Is the World Real or Illusory?
By Christina Strutt
It would be so easy to choose one answer over the other. The world must be either real or illusory! Yet my experience dictates otherwise, and my heart insists on another way. So here I share a third choice highlighting the assumption hidden within the question – that the answer must be one or the other. What if the world is BOTH? But surely, they cannot be both! Says who?
René Descartes, the 17th Century scientist and philosopher, taught that the way to deal with something complex was to break it into component parts and analyze each part separately. This idea is central to Western-style education, particularly scientists. Do you notice the centuries-old assumption? That a part is the same when separated as it is when within the whole? Do you see what’s missing? Relationship is missing! As it turns out, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts because it is transformed by relationship – all that fills the space in between, in constant movement. Descartes missed that!
But we love labeling things and to debate, to sort everything into a correct pigeonhole – real or illusion. So comforting! Yet what if labels and pigeonholes are no longer useful? This or that, higher or lower, better or worse. What if we really need to examine our entire framework of pigeonholes? What if it’s not so much about atoms/things/people? What if it’s more about perpetual quantum motion in the invisible space between? What if it’s Both/And?
What if relationship is everything? As a systems engineer tasked in the 80’s and 90’s with moving an entire high-tech division of thousands of engineers and managers from entrenched “component thinking” into “systems thinking,” I know how painful the questioning of previously unnoticed assumptions can be, and how energetically many will resist.
In kindergarten we are taught to share. We share magic markers, each creating our own masterpiece side-by-side – Both/And. When we want the same favorite purple marker we take turns. You color then I color then you color again and then I color again, sharing a single marker over time – again Both/And. We learn to co-exist in harmony over space and time. Native Amazonians coming out of the Brazilian jungle for the very first time, walking across rolling fields, were convinced that cows dotting the hills in the distance were ants. Having lived in dense undergrowth under a towering canopy, their optic-nerve-brain-systems interpreted what they saw as nearby ants, rather than the way our optic-nerve-brain-systems would interpret what we saw as large animals viewed from a distance.
Whose perspective is “right”? The answer again is Both/And. It’s all relative. What do we understand to be the foundational building blocks of all matter/form? For Newtonian physicists, it is atoms; for Quantum physicists — who demonstrate the existence of a plethora of sub-atomic particles — it is fermions, bosons, and perhaps more.
My current questions and answers shared here (I, too, am always discovering more) reflect years of lived experience – 45 as a systems engineer/systems thinker, 26 living A Course in Miracles, and 10 living A Course of Love – ever-more-inclusive answers, arriving as my ability to live them grows to match my willingness. Here is my dual litmus test: Is this creating more joining, union, inclusivity, and love in my life rather than separation, divisiveness, exclusivity, and fear? And is this moving me deeper into trusting the wisdom that is already within each one of us?
So ask me “Is the world an illusion?” and I’ll answer “Yes and No!” Yes, because Newtonian science dictates that the world is static, and no because Quantum science demonstrates that it is in constant movement at the speed of light. Yes, because the world is illusory when separated out from the whole and observed by me in separation. And no because the world is in constant movement in relationship with the whole and in relationship with me – movement that is invisible to the human eye yet demonstrable in quantum science and palpable to divine vision.
The world is seen, felt, and cocreated in the present moment by us – divine human beings joining in union and relationship with each other and with all of everything. Matter forms and re-forms moment by moment in response to the way it is observed and held in observance by each of us. It is our state of consciousness/awareness/woke’ness that determines our experience of the world/physical reality. Ours is a state of awareness which is itself in constant movement, in a reciprocal dance of cocreating and being cocreated through our willingness and wholehearted devotion to choosing love moment-to-moment and joining with all of everything.
So why do we insist on the world having to be EITHER real OR illusory? Why can’t it be BOTH/AND? And what if it is BOTH/AND? It simply depends on the One who’s looking AND on when the One who’s looking, is looking. Remember kindergarten and the ant-cows? It’s a Quantum Space–Time Continuum thing.
