You are living an illusion

Understand that you are living An Illusion, and that none of it is Real. Yet The Illusion points to what is Real, and can give you an experience of it.

How can you see The Illusion as an Illusion when it appears to be so real? And how is it that it seems so real if it IS an Illusion?

The second question will be answered first.

The Illusion seems so real because so many people believe that it is not an Illusion.

In your Alice in Wonderland world, everything is as you believe it to be.

There are thousands, millions, of examples of that. Here are two.

Once, you believed that the Sun revolved around the Earth — and, indeed, for you it did. All of your evidences proved that it did! So certain were you of this “truth” that you developed an entire science of astronomy around it.

Once, you believed that everything physical moved from one point to another through Time and Space. All of your evidences proved it!  So certain were you of this “truth” that you built an entire system of physics around it.

Now listen carefully. The wonder of these sciences and these systems is that they worked.

The astronomy that you created out of your belief that the Earth was the center of the universe worked to explain the visual phenomena you saw in the movement of the planets in your sky each night. Your observations supported your belief, creating what you then called “knowledge.”

The physics that you created out of your belief about particles of matter worked to explain the visual phenomena you saw in the physical world around you. Your observations supported your belief, creating what you then called “knowledge.”

Only later, when you looked more closely at what you were seeing, did you change your mind about these things. Yet that change of mind did not come easily. The first persons who suggested such a change of mind were called heretics or, in later times, foolish and mistaken. Their ideas of a new astronomy, with the Earth revolving around the sun, or of quantum physics, in which particles of matter did not move in a continuous line through time and space, but were seen to disappear in one place and reappear in another in what came to be known as “the quantum leap,” were labeled spiritual and scientific blasphemy. Their proponents were discouraged, denounced, and, in some of the early years, even put to death for their beliefs.

It is your beliefs that were “true,” the majority of you insisted. After all, were they not supported by every observation? Yet, which came first, the belief or the observation? That is the central question. That is the inquiry you did not wish to make.

Is it possible that you see what you want to see? Could it be that you observe what you expect to observe? Or perhaps more to the point, look right past what you do not expect to observe?

And I tell you, the answer is yes.


Editor’s Note: If you would like to COMMENT on the above excerpt, please scroll down to the bottom of the ancillary copy below.

If Conversations with God has touched your life in a positive way, you are one of millions of people around the world who have had such an experience. All of the readers of CWG have yearned to find a way to keep its healing messages alive in their life. One of the best ways to do that is to read and re-read the material over and over again — and we have made it convenient and easy for you to do so. Come here often and enjoy selected excerpts from the Conversations with God cosmology, changed on a regular basis, so you can “dip in” to the 3,000 pages of material quickly and easily. We hope you have enjoyed the excerpt above, from the book: Communion with God.


About Book-On-A-Bench…

If you believe that the messages in Conversations with God could inspire humanity to change its basic beliefs about God, about Life, and about Human Beings and their relationship to each other, leave those messages lying around.

Simply “forget” or “misplace” a copy of Conversations with God on a bench somewhere. At a bus stop, or a train station, or an airport—or actually on the bus, train, or plane. At a hairstyling salon, a doctor’s office, a chiropractor’s office, a park bench, or even just a bench on the street. Just leave a book lying around.

If everybody did this, the message of Conversations with God could “go viral” in a matter of weeks. So I invite you to participate in the Book-On-A-Bench program and spread ideas that could create a new cultural story far and wide.

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ABOUT the author of Conversations with God

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern-day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways.  With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now-famous conversation with God. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching the lives of millions and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day living.

Neale was born in Milwaukee to a Roman Catholic family that encouraged his quest for spiritual truth. Serving as his first spiritual mentor, Neale’s mother taught him not to be afraid of God, as she believed in having a personal relationship with the divine — and she taught Neale to do the same.

A nontraditional believer, Neale’s mother hardly ever went to church, and when he asked her why, she told Neale: “I don’t have to go to church — God comes to me. He’s with me and around me wherever I am.” This notion of God at an early age would later move Neale to transcend traditional views of organized religion.

