The art of illusion

I had an interesting conversation this morning with one of my closest friends all about illusion.  Not the sort that is usually done by magicians or illusionists, but about the sort we create for ourselves.  You know, the ones we often called ‘rose tinted glasses’!

Our ‘rose tinted glasses’ ensure that we never really see things for what they are.  We put a gloss and a sheen over sets of circumstances, events and conversations that lead us to believe in something that was never actually there in the first place.  That doesn’t mean to say, this is always a negative, but it’s sometimes worth acknowledging the benefits of having those same spectacles removed every so often.

When we remove the spectacles (or when they are removed from our noses by happenstance) we see things clearly.  We can see what was, what is and what might have been but isn’t.  What we no longer see are the illusions that have been keeping us in a place of denial about the ‘reality’ (if there can ever be such a thing) of a situation.  And yet, illusion can also provide wonder, joy and even happiness; at least for a short time anyway.

I suppose my writing is really about what happens when the illusion is removed, the spectacles set aside and clarity is allowed in.  What one gets is often not what one expects, and it would be very easy to then look around for an easy target on which pin the blame for our current predicament.  But that is hardly fair.  That’s the thing about rose tinted glasses, we have to put them on ourselves; no one forces us to and often no one asks us to either.

Do then, we need to blame ourselves?  Once again, it would be easy to say we were silly, foolish, wrong; all words that make life harder to bear in the long run because they create a burden of unreasonable responsibility that we can never hope to shift.

My preference then is for a simple acknowledgement.  “This is what was, and for many different reasons this was how the world was perceived for a time.  it is neither right nor wrong, it just ‘is'”.  Acceptance that this is the case, allows us to learn from the experience, file it away in the backpack of our lives and perhaps reflect upon it in the future when we come to a similar (but hopefully not the same) place again.  This is a place of true responsibility for ourselves, it is neither blame nor passive acceptance, it is recognising we have a part to play at every decision made and every journey taken.  In many ways, this post reminds of that quotation that sat for many years on my mothers study wall.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

I now know that much of my life has been lived in illusion for many years, but that this no longer needs to be the case.

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5 thoughts on “The art of illusion

  1. boomerangblogger says:

    Well done! The question remains… whether we remove the spectacles completely or we just start wearing another ones? Imagine, you agreed to meet with a friend at a coffee-shop, what do you first see when you enter the place?

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  2. Lindy says:

    That has to be the fastest response to a post I’ve made ever and thank you, it’s an interesting comment. It really made me think. What do I see first? I’d like to say I’d see the friend, but that probably isn’t the case is it.

    In all likelihood, I’d be checking the environment, who was there, who wasn’t, what the staff were doing, is there somewhere to sit etc…. That’s the other thing about life – we actually miss most of it happening because we are busy doing other things (to take John Lennon’s words rather crudely). We are only aware of tiny fraction of what happens around us which is probably why the statement, there are more thing in heaven and earth really rings true.

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  3. boomerangblogger says:

    You’re doing great! You are right, most probably you will see a friend who is not there (if he is being late). It’s a paradox! 🙂 You’ll see something which is not there!
    This example is just to illustrate that quite often we spend our live seeing something which is not there (any longer). And I would take your idea of changing (or removing) the glasses for the rule for every developed human being in order to be able to see that the world does change every moment and new opportunities and interesting things come out much ofter than we might think.
    It’s so great to know that there’re people who want to see further than their own nose! And are curious and open-minded.

    You know a friend of mine asked me recently what my favorite subject was, so that I felt relaxed and excited at the same time during the conversation. I replied immediately: philosophy and psychology. She asked why … didn’t think about it but the answer came out by itself … I replied “what could be more interesting than a phenomenon of life and people. I’m just curious to understand who we are and where do we live”. Really, what could be more interesting?

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  4. Lindy says:

    No we’re moving into the whole paradox that is Schroedinger’s Cat. Everything is possible and nothing is possible – both at the same time. Everything that has could ever happen already has, and nothing has too. In fact, seeing things that aren’t there is a bit of an art in itself because then we get into the question of what exactly is ‘reality’ and, as I commented on your blog, we make the assumption that we all ‘see’ the same thing.

    I was introduced to The Matrix recently and have to say, the theory has some merit 🙂

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  5. Lindy says:

    Now we’re moving into the whole paradox that is Schroedinger’s Cat. Everything is possible and nothing is possible – both at the same time. Everything that could ever happen already has, and nothing has too. In fact, seeing things that aren’t there is a bit of an art in itself because then we get into the question of what exactly is ‘reality’ and, as I commented on your blog, we make the assumption that we all ‘see’ the same thing.

    I was introduced to The Matrix recently and have to say, the theory has some merit 🙂

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