*** DRAFT ***

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.  Hence, it is clear that the space of physics is not, in the last analysis, anything given in nature or independent of human thought.  It is a function of our conceptual scheme.   
~Albert Einstein

Life is full of wake-up calls.  At a young age, we learn the truth about Santa Claus and the value of the 50 cent coin your grandfather gave you.  Later, we learn that our teachers are not infallible; then, we learn that they are just ordinary people doing their job. We find that government leaders, spiritual leaders, jurists and others we looked up to are lost in their own version of delusion.  For some, the realizations are much more disturbing.  Some fight; some collapse; most learn to adjust to something we know lies far beneath perfection.  A few reject this consensual reality in search of a greater truth.

Cracks in the conceptual framework of old paradigms manifest as cognitive dissonance, disrupting our archaic view of the world.  Some wake up; others find ways to numb themselves.  Self-importance dissipates as less and less is available to attach to it - there's nothing to make special, nothing to cling to as emptiness displaces form.  It's an uncontrolled slide from there, past a point of no-return where fewer choices are offered.  One naturally renunciates more and more of the illusion until, finally ... it shatters.

The illusion of the self arises out of an entanglement of sensory and thought consciousnesses.  Human responses become so highly conditioned by familiarity that we lose track of fundamental understanding.  These countless and unnoticed conditionings are held in the subconscious and the unconscious.  There is both an input of sensory and thought consciousness and a feedback storage circuitry that resides in the body.  This feedback storage circuit continues to discharge even after an object of consciousness is removed.  Those phantom images intertwine to create a metaphorical swamp of faint cognition.

This swamp is a mental mashup created the substratum of the illusion bubbling up from the subconscious; the unconscious is becoming conscious.  It is at first sight so terrifying that most who encounter it clamor back to the comfort of the illusion - maintaining a false sense of security through ignorance.  Others camp along the shores of the swamp, afraid to enter and equally afraid to leave.  Courage and readiness are needed - a willingness to risk it all in order to find the passage.

Cast away all concerns for this life. Be an outcast from human society.  Sever worldly ties.  Throw away attachment to friends and hostility to enemies. 
~Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
Clarifying the Natural State

Some seekers might expect that destroying the cognitive illusion would put one in direct contact with the higher consciousness of Source Awareness.  In my experience, it doesn't.  Conscious illusions have a shadow, an after-glow or memory that stands between consensual consciousness and Source Consciousness (Awareness, Tau, God). This intermediate realm can have an initial appearance of shadowy, ill-defined nature in silhouette.

The swamp appears as a reservoir of fears and other things we find generally unpleasant as, hidden within the subconscious, much of it simply hasn't been looked at carefully.  Finding oneself in such a hazy realm without a solid self-identity is disorienting and, at times, simply terrifying.  It's best, even necessary, to retreat from the consensual realm to put all focus on the challenges that lie ahead.  Keep energy levels up.  It's dangerous to try to do too much; you can't well-afford to break down here.  Anger and frustration are outcomes of low energy.  Relax, meditate and recharge whenever possible.

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be on your own,
with no direction home
A complete unknown,
like a rolling stone.   
~Bob Dylan
The journey is powered by the processes of renunciation of conceptual indoctrination and purification of thought patterns; it will likely take awhile to let go of the paradigms that we mistook for reality.  Clean, purify, polish - when you think you've reached it, clean, purify and polish some more.  Purification of thought and illusion is difficult to self-assess; it's too easy to think you've reached it, but it is often merely the mind misguiding the mind.  So many self-proclaim, but have only substituted one delusion for another - a false prophet to themselves and others.

Finally, this is the way home. The sacred perspective is ordinary, familiar and nearby.  There is a sense that it lies down deep beneath the surface as opposed to high on a mountain top.  Enter the swamp and tread lightly; appearances will subside. Stillness is your guide and firmness your protector.  Lighten up and drift - downward, downward, downward - landing lightly like a feather on an asteroid. Within absolute stillness, one will the recognize the Source Awareness of the Void - the infinite Dharmakaya.

A mystical journey lies yet ahead.  The formless realm, operates in much the same way as the physical realm and important insights can be gained here. There are signposts to notice along the way: voices, visions, songs and poetry - messages from Source Consciousness left to guide you.  Discernment is required. There is a lot of misinformation that arises along the way; teachers/gurus/friends will misguide you; ego threatens constantly.  Walking the razor's edge is an adventure in perspective.

Some of you are not smiling.  You are wasting your time.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Disclaimer:  I am not a teacher.