During difficult times, how easy it is to think of life as a solitary experience. Alone on the rough seas of life like a shipwreck survivor on an unstable, makeshift raft, whether the victim of someone else’s actions or our own, at the mercy of the elements, it’s a common experience to conclude that this is the way it’s always going to be, that there’s no way out. However, that assumption is an illusion.
Instead, what if you knew with certainty that you could trust life completely? What if you had absolute knowledge that life would protect you in every situation and circumstance? What if you knew that every undertaking you initiate, large or small, would have an outcome filled with success? What if you knew that every part of your life experience including health, finances and relationships, would be forever heaped with overflowing abundance, regardless of short-term appearances? How would you live your life?
Can life provide this kind of shelter from the trials and sufferings of everyday events? Yes, it can. In fact, it wants to. It even needs to, but it only can if you permit it to. What’s standing between you and that kind of life experience is a shift in conscious awareness. It’s not necessarily easy to do but the process is simple in concept. It begins with an acceptance of the truth that we shape our life experiences with our thoughts.
The truth is that physical life – that experience bounded by what you hear, see, smell, taste and feel with your bodily senses, and what you remember about those sensory experiences and what you think about them – is basically an illusion. At its foundation, it is not physical. It is mental. Contemplate this for a moment. The real you isn’t your body and you know it isn’t. Nor is it the thoughts that emanate from the activity of your brain. The real you exists at a deeper level of consciousness. You are the observer within. However, it’s easy to forget because every physical perception you have comes from those five senses and what you think about them. It’s no wonder we’ve been taken in by the illusion!
Visual illusions are commonplace. Here’s one that’s fun to examine. It’s persuasive. Look at the blocks labeled A and B. Which block is the lighter shade of gray? Since you’ve been told this is an optical illusion, you know the question is a trick. Nevertheless, study it and try to determine the relative luminosities of the two blocks in question.
I’ve never shown this to anyone who didn’t think that block B was the lighter of the two. In every case, they were certain, in spite of the fact that they knew they were being tricked. However, they were wrong. The truth is, A and B are the exact same shades of gray. Hard to believe? Look at the next illustration for proof.
The second picture superimposes two vertical stripes across the picture, each shaded to the same degree as the two blocks. Look closely. It proves that A and B are identical.
So, what’s going on here? Simply stated, your eyes (or more precisely, your brain) are tricked by the shadow that extends from the green cylinder.
The human visual system has evolved to allow a person to distinguish objects in particular ways that give rise to the greatest odds for survival. It’s good at what it does. However, the system might be slightly outmoded at this stage of human evolution. Nevertheless, it persists.
This illusion tricks the visual system and nothing more. Imagine an illusion that challenges not only sight, but also hearing, taste, smell and all sense of feeling throughout the body. This includes more than the sense of touch. It includes the ability to feel heat and cold. It includes the sense of balance, the ability to stand upright and even the ability to know one is standing, not sitting. This is the kind of illusion that our physical perceptions are responsible for generating. It is the way it is because we could not navigate physical life without it. However, that does not change the truth: what we perceive physically is not the way things truly are.
Every person is an expression of the life force. There are no exceptions. That force is an expression of consciousness. The physical realm arises out of consciousness. The foundation of our experience is not in the physical domain, it is in consciousness. The total of consciousness is Oneness, or God. That’s why we shape our life experiences with our thoughts, without exception, whether or not we know it or believe it. In this respect, it’s like the force of gravity. It operates on us and our surroundings regardless of our desire or willingness to participate. We wouldn’t likely try to defy the force of gravity. We know we cannot. Yet we regularly try to defy the force of life.
Imagine what your life would be like if you had complete trust in Life’s ability to protect you. You can live that life. All you need do is shift your conscious awareness. You are One with consciousness and it is all Good. There is nothing outside the One that can affect you. There is nothing to fear.
This essay was inspired by the following quote by Susan L. Taylor, an editor, writer, and journalist, formerly editor-in-chief at Essence Magazine and co-founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement.
“How would you live if you felt you could trust life fully? If you believed you were totally protected and secure, that forevermore your life would be filled with love and prosperity? Think of how your fears would dissolve, of how totally accepting of yourself and others you would be–it wouldn’t matter if they met your expectations or not. Think of how you would venture forth knowing you would succeed. Think of how your heart would open, of how free you would feel. How free you would be to love. All of this is the treasure that life offers us. We just lack the consciousness to experience it.”