Illusion

Love is greater than illusion, and as strong as death.

It may be difficult, too, for many of us, to abandon the belief that there is an instinct towards perfection at work in human beings, which has brought them to their present high level of intellectual achievement and ethical sublimation and which may be expected to watch over their development as supermen. I have no faith, however, in the existence of any such internal instinct and I cannot see how this benevolent illusion is to be preserved. The present development of human beings requires, as it seems to me, no different explanation from that of animals. What appears in a minority of human individuals as an untiring impulsion towards further perfection can easily be understood as a result of the instinctual repression upon which is based all that is most precious in human civilization.

Philosophy is not opposed to science; it behaves itself as if it were a science, and to a certain extent it makes use of the same methods; but it parts company with science, in that it clings to the illusion that it can produce a complete and coherent picture of the universe, though in fact that picture must needs fall to pieces with every new advance in our knowledge.

Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want.

I drink the wine of aspiration and the drug of illusion.

The highest problem of any art is to cause by appearance the illusion of a higher reality.

Men as yet need some help to their imagination. There remains still room for a little illusion. It is better for men, it is better for women, that each somewhat idealize the other. Much is lost when life has lost its atmosphere, and is reduced to naked fact.

All of us must rid ourselves of the illusion that we can buy our way out of the problems of today by mortgaging the future.

An illusion is the false appreciation of real sensation.

Rob the average man of his life-illusion and you rob him of his happiness at one stroke.

A man’s life begins with the illusion that a long, long time and w hole world lie before him, and he begins with the foolish conceit that he has plenty of time for all his many claims.

Death is an illusion; its ritual uncleanness is the symbol of falsehood. What people call death is the intensification and reinvigoration of life.

Society's preservation and man's happiness depend on illusion. Nature itself, which certainly represents the will of God, deludes us in many respects, as when it leads us by the cords of love to reproduce the race. If a youth would consider the trouble in rearing a family, not one in a thousand would marry, but nature closes our eyes to the future (and indeed, wherever popular knowledge rises, the birth rate declines). The same is true of the other passions, which nature utilizes to deceive man and goad them toward the attainment of ends which, when attained, turn out to be but vanity.

The great artists are those who impose their peculiar illusion on the rest of mankind.

Time is change - on all sorts of different scales; and the phenomenal world is made up of this continual changing, at different rates, of everything, like an enormous clock full of wheels. Outside, there is this stream of becoming; and within, a stream of ever-changing thoughts and feelings, a succession of different I’s, of fragmentary bits of ourselves - an inner world of becoming in which nothing is, in which we possess nothing and do not possess ourselves. We think of all this changing in time as progress; and not only do we have this extraordinary and absurd illusion, but we imagine that the stability that we all secretly crave can be sought for in all this machinery of change, in the turning wheels of this enormous clock. But we know that what is stable was always beyond time... The real distinction, therefore, between time and eternity is qualitative and so must lie in the realm of psychological experience.

To live unto eternity is to live unto aeon, unto unity, unto wholeness, completeness, unto the integration of all the life. And this is now. The enemy to now is the illusion of passing-time... When we reach the now the world is turned the other way round. We are at the centre of things. The responsibility is ours. Had we now in our lives we would cease to blame.... Universe evolves out of one’s own mind... because the WORLD is a series of possible mental transformations

Under the illusion of passing-time we can have no unity. To be is to have the permanent sense of something else... For integration, ideas that halt time are necessary, and these ideas must feed us continually... The mystery of time is in ourselves... The mystic ocean of existence is not to be crossed as something outside ourselves. It is in oneself... Every further stage of ourselves is within us, above us... Outside us is outer truth; within us, inner truth, and both make up All - the WORLD.

The divisions and boundaries that we perceive based upon our five senses are, in effect, an illusion. It’s my belief that the meaning of life changes from day to day, second to second. I believe we’re here to learn that we’re part of a creative force - I would go so far as to call that force divine. We’re here to learn that we can create a world and that we have a choice in what we create, and that our world, if we choose, can be a heaven or hell.

Art is not imitation, but illusion.

The illusion of art is to make one believe that great literature is very close to life, but exactly the opposite is true. Life is amorphous, literature is formal.