If we are merely concepts in mind, what then is real? The moment we think of or talk about Reality it becomes a concept and thus unreal because all thought and expressions in words are conceptual. We must be the Reality that, in the split mind of duality, becomes a concept. You are Reality but not as a ‘me’. Reality can only be ‘I’ or Subjectivity – that you can never know because you are it. This is referred to in Buddhism as ‘Suchness’, which can never be grasped. The universe as ‘we' see it is not real in itself but a projection or manifestation of underlying reality. Phenomena and happenings can be thought of as projections onto the screen of reality, like a cinema film.
However, in our everyday life we assume everything we see is real and rightly so. That’s what we are meant to assume in order to interact with our fellows in a comprehensible way. Understanding that what we see is Non-reality and that Reality is what we cannot see because we are it, is the insight that is the forerunner of Awakening – the enlightened state within which the enlightened Sages live and lived.
It might help if we use the term ‘relative reality’ to describe the reality that appears to us in our dualistic state, even though this is not strictly correct. If the reality of objects lies in their universal subjectivity, their pseudo or relative reality lies in the psyche confined to the individual. The former, as has been seen, is impersonal; the latter is personal. Each individual, as an object appearing in Mind is, at the same time, an object of impersonal Subject and an object of personal subject – as he or she is and as he or she appears to be. The ‘is’ is pure Subjectivity and reality; the ‘appears to be’ is limited subject with attributes, perceived as an object. When he and she say they are this or that, they are objects pretending to describe themselves and identifying with those objects. Subject alone is real (and ‘it’ isn’t); all objects are concepts in split or dualistic mind. And a concept cannot even be relative reality!
So impersonal Subject is manifesting (projecting) the world continuously microsecond by microsecond in the apparent sequence of time and our subject, limited by dualism, the personalised aspect of Subject, split in manifestation, perceives the world as an object external to itself. When we understand that impersonal Subject or ‘I’ cannot be perceived or comprehended because it is not an object and nothing objective can be real and then strip away all we see as objective, we become aware that what remains is Reality and we must be that. This is Realisation or Enlightenment.