Seeing The Illusion

by stewart

“O my Lord, if I worship Thee for fear of hell, burn me in hell; and if I worship Thee for hope of Paradise, exclude me thence; but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, with hold not from me Thine eternal beauty.”


 For the spiritual traveler, in order to unlock what lies beyond everyday consciousness, a period of preparation is required. For a time everyday thought patterns must be suspended so the traveler can experience what lies beyond ordinary awareness. In order for a society or organization to flourish, people are conditioned into believing specific ideas and much of the day is filled with these thoughts.  Because of the emotions attached to these ‘sacred’ ideas/beliefs, often the traveler is blocked by their external noise from going deeper and experiencing the inner, spiritual reality.

Fear & Reward

The following is the most common manipulation and illusion created by societal entities to control people and keep their presentation going. It’s a variation of the fear and reward manipulation which most education, social, business, religious groups are using. It runs something like this: look we have a potentially good thing going here (promotion, success, heaven) and if you want to join with us; then you are required to follow what we say to do. If you don’t want these rewards and join: remember you are doomed to either failure; a very hard time; you may even ‘piss God off;’ or become someone with little social status.

We live in a capitalistic society and most people grow-up believing- I want to get a piece of the action (money) – so I’ll follow along with the rules; it’s the same with religions and family structures. What’s put out there- here are the rules and expectations- accept or reject them; that is up to you, but if you reject them it’s a hard way to go without our help.

As I was growing-up, the American Dream went something like this: go to work for a corporation or large employer and they will take care of you financially- from cradle to grave; buy a house on credit- a 30 year mortgage, finance a car, get an education (student loan) and get married. That is the way to success and happiness.

Death of a Dream

Today many of the aspects of this dream lie about in ashes.  Like millions of others, when I first had a family I bought into this dream. Yet over the years I realized that the only thing taking out a 30 year mortgage, buying things on credit did for me- was make me a slave to my work everyday and not complain- because if I complained- I wouldn’t get promoted, loose my job or appear un-American; after all I had to take care of my family and make ‘the monthly nut’ (bills) just like everyone else.

In America often we forget there are other ways to do things.  Meanwhile my brother has built 2 homes with minimal financing; one of these homes in Mexico and the other in Idaho. Fortunately he has not been enslaved in this particular trap- helping the person who sits on top of the banking industry, mortgage financing scheme get richer. He tells me, that now in Mexico they have introduced installment buying and mortgages. Where this has been done, coincidently, there has been a tremendous growth in stress related or western illness and discontent (high blood pressure, anxiety and lack of work enjoyment).

Feeding the Illusion

The sad part of our western capitalistic illusion: the way to happiness is through consuming, owning and installment buying; is that it keeps us so very busy struggling to keep-up- we don’t see what has happened to us nor have time to express the inner person. The person who likes to sing, dance and smell wild flowers-that eternal child of the universe and spiritual traveler in all of us. We are too busy not wanting to miss all the new gadgets: flat screen TV, phone with the latest capabilities, and new car; we become over stressed working for these gadgets with different physical ailments and often traveling hours to our job.

Caught-up in the daily grind of working to pay bills, many forget life is a wonderful gift- filled with love, creativity, beautiful sunsets and people to love.

When we are immersed in this illusion and expectation that material happiness will be ours, often we shift off center and don’t have time for simpler, holistic things.  In this age we are witnessing the collapse of many cherished institutions and beliefs- Governments, corporations, and standard religion cannot save us. Each of these structures has a vested interest in keeping the status quo and old system going; what will save us is that after the collapse of these structures, people will be forced to unite and replace these systems with others that work for the common good.

You know, it is possible to work together and solve complex problems, we see it every day: usually in an emergency situation or after a catastrophe of some sort; people show-up from everywhere trying to help.

Freedom from the Illusion

The best way to free people from their own expectations and an unhealthy level of selfishness, is to realize this trap, individually and teach others- it is in everyone’s best interest that people be treated fairly, fed, not robbed, cheated or raped. For you see, I am my brother’s keeper, because we share the same Father; and if my brother is not fed, one day he will be at my door, demanding what is his.

