Illusion is that thing that keeps you getting up in the morning and it gives you hope that things will be better in the future. It is that thing that intoxicates you in excitement and it makes you look forward to things. It can be infused into anything, a car, a house, a career, a relationship, a pair of shoes, anything. It has many, many benefits as well as many, many detriments. Most people live in it because it is familiar and culturally and socially encouraged, it's almost as if it was all we have left.
The reason why people stay in it, aside from the benefits, is because leaving it behind hurts like hell. Have you ever been through a tough break-up? This is what leaving illusion behind feels like. The relationship was being held by illusion, by hope, by dreams, by expectations, by attachment, by dependency and by the idea of a better future. Obviously, if it ended prematurely, all that had been within it was less than real. Reality by its definition and nature can't be undependable, it's the real.
What's funny is that we are left with a huge hangover, just like when we get drunk on either alcohol or a relationship or a spiritual experience or a failed attempt at an escape. The hangover can last for years! We got high or drunk on a potent illusory trance and now that the illusion broke down all we're left with is either the shock of the failure or the longing to go back into what was never really real in the first place.
Illusion is a tricky, powerful force that has the majority of humanity in its grip. It's not evil or bad, and it's not even trying to grip us... it's just that it's what we are taught to yearn for. When we are too little, say maybe 4 or 5, all we care about is playing around and discovering the world, we play in the mud and mess around with dirt. Well, that's changing these days, now we live in apartments and barely get to familiarize ourselves with nature, so maybe I am speaking for myself here (aren't we always?). Anyway, the point is that adults start encouraging illusion by asking us way before we're ready to tell them what we want to be when we grow up. Isn't that a ridiculous question? We usually answer back with whatever is hot in the illusion pool like doctor, firefighter, superstar or mailman. This is when the system starts to get conditioned towards chasing illusion. Later, everybody wants to be famous, wants to win the lottery, wants a million bucks (or preferably more), wants to be Puff Daddy or Lady Gaga and take off in their private jet with their suitcase packed with cash.
Illusion is rampant everywhere, any magazine, any TV channel, any conversation that you overhear anywhere is filled with illusions. At the time I am working in a café, and all I ever hear people talk about is illusion, illusion, illusion. Either the construction and pursuit of it or the destruction and breakdown of it. The construction feels great, you get people who are elated, their eyes light up, their plans are going to take off, they just got a new car, a new relationship, a new dog, a new job... it's all exciting and up from here. Illusion organizes itself and grips itself around the person and great expectations and plans arrive. Yuppy! Then there's the breakdown, the let down, the great deception, people talking about their financial issues, their breakup, tears and upset all over the place, depression, despondency, hopelessness, despair. It's all the trick of illusion.
I have fallen for illusion time and time again myself, but the consistency of the collapses of all fantasies that get formed when an illusion starts to be created by my naive and immature self has led me to see beyond it. Illusion is just too inconsistent and undependable, it always breaks down. The huge career, then becomes the great collapse. The accomplishment that you're super proud of, is followed by a great fall. The idea that something that was thrown in the air that sounds good will happen and sustain itself ALWAYS fails. The up and down of life and the down and up as well are just too predictable, illusion is a crazy-maker when you keep falling for it.
The departure of illusion is the biggest break-up of all, it's the last deception, the last disillusionment and it can take A LOT to get someone to give it up. Giving it up doesn't mean you stop living and you stop your life, it just means you stop believing that there is ANY reality in illusion. You see that illusion is just like magic and it's a trick and it's really enjoyable and cool and all, but you don't have any expectations of it. You know it's incredibly ephemeral and unpredictable and that all of its flavors are bound to keep on shifting. When you detach from illusion you feel like a surfer that enjoys the wave while it lasts and thinks its awesome... just like watching a movie which is obviously not real but we still feel the emotions. It's just that there's no attachment and no belief in the unreal.
A great shift in consciousness happens when you're willing to let yourself fall out of illusion all the way. You become liberated from the trap of identifying with anything or thinking that anything is permanent. You become empowered and sane, although you may seem insane to those caught in illusion. The world is filled with illusion junkies, those who are sober and choose to stay that way (for the most part) will definitely be misunderstood. They will seem like they're too at peace and too happy and healthy and that they must be delusional because of it. They will seem like they dismiss "reality" and just keep prancing along dancing through life as if it was some sort of illusion.
Thing is, the point is to be in the world but not of it... and those who aren't ready to abandon the attachment to illusion yet will never understand the magic dance of a liberated being! And that's why I left illusion! So long!