You have been wrong about the world because you have misjudged yourself. From such a twisted reference point what could you see? All vision starts with the perceiver who judges what is true and what is false. And what he judges false he does not see. You who would judge reality cannot see it, for whenever judgment enters, reality has slipped away. – ACIM, T-13.VII.5:1-5
The emphasis of this course always remains the same—it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it. This is still your one responsibility. Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future. Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time. – ACIM, M-24.6
Your mind would tell you that a chair is a chair and regard it as a fact. Through the learning you have done since your birth, you have come to recognize a chair as having certain properties, the most essential of which is that it is a structure on which to sit. The exercises of A Course in Miracles began with asking you to call into question these beliefs in known, observable, facts. You may have regarded these exercises as silly or you may have thought of the lessons of physics and felt as if you understood these exercises on an intellectual level. But what these exercises have prepared you for is an acceptance of the ongoing change that is creation; an acceptance that something can be what it is, a known fact, an object with an identity, but also part of the ongoing nature of creation. Could this be true of a chair and not be true of you? – ACOL, T2:6.7
The only response is Love. The only time is Now. And We are the Ones. – Christina Strutt
We are constantly choosing and cocreating our world in “the ongoing change that is creation”. Real “at this moment” as we join with all that is in front of us, and illusory “whenever judgment enters“ and we slip away from “this moment“ losing ourselves in past pain or future fear. Real as we seamlessly experience ourselves BOTH as uniquely differentiated human beings AND as blissful Oneness. “Heaven is now. There is no other time.“
Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within. – ACIM, T-18.VI.1:5-6
Quantum science supports my experience that the world is neither real nor illusion, rather it is Both/And. Watch this five-minute video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc of the Double Slit Experiment first done in 1801 by English physicist Thomas Young, and since repeated hundreds of times all over the world. It demonstrates that light is BOTH wave AND particle. Light is BOTH quantum AND atomic, existing as infinite potentiality and collapsing into specific form when observed. In other words, the world of form is cocreated in relationship with the observer – you and me.
This is a perfect example of space–time quantum weirdness that’s hard to put onto paper and one that caused much public debate on the true nature of reality between scientists Albert Einstein and Neils Bohr, the kind of debate none of us really want to spend our energy on, for we know there is another way. A NEW way. We remember that the important question is not “Is the world Real or Illusory?” but rather, “Can the world be Both/And?”. We are BOTH Love as light waves AND Love as particles of matter – both infinite multi-dimensional beings and 3D form. Why not rest in this NOW moment, joining in relationship with all, inviting the forming and in-forming of whatever is needed here and now? Consider:
In chasing the mystery of light Einstein developed the theory of relativity, establishing that at the speed of light, time ceases to exist. A photon, which has no mass, can cross the cosmos without using any energy. So for light beams, time and space do not exist. Recently quantum physicists have described light as the foundation of reality. This is profoundly significant when we realize that quantum theory is considered the most successful scientific formulation in history and that 50 percent of our current technology is based on it. According to theoretical physicist David Bohm, ‘Light is energy and also information, content, form, and structure. It’s the potential of everything. – Dr. Jacob Israel Liberman, Luminous Life
Christ’s Face is seen in every living thing, and nothing is held in darkness apart from the light of forgiveness. There is no sorrow still upon the earth. The joy of Heaven has come upon it. … All living hearts are tranquil, with a stir of deep anticipation, for the time of everlasting things is now at hand. There is no death. The Son of God is free. … All things are seen in light, and in the light their purpose is transformed and understood. – ACIM, M-28.2:6-7&28.4:1-3
To sustain Christ-consciousness in form is creation of the new. My one example life could not sustain Christ-consciousness for those who came after me but could only be an example. What you are called to do is to, through your multitude, sustain Christ-consciousness, and thus create the union of the human and the divine as a new state of being. – ACOL, T4:4.18
The other day I watched Trevor Noah respond to a scathing rebuke from the French ambassador for having congratulated BOTH France AND Africa on his “The Daily Show” for winning the 2018 World Cup! For those who haven’t been tracking, that’s the highest trophy for football (soccer in the US). France won this year with a squad of 23 players, 15 of whom have African roots, meaning their parents are from African countries. Noah asks, “Why can’t the players be BOTH? French AND African? In order to be French do they have to erase everything that is African? Why can they not be African and French at the same time?”
