The illusion

How the outside world creates an illusion for our inside world

Photo courtesy of Tim Mossholder

Photo courtesy of Tim Mossholder

There is a suspension bridge in Zhangjiajie, China that is glass bottomed.

Seriously.

It is completely made of glass. 

Transparent glass.

Those who dare to walk its length soon discover that the illusion of danger created by the glass floor poses a particular challenge to their success in completing the journey.

Some find themselves paralyzed with fear or inching along on their belly with eyes clenched...so entrenched are they in the illusion of their circumstances.

And it is an illusion, non?

We can see that clearly.

And yet, for some, it is near impossible to see through this illusion because of the overwhelming visual sensory information that is fueling their fear.

And that is key.

Sensory information.

We rely on our senses to, in essence, make sense of the world outside.

Here's where it can get tricky, though.

While the outside world, filled with its atoms and molecules and such, most definitely exists, we forget that it is through our senses that we gather information about our world in order to transfer it to our minds.

It is within our minds, then, that the outside world is re-created, interpreted, and experienced through thought and feeling.

In other words, the outside world does not directly inform us of what we think and feel about it.

Information gathered by our senses is interpreted in our minds, through our own particular lens of the world, and presented to us as truth in the form of our thoughts and feelings.

Have you ever noticed that no two people seem to experience the outside world in quite the same way?

It's just not possible.

No two people will have quite the same life experiences that help to inform their interpretation of the outside world through their senses.

So it is with life circumstances, as well.

Our feelings cannot be directly attributed to our outside circumstances since there is no direct connection and causation between circumstances and feelings.

While it certainly looks like our circumstances cause our feelings...and we even use words to reinforce this notion:

"I'm stressed because I have a lot work."

"I'm sad because we are moving."

 ...it is merely an illusion.

Circumstances are like the glass bottomed floor; it may look like the floor is creating the panic and fear, but really, the floor has nothing to do with it.

It is only and ever what goes on in the mind (and heart) that determines what a person thinks and feels...about a glass bottomed floor or anything else.