Illusions         December, 2016

Sitting in my car, I saw a city water authority truck coming up the tree lined avenue. The driver wasn’t in a particular hurry so it surprised me that he had turned on the flashing yellow lights on top of his truck.   When he got even with me, I realized that my eyes had been tricked. As he came up the street, these lights would alternately fall into the shade and then into the sun as the shadows of the trees and the daylight fell upon them.   His lights weren’t blinking but I would have sworn that they were.

Now, this is a hard concept to get your arms around, but true nevertheless. The chest of drawers in my room holds my clothes nicely. It is exactly where I put it when I moved in years ago. Other than an occasional dusting, I don’t have to worry about it wandering off or failing in its duty.   However, it is made up of atoms.   Approximately fifty-one percent carbon,   forty-two percent oxygen, six percent hydrogen, and one percent other stuff.   Those atoms are constructed of particles, every one of which is on the move.   Literally the entire dresser is in a state of constant motion. To my eyes, it is undyingly stationary. The keyboard on which I type, the chair where I sit, the rocks, and trees are all moving.

When I find myself confronted by the divorce of a friend, I listen carefully to what has lead to this disaster. Sometimes I get to hear the side of the other spouse. Once in a while I get to hear them talking about it together. Yet, often I do not get the full picture. Even when they tell me the truth, and they share from their deepest thoughts, they themselves don’t really know what has caused this mess in their lives.

Most of the cells in your body are constantly dying off and being replaced with one exception. The neurons in your brain are not replaced when they die. That explains a lot about my intermittent forgetfulness but doesn’t solve the mystery of how my good memory transcends that loss. So the human brain has this mysterious system that remembers around those gaps.   Our body is doing the same thing in some ways because it continues to function despite its cells being fully replaced as often as every two days in some cases.

Knowing about all this change, all this supposed solidity, all this imaginary truth, we are confronted with our search for what is real. In this I am supported by my own faith and that of every other religion in the world.   Let’s use mine to finish this thought.

On page one, Genesis 1:27: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . .’ ” Notice three things. He said, means that he used words to create us. Second he uses the terms us and our. So He was not alone in creating you. And third, He did so in His Image. When we consider that words only have meaning when they are heard by someone, it bring things into perspective. The only important reality is the nature of something, or more correctly, Someone that we cannot see, feel, smell, taste or hear.   He created this ever-moving world and every particle in it. The illusion is that this is all real and that He is somehow not. Yet He is more real, more permanent, more solid than all of these moving objects combined, for He created them. He also created you, uniquely permanent in Spirit and as important as that neuron in your brain that does not replace itself yet continues to “be.” You are not an illusion and neither is He.

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