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 animate and inanimate forms. The mind, which consists of innumerable thoughts, arises from the source. The mind projects thoughts on the screen of existence to manifest forms (and defines their relationships)) that create existential experiences. The primordial thought in the mind is "I-Exist" or ego. Despite the oneness of existence, the ego is a false sense of separateness that enables experiencing from different 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 spell of illusions with a false sense of self, that is, by identifying with the embodied forms. The upshot is the belief in separate and distinct existence.
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-Awareness-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, events, and situations? We remain centred in the blissful knowledge of our innermost 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.
The 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. Your continued attention to anything - desirable or otherwise - keeps it in your experience. We have recurring experiences in different places with different faces because we are unable to turn attention away from the subject or revise our entrenched thought patterns regarding certain type of people and situations.
Quiet the Mind
As soon as resistant 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 resistant 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 resistant thoughts and be the non-reactive observer. You would need to be alert and ask the question as soon as resistant thoughts arise. Over time, this self-inquiry will lead to a noticeable reduction in mental noise and a corresponding increase in inner peace.
Worldly existence is not an objective reality; it's a subjective dream. Everyone is dreaming into existence unique individual experiences. Most of us are unaware of the dream state due to the veil of illusion. Eventually, the dream state would lose its stranglehold and your false sense of self will start to erode, giving rise to doubts 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 innermost 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, events, and situations because you cease to treat the unreal as real. After the awakening, you'll go about playing your various roles in a calm, decisive, and joyful manner. From time to time, you'll slip back into the dream state; however, you'll bounce back quickly.
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 intended by 'You'; it will run the course.
Pain & Suffering
Physical pain is an 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 pain, suffering is a state of mind that arises from one's inability to accept 'What Is'. Nothing is permanent, wanting it to be so causes suffering. At the root of all suffering is one or more of the following reasons: first—ignorance of our true nature; second—belief in separate and distinct existence; third— ‘attachment’; fourth—lack of equanimity; fifth—fear of death. Sometimes, suffering acts as a conduit for awakening when all else fails.
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 guide the direction of individual and collective experiences within the hologram. Your inside-the-bubble desires and preferences will be reflected in the changes to the hologram; however, you must first let go of the need to control or influence outcomes. You have 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 yourself with the path of least resistance. Fifth, don't obsess over outcomes. The hologram will transform on its own at the right time.
I am That
Every form that exists - be it animate or inanimate - is a different version of your formless self. There is nothing in your experiential reality that does not reflect an aspect of you; therefore, it follows—to love and accept everything in your experience is to love and accept oneself. That is the true meaning of self-love.