Surely celebrating the players’ “African-ness” in no way diminishes their “French-ness.” Just as celebrating our humanity in no way diminishes our divinity. Living the message of ACIM and ACOL is showing me that this is the place Jesus invites us to. A new state of being: BOTH human AND divine, BOTH informing AND informed as the embodiment of love. Returning us all in union and relationship to being and demonstrating love, love endlessly expressing itself in form. This is the New. This is heaven on earth. This is all we are called to do – to be – together. For my heart knows that not one of us is home unless and until each and every one of us is home. The only question remaining is, “How shall we respond?”
Christina Strutt is devoted to living love in form, joining in cocreating joy, abundance, harmony and clarity as best she can wherever she is. Her most practical experiences are distilled and shared at www.CoCreatingClarity.org and she welcomes dialogue at Christina@CoCreatingClarity.org.
“You can only be who you are by sharing who you are.” C:31.17
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Two Poems by Elliott Robertson
I asked God to agree with me.
He told me no.
I told God I was right.
He said I wasn’t.
I said, “I’m not your Son.”
He wouldn’t listen.
I asked God just to give me money.
“I’m more than a tree.”
I said, “Please give me beauty.”
God said he had already.
I drew a circle and asked God, “What is your place?”
God answered with Silence.
I erased the circle,
burned every map,
let God kiss me in the tavern,
on the street, and on the roof.
The birds chirped
and in a flash I knew:
I had been willing to believe in birdsong
and in gravity, not God’s goodness.
I threw ball and knew God’s love
would catch it when it landed
on the ground.
LOVE AND LONGING
O how I love life’s bounty, God.
O how I love your joy.
O how I love to slowly kiss your lips.
The gems that land upon my path
are sparkling with delight.
The geyser of your love springs forth
in every place along the way.
O how I long to dance with you.
O how I long to breathe.
O how I yearn to vibrate as your Word.
You placed your fire in my soul
before my soul was born;
you begot my soul’s light from true Light.
O how I love to breathe in joy!
O how I love to die!
O how I love to be your only Son!
Elliott Robertson is a poet, writer, happiness coach and author of Mercy, Love, Wisdom: Bridges to God’s Heart, and Taken By Surprise: Poems for a Clear and Open Heart, available as ebooks from Amazon. He was certified as a happiness coach/workshop leader by Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason. He has been reading A Course of Love and A Course in Miracles for more than a decade and just recently discovered The Way of Mastery. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Sublime Christina! Beautiful expression!
Dear Christina, Your words are as elegant as your beautiful mind. I Love, love, love your opening that the world is both. “What if it’s both/and,” and relationship is everything? I’ve always said it as Oneness…and distinction…both/and. Human and divine is said 6 times in ACOL, beginning in the first book (5.29-30) with “As I once was, you are both human and divine. What your human self has forgotten, your real Self retains for you, waiting only for your welcome to make it known to you once more. God is known to you within relationships, as this is all that is real here. Day 18: The joining of mind and heart provided reunion of the human and divine and thus accomplished the resurrection of the eternal in form. Your virgin state, the state unaltered by the separation, has been returned. 18.6 But…I never thought of the world being both real and illusory in this way. Marvelous!
Thanks, Christina, for lending your scientific expertise to this controversial question. Sending you love appreciation, and wishes for your good health.
What a wonderful piece of writing! Thank you. AS regards “illusion” I am reminded of the explanation that J. Krishnamurti gives ;” a game (or play) gone wrong.” ( ludere= game, il=negative, error). Even Shakespeare states; the world is a stage…etc”.