Neale grew into an insatiably curious child whose comments about life seemed to possess a wisdom beyond his years, and often caused relatives and family friends to ask, “Where does he come up with this stuff?” While attending a Catholic grade school, Neale would often pose questions in catechism class that would extend past the traditional grade school curriculum.

Finally, the parish priest invited Neale to his rectory to answer the difficult questions that he didn’t wish to address in front of the rest of the class. This meeting turned into a once-a-week visit that blossomed into an open forum in which Neale learned not to be afraid to ask questions about religion and spirituality—and also learned that his asking these types of questions did not mean that he would offend God.


Joyless spirituality is observed.
Is rigidity and anger sometimes produced by religion?

By the age of 15, Neale’s involvement with spiritually based teachings led him to observe that when people got involved in religion they too often seemed less joyful and more rigid, exhibiting behaviors of prejudice, separateness, and even anger. Neale concluded that for many people the collective experience of theology was not positive.

After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, but academic life could not hold him and he dropped out of college after two years to follow an interest in broadcasting that eventually led to a full-time position at the age of 19 at a small radio station far from his Milwaukee home, in Annapolis, Maryland.

Restless by nature and always seeking to expand his opportunities for self-expression, Neale in the years that followed became a radio station program director; a newspaper reporter and, ultimately, managing editor; public information officer for one of the nation’s largest public school systems; and, after moving to the West Coast, creator and owner of his own public relations and marketing firm. Moving from one career field to another, he could not seem to find occupational satisfaction, his life was in constant turmoil, and his health was going rapidly downhill.


A life-changing accident.
A desperate questioning that touches the world.

He had relocated in Oregon as part of a change-of-scenery strategy to find his way, but Fate was to provide more than a change of location. It produced a change in his entire life. One day a car driven by an elderly gentleman made a left turn directly into his path. Neale emerged from the auto accident with a broken neck. He was lucky to escape with his life.

More than a year of rehab threw him out of work. A failed marriage had already removed him from his home, and soon he couldn’t keep even the small apartment he’d rented. Within months he found himself on the street, homeless. It took him the better part of a year to pull himself together and get back under shelter. He found, at first, modest part-time jobs, once again in broadcasting, then worked his way into full time employment and an eventual spot as a syndicated radio talk show host.

He had seen the bottom of life living outside, gathering beer and soft drink cans in a park to collect the return deposit, but now his life seemed to be on the mend. Yet, once more, Neale felt an emptiness inside. In 1992, following a period of deep despair, Neale awoke in the middle of a February night and wrote an anguished letter to God. “What does it take,” he angrily scratched across a yellow legal pad, “to make life work?”


The books that began a spiritual revolution.
The words that opened doors again.

Now well chronicled and widely talked about, it was this questioning letter that received a divine answer. Neale tells us that he heard a “voiceless” voice, soft and kind, warm and loving, that gave him an answer to this and other questions. Awestruck and inspired, he quickly scribbled these responses onto the tablet.

More questions came, and, as fast as they occurred to him, answers were given in the same gentle voice, which now seemed placed inside his head, but also seemed clearly beyond his normal thinking. Before he knew it, Neale found himself engaged in a two-way, on-paper dialogue. He continued this first “conversation” for hours, and had many more in the weeks that followed, always awakening in the middle of the night and being drawn back to his legal pad.

Neale’s handwritten notes would later become the best-selling Conversations with God books. He says that the process was “exactly like taking dictation,” and that the dialogue created in this way was published without significant alteration or editing. He also says that God is talking to all of us, all the time, and that he has come to understand that this experience is not unusual, nor does it make him in any way a special person or a unique messenger.

In addition to producing the renowned With God series, Neale has published 18 other works, as well as many video and audio programs. Available throughout the world, seven of the Conversations with God books made the New York Times bestseller list, with Conversations with God: Book 1 occupying a place on that list for more than two-and-half years. Walsch’s books have sold more than seven million copies worldwide and have been translated into 37 languages.

The With God series has redefined God and shifted spiritual paradigms across the planet. In order to deal with the enormous global response to his writings, Neale formed the Conversations with God Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to inspiring the world to help itself move from violence to peace, from confusion to clarity, and from anger to love.


