Once consciousness (birth and the resulting subject-object perception) arises, we are a mess. Not, “we are in a mess”, no, we ARE a mess. We are fragmentation and experience ourself as the controller and the world is to be controlled.
Looking around me, internally and externally, I see: “all is consciousness, all is consciousness, all is consciousness, all is consciousness.” And consciousness = mess; consciousness = fragmentation; consciousness = subject-object perception. A man of old said: When the mind is quiescent the world disappears.
My true state is before this consciousness arose, we are told. What does this mean to me? This means give up all oh so fondly cherished ideas of “Heaven on Earth”. Only when we give up the illusion of the experience of both earth and heaven will we have true peace, which is not of this world. It is the peace that passeth all understanding and it is in the realm of the Incomprehensible.
Are we then no longer in this world? Yes, we are, but the affairs of this world are no longer ours. We have closed that account. It looks like we are engaged in these affairs, but actually we are not.
The ‘dark knowledge’, as the Taoists call it, comes from the complete disappointment in our hopes of realization within the illusion. “Losing hope is losing all indeed. … Perfect resignation gives the deepest joy of all. Accept it as your sole resource.” This perfect resignation to the fact that the world of subject-object perception (all of duality) is doomed to suffering and dissatisfaction.
There might be short sequences, like glimpses of harmony, fulfillment and peace, but they are never lasting. When I allow my hope to rest on them, the next awakening to the absolute fact is pre-programmed. The absolute fact is that the Self appears as the world, but that is merely an illusion.
Living in the illusion is suffering, is pain, even thought I can create a fleeting experience of joy, peace, fulfillment and happiness within and of that illusion. In the film “Matrix” the character who betrays Morpheus and Neo is sitting at a restaurant table with two Agent Smiths and he says, while about to bite into a juicy peace of steak: “I know it is an illusion, but it tastes so good!”
The world appears in the Self as the snake appears in the rope.
II, 27. The snake appears when one does not recognize the rope; it disappears when one recognizes the rope. Even so this world appears when the Self is not recognized ; it disappears when the Self is recognized.
II, 28. It is only our forgetfulness of the invisible Self which causes the world to appear just as (the ignorance of the) rope (causes the) snake to appear.
IX, 20. That in which this wonderful universe appears like a snake in a rope is the eternal luminous Self.