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Illusions of the Mind

Updated on May 2, 2012

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.


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.


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.


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


"Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God."

From A Course in Miracles


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