The source of all that exists is formless, timeless, and indescribable. An indivisible part of the source ventures back and forth to a dream state (i.e., worldly existence bound by the illusions of space, time, and form) to express, experience, and know itself through physical manifestations. The source forgets itself when entering the dream state and experiences existence as consciousness embodied in infinite forms. The mind, which consists of innumerable thoughts, arises from the source. The mind projects thoughts on the screen of existence to manifest animate and inanimate forms and defines their relationships to create existential experiences. The primordial creative thought in the mind is "I-Exist" or ego. Despite the oneness of existence, the ego creates a false sense of separateness that enables experiencing from individual perspectives. As existence evolved, consciousness embodied in human form was ripe for awakening within the dream state and remembering its formless self; however, a greater part of it chooses to remain under the illusion of separateness and create experiences with a false sense of self, that is, believing itself to be the embodied form.
Pain & Suffering
Pain is a physical experience; it's an inherent part of existential reality. Like rain, pain comes and goes with varying intensities and for different lengths of time; however, pain does not necessarily equate suffering. Pain can be experienced without any suffering. Unlike physical pain, suffering is a state of mind that arises from one's inability to accept 'What Is' just the way 'It Is'. Sometimes, suffering is a conduit for awakening. At the root of all suffering is one or more of the following reasons: first—ignorance of our true nature; second—belief in a separate and distinct existence; third—‘attachment’; fourth—lack of equanimity; fifth—fear of death.
Bliss & Inner Stillness
Inner stillness is where bliss lies; it's experienced when consciousness is focused inwardly and outwardly at the same time but remains non-reactive to the movement of thoughts, emotions, and circumstances. This state is also known as Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Inner stillness cannot be achieved through physical effort or intellect; it requires us to be choiceless and effortless. How then do we relate to people, things, events, and situations? We remain centred in the blissful knowledge of our inner essence and engage playfully with a heart and mind that are ever cool and tranquil. We simply play our role without becoming entangled in the drama.
World is a Mirror
The outer world reflects our inner world. We manifest experiences based on our conditioned thoughts and beliefs. Our habit of thought on any subject is conditioned by impressions derived from past experiences and desires for fulfilment in future experiences. Our thought patterns influence the way we perceive people, things, events, and situations. Nothing is inherently good or bad, right or wrong; it's all a matter of perception. We keep having recurring experiences in different places with different faces because of entrenched thought patterns. If we wish to break a negative cycle, we first need to change our perception, thoughts, and beliefs.
Quiet the Mind
As soon as distressing thoughts arise, turn within and ask, 'To whom are these thoughts occurring?' The unspoken reply would be, 'To me'. Ask further, 'Who am I?' without conceptualising an answer; then, observe the gaps in-between thoughts. As you repeat this exercise regardless of how many thoughts arise, the reactive thinking mind would lose momentum and calm down. Why? Because the depths of who you are is 'Stillness', and mental noise - which is no more than movements on the surface - would subside when you stop engaging in negative thinking and be the non-reactive observer. You would need to be alert and ask the question as soon as negative thoughts arise. Over time, this self-inquiry will lead to a noticeable reduction in mental noise and a corresponding increase in inner peace.
Measure of Progress
The true measure of one's progress towards a peaceful and joyful existence is the level of mental noise. A gradual reduction in mental noise occurs when we abstain from assigning labels and meanings to people, things, events, and situations that arise in our circle of direct and indirect experiences. Without labels and meanings, the reactive thinking mind is unable to recycle conditioned thoughts to forge judgment, expectation, and attachment.
Worldly existence is not an objective reality; it's a subjective dream. Each is dreaming into existence unique individual experiences. Most of us are unaware of the dream state due to the veil of illusions. Eventually, the dream state would lose its stranglehold, causing you to become disenchanted with many aspects of worldly existence. The false sense of self will erode and throw you into doubt and confusion. In your darkest moment, an inner voice will nudge you to go within and inquire, 'Who am I beyond the body, mind, and emotions?' As you persist with this inquiry, there'll be signposts to guide you in the right direction. This gentle and gradual awakening process will culminate in the knowledge of your inner essence. You'll awake within the dream state to know your formless and eternal nature. Once awakened, a three-fold transformation occurs naturally: first, you'll become centred in self-knowledge and simply play a role in the dream; second, you'll no longer become overwhelmed by or unduly attached to everyday experiences; third, you'll adopt a light and playful attitude towards people, things, events, and situations because you no longer treat the unreal as real.
Worldly existence is a playground for you to create and experience your creations. You came to have unique individual experiences through your physical perspective and navigate the maze of unpredictability through your non-physical perspective; it's a co-creative process. Your physical and non-physical perspectives are two sides of the same coin. You are the light, mirror, and reflection. You are the experiencer, experiencing, and experienced. Each experience - whether desirable or otherwise - is unfolding exactly as intended by 'You'.
Worldly existence is a hologram; it's a mind's journey. The hologram is an imaginary bubble that encapsulates your existential reality. You - the embodied consciousness - are inside the bubble. You - the formless consciousness - are outside the bubble. You, on the inside, are physically focussed with a limited perspective. You, on the outside, are non-physically focussed with a limitless perspective. The physical and non-physical perspectives interact and merge into one to determine the changes and direction of individual and collective experiences within the hologram. The hologram will transform on its own at the right time. You need to stop trying to make things happen by force, manipulation or purposeful actions and just go with the flow. What does that mean? First, don't strive for anything—take things as they come. Second—accept all, resist nothing. Third, don't react—wait, only respond if necessary. Fourth, align your responses with the path of least resistance. Fifth, don't obsess over outcomes.