The Greatest Illusion

“Very few people appreciate the real power of the mind, and no one remains fully aware of it all the time.”   –ACIM

Merriam-Webster’s first definition of an illusion is: “A misleading image presented to the vision.” The second one they provide is: “Something that deceives or misleads intellectually.” They also give this one: “Illusion implies a false ascribing of reality based on what one sees or imagines.” They provide even more definitions but these three are more than sufficient for this post. I’m going to choose one, which is the third one given above, to base this post upon. 

Look in the mirror and one thing is sure: what we see is not who we are.” –Richard Bach

Richard Bach is one of my favorite authors of all time. I truly enjoyed his novel, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. In my opinion he is deep and mystical but possesses  a simple and entertaining way of expressing it, as he does in the above quote. 

If what you see reflected in the mirror is not you, then it can be nothing other than an illusion. Many people will jump on this and explain that the reflection in the mirror is not real but simply a reflection of you. In my view, Bach wasn’t talking about the reflection but the physical body being reflected. He was expressing a glorious truth and The Course agrees with him. 

For example, it says: “The body is separate and therefore cannot be part of you.” If the body is separate and not even part of you then to see it as yourself has to be an illusion. It fits the description I chose above perfectly: Illusion implies a false ascribing of reality based on what one sees or imagines.

“You are an infinite spiritual being having a temporary human experience.”   -Wayne W. Dyer

When you look in the mirror you don’t see the infinite spiritual being that Wayne Dyer reminds you about. What you see is simply the mechanism that allows you to have the temporary human experience he mentions. You cannot see the Spiritual Being you are with the body’s eyes. As The Course points out: “You see the flesh or recognize the Spirit.” The body is physical, and the physical is all its eyes can see. The Spirit can only be recognized, which means you knew It prior to this physical experience. 

Everyone, unless they have lost their physical sight, sees the body and that’s what makes it so difficult to believe it’s not the person. As The Course tells us: “Everything which the body’s eyes can see is a mistake, an error in perception, a distorted fragment of the whole, without the meaning that the whole would give.” When you look upon a body and perceive that body as the person, you are looking at an error in perception. In other words, what you’re looking at is an illusion. 

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about the atoms this much: There is no matter as such!”   –Max Planck

According to Wikipedia, Max Planck was a German theoretical physicist and the originator of quantum theory, which revolutionized human understanding of atomic and subatomic processes. I believe this qualifies him as a source to be believed when he revealed that there is no matter as such. 

It also reveals to those who are ready that the body is not only an illusion when perceived as a person but is an illusion within itself, as all physical things are. For if there is no matter as such and we see the material body as matter then we are seeing that which, in reality, doesn’t exist in the way we believe it does. 

Planck went on to say: “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind…” 

The conscious and intelligent Mind behind the force that made your body is your own. For you are the maker of your ego and your body, which is the ego’s home. As Jesus says:  “The body is the ego’s home by its own election.” He also points out in The Course that, “The body is merely a fact in human experience. Its abilities can be and frequently are over-evaluated. However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence.”

“It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain.”   –A Course In Miracles

It takes many, many human experiences and many, many different types of experiences until the light of awareness flashes in the mind and we become aware that it’s our thoughts that determine those experiences. Max Planck, as he said,  learned after devoting his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter that matter exists only because of a conscious and intelligent Mind holding the atoms together through vibrations. And does it not stand to reason that the only criteria the Mind could use to do this would be thought? For what means could a Mind have access to, other than thought? The Buddha informed the world of this twenty-five hundred years ago: “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”  

“The death penalty never leaves the ego’s mind, for that is what it always reserves for you in the end.”   –A Course In Miracles

How often do you think about death? It seems that most people are obsessed with it and fear it more than any other experience. If you’re afraid of it and your mind dwells on it a great deal of the time then you’re joining your thinking with that of the ego. For, as the above quote reminds us, it never leaves the ego’s mind. The ego is terrified of the illusion we refer to as death because it knows that it is its end, and it uses every weapon in its arsenal to convince you that it’s also yours. 

You made the ego without love, and so it does not love you.   –A Course In Miracles

Even though the ego is the source of all illusions and all fear it has no power of its own. As the above quote informs us the ego is of our own making and therefore, the only power it has is that which we give it. But we have given it an immense amount, we have given it the power to cause Creations of God to accept, and believe, they’re something other than they are. It has the power to convince most of us, who are, in reality, part of the Living God, that we’re no more than little physical entities who must die and end up in the grave. As The Course points out: Here is the strength and might of God Himself perceived within an idol made of dust.  

And right here is revealed the greatest illusion of them all, which is the idea that the strength and might of God Himself is in an idol made of dust and subject to death.

I’m going to close this post with a quote from Lesson 167 in The Course:  “There are not different kinds of life, for life is like the truth. It does not have degrees. It is the one condition in which all that God created share. Like all His thoughts, it has no opposite. There is no death because what God created shares His Life. There is no death because an opposite to God does not exist. There is no death because the Father and the Son are one.”

Thank you for visiting this site. I am truly grateful. May You be blessed with revelation that death is an illusion and does not exist.


“Love is your safety. Fear does not exist. Identify with love, and you are safe. Identify with love, and you are home. Identify with love, and find your Self.” –ACIM

“Veganism is believing that an animal’s life is worth more than a sandwich. That’s it! That’s how simple it is.” –The Spiritual Vegan