Cconsider a production of William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”. On the stage, a great drama unfolds, shaped by prejudice, youthful beauty, romance, joy, delight, love, fear, anger, despair, faith, death – the stuff of all our lives. But none of it is real. None of the characters is real, none of the emotions is real, none of the action actually occurs. There is no such person as “Romeo”, there is no such person as “Juliet”. They were never born, they never loved, they never died. It is all an illusion. The only reality in that context consists of Shakespeare as author, the actors as players, and ourselves as audience. All of those know the play is an illusion, and that all that is real is themselves. But still, the play is performed again and again, and again and again we laugh and we cry. As if it were real.
Likewise, what you and we each call “my life” is thoroughly an illusion. Here, we do not truly know what is Real because each of us has taken on the identity of “me”, the principal character in “my life”. And just as neither “Romeo” nor “Juliet” is real, neither is “me”; and just as neither “Romeo” nor “Juliet” can know Shakespeare, neither can the separate, separative (“I am me, and you aren’t”) self of our lives know our Reality. For that, we must transcend the character, and recognize and resume our True Identity in and as and with (choose a preposition) the Author, the Source, the Supreme, the One, God (choose a label).
That is the spiritual process, transforming our current sense of identity bit by bit until finally it is transcended altogether, and we “Know I Am”. Then, we Realize we never were the character, that we have never been born and cannot die, that in Truth there is no such thing as “me”, and that What Is always was and always will be.