Walking Through Illusion, a book review

December 1st, 2010 by KiHealing1 Leave a reply »

I recently wrote a post about the illusion of feeling safe and secure. For if I were one of Jesus’ friends in Walking Through Illusion, he’d probably talk about how Regina struggled with the illusion of safety and security. He’d share my inner transformation on that particular matter. He’d say that while of course I had other struggles in the picture, he’d like to highlight this one as an example for others to learn from. In Betsy Otter Thompson’s book, Walking Through Illusion, Jesus shares with us through her how his friends and acquaintances experienced non reality / illusion during the time of Jesus.

Every chapter is dedicated to the study of a particular friend’s illusion. The format is one where Betsy Otter Thompson asks the questions and Jesus responds … sometimes, not too directly and other times, too directly. At the end of each chapter, Betsy Otter Thompson offers a worksheet section with a list of thought provoking and heart opening questions for us to try to answer. Following the worksheet section, she offers us three questions to ponder. I found these questions to be wonderful exercises in self awareness, perhaps more so than the worksheet questions, however, I’m a “ponderer”.  And, I am positive that others who read this book would find the worksheet questions to be more helpful than the ones to ponder. After the questions to ponder part, the author gives us her personal insights on the chapter’s topic of discussion. I appreciated her insights and enjoyed the consistent format.

A couple of things to point out right away about this book: 1) this is essentially a conversation with Jesus and 2) this is not the “branded” Jesus that many of us know through the gospel. He is still the biblical Jesus, but we get to know him in a different light through the personal gospel of Betsy Otter Thompson.  Now that being said, I must admit that I had a little bit of trouble connecting to the Jesus that the author knows, particularly in the first several chapters. By no means am I zealous about the bible, but I am an ardent lover of Jesus. At the beginning, I was a little sad that I felt a lack of connection to the questions, the answers, the voice and the energy behind the words. Jesus’ words were sometimes convoluted and at times I felt the author’s questions were irrelevant (to me). I trust myself in discerning the energy of words and what to take to heart and what to leave behind and consider for another time. In this case, my heart told me to follow on through because there were gifts for me to receive. In fact, I believe that one of the major gifts of this book is that it will open your heart.

Interestingly enough, my feelings began to change with Jesus’ story of Paul – Chapter Five – (walking through illusion of) Nourishment.

I began to feel a shift in my connection with Jesus through the example of Paul. The story of Paul asks the question “How do we earn support?” Jesus shares, the author writes:

“MONEY AS A GIFT IS A LOVELY FORM OF NOURISHMENT. IF IT’S AROUND, USE IT WELL. IF IT ISN’T, MAKE GOOD USE OF WHAT IS AROUND.”

“THE SOUL WHO LOOKS FOR SUPPORT RARELY FINDS IT; THE SOUL WHO OFFERS SUPPORT ALWAYS DOES.”

“EVERY SCENARIO IN WHICH YOU’VE FORGOTTEN TO LOVE IS WAITING FOR A MIRACLE.”

My heart opened. The read started to get really good for me at this point and continued steadily through to the end, give or take a couple of chapters. I say give or take a couple of chapters because I naturally connected to certain friends of Jesus. They serve as mirrors for me today, now. I’ll bet that as I read the book over and over, my connections with Jesus’ words and Jesus’ friends will be different each time. This is a timeless gift that Walking Through Illusion offers. By the end of the book, I felt as though I was holding a mirror up to myself instead of a book!

There is another gift that Walking Through Illusion gives, that is the openness to explore the personal meaning of Jesus’ words. For example, I’m not sure that I am ready to believe in everything Jesus has asserted in this book. Like Paul, I like a lot of Jesus’ theories in this book, and like Paul, there are some that I would like to test out. The Jesus in Walking Through Illusion is completely fine with this because he knows that each of us walks our own way through illusion. I don’t have to believe everything he says just because he says so. I see for myself. I feel for myself. And then, I am able to see what my own heart feels.

I should say that even though I didn’t intellectually comprehend everything I read (i.e. “LET YOUR REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS BE THE ENJOYMENT OF NOW. THEN RESURRECTION IS”),I trust that upon reading it again my heart will understand it all the way. This is all that matters. It’s fitting to mention at this point that this is one of the main ideas Jesus shares throughout Betsy Otter Thompson’s book — that life has more to do with emotions and feelings than anything else.

“NAMES, TITLES, AND PLACES LOSE THEIR VALIDITY AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE THE HUMAN PLANE. THE EMOTION BEHIND THEM LASTS FOREVER.”

“GOD IS THE LOVE WITHIN. REALITY IS THE LOVE YOU LIVE. YOU ARE THE EVERYTHING THESE TWO INCLUDE.”

Here is my bottom line – Walking Through Illusion, by Betsy Otter Thompson has the magic to stay with you and the power to expand your heart. It is an experiential read and truly a unique book. It is an invitation from Jesus to come know him through yourself.

** This is a picture of the author of Walking Through Illusion **

Betsy Otter Thompson

Please share with me your thoughts/feelings on the book. I’d love to hear!

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