The work expands.
A movement begins.

Neale founded the School of the New Spirituality and its CWG for Parents program to bring parents the tools to share new spirituality principles of a loving, non-condemning God with their children. He also founded Humanity’s Team, with branches in over 30 countries, now promoting the concept of the Oneness of all people and of all of life.

What Neale calls his “final creation” is The Global Conversation, an Internet Newspaper dedicated to exploring day-to-day events on our planet within the context of The New Spirituality, and offering people across the globe the opportunity to not only witness the playing out of humanity’s Cultural Story in the news, but participate in re-writing that Story, through their contributions and posted comments on the newspaper’s site.

Neale’s work has taken him from the steps of Machu Picchu in Peru to the steps of the Shinto shrines of Japan, from Red Square in Moscow to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Everywhere he has gone—from South Africa to Norway, Croatia to The Netherlands, the streets of Zurich to the streets of Seoul—Neale has found a hunger among the people to find a new way to live; a way to co-exist, at last, in peace and harmony, with a reverence for Life Itself in all its forms, and for each other. And he has sought to help them develop a new, expanded understanding of God, of life, and of themselves that allows them to create and experience this.

(Neale Donald Walsch lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife, the American poet Em Claire (

Please Note: The mission of The Global Conversation website is to generate an ongoing sharing of thoughts, ideas, and opinions at this internet location in an interchange that we hope will produce an ongoing and expanding conversation ultimately generating wider benefit for our world. For this reason, links that draw people away from this site will be removed from our Comments Section, a process which may delay publication of your post. If you wish to include in your Comment the point of view of someone other than yourself, please feel free to report those views in full (and even reprint them) here.
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  • mewabe

    The “basic stuff of life” is neutral, it is pure energy….we give it substance, we give it a form, a dimension, a smell, a feel, a sound through our physical senses, and we give it meaning through our minds and our feelings.

    We then create our world collectively, at the specie’s level (a fly, a bat, an insect eating plant and a human live in different “realities”), and individually. We choose our “truths”, and choose our experiences according to these “truths”. We create, in consciousness, the territory upon which we travel, and we choose the path.

    It is all illusion, but it is not meaningless…as a dream is an illusion, but charged with meanings. The only unchanging truth is the divine essence…the divine dream, the creation, is a fleeting and ever changing illusion, but meaningful because emanating from the divine source.

    Our role in this is to be all that we are…to be who we are and express it fully and ever more powerfully, so as to fulfill the dream, the creation’s endless purpose, which is expression.

  • Lloyd

    Are we dreaming this page or is it a reality, LOL? Where do you go when you sleep? Your consciousness is still aware and active, whether you can remember it or not. The brain is still firing its nerve endings and it still receives electrical inputs from the body, the organs still function and the senses still operate, so what is different between “awake” and “asleep”?

    Could it be the difference is your perspective? You say I can remember my dreams, sometimes. What about those times, which happens to be the majority, that we do not have any conscious memory of? What is going on during those laspes of memory? Are we learning anything about ourselves if we can not remember it? Which is the reality of our illusion, and isn’t what we call death just like sleep which we do not remember? Doesn’t this show that our physical body which we love so much and call the real me, is actually the illusion?

    What is this great illusion that humans call reality, and is it different from any other physical existence? During our dreams can we not become ANYTHING we can imagine, even another creature? I can fly like a bird, or swim like a dolphin, or burrow like a gopher, and I can feel like I imagine they do, and experience their or my reality of their existence. Native American have told us about this reality/illusion for centuries, and how many believed in their truth?

