"Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil to be full of them and to be unwilling to recognize them, since that is to add the further fault of a voluntary illusion." ~ Blaise Pascal
Living in a world created by humans is living in a world of illusion, which is the preferred state of humans. If perception is reality, wouldn't it be beneficial to obtain the means to shape it?
- The package is more important than the contents.
- First impressions are lasting impressions.
- The resume gets the interview, the interview gets the job.
- More is better.
In a world where both the demand for illusion and the capacity to present it are nearly limitless, there is little incentive to consume or produce substance. Wants can be met without ever providing the needs. When perception is reality, the illusion is necessary to control the perception. In the game of illusion, he who has the greatest illusion wins.
The most convincing illusions are a combination of packaging and message. When people demand an illusion, the illusion is created and presented. For example, a financial sales person who is dressed in expensive business attire and who presents a message filled with financial industry terminology and anxiety-provoking questions will win more clients than the casually-dressed, plain-spoken professional.
"When you live in a world deadened by mental abstraction, you don’t sense the aliveness of the universe anymore. Most people don’t inhabit a living reality, but a conceptualized one." ~ Eckhart Tolle
Illusion is a pretentious game played to obtain more tools to help perpetuate more illusion--more money, more things to consume more illusion for oneself and to produce it for others. The problem is that illusion is nearly impossible to sustain indefinitely. If one loses the tools to produce illusion, they lose the illusory game, the illusion fades and an unwelcome reality appears.
"Luxury is artificial poverty; contentment is natural wealth." ~ Socrates
In the game of illusion, winning is also an illusion. To win at illusion, one loses the self. For the fortunate individuals, losing the game of illusion (or awakening to it because of a life-changing event) inspires the wisdom of withdrawing from the game. The rat-racing, carrot-chasing existence dissolves into one of self-produced contentment from things that illusion--money, material wealth, and social status--cannot provide.