They remodeled the Carl's Jr. , by my house, recently. I often go there to have a coke and read or write. Sometimes when I'm there the Devil makes me eat chili fries. He sure comes in handy sometimes. No...I'm not going there; put your holy water away.
Like I was saying, they remodeled it. Gave it a 50'ish look and feel. The part that got my attention was the new booths. They lowered the back rests. Now any two-year old miscreant can repeatedly stick a ketchup- covered french fry in your ear while his mother.... Never mind. I like kids. Moms, too. I'm just getting old.
So I'm sitting there and find myself staring at this mirrored strip on the top of the back rest across from me. I'm trying to figure out just what it is behind me that I'm seeing in the mirror. I can't make anything out, so I turn around and look behind me. Nothing there. I turn back and time stops!
There was no image in the mirror, in fact there was no mirror! All along I had been looking at a silver refractive strip that was doing exactly what it does by it's very nature. It was bending light! Creating an illusion. Seen from one angle, you see half circles; from another you see cones; from still another you see vortexes. As the light and angle change in relation to the viewer, so do the images. A refractive strip. A light bender. An illusion maker. Maya!
In that moment of timeless clarity, I understood the nature of non-dual reality.
The illusions only existed because it was the nature of the reality to allow for their existence!
The mirror never existed. The cones, half circles, and vortexes never existed. They never had a separate reality apart from the refractive strip, and yet it could not be said that they did not exist.
One reality, one essence, manifesting as the many.
This world that we experience is like the above example. It is ever changing moment to moment, a fact that cannot be denied. A perception dependent on a perceiver for it's apparent reality. The twist is that the perceiver is also a perception!
An illusion observing an illusion, believing in the reality of both.
In Advaita, this is referred to as "ignorance". Ignorance is not our "natural state".
When the Self is realized, ignorance is overcome: we see that we are Consciousness, limitless Awareness, The Absolute, One without a second.
In this seeing is the understanding that even the illusion of the many is nothing more than an aspect of the The One.
Unity manifesting as duality.
Peace be with you,