Demolishing the Illusion of Separation
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Girl looking at space“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
– Alan Watts

This is a vast and infinite universe in which we live.

Just look up into the clear night sky at the unfathomable dance of stars, planets and galaxies.

The sheer magnitude of our universe is literally beyond all human comprehension.

It’s hard to fathom, really… Even so, we’re doing our best to make sense of it all.

Scientists now estimate that our universe is over thirteen BILLION years old. Don’t ask me exactly how they know this, but let’s assume they are close.

On this timeline of the cosmos, your whole life is nothing more than a short, fractionalized blip; Barely the blink of an eye.

Considering the grand scheme of this magnificent, mysterious macrocosm…
Have you ever wondered if your life is of any real significance at all?

Are we all just meaningless microbes floating in a sea of endless proportion?
Or is there some deeper purpose to our existence here?

Are we all ONE and connected… as many of our spiritual teachers have promised us?
Or are we as separate and isolated as many of us dishearteningly feel?

Inquiring minds want to know….


Objective Reality  and the Illusion of Separation

Most modern people in the world believe in an objective reality.

Leonardo Da Vinci's anatomical drawings of the brain

Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings

In this model of reality you believe that who you are is a body, with a brain and a conscious awareness that is tied to your specific physical being only.

In other words reality exists independently of your personal mind and body; meaning that there are objects, beings and events happening “out there” that are observable and fundamentally separate from who you are.

Basically, you’re nothing more than an animal that, by chance, became self-aware.

If “seeing is believing”… then this makes perfect sense and the science up until recently seems to support this. After all, it does appear as if we are separate from each other and everything else in the universe.

I can look at my face in a mirror and see my reflection.

I can look down at my own hands as I reach to pick up the phone.

The phone definitely appears separate from me.

I can see a beautiful woman walk into the room with a smile on her face.

There seem to be visible boundary lines between where my body ends and hers begins.

“The Illusion of Separation, then, is the false impression that you are separate from everyone and everything else in the known universe. Our five senses naturally lead us to adopt this objective frame of mind and therefore to our own misunderstanding of the world.”



I say “false impression” because, as I explained previously, our perception of reality is not always as accurate as we may think.

This objective viewpoint becomes the origin of the Five Illusions of Perception that I spoke about here.

Although objective reality is a belief system commonly held by many people, I’m not certain that this model of reality is an accurate reflection of how the universe works.

It might be accurate…. since it can’t be proven false!

Yet, on the other hand, neither can it be proven true!

And, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my life experience and through my personal search for Truth… it’s that the majority of people are usually wrong!

Yeah, I said it!  😛

I’m becoming somewhat of a contrarian in that I find it wise to look at what the majority of people are doing and then consider doing the complete opposite.

For example, since most people are eating fast food combo meals and guzzling down sodas for lunch… I do the opposite by making my own healthy lunch!

Salmon Lunch

This is how I roll, Son!

One of them I enjoy is wild-caught, Alaskan Salmon with lemon juice over a bed of organic spinach, plus Jasmine rice and broccoli for sides. Served with a tall glass of water.

Why be like the 90% of the population that is struggling and failing in life, when you can emulate the 10% who’re succeeding and achieving their dreams?!?!

Through this contrarian outlook, I’ve come to believe that we may actually be living in a subjective reality versus the more popularized and accepted objective model of reality.

Subjective reality, like its objective counterpart, isn’t falsifiable and therefore can’t be proven wrong either.

Since neither Objective nor Subjective reality can be proven true or false… you basically have a choice of which model to adopt.

One thing to consider is which model of reality gives you a stronger frame and belief system through which you can achieve your goals and desires in life.

I think you will see that Subjective Reality makes a lot of sense the more you entertain the notion.


A Matrix of Consciousness

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
Morpheus


If you choose the blue pill, then close this website down and go back to sleep, but if you choose to take the red pill, then keep reading this blog and come back often!

