Breaking Free – September 2008 – Optical Delusions


Breaking Free

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Vol 3, Issue 1

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Optical Delusions
September 2008

Often, you hear statements that you perceive are unbelievable. You may even respond by saying, “Are you kidding me?!?” Today, I’d like you to focus on a similar question…

“Are you kidding YOU?!?”

Your perception is your reality. But, what if your perception doesn’t accurately reflect the current moment? In order to bring intrinsic value to any moment, project, relationship, etc., you need to be aligned with the present reality.

What are optical delusions?

Well, I think you know what an optical illusion is, right? It’s something that appears one way, but is actually another. Like the image to the right… it looks like the bottom line is longer than the top, yet if you measure them, they are exactly the same length.

In the picture to the left, how many triangles do you see? Most people will say 2 or 6 or 8. How many are there? ZERO! Your brain, however, has been trained to recognize patterns so it ‘helps’ you and somehow interprets the notches in the circles and the “V” shapes as triangles.

The word ‘optical’ refers to sight or vision. The word ‘illusion’ means something that deceives; a false impression or idea. However, the word ‘delusion’ refers to a persistent false belief.

You should recognize in the picture to the left that there are no triangles present. Even if you once believed the illusions that there were triangles, you should now be able to take a closer look and see that there are none. If you still held on to your belief, this would indicate a ‘delusion’.

Looking for the rest of this article?

This newsletter was published as part of Traci’s first book, “Breaking Free: Leading the Way” and published as a paperback and ebook. Due to ebook publishing restrictions, the content had to be removed.

If you would like to read the rest of this article as well as many others that deal with personal leadership development, click here.


“The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.”

– Yasutani Roshi

“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

– Dr. Carl Sagan

“Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth.”

– Ludwig Borne

“It takes a lot to wound a man without illusions””

– Ellis Peters

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.”

– Simone Weil

“You can continue to hold on to your optical delusions hoping that one day they will bring you joy. Or, you can consciously choose to let go of them and live in the reality of the present moment… the only place where true joy resides.”

– Traci Duez

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