The mind, our minds, are always an incomplete representation of the world and of who and what we are. That representation of who we are, I, or self, is the form the I-thought took from the time we first experienced any sense of I, until the present time of your existence. The sense of I usually arises between the ages of 2 and 3-1/2.
This I-thought is the central idea or concept of your personal representation of the world and who you are, and it ties into all your maps, your concepts, regarding the world you live in: that you are a separate observer of the world, that you are an embodied human being, that you were born and will die. It also encompasses all the ideas of science, politics, economics, religion, money, society, fashion, etc., which is the totality of your conceptual mapping of your world.
You live in this matrix of thoughts which you use as your guide to how to respond to external and internal stimulii and to plan paths to get what you think you need based on these maps.
Now there are whole classes os spiritual people from Jiddhu Krishnamurti, to various Zen masters, to classic Advaita teachers, to various forms of Buddhism that hold that this world that you perceive is not real in the sense it is mostly a learned matrix of thought. They then state you have to learn how to investigate the totality of the world that lies "under" the matrix.
Unfortunately, most of the exploration of the world with a deliberately blank mind does little to counter the hold of the matrix on you. What it usually does is add the experience of emptiness or the Void onto both your experience of the world through your matrix, along with a direct perception of the world without the matrix.
You can only become free of the matrix once you discover it in its totality by untying or disconnecting it from your I-thought. Once you see the folly of the I-thought, that it is only a conceptual mapping of who you are, and with that insight, "see" and understand that the entire conceptual matrix that you have considered yourself to be, was fake, a construct of learning and immersion in the universal conceptual matrix of mankind.
This is the First Freedom: freeing yourself from the matrix. But this is just the first step.
From here you enter a life of not-knowing, of being "dumb as a rock," with words seemingly unable to enter your mind and make any sense at all. You are like a baby, immersed once again in raw data that makes no sense. You may feel lost, or afraid by not having your matrix of knowledge to make sense of your world from day to day, or even decade to decade.
But, letting go of the matrix has freed you from the tyranny of mind. The filter of concepts is rejected as something unreal that you have borrowed from mother, father, and even Buddha--ways of understanding the world that give you certainty and a sense of safety.
Entering this new world of no-understanding, no-concepts, no-sense has the huge reward of allowing access to a new reality and access to raw data regarding your self and the external world, allowing you over decades to find your real Self centered around the sensation of 'I Am'.
When this 'I AM' sensation becomes totally yours you are reborn as a spokesperson for truth. No one in the world may ever recognize it, because 99.99% of those who surround you have never really freed themselves from the matrix of mind; they have just added new worlds of artificial spiritual knowledge to their own maps of their mundane world.
The hardest thing to do in existence is to free yourself by your own efforts from the matrix, because in the largest sense, before that release, you are the matrix. You identity is with your ideas of who you are. Almost no one breaks free from the matix by their own efforts alone.
It is relatively easy to fool someone still caught in their own matrix into believing in the reality or truth of some teachers because they reveal inner experiences that fall outside of your pre-guru matrix of reality. They may reveal to you an inner world of energies, or Kundalini, of a sense of Presence, the Subtle and Causal bodies, astral projection, and using intentionality to change your world, or to heal yourself or others.
But revealing new experiences that you can find within yourself is not the same as unraveling the entirety of the matrix that keeps you within a dream of an artificial reality, and, in fact, usually the teacher merely adds a new sub-matrix of his or her understanding which you incorporate into your matrix of the mundane world, your interal picture or model, and thus a cult is created, elevating that teacher and his or her followers to a status of a shared special understanding placing you above all others.
You know, if you spend any time with either a real teacher of freedom from the matrix, or a false teacher that merely adds rooms to your matrix, you would be hard put to see any difference from any other person, much to your surprise. Most seekers have ideas of what enlightenment is like or what behaviors can be expected from enlightened beings, because this is part of your acquired matrix of spiritual knowledge gotten from reading spiritual books, and also from your unmet needs of an idealized parenting that you never experienced but still search for.
So my way of teaching is different from the sequence of my own awakening, which was a sequence of realization of the unreality of the I-thought, and the consequent dissolution of my thought-matrix, living then in complete unknowing ignorance and rejection of the matrix, and finally realizing my Manifest Self, my center of sentience, aliveness, existence, and true knowledge of Self, the divine principle of sentience within.
I urge students to find the I-sensation, not the I-thought, and abide there are much as possible. Abiding there one finds a sense of complete rest, or being home. But the abiding must be accompanied by a sense of acceptance of all inner phenomena that arise as a result of turning within, otherwise it is not brought into your sense of identity. Further, this acceptance has to be a loving acceptance which gradually becomes steady and then by its permanence is recognized as an aspect the the divine Self within.
With time, that divine Self becomes the center of your being, your heart of hearts, the feeling measure of who and what you are.
The hardest thing for any student to do is to stay with a teacher that keeps exposing the unreality of your inner matrix, because it feels like an attack on you because you identify with your matrix rather than with your Manifest Self which he or she is constantly redirecting your attention towards, but which you are not yet ready to feel or see.
A true teacher is always pointing you away from your naive spiritual concepts towards your inner heart of hearts, towards your Manifest Self, and during that process of recognizing that true self within the divine sentience, you will also experience an implosion of the mundane Matrix of Thought that keeps you imprisoned in the universal dream.