Within non-dual awareness, one understands that seeing through one’s physical eyes returns the movie-like projection of separation in an innumerable set of forms.
Thoughts equal cause. Experience equals effect. There is only one being. It is comprised of one thought. That thought is love.
The body itself then is merely a projection (effect) and not the exclusive entirety of anyone. The illusion of the body (as self) is one of identity and it is essentially made through the acceptance and amplification of an artificial thought geometry (self-definition) by an immeasurably powerful being - which is what you truly are - though I recognize that this can be radically difficult to understand while you are absolutely and entirely convinced that what you see in the mirror is all of you.
If you then believe this about you, what will you believe about your brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors and parents? The same thing, right? And herein lies the origination of all conflict - your belief about you. You accept it, then of course, open your eyes and verify it...wallah, what do you see but other bodies, surprised?
Surprise is a peculiar reaction within non-dual awareness - there it is downright weird.
"It is no proof of a man's understanding to be able to confirm whatever he pleases; but to be able to discern that what is true is true, and that what is false is false, this is the mark and character of intelligence."
So, my illusory experience could be compared to a man sitting in a movie theater yelling at the screen and getting genuinely angry at what he’s watching - or, conversely, getting very excited and happy. Both reactions are my personal returns on my investments in an artificial thought geometry - beginning with my acceptance of my self-proposal that the body in the mirror is the entirety of me. By accepting this idea of identity, of self, what have I gained? The return on these investments is disappointment, confusion, stress, and anxiety. Not recognizing the deeper reason behind this promotes the original state of denial which can result in seemingly worsening experiences like physical or mental illness.
That the movie screen didn’t respond to my frantic exclamations (good or bad, happy or sad) consistently made matters worse. What is the movie screen? The people, the relationships, the road, what I see on Earth, etc.; in essence, the movie screen is what I believe to be external to me during any moment of awareness. And, why do I both engage the screen and even set expectations for preferred outcomes?
Because I think I’m there, in the screen, in the movie, a character, sometimes an actor (occasionally aware he’s acting), sometimes caught in unwanted experiences, and sometimes caught in seemingly beautiful ones. And, all the while that I’m there, I’m evaluating, comparing, struggling, and generally speaking - doing what the ego does - and haven’t a clue that I’m the actual author of the movie's script. It is from this identity (thought location = clueless-ness) that the very geometry (way) within which you live and experience your life is originated.
How does this work? The geometry (self-definition) essentially forms the shape of the lens through which I project what I want to see. Then my experiences naturally provide evidence of what I want to believe about me, everyone else, and life in general.
If you are following this logical path and are being a bit introspective, you may be seeing that, thinking that one is (exclusively) in the dream, must yield a rather peculiar but not so unfamiliar pendulum-like, unstable, insecure, and ironic life experience. It does this because the dream is comprised of unreality which can't be stable or stabilizing.
Have you ever had a dream? Do you see the similarity? This then is like a dream. A dream is not a place anyone I've known would want to set up an anchor for their life - yet, having done this many times, and consistently disappointed with the results - I started to wonder about the value of my chosen ballast.
Attempts then, again from within the dream, to take control and make a specific outcome will always fail. Seek and do not find is the hidden purpose of the dream. And, subsequent attempts to figure out why control isn't possible, and why one's glass menagerie must repeatedly shatter, may yield a frantic downward spiral in the thoughts.
A characteristic, somewhat tricky, about being in the dream is that cause and effect seem to switch places in relationship to each other - effect becomes cause, and cause becomes effect. In simpler English, you examine each encounter or situation you seem to be having by various attributes it presents, then react to it. But, since you authored what you're experiencing what exactly are you doing by attempting to fix it from within it? Nothing.
The effort then, is nothing more than a projection within a projection (the movie) - actually an affirmation of the separation state of mind - which, of course, is illusory. When standing in and accepting an illusory identity, I naturally attempt to extend self because that is my function in reality (to extend like prime creator, because my very nature is extension of prime creator), but what I will try to extend is more illusions while I think that I’m an illusion. The self-deceiving must deceive because this is how they've temporarily chosen to define their identity.
This type of extension is, not so ironically, a constriction. In ‘energy’ terms, it is a seeming collapse - experienced in painful low frequency slow motion (aka time). There are seemingly thousands, even millions, of thought tunnels and other geometries that purport to define reality in my thoughts – all based on/originating from awareness of identity - or, more accurately, accepted limitations within that identity definition.
These definitions, all bounded and artificial, seemingly keep my awareness locked into the boundaries and options seen. The mathematical relationship here is paradoxical – depending on how you are reading this – again because ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ seem to swap places. I am always the ‘effect’ of prime creator, yet with the same ability to extend, I am also causal, however, if I attempt to extend based on a false identity (forgetting that I am effect of prime creator), then I could get trapped in what I project, thinking that I am that.
That’s what happened here in the ‘separation’ symbol known as Earth - and in our related physical bodies. Separation based geometries are false – therefore who I seemingly became in these seeming realities is anti-self. If self is love, then becoming anti-self, I became hate. I know you may not really feel like "hate" which is perfectly understandable, but remember within self (or non-duality) classifications don't actually exist, within perceptions (separation thinking or anti-self), classifications abound.
Then I looked around (seemingly having experience within the dream of separation), thinking that I am the effect of my own causation, and wondered why everything looks so awful.
What is temporarily lost to me in the dream or nightmare is awareness that I caused it and can retract my investment from it – even though I seem to be trapped in it.
What about seeming body needs? Money, food, sex, etc.... Having cast both Earth and the body as illusory, cast no judgment labeling the money, food, sex, etc objectives as good or bad. Don’t attempt to categorize or measure their value. Neither attempt to connect your assessments of those values to your personal value to you. Your value is defined by source and it is inestimable. Other attributes of this value are unboundedness, invulnerability, stability, joy and peace.
Artificial thought geometries have no absolute value. They are illusory, fleeting. Remembering that enables me to participate in relationship experiences without falling to the temptation to add or draw meaning from them. That means, simply, that assuming I see myself in a seeming state of impermanence (the illusory universe), I may wish to consider that any geometry (self-definition) within it that I accept, asks for my investment.
The cost, to the naturally unbounded is bounds or boundaries of being-ness and expression. To the degree that I don’t see that price, my model of what is fixes in a bounded universe. In simpler English, I become lost to my self. And the resulting experience of boundaries to the unbounded is confusion and conflict, and a natural desire to return to original state.
At any moment, the eternal state of being within the mind of prime creator is accessible, because I have never left it, it is only my awareness that left during the investment into the false geometry (false self-definition). That then is the cost of the investment: awareness. But, like discovering hatred, this isn’t a crime - punishable by a state of sustained guilt. It is nothing - merely a thought, stemming from a false identity. It can easily be abandoned, returning me to a state of grace, of joy, of ease.