band of waves we call visible light give us any idea of what is really there?

We make judgements about people based on our own limited experiences and in some cases we are prepared to condemn based on what we have made up inside our own heads.


Attacking our own projections

We project on to others what we abhor in ourselves and we then criticise and attack our own projections as if they are separate from us.

By choosing to attack what we perceive as abhorrent in our brother we attack ourselves and we keep ourselves enslaved by fear.


All Criticism is Self Criticism

People like Jesus and Buddha have tried to convey to us the message that our thinking is wrong.They tried to show us how to correct our thinking so that we repair the split mind.

Their message is plain and simple - Suspend judgement, stop criticising and love your neighbour as yourself.

Before we can once again own our projections and realise that we are not separate we must first teach the split mind to look at the external world and think of it as something we are making up inside our own heads. Because we are making it up inside ourselves we can choose the meaning we attach to it.

This is not as easy as it sounds because we have the subconscious tendency to allow ourselves to fall back into the old habit of imagining what we see as real. A little bit like the optical illusions I presented at the start of this hub. But with practice the separation decreases and it becomes our nature to spontaneously love and serve all.

Conflict without is really conflict within

The inner conflict we experience is between the mind's constant battle with the two ways of perceiving the world. The way we have been conditioned to perceive the world is by judging it though deep down we all hear the faint whisper that is our true nature to be unconditionally loving. The attack you perceive as external does not exist because you have projected it on your brother and then imagine you have to defend yourself. This insane way of thinking has permeated the very fabric of our being and dominates most peoples' lives.

To heal the conflict use the power of agreement in your prayers. By agreeing with another to receive what you pray for you are in effect choosing to own your projections and forgive them. It is through the gift of forgiveness that our prayers are answered.

As a Hypno-Psychotherapist I use these concepts to correct my own perceptions so that I do not reinforce the beliefs held by my clients that cause the conditions they come to me to cure.

As a first step I acknowledge that inside myself that my client has come to aid in my own healing and I become alert to the lessons my client has come to teach me. I reclaim my own projections quietly to myself and I forgive myself. I then invite the Holy Spirit to take charge of the session and heal us both. All of this occurs quietly inside me and I wait for the client to agree to receive what he prays for and this can take many meetings. The therapy becomes a prayer and healing occurs when we both agree to receive the healing we pray for.

I, I and I

"There are three I's.

The I you think you are.

The I others think you are.

And the I you really are."

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

ACIM


"Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God."


From A Course in Miracles


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Comments 19 comments

Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

I have never seen the pillar illusion before so I found this pretty cool. I definitely saw the pillars before the people.


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 5 years ago from Washington MI

This is fascinating stuff, the illusions are amazing. I would really liked to study the art of mindfulness to a greater degree.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you Cloverleaf and crazybeanrider I appreciate the visit and your comments.


Chris Crow profile image

Chris Crow 5 years ago

Really interesting hub. All Criticism is Self Criticism -- I wonder if this is true. It seems like it is if I think about my own life and what I dislike about others, but is this how it always is with criticizing others. It's really always something we dislike about ourselves? I would love to learn more about this. Can you recommend any books?


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

I am glad you found this article of interest and it is only one of a series I have written on this theme. I recently set up a website with a few writers and you can find some recommended reading there that you might also find interesting. Thank you for the visit.

http://spirit-whisperer.webnode.com/


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

Good meaty stuff, SW. Nice to have articles that get the gray matter churning. The philosophy and psychological facts would stand alone without religious interpretations being added however. Despite the few great thinkers among the ranks of the theists throughout history, nothing has caused man to have a false sense of reality nor treat his brothers with such mindless hatred time after time as religious fervour...Bob


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you Bob. I do not consider myself in any way a religious man and have avoided organised religion like the plague all my life so I am a little confused by your remark. Anyway, your visit and comment are appreciated.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

SW - I could see the pictures both ways. Interesting:). You always write articles that keep me thinking hours and days after I have read them! The pictures are great representations of how our mind chooses to see!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

RH - I am glad you like it and if I make you think then I have achieved my goal. Thank you.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

We really do have two people inside us, i.e. the right and left hemispheres of our brains. Its funny Spirit, but if ones already seen the optical illusions then they no longer are illusions next time they're viewed; what does that say? Liked your Hub here very much. How are you and Mary?


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

That is a very insightful comment Dixie and is the basis for how we can educate the mind but first we have to realise something about the world and that my friend is the tricky bit. Once the world is accepted as an illusion then we can begin to perceive it correctly.

My wife and I are in good health but quite busy with our work. I hope you too are well and thank you for always enquiring.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Very compelling article. I always wonder why people judge and hate something they know nothing about. Is it our of fear or perhaps an embedded teaching a child receives from the parents? Thought provoking Hub. Thank you....


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you for your comment always exploring and in answer to your question about why people judge and hate what they know nothing about - we project our subconscious guilt on to people and the world around us. By doing this we can feel safe and justified condemning what we see as separate from us and therein lies the insanity of our delusional belief system.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"We perceive the world through our five senses and we call our perceptions reality. But how can a world seen through reflections of a limited view as the narrow band of waves we call visible light give us any idea of what is really there?" - I certainly do not think that the five senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste) are the only way to perceive what is around us. I use what one would call as "feelings"; not only my feelings but the feelings of others too. I can also perceive the world through other ways too ...

