The Illusion of Illusion


Dear Seamus,

We live in a world of illusions. It’s easy to think that we don’t because we look around and see what’s real. Or what we think is real, more to the point. It’s easy to be fooled. And when we believe we have been fooled, there is no greater shame or anger. This is when we experience disillusionment. When this happens we feel cheated, knowing our beliefs were not real. This usually leads to the creation of different illusions and so the cycle continues.

A Course in Miracles says; “The opposite of illusions is not disillusionment but truth. Only to the ego, to which truth is meaningless, do they appear to be the only alternatives, and different from each other. In truth they are the same. Both bring the same amount of misery, though each one seems to be the way to lose the misery the other brings”.

Illusions are usually multi layered. It begins with the illusion you have about yourself. This is a construct that the ego puts in place and usually is well under way by the time you are a young child. You build from the apparent foundations of right and wrong and of course this is learned from those around you. It sets up the idea very early on that you can be split, that certain behaviour or thoughts or feelings will create a certain version of who you are. You begin to think “If I do this, I am good. If I do that, I am bad”. These are illusions. They are not the truth of who you are.

You will be introduced to the concepts of should and should not. These again will continue to build upon the illusion of who you are.

Your unique ways of expressing yourself will start to be known to others as personality traits. If you behave in a manner that is different, then it is usually noted as you ‘acting out of character’. Really that expression says it all to me. A character is an illusion, a concept, a role to play. You are acting out a version of yourself, according to who you think you are. Perhaps the purpose of our tumultuous teenage years is having that first opportunity to shed our character. It may be having the realisation that there is something more and the desire to seek it out, along with the freedom we sense is rightly ours.

It can be seen as a dangerous time, when we can go ‘off the rails’. Yet is it a time when we are merely seeking ourselves with courage? We look so desperately for love during this time and that to me, implies that we are seeking self-love. It can be so difficult to find when we are constantly distracted by illusions.

You should dress this way to appear attractive. You should behave in that way to get a mate. You must plan for your life to unfold in a certain way over the coming years. We end up inheriting the illusions of the older generations, on top of our own. That is a lot of weight to carry around and yet we are so young and much of life has not even been experienced.

I cannot prevent you seeing and feeling these illusions. My role is to encourage you to have such a knowing of who you are, that you can recognise the illusions for the untruths that they really are. The best way to do this is by spending time alone. Your character will not be given an outlet, even if your mind gets loud in protest.

When I am alone and in touch with my greatest, most incredible real self, I find peace. I am being me and not doing Melanie. I am not wanting to please, I am not making others laugh, I am not telling my story or doing countless other things that add up to the sum total of who Melanie Rose Clark is. Or thinks she is. When I am alone, I am not indulging in an illusion, mine or anyone else’s. I can step out of my head and into an expanse that is so much more amazing than I could know with my mind. It is because I am merely remembering that sense and that limitless space where I can simply feel joy.

My love, my child, my incredible son Seamus; remember your truth and purely watch the illusions come and go. You cannot be defined by them if you do not allow it. You have a choice, you always have a choice. Right now, at eighteen months old, it is your only choice because you know no other.

You are at peace with every moment, to express your authenticity. I watch you chase the chickens around the garden, or fall down in the dirt and let out a little whimper, or put soggy toast on the bookshelves for me to discover later, and I am invigorated by your innocence and truth.

You have helped me along the path to shatter my illusions and I am blessed every day to see your truth and know mine. That, is the only reality I ever want to know.

“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”Kalu Rinpoche


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Melanie Rose Killick

Melanie Rose Killick writes to her baby son Seamus about life, death and the amazing gift of cancer.

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