How is Suffering an Illusion?

Sited from – Posted by Steven Beckow on September 3rd

Listen 44

The original exchange with Gloria Wendroff, who producesHeavenletters and Godwriting, was in light of a comment posted on her blog.  Gloria is a dear soul (I’ve asked her to contribute some articles to the blog) and invited me to respond to it. (1) I’ve expanded on my response here.

The reader asked why God would consider suffering to be illusion, why I (Steve) would risk opposing the government, and whether God listens to what we say. Allow me please to share my response and expand on it here. And thank you, Gloria.

This is a time when lightworkers are drawing together and collaborating. I could cite instances from any day of the week in which this is happening.


Gloria invited me to respond to your questions, C, and I’m happy to.

If you think about it for a moment, everything is illusion except the One. (And of course the kicker is that everything is the One.)

What does illusion mean? It means that something is not permanent, eternal. The illusory comes and goes and only the Real remains.

Your thoughts are illusory in the sense they come and go. But the thinker doesn’t come and go.

One can consider the matter from the perspective of levels. At the level of the Relative, if we change our focus from the Third Dimension to the Fifth, then the Third Dimension fades from view.


That in itself doesn’t make it illusory; just that we have travelled from one “place” to “another.” But when we look from a very much higher level, say, the Transcendental where God and angels reside, then the things which we humans think are real are revealed as being merely shadows.

Suffering is suffering to us relative to the level we exist on. But that same suffering fades immediately from our body and even our mind if and when we find ourselves on a higher level of life.

Was our suffering real then? If it’s attached to a lower state of feeling and thought, we tend to call it an “illusion” and the state of being free from suffering “real.”

Consider how Sri Ramakrishna saw people with his divine vision:

“I see the body as a frame made of bamboo strips and covered with a cloth. The frame moves. And it moves because someone dwells inside it.” (2)

“I see you all as so many sheaths, and the heads are moving.” (3)

The Divine Mother revealed a higher truth of the matter to him.

“The Divine Mother revealed to me that the men and women in this house were mere masks; inside them was the same Divine Power, Kundalini, that rises up through the six spiritual centres of the body.” (4)

Ramakrishna could see the God that lived in each body and moved it.

“Do you know what I see? I see that God alone has become everything. Men and animals are only frameworks covered with skin, and it is He who is moving through their heads and limbs. I see that it is God Himself who has become the block, the executioner, and the victim for the sacrifice. … There sits Latu resting his head on the palm of his hand. To me it is the Lord who is seated in that posture. ” (5)

“It seems to me that men and other living beings are made of leather, and that it is God Himself who, dwelling inside these leather cases, moves the hands, the feet, the heads. I had a similar vision once before, when I saw houses, gardens, roads, men, cattle — all made of One Substance; it was as if they were all made of wax.

“I perceived that it was God alone who had become all living beings. They appeared as countless bubbles or reflections in the Ocean of Satchidananada. Again, I find sometimes that living beings are like so many pills made of Indivisible Consciousness. … Again, I perceive that living beings are like different flowers with various layers of petals.” (6)

Our suffering happens to our physical body and its senses and faculties. But our physical body is in turn revealed as no more than an overcoat for the soul and what we considered to be permanent damage is revealed to be no such thing.God 22

It isn’t illusory for us to suffer from a disease or be hit by a bus. But if we transition to the other side, we forget these matters within a short time and nothing real remains from them except the intermittent memory.

We think of death as the epitome of suffering. But in fact it isn’t. Listen to what travellers say who have passed the bourne of death.

“All pain is lost at last in the final peace.  … The suffering of Earth is so short compared with the eternity of bliss, that all thoughts of compensation are lost in the very reality.” (7)

“Death is … a mere episode which we regard with a certain tenderness and not with any pain. … There is contained in it a time of stillness, of sinking gloriously into rest.” (8)

“They do not suffer, these people, in their passing. I think sometimes their friends suffer more, when they see the body writhing in apparent agony, while in reality the spirit is already tasting the first freedom from pain, or lies in a blessed insensibility.” (9)

Regarding your second question, it’s my job to confront the government on the harmful actions they take against people (planning wars, creating pandemics, draining the wealth from everyone but the elite).

Since I regard my body as illusory, having been outside it many years ago and seeing that it wasn’t “me,” I’m not much moved by what may happen to it. So let the government do what it wishes. Death is early retirement for me.

God not listening is impossible. God is everything that is, including you and me. We are God. The air that carries the sound is God. The ear is God. The mind is God. Where is God not? And so how could he not be listening?


(1)  “What a ride!” Aug. 28, 2014, at The question is at the bottom of the page.

(2) Paramahansa Ramakrishma in Nikhilananda, Swami, trans. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942. , 969.

(3) Loc. cit.

(4) Ibid., 291.

(5) Ibid., 70-1.

(6) Ibid., 357.

(7) Unnamed spirit to Charlotte E. Dresser in Fred Rafferty, ed., Charlotte E. Dresser, medium, Life Here and Hereafter. Author’s edition. Downloaded from, 2 Feb. 2008, 132-3.

(8) F.W.H. Myers in Paul Beard, Living On: How Consciousness Continues and Evolves After Death. Continuum Intl Pub Group; 1ST edition (April 1982), 57. [Hereafter LO.]

(9) John Scott in LO, 56.


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