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Week 1 Truth Week 2 Fantasy Week 3 Reality Week 4 Illusion


Our word this week is extremely important, but also most challenging. As humankind, we have a tendency to color what we understand depending upon the experiences we have and what we have learned to depend on. Because of these myriad of filters we find it hard to settle upon and rely on what can be trusted not to change. Our understanding must reside in what can never change not what another human decides it to be. Truth must be anchored in the eternal.


For our word today, we will try to define what it means. The dictionary definition says truth suggests conformity with the facts or with reality, either as an idealized abstraction (i.e. Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”) or in actual application to statements, ideas, acts, etc. Truth then is an established or verified fact, principle, etc. Truth can also be a particular belief or teaching regarded by the speaker as the true one. Remember, the truth should never change.


Do our words always convey truth? In this question, what we need to be aware of is the things that motivate what we say. We can say something in the most sincere and honest way but is what we say really based upon truth? We need an awareness that what we “think” may not always be the truth. We need to be sure that what we say is based upon a sound foundation and not just our “opinion.” Truth needs to be grounded in fact or negative symptoms will undermine it.


Fear can be a constant that many people live with because they do not have a solid foundation based upon truth. This lack of a solid footing greatly impacts their daily routine. They live in a constant state of panic that the “unknown” will collide unexpectedly with what they plan for the day. Being well grounded in truth and reality helps one to be prepared for any event that comes. Truth brings an openness and frankness to one’s life. With truth before you, life’s problems can be mastered confidently one at a time. Fear flees before the truth.


Can you imagine a relationship built upon nothing but lies? Relationships must be grounded upon truth. Any action without truth will produce rocky, unstable and ineffective associations. Such associations are at best lacking in trust if not full of fear and paranoia. Truth produces a foundation that is established and can be verified by fact or principle. Honesty and good habits based on truth produce effective, satisfying, long-lasting relationships.

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Disney land is fantasy. Many people today think that what Disneyland portrays is reality. When we are no longer able to separate fantasy from reality, that is when we are in real trouble. Believing in fantasy is like trying to walk on quicksand. The deeper you go, the heavier becomes the suction to drag you under and the more energy it takes for you to be free. Beware fantasy. Once in, it can be hard to escape.


What does a mirage and fantasy have in common? Both are illusions; mind tricks that have nothing to do with reality. The dictionary has 6 definitions for fantasy. First is imagination, especially wild, visionary fancy. Second is a bizarre mental image; illusion or phantasm. Third is an odd notion or whim. Forth speaks of a literary work as in fiction. Fifth is a musical work such as Fantasia and sixth is a psychological sense of connected images as in a daydream. An imaginary sports team is a fantasy.


Often we build up events in our minds and then panic over what might go wrong. Many times these conjectures have no basis in reality. They are part of the symptoms of illusion and odd notions. Other symptoms might include building air castles; imaginary figments, apparitions, will-o’-the-wisp, nightmares and other exaggerations. Fantasy can be a good thing if it is used in a positive way to accomplish some future goal or plan. It is the overindulgence in fantasy that causes us the most difficulty. Fixation upon a pipe dream or some utopian ideal is a negative symptom.


What do we do when there is a disparity between reality and Fantasy? First, reality is the physical daily impact of events that affect us. We may or may not like this impact but it is the substance of the forces with which we live. If we do not like the real world around us, then we must figure out ways of coping with our reality. Sometimes fantasy helps us to work through some of the negative daily experiences, however, fantasy should not become a permanent state of mind. Short term it can be good, but long term it can be destructive.


For some people, relationships are a game in which the parties to that relationship are contestants. Fantasy puts an unnatural spin on each participant. It becomes hard to judge when the line is crossed, the illusion disappears and reality must be faced. Normally relationship fantasies are driven by some unseen desire. Sometimes the sub-conscious desire(s) require an unnatural effort on both parties of the relationship. The less fantasy in a relationship, the better it will be. Life is difficult enough without including the mirage that fantasy can produce.

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Last week, our word was fantasy. This week, we will look at the opposite extreme: reality. Reality is not static. It is always moving in step with time. You are not the same age as you were a year ago, a month ago, or yesterday. Reality is to “know” where you are now and understand why you are where you are as best as you can. You can try to avoid reality, but it has a way of finding you and blowing up in your face if you avoid it. Be aware of where you are!


Experience is one of the things that help us to build a picture of what we think is real. However, our personal involvement in or observation of events as they occur can skew our thinking on reality. It means the quality or fact of being real. In addition, it may be a person or thing that is real. What we need to do is make sure that it is fact or has the quality of being true to life. Facts have presence or substance in that they exist. They are tangible and can be verified. When in doubt, check it out.


Reality is waking up feeling like you are 20 and by noon realizing your age. Reality is going out to eat and then remember that your wallet is at home in your jeans. Being real is what is happening around you at the moment. It is an awareness of time, things your senses tell you are there like when you stub your toe because you were thinking about things you need to do tomorrow instead of watching the path ahead of you. It is seeing lightning flash in the cloud over head as the rain begins to fall. It is the fact of where you are now. Be real in the nitty-gritty of the day.


A two-edged sword cuts both ways. That is the impact of reality and how we live with it. What we experience may not be what we want, but living in fantasy land may not be a good way to dispense with the harshness of what we see as reality. Better it is that we educate ourselves to what choices we have available. A little analysis can help us to better understand our reality and the different options we may have. Failure to address issues can increase a negative reality. It will not be kind to us and what quality of reality we have may decay.


The quality of being true to life is reality. Any relationship worth its salt should be true to life. It should have substance, realness and an honest ring of authenticity. The dynamic of a good relationship is its openness to give and take. A sharing of mutual likes and dislikes is part of being real. It should also be able to handle the sharing of intimate emotions. There is a tangible realness to a good relationship. Weathering storms together makes the realness solid.

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Something that seems to be real but isn’t. Any kind of game that we play might seem to be real but it really is not. These are the activities that we do that challenge us however the end result is they do not change us in a real way. When our illusions become real that is when we are headed for trouble. Life events are not illusions that you can close your eyes and wish them away. Life events have a way of impacting our senses. The impact they have is not a dream.


For the art student, perspective in drawing gives the illusion of depth. It creates an optical illusion. It is also a false idea or concept, belief or opinion that is not in accord with the facts. A large mirror giving the illusion of space in a small room is an unreal, deceptive or misleading appearance. It is also a false perception or interpretation of what one sees or where one is. A ghost might be a figment of the imagination or a false image. Be careful of hallucinations as they might be based upon deceptive appearances. Look for the facts.


Magicians live in a dream world. Their whole profession is based upon deception and confusion. Their sleight of hand is designed to draw attention away from what they are really doing. Their actions are meant to deceive so that you will believe their optical illusion is real. It is the draw to believe in the dream, the fantasy, which makes their actions believable. A symptom of delusional thinking is the desire to believe that the illusion is real. Illusions create false concepts and beliefs and ignore the facts of what is real. Beware the mirage.


What impact does an illusion have upon our real world? It can send us on a course of action that will produce unrealizable hopes or aspirations. In short, it can send us on a journey that is unproductive and a time waster. However, an illusion can sometimes be useful to illustrate the difference between the real world and the world of fiction. The constant pressure of negative events can produce an unwillingness to deal with reality. Know the difference between facts and false impressions.


When one is a “people-pleaser” is that being “true-faced” or “two-faced”? If it is presenting an untrue picture of what one is really like, it is an illusion or “two-faced.” In many relationships, one party may be presenting an untrue picture of themselves if they are being “two-faced.” Most relationships cannot tolerate the “two-faced” illusion for very long. Yes?

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