    If we limit ourselves with our beliefs of what is possible and impossible, are we not limiting our own awareness of who we are? There is an infinite amount of Ourselves humanity has yet to discover about who we are and we Ourselves are the limiting factor that defines our real awareness of Creator expressing Itself in this physical plane. Creator is the energy that connects ALL existence and our individual experience of this Now moment. Love is this energy, and it flows forth eternally, and we choose to limit our awareness of its reality within Ourselves. Open your heart, mind, and experience to Love and watch how your reality begins to manifest within your own reality of your existence. Namaste’

  • Lloyd

    Really, really, not one intelligent attempt at response to my questions about reality and illusions. I know it causes humans to search themselves, and when individuals look within it can scare the poop out of many of us, it did me. Unlimited unconditional Love can scare us, but REALLY this is what we are about, so turn loose and let your little light shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Namaste’

  • Buzz

    Great stuff Butch.
    Where do we go when we sleep? Within.

    what is different between awake and sleep? Self awareness. We see the illusion as real, and our self awareness is heightened so much that separation from each other and God is plainly obvious, just like in magic. You follow the movement of upside down cups and you know for certain the ball is under the middle one, except it isn’t LOL. Its in the hand of the trickster. In reality, you have tricked yourself into believing the lie, the ball is in your hand and you’re screaming at the empty space where the cup was, confused by how it’s not under the cup. You can’t understand why everyone is laughing at you, watching you holding the ball.

    This increased self awareness, our sense of identity and uniqueness explains most of the rest of your questions. Our attachment to our physical form is so complete, our experience of ego so gratifying for both us and God experiencing the interaction between individuations of God, that we resist a type of complete surrender that includes losing our sense of self. It is believed that without our identity, interaction with other identities would be impossible. I do not personally know if this belief is accurate and true or not. So I throw it back into this discussion, and see what flops out …

    What happens to a person that develops an understanding or belief that they are completely lacking any kind of identity, individuality, or separation in their ‘real world’ experience?

    Possible answers include:
    Insanity – without identity the mind cannot function, as it requires context. Context is the nature of opposites and duality, the understanding of which creates both diversity and choice. Without context and choice the patient becomes either catatonic or so humble and subservient that they take on the personality of another, wanting what they want, becoming another person.
    Ascension – the physical body is left behind, and the person, still alive, experiences a state of existence no physical human could ever fully understand, just that it is unconditionally loving, caring, compassionate and understanding, the ultimate empathetic experience. Answers like angels, ghosts, spirits, spirit guides, etc, would naturally fall into this category.
    Death – repeat of Ascension, yet not alive or able to experience the world of the living. The act of trying to lose all ego is eventually fatal. More like a very long dream state, or immediate reincarnation, or a returning to the light of God.

    Or, my final suggested answer, since the body dies when life force leaves it, no one has ever returned, and trying to contemplate the experience and/or outcome is impossible and futile.

    But you needn’t choose one of these. By all means if you can make up your own, go for it.

  • Erin/IAm

    Neale, mewabe, Butch, & Buzz…You never cease to be amazing…Nice to be rompin’ in this shared dream state!:)

    Honestly, This is All ‘Real’ to me. If it is nothing but ‘Illusion’, It matters not right now, because right now, here is the playground, here are the toys, & here are many playmates. For however long I get to experience of this…Whooopeee!!! “Till death do us part”!

    However, after an entire lifetime of memories made & experiences had, one can be stripped of it all by dis-eases such as Alzheimer’s, by a bump on the head, a lobotomizing parasite. Should one not live & be now because of such possibility?

    As far as ‘Collective Conscious’…It is rising & becoming…and so shall we move as it does…as we have been doing since Day One, until Day None.

    Sorry, Kids, but I simply do not See the relevance of defining existence this way. Yes, there have been times my glasses were on my head, yet I could not find them…tho, eventually, they are found. I shake my head, put on the glass, & move on. I don’t get the need for unnecessary complication of whether my glasses are real or not, whether my blurred reading vision without them is real or not, nor would I rally a group of others to explain my silliness of losing them to begin with. These worries are not shared by Tree, or Horse, or Fey…for what reason?

    I suppose if one was attached to specifics of beingness this would make greater sense.(?) idk…ya got me on this one, indeed! Nice brain food, no doubt!

    In Love of Life…Good Journey!

