Watching a sunset is an illusory experience. It is impermanent and insubstantial. The sun will come and go, as will the clouds, colors, and the eyes that are looking at it. Yet, Beauty is eternal. The sunset is one of the infinite expressions of beauty, harmony, creativity, Divine order, etc.
The recognition of beauty occurs in individual consciousness. If one missed the sunset, beauty might be seen in the rain or the oil slick. One who is aware and appreciative of beauty sees it everywhere.
The words on this page are an “illusion.” They are symbols that have no meaning by themselves. The meaning of these words occurs in consciousness. There is a thought being expressed. Once the thought has been expressed and understood – there is no need for the illusory symbols called letters, grammar, and written language. Written words do not create understanding, understanding is an “Aha!” moment that takes place in individual consciousness.
The same phenomenon is occurring in our lives. Thoughts that are in consciousness, of which we can be both aware and unaware, express themselves as images, sound, emotions, physical sensations, life experiences. They are all symbols expressing the content of individual consciousness.
For example, one might be in the view of a beautiful sunset, but due to agitation concerning a troubling life situation, the sunset is neither seen nor appreciated. The agitation has taken over awareness. The awareness of eternal beauty is not available, even though it is present.
At that moment, there is an issue that needs to be addressed. What is in the way of addressing it with clarity is the agitation. What is agitation? It is the emotional/physical expression of a frightening thought. Perhaps a thought such as: “If I don’t solve this problem by tonight I’ll be fired.” The fear and agitation is the shadow/illusion/experience that is expressing the fearful mental content (also illusion) that is in the way of clarity (eternal spiritual substance).
While the fear and agitation is an illusion – it is still an honest expression of what we are really thinking, but are perhaps too frightened or embarrassed to face.
There is an issue that needs the light of clarity and intelligence. The Sunlight(clarity), is blocked by an obstacle (“I have to solve this or else”), and the focus is distracted by the shadow (experience of agitation).