“Life is an illusionist, proficient at its art. It proves to be bitter, an adversary. But is indeed a friend in disguise, a silent well wisher. It forces us into arduous stations and assesses our limitations. It guides us to the path of defeat, even so secretly desires that we prove it wrong, It demands for us to rise despite the odds and lead it to, the path of victory. It is but a master illusionist.” …Chirag Tulsiani
The above quote is taken from Chirag Tulsiani’s 2,013 book, Reflections, which, I must point out, I haven’t read. It’s my perception that when he talks about life he’s probably talking about this physical experience which most people, erroneously, refer to as life. That’s how I perceive it, but that being said, I cannot suppose it to be the case for sure.
I’ve used his quote here because its brilliance and truth captured my attention. It provided the necessary inspiration I needed to write about its similarity to my beliefs. It’s not my intention to dispute what he wrote in any way, shape nor form. I simply want to expound upon his ideas from my own point of view.
The Course informs us that: “There are not different kinds of life, for life is like the truth. It does not have degrees.” In other words, there is just one kind of life, and this physical experience is not it. For this post I’m going to use the phrases, ego, physical experience, and Life (capitalized) where Tulsiani used the single word life. But I think you’ll see that in doing so I haven’t changed the meaning at all.
The ego is an illusionist, and it is very proficient at its art
The ego is that part of us that we made to replace reality when we decided to separate from our Creator. It’s home is the body, and therefore it thinks it lives a separated life in a physical world. And because of this erroneous thinking, it’s the only part of ourselves that most of us can relate to. As The Course puts it: “The ego is the belief of the mind that it is completely on its own.”
In other words, the ego has convinced us that we actually did separate ourselves from God. And therefore, we wrongly believe we’re living separate lives in a physical world. Such a feat would be impossible to accomplish however, because nothing can be separate from its Source of Life and still be alive. Therefore the ego has convinced us that we have done the impossible. Would you not agree that this is the work of a very proficient illusionist?
The ego is a bitter adversary.
The Course tells us: “The ego is an ally of time, but not a friend. For it is as mistrustful of death as it is of life, and what it wants for you it cannot tolerate. The ego wants you dead, but not itself.”
The ego is really in a precarious situation. It needs to keep us convinced that it has our best interest at heart, while at the same time doing everything within its power to destroy us. The sad thing about this is, it has no power of its own. The only power the ego possesses is that which we give it. That’s why it needs to stay within reasonable limits in its quest to destroy us. For if it stepped too far out into the obvious, and we recognized its true goal, we would immediately withdraw power from it. Who would give power to something that was obviously trying to destroy him or her?
Again it is a proficient illusionist using the power of illusion. It portrays itself as a dear friend while it searches for our weaknesses. And without our being aware of its motives it attacks us at our weakest points and times.
Life is our Friend calling silently for our attention
As The Course says, “The ego always marches to defeat because it thinks that triumph over you is possible.” As the old maxim tells us, The ego is “beat before it starts.” Giving power to the ego is the same as declaring war upon ourselves. For it’s the power we provide that the ego uses in its endless campaign to destroy us. But in its insanity, it’s fighting a war with no one. It’s fighting against the very illusion it, itself, created in its attempt to convince us that we are physical entities separated from our Creator. And a war with an illusion is nothing because illusions are nothing.
The ego – which is the perceived self we believe lives in a physical body – doesn’t know it, but it’s fighting a war against the Creator of the universe. A war in which it has no enemy, for God is enemy to nothing, and Friend to everything. He is Life Itself, and as Life, He keeps calling to us to gently withdraw our support from the ego, and place our attention on the benefits of Life, such as happiness and joy, instead of sickness and death, which are the ego’s goals.
The ego pushes us to our limits within arduous situations
The great American country singer, Charley Pride, sang a song titled, Time you’re not a friend of mine. One of the lines in the song goes like this; It was you who took away the happiness of yesterday. That’s the way with all experiences that contain any semblance of happiness in this physical world; they are brief, and end all too quickly.
How many times has the phrase, all good things must come to an end, been uttered by people enjoying themselves? It’s the surrendering note that people use when they realize that time has surpassed itself and a good time must end. Notwithstanding these short-lived instances of fleeting joy, this whole physical experience is an arduous situation, where the ego pushes us to our limits of endurance.
Following the ego’s advice always leads to an illusion of defeat
As already mentioned above, The ego always marches to defeat. It does so because, in its insanity, it imagines it can destroy what God created; it believes it can destroy you. It thinks this is possible because that which it perceives to be you is nothing but a parody of what you really are. The ego does not, nor ever will, know the real Self that is you. As The Course informs us, Be certain that it is impossible God and the ego, or yourself and it, will ever meet.
The ego spends its whole physical experience, which is the only type of experience it will ever have, determined to carry out an impossible mission. It works tirelessly and continuously in its role as an illusionist, driven by its own insanity, to convince you that you are something other than what you are.
And if it were not for the Power of Reason, which God Himself has placed in your mind, it would succeed. But because of Reason’s presence the ego is destined to the illusion of defeat, and if any of us heed its advice we will experience the same illusion. It’s an illusion of defeat because the ego itself, and this whole physical world are illusions.
Life desires that we wake up and reject any and all ego advice
In The Course Jesus directs us to pay attention to our Power of Reason. He says, “Reason will tell you that the only way to escape from misery is to recognize it and go the other way.“ Nothing could be simpler, straighter forward, nor easier to understand than that. The only way to escape from anything once we recognize it, is to walk away from it. But first, we have to recognize it. And in this case that’s not easy because we’re dealing with the ego, which is a master illusionist. It entices us to listen to it by convincing us that it wishes us well, while at the same time it leads us deeper and deeper into darkness and misery.
The Path to Victory
There is no path to victory, for you are already victorious. If you remain as God created you – and you do – what is there to win; what would the victory be? The one and only need we have, is to heal the belief that we are separated from our Creator. This is the only path to victory there will ever be; it’s not a path, but an awakening.
The Course also tells us: “If you cannot hear the Voice of God, it is because you do not choose to listen.” Like everything in this physical experience, whether we listen to the Voice of God or the voice of the ego is our own choice. But there’s no possibility that we won’t listen to one or the other, for there’s no other to choose from. We either listen by default or by conscious choice. In this world we have been trained to listen by default, therefore, it seems, it takes no effort at all to hear the ego’s voice loud and clear.
It seems easy and effortless for us to listen to the ego’s voice, but it’s really one of the most difficult accomplishments in the universe. It portrays the awesome learning power with which we have been endowed. We have learned from the master illusionist that we have accomplished the impossible. We believe that we have separated ourselves from our only Source of Life, and drowned out the most powerful Voice in all the universe; the Voice of God. We have learned to accept illusions as the truth.
I’m going to close this post with a relatively long quote from The Course: “How can you know whether you chose the stairs to Heaven or the way to hell? Quite easily. How do you feel? Is peace in your awareness? Are you certain which way you go? And are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached? If not, you walk alone. Ask, then, your Friend to join with you and give you certainty of where you go.“
I really and truly appreciate you visiting this blog – Thank you
As much as you can, keep thinking positive
You’ll find that life is better that way.