Reality is merely an illusion,
albeit a very persistent one.

Albert Einstein

   

Illusions command themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead.  We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.

Sigmund Freud

      

Our greatest illusion is disillusion.  We imagine that we are disillusioned with life, when the truth is that we have not even begun to live.

Paul Brunton

  

A human being is part of the whole, called by us the universe; a part limited by time and space.  We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical illusion of consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affections for a few persons nearest us.  Our task is to free ourselves from this prison.

Albert Einstein

   
There is no end to illusion.  Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses which paint the world their own hue.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

  
  
The g
reatest illusion is the belief that life has nothing to teach you.

Shantidasa
   

Every illusion carries pain and suffering in the dark folds of
the heavy garments in which it hides its nothingness.

A Course in Miracles

   

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Disillusion is the last illusion.

Wallace Stevens

   

"The things we see," Pistorius said softly, "are the same things
that are within us.  There is no reality except the one contained
within us.  That is why so many people live such unreal lives. 
They take the images outside them for reality and never allow
the world within to assert itself."

Herman Hesse

   

We begin life with the world presenting itself to us as it is.  Someone--
our parents, teachers, analysts--hypnotizes us to "see" the world and
construe it in the "right" way.  These others label the world, attach
names and give voices to the beings and events in it, so that thereafter,
we cannot read the world in any other language or hear it saying other
things to us.  The task is to break the hypnotic spell, so that we become
undeaf, unblind, and multilingual, thereby letting the world speak to us
in new voices and write all its possible meaning in the new book of
our existence.  Be careful in your choice of hypnotists.

Sidney Jourard

   
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance--
it is the illusion of knowledge.

Daniel J. Boorstin
   

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they
exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.

Alan Watts

   

How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child.

Judy Garland

   

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I think my quarry is illusion. I war against magic. I believe that, though
illusion often cheers and comforts, it ultimately and
invariably weakens and constricts the spirit.

Irvin D. Yalom
Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
  

Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion.

Friedrich Nietzsche
The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner

  

Look at the world as a mirage, as a bubble floating
in front of you.  See it like this and death will have
no fear for you, and you will not be
attached to the world.

Buddhist wisdom

   

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If you know something is an illusion, why pretend it is reality?

Lionel Suggs
   

Whatever is a reality today, whatever you touch and believe in
and that seems real for you today, is going to be, like the reality
of yesterday, an illusion tomorrow.

Luigi Pirandello

  

It is critical to understand the difference between an illusion and
the one who makes the illusion.  For example, when I was a kid, I
worshiped the rock start Gene Simmons of KISS.  I wanted to be
just like him and did everything I could to make that happen.  The
trouble was, I was emulating an illusion.  It turns out Gene Simmons
wasn't the blood-spitting, fire-breathing rebel I saw on stage.  That
was all an act.  It was only years later that I learned the truth.  He was
an educated, conservative man who never touched drugs or alcohol
in his life.  I felt like such an idiot.  But I was only thirteen at the time
and believed everything I saw.  I shudder to think how differently
my life might have turned out had I known the truth and
emulated the illusion maker and not the illusion.

Blair Warren

   
   

We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament
and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy.


Cyril Connolly

   

Illusions are art, for the feeling person, and it is by art that we live, if we do.

Elizabeth Bowen

   

An illusion which makes me happy is worth a verity
which drags me to the ground.

Christopher Martin-Wieland

   
The world is an illusion.  Why is it unreal?  Because none of the knowledge
is going to remain permanent, as real knowledge.  I had a number of identities;
I was a child, I was a boy, I was a teenager, I was a middle-aged man, I was
an old man.  Like other identities I thought would remain constant,
they never remained so.  Finally, I became very old. . .
So which identity remained honest with me?

Nisargadatta
  

Truth is simple, but Illusion makes it infinitely intricate.  The person is
rare who possesses an insatiable longing for Truth; the rest
allow Illusion to bind them ever more and more.

Meher Baba

   

The stripping away of illusion and the struggle to find personal
reality can be likened to the peeling of an apple.  As one peels
away the layers of unreality. . . eventually only the core remains.

Meredith L. Young

   
  
The universe is illusion merely, not one speck of it real, and we are
not only victims, but also captives, bound by the
mineral-made ropes of senses.

Annie Dillard
  

Nothing is more hidden from us than the illusion which lives with us
day by day, and our greatest illusion is to believe that
we are what we think ourselves to be.

Henri F. Amiel

   

There is no more dangerous illusion than the
fancies by which people try to avoid illusion.

Francois Fenelon

   
Western industrial society sneers at the relatively harmless myths and
acquired beliefs of the native peoples of the world--a good many
of which have at least some basis in fact--while perpetuating irrational
beliefs and practices so dangerous that they are destroying the earth.
And probably the most destructive of all the Illusions of the West is the
superstitious notion that Technology will solve all our difficulties.

Benjamin Hoff
The Te of Piglet
  

Everything is illusion.  Learn this and you will be free from suffering.

the Buddha