Two levels of delusion all humans share in common, whether aware of it or not, care or not, or believe it or not, get in the way of a relationship to, or identity with the Divine Being. This Being is generally known as “God”, and by many other names. Before I get into the what these levels of delusion are, I have a short preface to that discussion.
1 Corinthians 13:12 American Standard Version (ASV)
12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.
First off, the understanding of the concept of the “devil” in many modern religions, and the minds of many humans, is incorrect. The “devil” is not a “personality” as many theologians postulate (I will not apologize for this statement, those who believe this are simply wrong, because I say so…lol). The devil, or Satan, is an idea or concept which is synonymous with the “veil”, the “fall”, original sin, delusion, or the idea of somehow being separate from God. In short, “it” is anything, real or imagined, that gets in the way of direct, conscious apprehension and experience of total oneness, and unity with the Divine. This “devil” is the “thing” which deceives minds, and senses (the liar, the great deceiver), and is the very thing within all human minds which they are to constantly strive to overcome (according to the various scriptures), If a person sees this “Satan” as a separate personality, somehow externally able to tempt and force people to do bad things, rather than an idea within their own minds, they are already lost in hopeless error of any proper understanding of many “scriptures” of many world religions. This misunderstanding leads to all kinds of religious factions, silly rules, division, arguments, fights, and even murder, crusades, and jihads. Just a little delusion goes a long way in corrupting minds.
With that said…on to the heart of the matter.
People who are non-religious, or nominally religious, may have no idea that God exists at all. Many nominally religious perceive God as a being which is totally separate from themselves, completely outside themselves, may even take no notice of their inconsequential lives. They have no direct experience of that Being, outside of the intellectual belief that that being exists, or MAY exist. This is the most basic level of delusion (to be overcome).
The more mystically inclined people may apprehend that there exists a constant, direct connection with the Godhead. They realize intellectually, if not in any actual, conscious experience, that there is always this connection, whether they feel, or perceive it, or not. No matter the perceived circumstances, God is always with them, and completely connected to them (God is in me, and I am in God). This is (possibly) the second level of delusion (to be overcome).
The problem is with the concept of “connection”. The idea of connection “implies” that there are TWO things which are connected. Rather than a “connection”, there is an actual “identity” with God. People, the Universe, and God are all One, a Divine Unity, the “same”. No matter what people perceive with their senses, there does not exist any actual separation, division or difference between humans, the physical universe, and the Divine Being. All are One.
Overcome these two levels of delusion, and one will have (according to the various scriptures and teachings) the direct, conscious apprehension of the Divine. (I personally perceive this intellectually, imperfectly, and look forward to the actual, direct experience, hopefully in this incarnation).
There are many words related to, and imperfectly describing, this experience: bliss, heaven (on earth), the new Jerusalem, kingdom come, awakening, ecstasy, happiness, joy, paradise (lost to the “fall”), peace, serenity, tranquility, oblivion, immortality, life everlasting, the pearly gates, eternity, nirvana, Eden, Elysium (Elysian Fields), enlightenment, Shangri-la, the promised land, glory, rapture, nothingness, Zion, peace (on earth), the “void”, Abraham’s bosom, happy hunting ground, communion, eternal rest, the great unknown, the abyss, satori, waters of oblivion, utopia, samadhi, nothingness…
Understanding that this epiphany or revelation is the key concept, and goal, of most of the major religions of the world, past and present – goes a long way in allowing one to properly understand many of the religious texts in their originally intended context. Many misunderstandings arise from the incorrect apprehension of the various “scriptures”. Look at the “mess” of religions we have today (especially so called right-wing, radical). And yet, at the heart of them ALL, is this same, identical goal and idea of experiencing directly, and consciously, Oneness with God (whatever you call It).
These are the two levels of delusion that I personally perceive separate us from true Unity. Quite possibly you have a different view (I could pretty safely bet on it). That is just as it should be. I hope this little blog is helpful to someone out there, no matter your religion, or lack thereof.