Posted in Spiritual Practice, Victoria C Slotto

The Web of Illusion

Photo: wikipedia commons
Photo: wikipedia commons

For the Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year, the first day of summer–I  turned my meditation corner around, facing my chair looking out the window instead of looking at the eerie but beautiful reflections of the leaves of our ornamental pear tree fluttering on the blank wall of my room. While the images were hypnotic, I couldn’t help but think of Plato in his cave and the thought haunted me that this was illusory beauty.

Photo Credit: Sara Loverling
Photo Credit: Sara Loverling

Looking directly at the trees, deep into our yard and yards beyond our own allowed me to see the play of light and shadow, and only a slight flutter of leaves. For the moment, stillness was able to come in…until illusion reappeared in the form of a bird that land on our roof and projected its shadow onto the side of our neighbor’s house. The shadow appeared long and skinny, almost like a sand piper or a heron, but since we don’t have either of those birds here in Reno, I realized I was once again facing illusion.

As I age, I’m aware of the imperative to dispel the illusions I’ve so carefully fashioned to carry me through life. A few months ago, I began digging through old journals, over forty of them—reviewing life, tearing up pages, letting go of secrets, negative emotions, anger and hurt, unfulfilled dreams, dusting off the mysterious web of illusion and, yes, celebrating growth, insight and success.


It’s interesting to see how the same old issues that cropped up back in 1988 are no different than those of today. I had to chuckle at my observations on then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Benedict XVI) ultraconservative stance that I found alienating to so many. If I’d only known.

And then there was/is my need to control—my perfectionism. I complained that I was only getting 6 hours of sleep because, when I awakened, I thought of how much I had to do and couldn’t go back to sleep. The morning  of the Super-moon I was up at 4 AM (couldn’t find it) and, of course, stayed awake thinking of how much I wanted to get done that day. It’s like that most every day.

And thus: illusion. Here I am—approaching the end of another decade of my life, still believing that so much, everything, depends on me. In another ten years, if I’m still playing this wonderful game of life, will it still be the same?

A few questions to reflect upon: What are your illusions? What purpose do they serve? Is it time to do something about them? You can comment if you like, but my intent is just to get you thinking.

Have a blessed day.

(Reblogged from Victoria C. Slotto, Author)

Victoria and Dave Slotto
Victoria and Dave Slotto

2940013445222_p0_v1_s260x420VICTORIA C. SLOTTO (Victoria C. Slotto, Author: Fiction, Poetry and Writing Prompts) ~  a Contributing Writer to Into the Bardo ,attributes her writing influences to her spirituality, her dealings with grief and loss, and nature. Having spent twenty-eight years as a nun, Victoria left the convent but continued to work as a nurse in the fields of death and dying, Victoria has seen and experienced much. A result of Victoria’s life experience is the ability to connect with readers on an intimate level. She resides in Reno, Nevada, with her husband and two dogs and spends several months of the year in Palm Desert, California.

Winter is Past is her first novel. It was published in 2012 by Lucky Bat Books. She has a second novel in process and also a poetry chapbook. Victoria is also an accomplished blogger and poet who has assumed a leadership role in d’Verse Poet’s Pub. You can read more ofher fine poetry HERE.


RN, former hospice nurse, kidney transplant survivor, spiritual seeker, novelist, poet—Victoria C. Slotto is the author of two novels: "Winter is Past" and "The Sin of His Father", a collection of poetry: "Jacaranda Rain," and a Kindle Single: "Beating the Odds--Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia, " all of which are available in e-book and print formats. Use the link on my blog or visit my website at to purchase. Thank you!

8 thoughts on “The Web of Illusion

  1. … on the other hand, I think you should follow Victoria’s link (in her comment above), which I have just done. For what it’s worth, Victoria, I think you used the right word.


  2. I think delusion can be looked at as a more active state of mind, whereas illusion is more passive, insofar as it is more likely to be your unconscious mind that perceives the latter, whereas delusion, to be deluded, is seemingly a more deliberate act of the subconscious mind. An illusion is often conceived as magic; delusion as a mental state … perhaps?

    Allusion is a different thing altogether, of course. It is a more subtle reference to something without actually calling it by name; a tool that poets could readily use.

    But then, I suspect I’m preaching to the converted here 🙂


  3. Great comments, all. Years ago, when I studied psychiatric nursing, there was a distinction made between illusion and delusion. Here’s an interesting reference–I’m still not clear about which I should have used:

    You raise thought-provoking questions, scilliagrace, and, John, your observations are spot on. Manipulation is a form of control, isn’t it.

    Paula, thank you.


  4. What is the difference between illusion and delusion? At what point does the way we are misinterpreting reality become a persistent fabrication? And if we recognize that taking hold, how do we return to fluidity? And how do we marshal the courage and energy to face that challenge every day? Like the “fearless moral inventory”, a discipline and practice. But I like Pema Chodron’s way of emphasizing kindness in the process.


  5. Victoria, this has provoked me into thinking about my own illusions; not an easy thing to do, if I’m honest. Some illusions are created by ourselves, that’s true, but many, sadly, are created by those, who would wish to manipulate us … Gosh! That sounds like conspiracy theory again! You’ll have to shut me up now.

    You speak of trying to be in control of your life and, in truth, we can never achieve that completely, but we certainly never should allow others to control us, at least until we are so old and frail that we need someone to take over. May the great powers that be allow us to be compos mentis enough at least to write out our lives … forever!

    Thank you for provoking those thoughts.


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