The state of “I am” is at the source, and is pure being. “I am” forgoes pain and pleasure. Because all desire is centered on pain and pleasure, it comes as a surprise to find out that what I wanted all along was just to be. There are many kinds of worthwhile lives to lead. Is it worthwhile to lead the life of “I am”? You can live any way you want. By analogy, think of the world as a movie that includes everything; you cannot tell in any way that it is a movie; therefore, everyone behaves as if the scenario is real.
If you suddenly woke up and realized that nothing around you was real, what would you do? First of all, certain things would happen involuntarily. You wouldn’t be able to take other people’s drama seriously. The smallest irritants and the greatest tragedies, a pebble in your shoe and World War II, become equally unreal. Your detachment might set you apart, but you could keep it to yourself.
Motivation would also vanish, because there’s nothing to achieve in a dreamworld. Poverty is as good as a million dollars when it’s all play money. Emotional attachments would also drop away, since no one’s personality is real anymore. After you consider all these changes, not much choice is left. The end of illusion is the end of experience as we know it. What do you receive in exchange? Only reality, pure and unvarnished.
You shouldn’t pay so much attention to the movie.
If someone asks “Who are you?” every answer is misleading except “I am,” which means that we are all misled, even the miracle workers. We are the victims of mistaken identity. Our time has been spent projecting versions of reality, including versions of God, that are inadequate.