Neo reaches for the red pill

You’re still reading, so you must have swallowed the red pill! Okay, here we go, but this may not be easy for you to accept. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I loved the Matrix movie because although it seems like straight-up science fiction, there’s a lot of Truth and similarities to the REAL world.

In fact, some innovative philosophers and scientists are coming to propose that we may be living in a virtual world, a simulation of sorts. Essentially an illusion that seems more real than any dream you’ve ever had.

And of course… Buddha tried to explain this concept of the world as an Illusion centuries ago. Only a select few at the time seemed to fully grasp it.


“In this dream world of subjective reality, consciousness is primary and is the container or matrix in which the universe and all of physical reality evolves.”


It exists as a state of pure potentiality. Everything in the physical world, including your body, is a manifestation of this consciousness.

Think of consciousness as a field of creative, intelligent energy that is the source or ground of all being. It is a powerful, yet subtle and invisible force from which everything arises.

Through the subjective model of reality, the entire universe can be likened to a dream-like state, where pure consciousness is the mind of the dreamer and the physical world is a byproduct and manifestation of the dream.

So, who or what are YOU in a subjective model of reality?


You are pure consciousness itself.


To say it differently, you are the universal mind in which the entire dream takes place.

At first this may sound pretty “out there” to your logical and analytical mind.  Although, let’s not forget that we once thought the Earth was the center of the Universe less than a few hundred years ago.

Obviously, we haven’t unraveled all of the mysteries of the cosmos just yet.

If you begin studying the fields of biology, chemistry, astronomy, evolutionary theory, the world’s religions, philosophy and quantum physics… the individual threads begin to weave a pattern and a Perennial Philosophy begins to emerge.

Quote from the MatrixYou start to realize that science is beginning to support some of the insights our ancient wisdom traditions have intuitively known for centuries.

Even so, “mainstream” science is still resisting these revolutionary breakthroughs because people are so entrenched within the objective reality model.

Most people will not embrace the subjective reality model until there is an overwhelming burden of proof.

It’s sort of hard to fully understand the subjective model while seeing it through the objective lens. Try to wrap your head around this:


Under the objective model, you are a primate that became conscious.

Under the subjective model, you are consciousness that became a primate.


Under the objective model, you are alone and separate from everything in the known universe.

Under the subjective model, you are united and one with everything in the known universe.


Under the objective model, your thoughts, beliefs and feelings have no affect on reality.

Under the subjective model, your thoughts, beliefs and feelings create your reality.


Under the objective model, you realize you are an insignificant speck of slowly decaying matter.

Under the subjective model, you realize you are a God who has forgotten its absolute divinity.


You see the major difference between the two models of reality is ultimately how you view your Self and what your conscious mind identifies with as its true nature.

Are you a consciousness within a body OR a body within a consciousness?

Under objective reality, matter is the basis from which everything has evolved. Your consciousness is simply a side-effect of millions of years of evolution.

Whereas with subjective reality, the primacy of consciousness is the basis from which everything has evolved and your evolution is simply a journey to know yourself through the experiential.

You can’t know perfection… unless you know imperfection.

You can’t know good… unless you know evil.

You can’t know beauty… unless you know ugliness.

So pure consciousness had to create the illusion of duality and split itself into a trillion pieces in order to grow, evolve and fully understand its absolute perfection and wholeness.

Otherwise, all it had was a conceptual and abstract understanding of its existence. How can you know yourself when you are all that is… and all that is not?

Through the Illusion of Separation, consciousness can experience itself from billions and billions of concrete and specific vantage points… namely all the phenomena of the physical world.

In this way, it can come to know itself more deeply and from many different perspectives.


You Are Not Your F*cking Body

From the Subjective point of view, your body is just a temporary avatar (a vehicle if you will) that allows you to move and be in this physical realm.

Almost like a virtual reality video game that you forgot you were playing or perhaps more accurately… a dream from which you’ve never really awakened.

Don’t mistake the Dream for Reality!!!

Your body is NOT who you are, anymore than your job, your bank account, your car, or anything else in this world.

None of these things are actually YOU!

They are only physical projections of the one universal consciousness.