  • Laura Jean Pringle

    When I think about all the things I miss in my everyday life- the things my eyes don’t see, the things my ears don’t hear, it humbles me. The degree to which we notice things is equal to the degree to which we experience them. What do you think about? Are you in each moment? I’m usually not. Am I worrying about the future? Sometimes. Am I humming some stupid song? Sometimes. Does it matter? Who knows? All I know is that exchanging ideas with like-minded people definitely inspires me to pay more attention to the potential in my simple life and appreciate the chances to expand my experience. Thanks to all who come here to ponder and share ideas! 🙂

  • Buzz

    Hello Erin/Iam,
    Is there anything you feel afraid or apprehensive about being, doing or having? Is there anything you regret? Is there any aspect about yourself or someone else you’d like to change? These are a few of the top reasons for defining our world as a dream-like creative existence that is not real. None of that baggage is worth my attention, effort or protection. I can leave all my baggage at airport customs and fly away naked. Lying and hiding secrets serves no one.

  • Marko

    We are meant to use the illusions, not the illusions using us. Illusions are a very purposeful divine invention to be used for our benefit.

    First seek your peace, your joy, your fun & delight, all else will follow, illusions or not.


  • Erin/IAm

    Well, Buzz…Pretty soon getting on a plane may require flying naked! Talk about ‘transparency’, huh?:)
    Honestly, tho, of course I have fears…my feet off the ground shakes every nerve in my bod (even in dream state)…doesn’t mean I wouldn’t get on a Pegasus if one offered me a ride, but I could not even imagine purposely jumping from a bridge attached to a bungee cord. (tho isn’t Life much like that?)

    Regrets, nada…Changing always, but this is the Nature of here, no? idk…I also cannot imagine telling a taken child that her sex slavery is an illusion, nor an addict of alcohol or drugs that they are in a dream with or without their ‘substance’…How would you explain to a mother that her new born is not real? Am I mixing up physical/spiritual in all this? I See these things as part of All-together…is that not so in Reality? Is there ‘Real-ity’? Still seems a confusing analogy, but I will ponder further…it’s an interesting perspective. Thanks for the buzz, Buzz!:)

    Marko…you truly are magical…’illusion or not’!:)
    Laura…No doubt! Places to go, things to do, people to meet, songs to hear!:)

    Blessed be, indeed!:)

  • Buzz

    Hello Ann/I Am
    Is your fear of not being on the ground a fear of flying, or falling, or the sudden stop at the bottom, or a combination? Is this fear based on a deeper fear of death, or suffering with disabilities, or the physical pain, or a combination? After you’ve answered these questions to yourself, go back and read what it means for reality to be an illusion.

    “Nothing real can be harmed. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” -ACIM

    You can prove this to yourself by a variety of means. Bungee jumping is an option I’ve tried. Skydiving is also fun. And deep sea SCUBA diving, BASE jumping, hang gliding, or crossing a 100 year old abandonded, wooden railway bridge on foot without safety, 200 feet above a violent rapid with razor sharp rocks poking through the wisps of white. I have all of this and more. So much fun to be had in this world. Live every moment with gusto and joy!

  • Erin/IAm

    Aha! Ask & ye shall receive! I came across a quote from Buckminster Fuller…set my Soul Sounds tingling…Looked for more…Discovered amazing…and am chimin’ away still!

    Totally forgot what I was looking for before I got onto this little trail…and when ‘here’ popped into the pic…well, ya gotta go ‘that way’, right? Sooo…here I Am…

    …and Okay! I sooo See this view! Don’t you just looove when this stuff happens?!:)

  • Buzz

    Oh yeah! Ride this wave of excitement and positivity like now is the only moment that exiats (since it is LOL)

  • AKA Patrick

    The comic Richard Pryor, when coming on stage, opened his presentation with “What you see is what you get”! He knew that Man sees selectively. His beliefs interpret what his experience will become. We also hear selectively, screening out through our psychological filters whatever doesn’t fit our current worldview.

  • AKA Patrick

    Your opening quote above from the Course in Miracles is: “Nothing Real can be THREATENED, etc.,…So what has the world become filled with? THREATS! Why?
    Because that’s how we’ve allowed our minds to be drawn out (or programmed)

  • AKA Patrick

    Amen to all, Marko.

  • AKA Patrick

    You got it, Mewabe.