"We make judgements about people based on our own limited experiences and in some cases we are prepared to condemn based on what we have made up inside our own heads." - Yes, indeed we have to make judgements with a limited amount of experiences. We are doomed to be imperfect ... what a drag ... (rofl!)

"We project on to others what we abhor in ourselves and we then criticise and attack our own projections as if they are separate from us.

By choosing to attack what we perceive as abhorrent in our brother we attack ourselves and we keep ourselves enslaved by fear." - We can talk about the story with the kids and the crack-dealer if you wish ... I went to visit him because of his actions - I do not see how I was projecting anything of myself in that instance. I would never ask kids to do my dirty work, for example. I would say that fear had nothing to do with anything then. Rage, reason, logic and compassion had more of an impact on my actions, I would say.

"Suspend judgement, stop criticising and love your neighbour as yourself." - Loving your neighbor is an understanding one comes to, after one judges (in my opinion).

"we must first teach the split mind to look at the external world and think of it as something we are making up inside our own heads" - I find this statement somewhat full of self-importance. The whole world is MY invention; I am the hero of my story ...

I cannot comment on Budha's teachings, for I know nothing about them. Regarding Jesus, I think we either failed at understanding him or he failed at his teachings - either way, we should move on in my opinion.

I do love Mr. Diogenes and I will quote him here: "Despite the few great thinkers among the ranks of the theists throughout history, nothing has caused man to have a false sense of reality nor treat his brothers with such mindless hatred time after time as religious fervour".

There is nothing confusing about his remark in my mind. I am quite of the same opinion. Religions have failed in many ways, or we have failed the gods. Failure means there has been a mistake - we either correct our mistakes or we are setting ourselves up to repeat them.

Lots to think about as usual Mr. Spirit Whisperer. Thank you for the write. Cheers!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you Mr Happy for your visit and I am glad that you found it interesting enough to comment and that it has given you lots to think about.

Regardless of what I or anyone writes the reader will see (perceive) interpret what is written based on subconscious motivations.

Let's just take one simple example:

Mr Happy Says:

"There is nothing confusing about his remark in my mind. I am quite of the same opinion. Religions have failed in many ways, or we have failed the gods. Failure means there has been a mistake - we either correct our mistakes or we are setting ourselves up to repeat them."

When I told diogenes I was confused it was in reply to the line in his comment that seemed to suggest that I was using religious interpretation in the hub and nothing to do with the words you quoted. His comment said:

"The philosophy and psychological facts would stand alone without religious interpretations being added however."

Interpretation is subjective and as such is incapable of reaching objective truth. But there are ways to use illusion to find our way out of this condition and one such way is "A Course in Miracles." It is not an easy route but it is "A" route. The course very clearly explains all about perception and illusion but not just as an intellectual exercise. It is an experience.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I am sorry Mr. Spirit Whisperer. Now I am confused. Where is the quote which read: ""The philosophy and psychological facts would stand alone without religious interpretations being added however."

I feel like I am on the wrong blog or something. Maybe it is that I just woke-up ...

About religious connotations. I do believe they are detrimental. I stay away from the name of Jesus because I recognize the damage it has done already. I feel it has a serious baggage and it does.

I am not sure why but I feel like you do not like the definitions that words and names have. I am saying this because now that I think of it, I believe that many words have different meaning for you and some words have a different meaning for you than they have for many other people.

I think it is a little necessary to use the same meaning for words when we try to have conversations (just so we can understand each other's thoughts and opinions). I also do not think that by having similar definitions of words that would somehow limit our search for the truth.

That's it for now. Thank you for your time and all! Many thanks.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Mr Happy, you are illustrating very clearly how near impossible it is for people to agree on anything. The reason for this is the our individual filters through which we perceive everything in this world.

With regard to your question - " Where is the quote which read: The philosophy and psychological facts would stand alone without religious interpretations being added however."

If you look at diogenes's comment you will see it there.

With regard to your remarks about religion and Jesus I feel I should clarify where I stand on theses points.

Religion is a sign post and nothing more. It points the direction to the destination but is not the destination. Some people see religion as the destination but that has nothing to do with religion but the way it is being used.

It is like setting off on a journey to Ontario and when you see a sign post for Ontario you get out of the car and say "we have arrived!" There is nothing wrong with the sign post it is just that it has been given a meaning that is meaningless.

So when you say things like "religious connotations are detrimental" or how damaging the name of Jesus is you are attaching making up meaning that has no meaning. Unless the mind is clear of such judgements how can anyone agree on anything and be open to hear anything outside of their own conditioning?

When I say I am not religious it means that I am not stopped at any sign post believing I have arrived. I do not attend church or listen to sermons or read the bible nor do I belong to any organised religion. I do not judge anyone either if they choose to be religious but I will be the last person to read anyone that rants about how Jesus loves me. In the same way I will not be interested in reading anything that tells me how I should or should not be. I won't enter discussion with people who need to convince me of their point of view because I don't feel the need. I express myself through what I write and enjoy doing so but I am not trying to convince anyone of anything and hope that is not how I am coming across in my hubs.

Thank you for your comment and am glad if my hub has caused you to reflect.


Tony L Smith profile image

Tony L Smith 5 years ago from Macon

I really liked your tactics in therapy. We probally need to see all our relationships that way.

to your victory Tony


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you Tony though I would rather see therapeutic relationships in a more cooperative light than a battle as the word tactics suggests LOL!

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