If we refuse to think of anything except what we are doing or the person that we are with, we develop the habit of being present to the present moment. In a way, the present moment becomes as sacred as being in church. Far better to be present to your duty if you are a bartender, than to be present in church and to be thinking about being in a bar. At least you are present to yourself when you are paying attention to what you are doing.
Attention, then, is a way of doing what we are doing. It cracks the crust of the false self (our psychological awareness of daily life) in which we are the center of the universe while everything else is circling around our particular needs or desires. This is an illusion, but unfortunately it is the heritage we all bring with us from early life.
The human being taken in his profound reality as well as in his great tension of becoming is a divided being, a being which divides again, having permitted himself the illusion of unity for barely an instant. He divides and then reunites.
Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives us illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion...
When I compare life to a dream I do not mean to denigrate it as some sort of meaningless fantasy. Life is too wonderful to be called an "illusion" unless we whisper the word in amazement, as we might when witnessing the most astonishing magic trick. What could be more magnificent than this glorious universe, in all its multifarious extravagance? Its awesome vastness and delicate detail. Its impersonal precision and intimate intensity. Its harsh necessities and lush sensuality. This dream of life is truly marvelous.
Source: Lucid Living: A book you can read in an hour that will turn your world inside out, Pages: 12
i sat there afraid that I might discover that the world around me is not real. then i thought: wait. i need fear that only if its true, and if it is, i must consider that while this may be bad, worse than that is living in a world that is only real because i am a coward.