Presumably, whatever we may think, the truth is that we all actually live in the same world, but obviously, we don’t all agree upon the “true nature” of our one, shared, so-called “objective reality” nor do we all necessarily agree that it even exists. How can we say “what’s what” when all of our experiences are personal and subjective and none of us can actually see the whole “big picture”?
One often hears people say things like, “Everything is consciousness” but, while I think that there is something to this line of reasoning, I also think that it isn’t an exactly accurate representation of the actual nature of the thing that we are talking about. To try to understand what we are talking about when we discuss the nature of reality, and to avoid the pitfalls of confusion, we have to know exactly what we mean when we say “Consciousness”, and we also have to understand what we mean when we say “Awareness”, because these two things, which may appear to be the same thing, are not really the same thing.
Consciousness is a form of awareness. Your consciousness lives in you and my consciousness lives in me. Consciousness is a little thing defined and bounded by the limits of its own form and perspective. You are self-conscious and may be conscious of other things as well. Consciousness is a reflection, and a little thing that takes place within the greater “sea” of awareness. Awareness is the “Big Thing”.
Awareness is the same everywhere. Your unique consciousness is not the same as mine because each of these things is only one part of the “whole big thing”. Consciousness may try to question its own personal reflection of reality in an attempt to produce valid answers, but all it can produce is interpretation. Awareness is not like that. Awareness asks no questions and lacks no answers. Awareness is the “Big Truth” that everything is.
Everything is made of, and everything exists within awareness, but that does not mean to say that awareness can be consciously understood. It means exactly the opposite of that, in fact, and this potentially confusing situation can cause some of us to choose to believe that awareness does not actually even exist but, rather, that it is merely a mysterious illusion somehow created, perhaps by matter. Reality is what it is, but your part of that depends on what you make of it.