Your consciousness!

Tylder Durden quote

When you die, all of these things will be stripped away and all that will remain is that pure consciousness.

Not your conditioned mind, personality or egoic thought streams that you may currently think of as yourself… rather the awareness that is beyond the thinking mind.

“This pure consciousness is who you TRULY are and it is beyond form, beyond the physical and beyond our human capacity to even fully understand it.”



Scientists can’t even really explain it!!! They don’t have any freakin’ idea where our consciousness originates.

Sure they can tell you the inner workings of the body. They can tell you that brain impulses traveling along the nerves cause your muscles to fire, which pull on the tendons attached to your bones causing your toes to wiggle…. but they can’t tell you where the “thought” comes from that initiates the entire cascade of events.

Yet, it’s from this invisible energy field of consciousness that the “thought” first originates. It’s this consciousness that is the source energy of everything in the universe.

“It is… The Matrix!”



That is simply to say, the conscious energy field in which the universe evolves and exists.


There is a Zen parable in which two monks are looking at a flag that is waving in the wind. The first monk says, “The flag is waving.” The second one says, “No, it is the wind blowing.”

Their teacher comes over and they pose him the question. “Who’s right? I say the flag is moving. He says the wind is moving.”

The Zen master says, “You are both wrong. Only consciousness is moving.”


When you awaken to the deeper truths of this subjective reality, you realize that you are not your body or your mind any more than you are the car you drive.

The essence of who you really are is the consciousness that animates all bodies and minds and is simultaneously observing and experiencing the world through the myriad of forms that populate the universe.


The Day the Fish Must Die

Fish Swimming

You are the Fish, my friend!

To grasp this concept of consciousness being the source of everything, think of the ocean.

To a fish, the ocean is the universe in which all life plays out. Beyond the ocean is the Earth and Sun or “source energy” in which the fish evolved.

Without the Sun, there would be no Earth. Without the Earth, there would be no ocean.

Without the ocean there would be no fish and without the fish the ocean would be a boring, lifeless place.

The fish has no concept of a life beyond the ocean even though one does exist (as the Earth and Sun.) The fish swims around doing its fishy thing, seeking to survive in the ocean and trying to hook up with the lady fish.

Sound familiar?

Then the day comes that the fish must die.

“When the fish dies its body dissolves and it becomes one with the ocean again. It returns to the source from which it came. New fish are born and so the cycle continues indefinitely. You are the fish, my friend… and the Earth and the Universe are the oceans in which you evolved.”



Pure consciousness (the source energy) is the life beyond the ocean that you have no real concept of.

It is this same universal consciousness that breathes through you… that also animates and directs the life of the fish. Consciousness explores the depths of the ocean as the fish, while it explores the country-side and cities as YOU!

You, the fish, the ocean, the planet and ALL the people of the world are only temporary manifestations of this consciousness. Eventually the forms must break down and dissolve… they’re simply destined too!

However, the source energy that gives birth to them, the life force that animates them and the consciousness that explores as them… IS ETERNAL.

It is this consciousness that lives through you, sees through you and feels through you and in fact… IS ESSENTIALLY YOU!!!

Not only is it you, it is also everybody and everything else that exists in the entire universe.

Therefore, every THING and every ONE is merely a reflection of your Self in a different form.

This universe is just a mirror in which you’re seeing the reflection of your own mind.

The Universe

“What happens in the MACROCOSM is reflected in the MICROCOSM.”

To drive the final nail in the coffin of the Illusion of Separation, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, one of the greatest and brightest scientists of our time:


“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”


This “optical delusion of his consciousness” is man’s belief that he is his body and he is separate from everything else in the universe.

A man’s body/mind may become his “prison” if he doesn’t awaken to the reality that he is in fact, pure consciousness itself and one with “the whole of nature.”

Knowing and living from this truth is the very essence of what it means to be an Awakened Warrior.

At its deepest and most profound level, this understanding is the realization of enlightenment.


Laughter of the Gods

I know to some, this will be written off as psychobabble or new age fluff.

