Illusion vs. Delusion


Week 16

DELUSION: an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.

ILLUSION: a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses.

Gleanings: illusions can help or hinder, but they can change. The learning that comes from that change can create strength and peace of mind. On the other hand, delusions require professional help and protection against self-injury or injury towards others.

I got a major league lesson in the illusion vs. delusion of control in the past week, thanks to five realities:

  • I returned to teaching Adult Basic Education; lessons can be set up, materials can be gathered, even the classroom can be furnished and ready; I still cannot make students show up. Thanks and an e-hug to those who did!

  • Having my dear husband home for a week does not mean things will run according to the same routines and patterns as when he is on the road. Such change of situations give me new respect for the Chaos Theory.

  • Cats may rule and dogs drool, but all human “pet parents” can go crazy merely trying to keep up. I’ve already deleted four lines of “Sarge-print” from this posting because he saw I had cheese nearby.

  • I have more questions than answers this for this week’s post.

  • I may tell myself I can skip an exercise class and still feel the “rush” by rushing around doing housework and errands, but I am lying to myself.

  • Equally, I can tell myself that I can go a day without writing – LIE. I try to refrain from writing on Shabbat out of respect for the day, but IT IS HARD.

The last two gave me true pause. How much do we humans actually lie to (delude) ourselves in order to get through, get over, get along, get with or get out of life? Judging from the plethora of articles I read this past week on the basic theme of how writers lie to themselves, how women in or out of relationships lie to themselves, how we allow lobbyists for every cause lie to us, how we revel in this political party or that one’s lies, we as Americans apparently have not only fractured the Ninth Commandment, but we’ve ground it into dust and prayed for a windstorm to take it away.

And the main victim of that destruction is ourselves.

I’ve been working on my own self-told lies and have a major question: how hard is it really to try and tell myself the Truth, for a change? I’m not talking about the “truth” we get from the ever-shifting standards of interpreted faith, fashion, wealth or what in education is labeled the “terrible triplets” TYNI, LYNI, and NYNI (This Year’s New Idea; Last Year’s New Idea; Next Year’s New Idea). Neither am I willing to get into a weights and measures argument over the “truth” of one belief system/religion over another. “An it harm none, do as ye will.”

And I’m putting up my own wall against admitting the “truth” of professional liars running for office, or any other sort of public snake oil salesmen who want nothing more than to verbally fertilize my garden and make me grateful for their blip of attention.

I have many years of lying to myself to undo. It is solitary work, finding my truth in the silence. But, in the silence, in the exercise, in the writing, my illusions can change.

And who knows? I may be able to look outward to some other truths next week. I hope so. I always hope.

Ketivah vakhatimah tovah!


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