In the ancient Greek theater, actors wore a mask that was called a persona — they would don a persona to play their part in stage performances.
In a somewhat similar way, the One consciousness, the Self, dons all personas and acts on the stage of manifest life, playing all roles.
In other words, for the purpose of experience, this One, (that we all are at the core of our being) goes into a condition of ‘dreaming’ that it is each individual person and plays as if it’s all real.
Part of this grand drama is losing sight of this fundamental truth and then believe, “I am this person and this is my life”.
All the harm and suffering in the world happens because the One behind the mask is not recognized — and the play becomes less a comedy and more of a tragedy.
So we (the persona) get lost in the world, suffer, then desire to return home, hungry to awaken out of the dream of separate self existence.
At some point, comes the capacity to consciously reflect. We can then shift our attention or ‘pull back’ deeper than the persona and become aware of the one that is aware of thoughts, emotions, and all sense perceptions. We ‘float’ here or rest as that one and look to see who we are — nobody. What is here is boundless consciousness itself; never changing, never moving, always present.
From this fundamental realization, then, we play our part in this grand drama, with a confidence that we are always that formless One, free, at peace with itself, bringing awakened awareness to the world dream.