Currently, I know these concepts intellectually and can write about them, yet I haven’t fully integrated them into my life entirely. This is an unfolding process of which I admit I am in the intermediate stages of.

I still fall into ego and the conditioned mind patterns of the past. I’m not always fully present.

By contrast, I thought I knew it all fifteen years ago. I thought I had this life all figured out.

Youthful arrogance, I guess. I had a closed mind and couldn’t see beyond my own limited perception of reality; a reality that was handed down to me from my culture, parents, teachers, and religion….

This is known as ‘cultural conditioning’ or ‘enculturation.’

In a sense, we’re all brainwashed from birth by the people and the environment in which we are born. Many never come to realize this at all and remain asleep.

In fact, fifteen years ago I would never have believed ANY of this, as I was too entrenched within my culturally conditioned mindset.

However, the “me” that writes this today is not the same me that existed 15 years ago. I’ve read, grown and evolved a lot since I was twenty years old. Only now I realize how little I actually know and how much more room there is for growth.

In the past, our ideas and beliefs have been terribly slow to change. Many people would rather die than to admit they’re wrong or have to rethink their understanding of the world. This is stubbornness by which many of our wars are fought.

The rise of the internet and our easy access to information, now allows us to learn at an accelerated pace. We can quickly go beyond the limitations and ideologies that have been holding us back from growth and further evolution as a species.

Today, I realize that I only have a small glimpse of this absolute Truth. I would never dare to set myself up as the judge of all matters because as Einstein states:


“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”


Albert Einstein

You’ve got one… USE IT!

I’m not asking you to believe me blindly or to take my word as gospel. I’ll never do that.

In fact, you need to trust yourself first and foremost before you ever listen to me or anyone else. You must follow your own heart and intuition.

Choose what you believe based on your own discoveries and experiences, not mine or anyone else’s.

Otherwise you’re just another follower bowing down to the dogma of a higher authority.

Question everything, read, learn, and study all the angles.  Research what humanity has learned and is still learning about this mystery of life.

Always keep an open mind to new perspectives. Keep what works and disregard that which is of no use to you.

This universe is like a puzzle that must be pieced together, one insight at a time. Just make sure you choose your beliefs wisely because they have both the capacity to enslave you and to set you free.


Take care,

Brandon

P.S. If you found this post insightful or got some benefit from it… feel free to start pushing some of those social buttons down below to share this with your friends and family.

Thanks for helping us to get the word out, it means a lot to us!

About Brandon Cook

Brandon Cook is the founder of Awakened Warriors.com, a website with the sole-purpose of helping one million people Unleash the Power of Their Ultimate Potential. Brandon has been studying the principles of success, philosophy, optimal nutrition and strength training for almost two decades. Additionally, he has a bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Brandon has worked for one of North Carolina's premier Financial Planning and Wealth Management Firms for twelve years. His main hobbies and passions include singing and playing the guitar, motorcycles, martial arts, and exploring the great outdoors.

Comments

Demolishing the Illusion of Separation — 17 Comments

  1. You are correct. I flowed back to the source of the Tao and became one with everything. I am now aware that I am physically walking around inside myself. Took me almost three years of daily work to get from awesome person to “here”.

    What a long strange trip its been.

    • That’s awesome Erik! I love the Tao Te Ching. My favorite verse is #33. And you are correct as well… it has been a long strange trip! 😀

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Thanks for a great article. This has been my belief for a long time now. It’s nice to find someone who has written it so clearly.. Thanks!! I’m going to show this to my partner as I’ve been trying to explain my belief system for a while (and failing to sound sane haha)

  3. My mind is blown. I was reluctant at first but you are a great writer. Such brilliant expression. I can relate with so much and have left knowing much more than I did before reading. This is something I value. Thank you for your efforts. None of it is in vain.

