Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Pit of Illusion

Let’s use an example today to talk about the Pit of Illusion. Let’s say you are in a grocery store and you pass a woman who lives in your neighborhood. You enthusiastically greet her with a warm, “How are you?” and she nods, doesn’t say anything, and pushes her cart on down the aisle. At this point you begin to tell a story to explain her behavior. The story can be positive about how the woman must have a lot on her mind or that she’s worried about something or that she just received bad news. Or the story can be negative about how she doesn’t think you are good enough for her or she is so proud and haughty or she is so thoughtless and unfeeling. 

The point is, you are telling a story when the only thing you need to deal with is the Truth. And what is the Truth? The woman responded to your greeting with a nod. All of your stories are based upon the fact that she” should have” done something different. But the Truth is she didn’t. 

When you tell yourself the negative story you fall into the Pit of Illusion. You are not dealing with Truth, you are dealing with a lie, an illusion, and whenever you are in the Pit of Illusion you are vexed. You experience misery in the form of jealousy, bitterness, anger, self-pity or hundreds of other negative, vexing emotions. You hurt yourself. 

Whenever you are in the Pit of Illusion you experience self-inflicted pain, and that pain is totally UNNECESSARY. So Living in Truth is all about living in a way that we never experience the vexation that comes from negative emotions.

Optical Illusion from


Anonymous said...

This is a great post and a worthy goal for the new year. I have been on the other end of those kind of thoughts. In Relief Society, I always sit on the far side of the room, with an empty chair beside me. I am allergic to perfume, so I can never sit with all my friends, without coughing, sneezing etc. One week a new person in the ward who had just been called to teach, commented how we should extend ourselves and not be afraid to connect and befriend people. She motioned to me that Relief Society could be so much better if I allowed myself to sit with the other sisters. She didn't say it mean or anything, but I was mortified and embarrassed. The lesson went forward and I wasn't able to defend myself. I always remember this when you talk about sticking to telling ourselves only the truth. I know she jumped to a conclusion based on what she saw, but I could have also decided she was thoughtless etc. Fortunately, I didn't; I just chalked it up to her being a new teacher and have been happy to find she is a very lovely and caring person. There is enough necessary pain, we should get rid of all the unnecessary pain we can.
By the way, hope you have a wonderful birthday Friday. It is nice to feel lucky to still be here and going strong. I hope you do something you really love.
Cathie xoxoxo

Cathy said...

Thanks for this reminder, I have heard some really good accounts of people getting the wrong story or falling into the pit of illusion! Happy Birthday, I am working on learning how to get my picture up for you!

Anonymous said...

If I look back on any of my 'miserable' situations, there was always a 'should have'. So besides looking for negative, vexing emotion, I can also look for anytime I think someone 'should have' done something different to recognize that I have fallen into the Pit of Illusion. And that includes myself!
I went to a lecture last Saturday that talked about the false belief of what he called 'human rating' meaning comparing and ranking people and labeling them either good or bad. He used scripture to show that we (humans) are neither good nor bad and are not above nor beneath one another. I am still figuring out where all of this fits into my 'truth round'.

Jeannie said...

I truly look forward to reading your posts. Thanks so much for sharing your gifts and helping us all.