Something to contemplate:
“Shankara was criticized for his views on maya (illusion) without being understood. He said that
(1) Brahman (creative principle which lies realized in the whole world) is real,
(2) the universe is unreal, and
(3) The universe is Brahman.
He did not stop at the second, because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the Self, and unreal if perceived apart from the Self. Hence maya and reality are one and the same.”
Source: David Godman, “Be As You Are, The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi” p. 180
Recognize the Self when in the world. Everything shines equally. Nothing can be less than anything else. As long as anything is treated with disdain or any lack of respect, then one is perceiving ‘apart from the Self.’
To be perceiving “apart from the Self” means that I sees myself as not part of the Self. It means that I am perceiving as though I were not embedded in Self, as an integral part of the Self. It means that I have momentarily “forgotten” (again) that “all that is”, actually consists of the one Universal Being, which Ramana calls “the Self”.
It is correct to say that when I perceive the universe “as the Self”, that I perceive everything in the world being literally “the Self”. I also perceive everything from the viewpoint of my identity “as the Self”. I then perceive everything as sacred and I perceive everything as the Self that is perceiving extensions of Itself.
11-X-15 Chefchaouen, Bab Souq