  4. I have so much to speak to myself about… You write in the formation of my recent discovery of, how I only new how to describe it was with these words “the I am is the same in every person animal and plant and thing.” thus talking to another person is borderline identical to speaking to yourself… I have not only learned but practiced self love (which meant taking the risk of trusting my conscious mind in what it was telling my body to do.) it’s significant I say practice for many reasons. A few of those reasons are knowing isn’t doing and is not allowing the fruits of the functional actions to fully manifest it’s understand of the true existence domain barriers. instead only rationally conjectured projections which may end at a paradox or dilemma in which the only possible way to understand pass the paradox or dilemma is the capacity to perceive infinite combinations of interchanged geometric dimensions (or more ambiguously contexts) to discern the resolution that paradoxes do not exist, but their scent calls forth the experience of consciousness via the universal trait consciousness seems to express itself of filling that which lacks and creating lack concurrently to be filled perpetually / eternally. Looking at the ‘old lady young woman’ image is very reminiscent of the choice of how you want to perceive the universe, but once the smoke and mirrors are lifted the eventual resolve is concisely see that the two are one in the same… Yin yang, less effectively, do to such higher level of abstraction, is another image tried to incapsulate a visual duality intended to promote the emergence of conscious experience in motion.

    I have some much to write, I’ll probably have to email or write a blog with my discovered insight which resonate with such keen familiar echoes in the blog post above. Please email me back, it feels amazing to find this and to be so similar to what I have discovered through the process of exploring many academic and theological domain’s of study as in the mentality of a pragmatist whom keeps the mantra ‘where is the use of this information’ or ‘how might the scriptures be real given the context in which they were written (knowing from a plank of mathematical range and domain studies that what is limited in a domain, namely our universe, contains only that which is a possibility of the domain, biblical scriptures adheres to our domain and thus what is spoken about in part is only possible because of what this domain allows to be generated. I would love to finish but I have to get some sleep. I’ll email more if you email me back 🙂

  5. Thank you for this!!!! I already believe in this but many of my friends/family are doubtful and you worded it way better than I ever could, sending this to all of the skeptics!

    • That’s awesome Julia!!! People are right to be skeptical, yet one must also keep an open mind to learning new things. As science plainly tells us we are all energy and living in a field of electromagnetism. From there it’s not too much of a stretch to realize that the entire universe is a giant field of pure conscious energy in which all of life is interconnected. Thanks for sharing the post. 🙂

  6. Brandon,

    Because of your passion for the subject, may I share from a Whole Human blog post, ‘Dispel the Illusion with a Greeting!”

    http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/realizations-blog/dispel-the-illusion-with-a-greeting

    Dispelling the illusion is about effectively dis-empowering the spell of the ‘illusion of separation’ by thinking, feeling and acting upon four words which can also be used as a greeting.

    While ‘the illusion of separation’ is a commonly heard term, do we know what it is ‘really’ hiding? In this case, ‘the illusion of separation’ has been hiding the actuality that ‘we are one being.’ O.B. is my familiar term for the One Being.

    The great illusion is not referring just to our living separated (in our minds) from our source and each other. The illusion has distanced our human awareness from knowing the one true self and identity of every human and that ‘we’ have never been separated. Revealing the actuality veiled by the illusion of separation, that O.B. is the True Self of all that is, answers a big question for every person, ‘who am I really?’

    It also can answer, ‘why am I here?’ for every person who accepts that everything exists to be the vehicle of O.B.’s expression. For me, that translates to knowing my deepest purpose is to unfold the unique center of awareness designed by my original blueprint, to be O.B. in the Gary expression. The fullness of unfolding is to consciously be the defined human and the undefined totality in the same moment.

    ‘We are one being’ means much more than being inter-connected. It means more than ‘we are one people’ or ‘we are one family,’ or ‘the brotherhood of Man.’ The illusion of separation which has kept us from knowing we are one being has prevented us from knowing who we really are and what we are capable of manifesting as human beings.

    May you prosper.