As I was reading your quote of Dr. Jacob Liberman, on the subject of LIGHT, I made a fruitful link to Day 40-7;
“When I created, I extended my being, a being of Love, into FORM
Through that extension I became I AM “….(what a mystical truth….!)
It occurred to me to equate LIGHT with FORM, following David Bohm’s insight:”Light is energy and also information, content, form and structure”.
What a delightful discovery!
Still the separated try to explain the unexplainable. Go beyond all this and you will know whether the world is real or not. Keep going! Don’t stop at what the mind is comfortable with, nothing will happen to you. Nothing can happen to you. But you will experience what is beyond you. Both ACOL and ACIM are fully self contained and need no interpretation by the separated self as they did not originate in this world , were the separated self able to make an interpretation………..
Is this world being experienced as real in which we seem to be but humans? Are dreams and nightmares experienced as being real? Yet when we wake up is it not seen that what we took for real was not?
And while we were having a nightmare, had we not forgotten who we are and how things are for us when awake?
While identifying with the human we seem to be and with what as humans we seem to do, Christ has still not been recognizes as our true Being. Meaning that Christ has not yet recognized Himself in us.
Even when accepted that God gave Himself for us, that He thereby gave us His Self is not understood yet in general. It seems we have our self, and God separated from us has His Self.
Let alone that we have been taught that experiencing being but a human is the crucifixion to God, and that God not only gave His life for us thousands of years ago, but that He does so every day by experiencing being but a human doing but human things as each one of us.
Every morning when we open our eyes and experience being but a human again instead of God, as God and as an individuated extension of God we have given our life again for the human we seem to be.
That also the souls of the humans would one day forever know and enjoy what as God we had given up to have it again but when also these souls would have it, thus entirely to their eternal divine benefit.
We would receive the spiritual inheritance we wanted the souls to have then as the souls, because by experiencing being but humans as God we had spiritually died for them.
Can God really die? Can God’s love cease? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that for God to experience being but human instead of God is letting Himself be falsely accused of being and doing what He is not and does not do. No longer experiencing Who He is and What He is really doing is for God like letting Himself be tortured to death by the very humans He gave His life for and to. Compared to God’s original infinitely great love joy experiencing being but human is hell.
In that sense God experiences being dead for as long as He has not come to Himself and His live yet in us. And worse than being dead: a constant dying.
And does God still enjoy His love while under the impression and belief He is but a human doing human things? Does God consider the human self He experiences having and being as each one of us to be perfectly good? So infinitely good that the limited human mind cannot even conceive of it? Do we love ourselves and each other thus, allowing yourselves that recognition? That Who and How we are is infinitely Good? Infinite meaning that it is the only reality.
While we don’t yet enjoy that recognition, that knowing again, in that sense God’s love and its joy has ceased to be as far as experience goes.
It takes infinitely great courageous, intelligent, wise, creative pure altruistic Charity to appear in this virtual reality world experiencing being but a human. Yet here we are appearing in it, that also these souls would know and enjoy they indeed are infinitely great courageous, intelligent, wise, creative pure altruistic Charity.
It is the One Who gave His life for the humans Who is reading this now in this His human appearance. And this goes for each and every one of us.
Much love indeed.
Thank you so much Christina. All is all and is also One and diversified without limits.
“I think therefore I am.” Descartes
“I AM therefore I think”. God/Me/You
Hence, the ass-backwards and upside-down dualistic, descartian world we seemingly live and die in.
Oh . . . oh, oh. Ho . . .ho, ho.
The idea is that thinking is done by someone. Thinking must have a cause. And the ultimate Cause is God.
That is the hint Descartes is giving with his “I am.” God thinking as a human.
Well understood that statement denies duality or separation from God.
Beautifully and clearly stated, Christina. You dance so effortlessly with the duality of science and spirituality as BOTH/AND. Your calm centered loving energy comes through so clearly in your writing.
Thank you so much for sharing your unique perspective and touching my heart.