There comes a moment when a person realizes they're more than their physical body. This is when they start seeking answers from beyond the mainstream materialistic society. This could be considered the beginning of Spiritual Awakening, but there's much more to Awakening than simply realizing you aren't the physical body. When people stop associating their self with the body, they usually associate self with the thing that caused them to think they were the body in the first place, the mind.
The mind is the only place illusion can “exist”. In fact, it is the illusion. The mind is consciousness disconnected from Source, which isn't really consciousness at all, but unconsciousness. The mind isn't connected with Truth, God, which leads to misinterpretation of experience. In this one is able to ignore their Higher Senses and believe the physical senses are the only connection to reality. Now, the physical senses don't lie to you. For instance, your sight is only a translation of vibrations of Energy. It's the assumptions one makes about what one sees that are the illusions, and this only happens within the mind. Everything is One, it's not your eyesight that makes things appear to be separate, it's an idea inside the mind. In associating self with the illusionary mind, one is able to ignore the Higher Senses, where they'd be able to directly experience their Oneness, and instead focus on separation. The mind is able to fool itself into thinking the physical senses actually prove the illusions of the mind.
When one begins to let go of the physical, they usually feel emptiness, nothingness, void. Compared to the franticness of the physical, this feels peaceful, so they begin to think this void is the Spiritual Realm. In Reality, the Spiritual Realm isn't empty at all, but the Essence of Fullness. Not darkness, but a Light beyond light. It's Peacefulness in motion, not static like the nothingness. It's an overabundance of the Love called God, overflowing into Everything. The void one feels isn't the Spiritual Realm at all, it's the mind seen for what the mind really is.
One must go through the void to reach the Light at the end of the tunnel. Within the limitations of the mind, it's easy to fool oneself into thinking they've reached the end of the journey or to believe one is stuck and can't move forward. The mind, the illusion, is just a thought that runs around in circles. You can tell you're stuck in a loop because you keep passing the same point over and over again. Your experiences keep repeating themselves. Within the experience is the key to breaking the loop, you just have to be willing to let go of, and see outside the boxes of the mind.
Within the mind is an image of what is believed to be the self, this is called ego. You already have a self, what do you need a self image for? The Core of Who You Are is Love and you're already One with God, it's simply a matter of remembering this. What keeps people from realizing this is that they believe they already know who they are. The ego is what gets in the way of the True Self. For the mind to be in control, it needs the host to associate their self with the illusion, and this is the function of the ego.
To the ego, the mind is god. Now, I'm sure this is going to rub some people the wrong way. One might say, god is the one in control of the universe, god is everything, or god is mysterious and unknowable, but as long as these are only your beliefs, your god is only your beliefs and your beliefs only exist within your mind. The god worshiped by most people is only in their minds. Rarely do people equate the mind and god. When it's put so simply it's easy to see it's not true, but the connection is there unconsciously. The illusion wouldn't have lasted as long as it has if the mind wasn't a master at fooling itself.
People believe if they change their beliefs, they can change their reality and they believe this shows the power of beliefs. Since what's in their minds controls their reality, and god is the one that controls reality, the mind must be god, right? Well, there is no “their reality”. Reality is not something you control, it's shared Equally. If “your reality” doesn't include Everything and Everyone, expanding Multi-dimensionally, “your reality” isn't Reality at all, but illusion. One can change their beliefs all day long and their whole world shifts accordingly, but that doesn't prove that their beliefs have any effect on Reality, only that the world is an illusion. Your world is an illusion. I can prove this quite simply. Look at a map of the world and compare it to a picture of the Planet. See the difference? See how the world is divided up by lines while the Planet is whole? See how the world is flat while the Planet is a sphere? I couldn't hope for a better illustration of how the world is a 2-dimensional dualistic understanding, an illusion.
To those that can't see beyond the mind, things like beliefs, knowledge, needs, desires and fears are their whole world. They can't imagine other people experiencing a Reality beyond beliefs, beyond knowing, so they just pretend it doesn't exist. They see how they are able to manipulate their illusions, and that their illusions aren't the same as their neighbor's illusions, so they reason that everyone must create their own reality and that a larger Reality doesn't exist, or is somewhere outside of themselves. These are people to watch out for. They've created a world they believe they're in control of, and are usually quite eager to share their illusions with others. These people will read my words and call me a hypocrite because I'm sharing my beliefs, but if you really understand what I'm saying here, you'll realize I'm breaking down beliefs, not building them up. Beliefs are the mind are the illusion. Of course, if you can't see beyond the mind, my words will just appear to be beliefs.
In your Heart is your connection to Reality. Everyone has a Heart, everyone is able to feel Reality in any Moment. Few are choosing this though, because the Truth doesn't match up with the illusions in their mind, so they discard their experience and go with their beliefs. Reality is a big place, it's quite intimidating to the mind. The mind lives in a tiny world that it thinks it understands, but when Reality is Present, it's easy for the Being to see this world for the illusion that it is. So the mind builds itself around ignorance of Reality, so it can maintain its illusions of control. People feel safe when they believe they understand what's going on, and the gap between illusion and Reality is so big that few are daring to make the leap.
Now, many believe that thoughts are a function of the mind, and without the mind they wouldn't be able to think. This is putting the cart before the horse. The mind is made out of thoughts, not the other way around. Thoughts are a function of Consciousness, not the mind. The fact that you can be conscious of what's going on within the mind should be proof enough of this. Who's the One observing the mind?
The mind is actually a very limited device for thought. In fact, it's only capable of dualistic thoughts. The mind can't see thoughts beyond words, so it's necessarily limited by language. This is great if you never want to move past the illusionary world, but if you're searching for real Love and happiness, the limitations of the mind are going to quickly become obvious. Higher Thought is feeling. Often one is able to translate feelings into words, but within a language based upon illusion, the words are always going to come up short. Art is a good example of feeling beyond words. Look at a piece of art and pay attention to how it makes you feel. You could probably think of words to describe the feeling, but do the words alone encompass the piece of art? This is a good reference point to Higher-Dimensional Thought, it's a feeling that transcends words.
To move beyond the limitations of the mind, one simply breaks down the belief systems that make it up. At the beginning, this can be tricky as it can seem like your whole world is falling apart, but if one keeps stubbornly moving forward, the Light starts shining through the holes in the belief systems. Higher Thought is a reward unto itself and this makes letting go of the ways of the past much easier. When one beings trusting their Heart, what they feel, it gets easier and easier to move out of the limited fear-based thoughts of the mind and into the Higher Thoughts of Love. Just let go and trust in what you feel.