Which illusions do we accept as real? How do we
determine what is illusion and what is real? These
are questions that almost all of us ponder from time to
time, and they're well worth pondering--after all, if we
continue to follow illusions, will we be taking a
direction that's going to be helpful to us? When
we're very young, we accept the illusion that our parents
are all-powerful and infallible; later, when we grow up,
we find out that that wasn't the case at all.
Irvin is talking about the illusions that harm us.
Illusion can cheer us when we tell ourselves "our
relationship is fine," but that may be us choosing to
accept only those things that we want to accept, rather
than taking an honest look at what's going on. Some
relationships actually are fine, of course, but many are
not--and we often hear the people involved in the bad ones
saying just how great the relationship is.
Politicians often carefully craft an illusion to get
voters to believe something about them, only to act in
ways that completely contradict the illusions they've
To me, it's important to continuously question the
possible illusions in my life. Do I really like my
job, or am I telling myself that I do so that I don't feel
frustrated and hopeless? Can this person with whom I
have contact be trusted, or do I trust him or her because
that's the easiest approach to take? Am I really the
person I think I am, or do my actions contradict that
ideal? Asking myself these questions from time to
time can help me to avoid the trap of accepting illusions
as truth, and potentially harming myself and others.
Some illusions are wonderful--magicians entertain us well
by presenting carefully crafted illusions. But
others hold us back and hold us down, and it's important
that we teach ourselves how to recognize them and reject
them when they do.