    Gary

  7. Hi, I was researching the illusion of separation after having a strong insight during meditation. Wanted to say this helped me to understand my own insight of what we align to or our understanding of the God Source is actually what we manifest. Hence the idea, if you believe in a God or Devil that is what you will manifest. So here’s the question, what if the conciousness reaches a point the point of creating its own God Source within the hologram? Does it change the hologram? Or would it destroy or merge with the original? I know it’s probably a low end question for individuals like yourself, but I was curious about your thoughts.

  8. Hey Marie, no that only happens in the movies! lol 😉

    More seriously, I’m not really sure that it’s possible to answer that question with my limited understanding or that I fully understand the question. However, I will say, that at that point, you’re probably looking at a dissolution of form and a return to pure consciousness, union with God, or source energy.. as in death.

    Either that or a new virtual reality within a virtual reality.

    Perhaps, a multiverse theory, where there are many different and parallel universes or dimensions that exist like cells within a larger body. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse

    Who really knows? However, as I’m working to become more pragmatic with these philosophical insights myself… how (and in what ways) can you apply this to your daily life?

    For example, if you now realize that separation is an illusion and the truth is oneness and interconnectedness of all beings.. how might that understanding change your behavior, habits, and way of interacting with the world in your day-to-day reality?

    Thanks for your intriguing comment and I hope my answer helped deepen your perspective!

  9. If “we” are not just material beings, what is your explanation of Alien Hand Syndrome(AHS)? In the case of people s whose brains have been cut in half, occasionally one half of the body will oppose the other half. For example, while the right hand reaches for a cigarette the left will throw it away. Or one side of the body will unbutton a shirt while the other buttons it up. AHS only occurs in split brain patients and even among them it is rare but doesnt it show that when the material brain has been split the “immaterial” consciousness has been “split” also?
    Article on AHS

    • That’s an interesting question you brought up. By no means am I a neuroscientist or brain expert, however this AHS condition seems to help point to wholeness and oneness from my perspective. It depends on your point of view. The brain is a powerful organ that works holistically to govern all of the functions of the human body and its trillions of cells. These cells are all in communication with one another so that the bodily systems run efficiently and harmoniously to keep you alive.

      From an objective point of view, the brain gives rise to consciousness. Yet from a subjective point of view, consciousness gave rise to the brain. In other words, if the substratum of the universe is a field of conscious intelligence in which the human brain evolved, one could argue that the brain is a type of receptor or conduit to that field. Of course, this hasn’t been proven by science yet.. possibly because we don’t have the technology to detect a field of consciousness. We don’t even fully understand what consciousness is at this point, yet with the new brain scanning technology neuroscientists are making more and more discoveries in brain science every day.

      It makes sense that as mammalian brains became more complex and developed a bigger neocortex, we simultaneously developed the higher brain functions that humans now enjoy. Yet, is it the brain that gave rise to those higher functions, or did the bigger brain simply allow more access to the field of intelligence that governs the entire Universe? IE. the source energy or collective consciousness. These things we do not know for certain. If the brain is an evolving tool (receptor/conduit/receiver) of consciousness that works holistically to govern every aspect of the human biological organism, then severing the two hemispheres of the brain could have some dire consequences. Even damaging effects on the awareness and consciousness of that individual. Yet since the brain and body are highly adaptable to their environment… the organism will do what it can to survive.

      The two hemispheres evolved to work together. If you sever that connection, then the brain is no longer functioning holistically. One side of the brain could now become the dominant side that’s connected to the person’s sense of self, identity, and conscious awareness. While the other side of the brain is trying to adapt to a unique survival situation. Certain processes controlled by the subconscious mind of the brain, or severed hemisphere, could be stimulating and driving its odd behaviors; while the dominant hemisphere that’s still connected to the person’s consciousness is no longer aware that it’s performing these behaviors. It gives rise to the illusion that something “alien” is taking over that side of their body. In reality, the person may be actually doing it, and yet they don’t realize that they are doing it. Due to the surgical procedure, the two hemispheres are now operating somewhat independently in this rare AHS condition.

      We are fragile beings. When we are damaged in some serious way, then consciousness can no longer exist or flow through that form as originally intended. That’s my take anyways. 🙂

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