Anon I mus: That is an excellent question. You, as timeless and unchanging awareness have been hypnotized (distracted) by the body-mind phenomenon called ‘me and my story’, when born into the world of form (the dream of limitation and separation). It all starts from a mental construct of a ‘personal self’ that arises with the body and the experiences of the body that becomes our internal reference point to reality.
This is an falsely conceived idea of believing ourselves (as infinite potential) to be a limited being, tethered to compulsive thinking, a particular body, experiences, genetic tendencies, beliefs and social-cultural conditioning. After marinating in this personalized, subjective experience of a human identity (me, myself and mine), we begin to suffer from the heaviness of negative thoughts/emotions, self-preservation, loss, insecurities, fears, depression, lack and so forth.
Once you decide to wake up from the story of the suffering ‘I’, by embracing that you are not limited to form that is subject to change; you can finally rest in divine grace as the natural state of pure ‘I AM-ness’ that cannot be named, only known through self-exploration. The one fundamental truth that we can all recognize within our being is the subjective sense of presence. Underneath the mental/emotional noise of thought patterns there is the mysterious, uncharted territory of infinite consciousness which all manifestations emanate from.
The infinite expressions of the formless One Life that function within and as the whole universe, are witnessed on the blank canvas of your ever-present awareness. Life still effortlessly continues as it always has – the orbiting of planets, the changing of seasons, the movement of tides, breathing, digesting, thinking, replacing of cells, interrelating, reproducing, etc. The world doesn’t change upon your spiritual awakening (Self-Realization); it is only your vision that blossoms (from limited human perception to expanded ineffable consciousness beyond all differentiation). The body-mind that you are using (an exquisite instrument) for tasting experiences, simply recedes into the background along with all form manifestation (not too close and personal); you begin to perceive everything directly through Clear Seeing instead of the filtered lenses of division and past conditioning that we have dichotomized. There is only One Source that is no-thing in particular, but simultaneously exists as the essence behind all expressions.
You are the alert, spacious Presence; the detached observer of all things (as the Absolute) while fulfilling all of the duties/roles that you are currently playing in this relative dream world as a human (your job, routines, family and daily life). Everything still carries on in the world of form as it were, but you are now a ‘conscious actor’, playing your part without losing your sense of self in the roles anymore. You can always step out of identification with form into the vast freedom of your ‘nobodiness’ through the Power of Presence. Enlightenment is the surrendering to your impersonal nature and the end of the personal self.
You, as untouched stillness, effortlessly watches over the ever-changing scenery of your creation (projection) but nothing ever happens to you. Simply be as you are, witnessing all passing thoughts and sensory perceptions like a watcher on a hill, then you break your identification and personal suffering with them.
Realize that you cannot go beyond the dimension of your watchfulness; you can go beyond all thoughts and concepts but you cannot transcend your very being. In the state of detached seeing, nothing will affect you deeply anymore, you won’t take things too personally which had given you, in the past, stress, conflict and suffering, regardless of how things appeared to be in the world (this will keep you pure).
The non-dual field of Awareness is not threatened or against the dualistic, egoic mind. Awareness understands and witnesses the psychological mind without the unconscious habit of getting over-identified with it. This is the true mark of self-mastery. The mind is a medium for you to consciously use, not for you to be unconsciously used by.