In the Far East, Terrorist Leaders are presenting the fear and reward manipulation in this fashion. We want to be good Moslems who do God’s Will; so we must spread Islam, fighting and killing those capitalists who do not believe as we do, and worship the God of money. Then our reward will be in heaven; today many are being brain washed into believing this terrorist ideology and manipulation.

Any person or society can use ideology to control people, particularly, when the ideology is exclusive and tied to the reward and punishment manipulation. In the world today, religion and nationalism are two very common and dangerous examples. We are right and they are wrong; and because we are right- the other must do as we say.  Remember the task of the spiritual traveler is to see beyond ideology and manipulation, so, they are not controlled by these strong thoughts; being able to suspend them for a time, eventually awakening other forms of consciousness that arise from the mystical, spiritual part of our nature and reside deep within.

Freedom from Manipulation

As spiritual travelers, we want to freely choose actions; like paying off a 30 year mortgage, to make our lives more comfortable and enjoyable. We want our world to be a place where people are free to express the higher part of them self and are not controlled by what others think or say; having been taught to see beyond fear and reward- living a more complete life.

“Umar ‘Abul’l-Aziz once wrote a letter to Hasan al-Basri in which he requested some brief advice that would serve to guide him. On the back of the envelope, Hasan wrote, “O Commander of the Faithful, if God is with you, then what do you fear, and if God isn’t with you, in what can you have hope?”

-Hasan al-Basri


Completing Evolution

Introduction   In order to affect a great work, there must be the combining of factors or a confluence of essences. For the spiritual traveler to reach completion, and assume an active role in their own higher destiny and the higher destiny of the universe, this process involves an interaction between student, teacher and Path. […]

Read the full article →

How to be Spiritual Amidst this Chaos?

Circumstances have overtaken man. His old languages are not sufficient to describe what is happening, and what is about to happen. To think in terms of a millennium or such tame concepts as ‘the eleventh hour’ is ridiculous. Better that he should realize that he is in an era which might be more accurately described […]

Read the full article →

Religious Form: Internal & External Reality

Let your heart be in such a state that the existence or nonexistence of anything is the same. Then sit alone in a quiet place, free of any preoccupation, even the reciting of the Koran or thinking about its meaning. Let nothing besides God enter you. Once you are seated in this manner, say, “Allah, […]

Read the full article →

Inner Conflict

Sufis have long held that the inner war- Jihad, the fight between a traveler’s higher and lower nature is a moment by moment struggle. Those who are somehow able to turn toward their higher self and use, in daily life, their access to spiritual awareness are on the road to enlightenment. This world is made […]

Read the full article →

What If

What if all the money, energy, thought and time Used for war and countries fighting each other Was used to feed the hungry, care for the sick And help those in dire need?   Yes, what if all across the world Soldiers, sailors and flyers Turned their attention and energy To healing and building Instead […]

Read the full article →

Forgetting The Magic

One of the problems growing older Is that we often cannot see The wonders of everyday life.   Daily focused on different tasks We get lost in the details; And lose sight of the magic That holds life together.   Remembering anything is possible; Only as we wear the Wizard’s Cloak. -SB  

Read the full article →

Chaos, Smoke Screens & Ramblings

  Generally I am not a conspiracy nut but I have to wonder about all this violence going on in our country; in my mad ramblings, I ask myself who benefits from this unrest?   As a country, we haven’t been able to make much head way with the gun control problem, the poverty problem, […]

Read the full article →

A Righteous Heart

Spiritual learning is in addition to all your many skills/talents. It is intended as the center of a life from which all other aspects nourish and mature. You were created to participate in the world and help make it better. That is the potential; that is the goal. Spiritual learning does not replace other skills/abilities. […]

Read the full article →

Violence & More Violence

Why are people shocked that the eventual consequence of violence is more violence? We see this every day in ourselves, in our community and all over the world. The NEWS has become masters of reporting and dramatizing this eventuality. Remember you cannot keep a person or group of people down economically, racially and politically without […]

Read the full article →