Lately in my reality, I’ve been encountering various questions and concepts and discussions about the nature of “delusion”. Some of these conversations were based on a psychiatric definition of delusion, but more were about the concept of “reality as illusion” and what’s the difference between believing your reality has changed and deluding yourself and so forth.
The question I kept coming back to was, “What is delusion?” The answer I eventually came to is, “Everything, so what does it matter?”
I’ve seen a lot of definitions of “delusion”, and seen people use it as an insult lots of times. People tend to use it to describe anyone who believes something they don’t (Oh, you believe in X? Wow, you’re deluded!). I’ve also known people who are experiencing that which we call mental illness, and walk around with all manner of beliefs that people outside of their reality consider “wrong” or “deluded”. There is self-delusion (though who else are you really going to delude? so the term is kind of a tautology), there is what is known as group-delusion (which is really just a bunch of individual people deciding to adopt the same beliefs), and on and on.
But what IS delusion?
If I were to believe that I was being stalked by the CIA, people around me would probably think I was delusional. Not only does the CIA have better things to do than stalk me, there’s nothing about me or my life that would cause the CIA to give a flying fig about me and my activities. There is also no evidence (to other people) that I’m being stalked. Naturally, people might call me delusional.
However, in my reality, I am living the experience of being stalked by the CIA. No amount of “evidence” will alter the fact that this is my experience. I may never physically see or encounter any CIA operative or any listening devices, but that doesn’t mean I do not experience being followed or bugged. Or, I might believe that everyday objects are actually listening devices or some sort of means of controlling me, etc. And guess what? The spoon that I’m certain is a brain wave monitor which was planted by one of the CIA operatives who are stalking me will be experienced as a brain wave monitor planted by CIA operatives who are stalking me.
The question of whether or not these things are “really happening” is actually moot, once we remove the idea of an objective consensus reality. In my reality, these things are happening, because I am experiencing them.
It might be argued that someone who is having this sort of experience and who holds these beliefs is mentally ill, and that’s fair enough. Said person might well respond to certain kinds of medications. A lot of times, beliefs that seem incongruous with other peoples’ reality arise from the brain misinterpreting data it is receiving, and sometimes that can be corrected or adjusted with certain kinds of material treatments, but the bottom line is that everyone’s reality is their own, and it is unique, and everyone – even the most clear-headed, the most logical, the most rational, the most scientific, the most normal – is living in a self-created world that is, ultimately, illusionary. It’s just that some people have a reality which is much closer to that of those around them, and some people experience a reality that is radically different from others.
Please note that I’m speaking of these matters on a very meta kind of level, as an observer, and based on the experience of this particular point of view. I’m not advocating anything with regard to the mentally ill (I’m not a psychiatrist, nor am I a doctor!). I am, however, looking at the situation and seeing that, ultimately, every experience is valid, every experience is real, to the individual having the experience.
As mentioned, everyone (or, let’s say, everyone but the most highly awakened or something, and I do not include myself in that category, nor have I met anyone or heard of anyone – other than maybe the Buddha or the Christ – who would qualify) lives in a world of delusion, or illusion, or at least not-quite-what-we-think. Even those of us who have seen and know experientially that everything within the realm of Creation (and that includes, by the way, things like astral projection and out-of-body travel and so forth; it’s still part of Creation, even if it’s not physical) is malleable and projected and ultimately an illusion still experience the illusion. There is still a cup on my desk, I am still aware of a physical body which is sitting in an office chair, I can hear the keys tapping on my keyboard as the letters appear on the screen, and so forth. This reality is here, and I am experiencing it, even though I do know (via experience) that it’s an illusion.
Really, it’s like the holodeck, of Star Trek origin. The holodeck is essentially a big, empty room with nothing in it but some lines on the walls and ceilings. The computer uses the room to create an environment which can be experienced and which is experienced as completely real in every sense, except that it’s all computer-generated and projected (and only exists within the holodeck). A holodeck-generated world could be, potentially, infinite (the computer only projects what you are focussed on at that moment).
And so is the world of Creation, as far as I can tell. Remove one veil, you find another, and another and another. And if you eventually get to the very core, you find…. Nothing.
Thus I came to the conclusion that there really is no such thing as delusion, because it’s ALL delusion. Some of us have delusions that align with “normal” and some of us have delusions that are pretty unusual when compared to “normal”, but ultimately, it is all delusion. We may choose to adopt into our reality a lot of “consensus” beliefs, and most of us do, and this accounts for the apparent uniformity across realities when it comes to things like the basic principles of physics, but there’s actually no reason we have to continue to believe in those things, either. It’s all delusion, it’s all fluid, it’s all Maya’s veils.
I’ll tell you what, this stuff will really bake your noodle, sometimes. It’s a trip inside a trip inside a trip, and this rabbit hole is truly infinite. I spent a lot of time over the past few years, as my concepts of reality wobbled and my attachments to my view of reality were dissolved, in a state of disoriented existential weirdness. I’m mostly used to it now, actually, particularly since my last ego-shedding and since I appear to have taken up the position of not-self on a permanent basis (with occasional trips back into the holodeck when I focus on the doings and goings-on of my material self).
And a final note. I know I am asserting this all as if it is “truth”, and I apologise for that, because I know full well on an experiential level that there is no one “truth” and everything is contextual and it all depends, but as I’m writing this from the perspective of this reality (and not any other), I think I can be forgiven. That, and there really aren’t any ways to say it that don’t sound like some sort of assertion of truth, unless I put in a lot of “in my experience” and “as far as I can see” and “from what I can tell”, and I do that enough as it is. Suffice it to say, this is my reality. Your reality may vary.
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