I wrote in my notes not too long ago that the trick of a successful autocratic government is to delude the populace into believing they haven't been deluded—or they can’t be deluded. This way it is easy to hide the truth. Such a government can even let the real truth out, but the general population will look at it and think to themselves, “That’s just a hoax.” I am sure the reader knows of many such examples. I have certainly found my share.
At issue is the deluded individual who has not the slightest clue that he is quite deeply deluded. He may believe in the big bang theory or black holes without knowing that these theories are complete fictions. Such beliefs are almost harmless. But perhaps the greatest threat to the deluded individual is that he firmly believes the reality he perceives is real including the way he perceives it. From this, modern religion is built upon layers of delusion which at every level is a reflection of the present world view which might be strongly oriented towards materialism and its attendant psychological side, nihilism or the same radical skepticism.
To free deluded beings from their religious delusions is almost impossible for the reason that in the case of theology its structure perfectly accords with the deluded mind that is interfacing with a temporal body so that each of us, as an interfacing awareness, thinks this awareness is god-like and what is before this is his kingdom to the farthest galaxy!
It doesn’t matter if we call awareness, traceless awareness, the awareness of awareness, the all seeing eye, Ra, Zeus, Lord, God, or just I, it stands adjacent to its world which includes the individual body and the world it inhabits. In this condition, the deluded individual is like one of the denizens in Plato’s cave who lives chained facing a blank wall, watching shadows projected on this wall believing these shadows to be the true world.
It is only with real Bodhicitta, when the Mind awakens and beholds itself for the first time, do we begin the long journey of extracting ourself from our previous states of delusion. At this stage we can start the work of distinguishing between delusion and Buddha Mind. However, any state short of Bodhicitta is insufficient. A belief in God, for example, is a positive hindrance just as learning to be in the here and the now. We are still in the clutches of delusion, and don’t quite know it. We will even resist the notion of what Bodhicitta means in Buddhism and especially its importance in Mahayana Buddhism. Most of us prefer the slumber of delusion. Waking up is a difficult adventure. Still it is well worth the struggle.