The illusion of reality


“The illusion of reality”. Dangerous grounds! How does one distinguish between illusion and reality, when reality for each is influenced by our past, our education and our emotions?

What on earth was I letting us all in for by proposing this as the theme?

Lying in bed very early this morning (woken at 3.30 by a security company who were insisting my alarm was going off, even though their radio has been removed from it and lies unattached to anything waiting to be collected by them) and thinking about how many times this week I have seen other people’s reality assessed, evaluated and found admirable or wanting by others.

The child whose imagination runs away and makes a whole different world, an adult with delusions of adequacy. How do we know that this isn’t real for them, even though from our viewpoint it’s not real?

This is all very tricky. So I betook me to a place where I know the illusion isn’t real, but where I can open up my mind to accept the impossible; the theatre.

The hush and rustle of an audience, like gentle snores from next to you in bed, leading you into a world where odd things may happen, yet you accept them as true to dwell a little longer in their world.

Suspension of reality. That was the phrase used by some teacher to me as a youngster, explaining the ‘magic’ of the theatre.

So the wife who doesn’t recognise her husband, even though he is wearing the same clothes as when she saw him last, but is deceived by the addition of a moustache! Wonderfully funny, IF you suspend your knowledge and walk off into the illusion.

A break from reality is good for us. But how dangerous when we don’t want to leave it because our reality is too dreadful to confront.

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27 thoughts on “The illusion of reality

  1. The security guard waking you even though your alarm doesn’t work sounds like an illusion intruding into reality. Great post. Very thought provoking.

  2. Sidey, I tried to turn my mind to something which would satisfy a response to your challenge. Many of the thoughts you posed ran through my head. I think that it needs much, much longer for me to produce something, but if and when I do, it will refer back to your challenge.
    I do agree with your comments, though. Thomas Merton the Trappist monk once said (in print) that God created us as a specific person He wanted us to be. The acceptance of illusion about ourselves turns us into that which He did not create, and thus He will not recognise us.
    What an awful thought.
    John

  3. When I watch movies, I suspend disbelief: “if this bizarre event could happen . . . is that how the characters would act?”

    If they are true to the experience, it’s enjoyable . . . whether it’s Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee, or Peter Pan!

    Thanks, Sidey!

  4. I sometimes have a major issue with reality.
    Which is why I choose to immerse myself in things that are not of this world. Helps me face reality a bit better 😉

  5. Creating the suspension of disbelief can be quite tricky, in writing. Some tur-to-life things have to be watered down, because they wouldn’t be credible in fiction.
    Oh, you certainly picked a rich topic, here!

  6. I have read this a few times, and yes I can not chew, breath and walk at the same time of late, so am behind the ball at commenting; forgive me.

    Suspending reality, now that is a convention I can wholeheartedly back. A wise friend, when I needed to be pointed in the right direction, sent me the song ‘Take A Giant Step Outside Your Mind’ by Taj Mahal. I play it from time to time when I need to remind myself not to take life so serious. When you say ‘open up my mind to accept the impossible’ albeit the theatre for you, it can be so many other things for different people, But the theatre, especially that which allows you to escape, and takes you to a place where your mind can accept and see new ideas or see ‘what you thought to be reality’ in a different light is magic.Some films and books have done just that for me, one of recent times was Sean Penn’s ‘Into the Wild’. And one book, Michael Ondaatje’s ‘Coming Through Slaughter’. The film and the book, did not really open my mind per say, but shattered my illusion of reality an woke me up.

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