One of the most rudimentary tactics of magic is a technique called sleight of hand. This is defined as the simple act of creating action in front of the observer's eyes, while the real action takes place outside of the area of focus. It is a staple of illusionists everywhere. What you see is not what you get. What you see is not what's there. Watch closely, look for it. Can you catch it? If you're awake enough, you just may. If you're aware enough, the trick will be revealed. When it is, it will seem obvious.
It has been said, rightly so, that there is no greater illusion than life itself. Anyone who has been honestly still for even one moment knows this to be true. There is more going on here than meets the mind. What we see, what appears to be happening, is not what's truly so. While there is no denying the surface reality of things, there is much more taking place in the area beyond our focus, behind the curtain of flesh and time. And yet, as with the magic trick, the secret to it cannot be learned without first observing what the illusionist wants us to see. Without looking there initially, the bigger picture will make no sense. Most of us fail to realize this. Most of us are, in fact, completely oblivious of the incredible magic act we call reality that we find ourselves living in everyday. The irony lies, then, in how very vested we all are in it, in our own unique ways. Everyone has hopes, dreams, reasons they climb from the bed in the morning, thoughts about how they'd like to see things turn out. Yet we are so busy focusing on these things, thinking that we can simply drive a straight line directly to them, that we completely miss the deeper game at play. This is the first step — opening our eyes. We must, at the very least, be aware that a performance is indeed taking place if the question of how it's done is even going to arise.
Consider this. The deepest level of physical reality that we are able to observe appears to be composed of particles that are 'non-local' and, in a sense, do not exist until they fall under the awareness of a conscious observer. The implication is that everywhere we go, everyone and everything we meet, is only rendered upon our being in that space at that time. Yet so too does it work for every other individual, every other living thing. This is the paradox of existence itself, the majestic and irreconcilable duality of co-creation as it happens.
Given this, each of us literally has only to face ourselves, and our selves are found in everything we encounter. Everything that comes into our personal field of awareness - every person, every interaction, every form that shows up — is symbolic of this deeper field, as well as a harbinger of the many futures it holds. It is a state that exists for the sole purpose of our growth alone, and it works in the same manner for everyone. Just as nature forever provides all the necessary ingredients for the continuing evolution of physical life, so too does it provide them for the evolution of our consciousness. Indeed, evolution itself is the very point.
So now we see clearly the reality of the illusion. From here, it is not hard to understand that 'seeking', as we've defined it, is completely erroneous. We cannot force our own path onto the quantum field of life itself. It is impossible. Instead, we understand that life is endlessly delivering it to us, because it is already an inexorable part of us. With this knowledge comes the power to then begin the pilgrimage to surrender, for only through total surrender to what is will the path finally reveal itself, the true secrets of the illusion ultimately being revealed.
In order to do so, we must know ourselves intimately. And in order to do that, we must first accept ourselves fully. While this can be incredibly challenging, it must be done. Look inward, be honest. We all know the truth about ourselves. Do what it takes to get there — confess, release, forgive. Admit delusions. Do the work. Only through the fire of our past can we illuminate the darkness of the present, and only through noticing the wider birth of darkness beyond the fringe of that illumination can we realize the futility of projecting into the future. Our fears, our addictions and proclivities, temptations and transgressions, as well as the hopes and delusions we harbour — these are some of our greatest teachers. They are what we are working on, whether we realize it or not. Without them, we could not know the true significance the people and situations in our lives hold for us. Anything we are still in need of learning exists there. Only through our relationships, from the smallest encounters to the deepest love affairs, are we able to truly define ourselves. The great brilliance of this - and more often the tradgedy of it, as we have allowed it to take place throughout history — lies in the utter sovereignty we are granted within that paradigm, in the truth of ourselves and the magician as being one and the same. This is the real secret. Once we learn how the illusion works, we realize that we have been the ones performing the magic all this time. We were simply unaware, and so wondered at the forms and situations that continued to show up for us.
Understanding this presents a new question. We are one with the grand illusion. What will we now choose to do? Are we willing to do the work? Are we able to accept the responsibility of ourselves as the magicians we are, and thus begin the conscious creation of our own lives? What we do here will determine whether or not the same forms — and the issues they carry for us — will continue to turn up, or whether they will evolve. They cannot evolve unless we do. There are no shortcuts. The way out is through. We cannot make true progress without facing the situation we find ourselves in, in one manner or another, and the situation exists only to tell us about ourselves, as it does to tell each other about themselves.
This is the matrix of life, the illusion of reality, a living, fluctuating, interwoven field of ongoing revelation and divination, incomprehensible in its complexity, ingenious in its design, yet weilded by each one of us. Having learned now where to look, and what to look for, how to first see it, and then see within it, we can begin the work of unfolding the art itself. If we can succeed in learning it, we will commence the process of bringing the universe home, slipping slowly into communion with the quantum field once again, and reintegrating ourselves into the effortless evolution of the cosmic whole. There is no other way to become a light unto the earth. In the same way stars are born, the great dense mass that we are must collapse in on itself. Out of this will come a light with the power to illuminate the world.