So the dreaming mind creates a world around it which is not real. That is what is meant by maya – illusion. By “illusion” it is not meant that the world is not, the noise outside on the street is not – it is. But as it is, we can never know it unless the dreaming mind inside stops. For one person a noise may be music – for someone else, just disturbance. In one moment you may not be aware of the noise. In another you will become aware. In some moments you will tolerate it, in some moments it will become unbearable, intolerable. The noise is the same, the street is the same, the traffic is the same – but your dreaming mind changes.
With your dreaming mind, the whole thing around you takes on new colors. When we say the world is illusion, maya, it does not mean that the world is not – it is. But as we see it, that seeing is illusion. It is nowhere to be found. So when someone is awakened, it is not that this world just disappears, but that the world known by him before his awakening disappears completely. An altogether new world – an objective world – comes in its place. All the colors that were given by you – all the shapes, all the meanings and interpretations that were given by you according to your dreaming mind are no more.
As far as this world of maya – this world of illusion, this world of projection – is concerned we never live in one world. Each man lives in his own world. And there are as many worlds as there are dreaming persons. I am not the same to each one of you: each one projects something onto me. I am one as far as I am concerned. But if I myself am dreaming, then even for me I am different each moment – for each moment my interpretation will differ. If I am awakened, then I am the same. Buddha says somewhere, that the test of the enlightened one is that he is the same always – just like seawater: anywhere, everywhere, it is salty.
If I am awakened, then for me I am the same – not only in this life, but I have been the same in all lives that have gone. I have been the same for eternity. The real me has remained the same. It is unchangeable. Only the projection changes: the screen remains the same. The film changes, the picture change, but the screen is never seen – you see the picture projected on it. When there is no projection, then you see the screen, otherwise the screen is never seen. And the screen remains the same. The picture changes – and you see a change in me. If I am awakened I will be the same for me, but you will look at me in so many ways – because you will come to me with your dreaming mind, which will project. To one person I may look like a friend and to someone else I may look like an enemy: he will project himself.
We create a world around ourselves, and everyone lives in his own world. That is why there is a collision: worlds collide, your world and mine. So when two persons begin to live in one room, there are two worlds living there, and the collision is inevitable. There are not only two persons living in the room – the room has enough space for two persons – but the room has not enough space for two worlds. Whenever there are two persons in a room, there are two worlds.