In general, people do not understand that they are (literally) living in an egoic illusion of mind.
In the ancient setting, people were involved in the illusory mind of the dream-state. They were not involved in anything extraordinary relative to verbal sophistication and conceptual mind. They lived in a very straightforward sensory context, from day to day, in the waking state—but the dream-mind was the form of mind in which they were principally (or most deeply) involved, and to which they reached for help, and consolation, and wisdom. If you examine the most ancient (and, even now, traditional) literature, you will see that it is the literature of people who took the dream-mind to be the senior reality—the reality that (in their understanding) indicated their real, true, and ultimate destiny. And that dream-mind, or dream-“world”, was populated with the “deities”, archetypes, symbols, and whole systems of myth that became the resource of ancient (and, even now, traditional) “religion”.
In modern civilization and societies, the mind that is binding people is the waking-state mind—the complex perceptual-conceptual thinking and remembering mind that originates in the waking state. In the modern era, there is, generally speaking, no longer a great deal of depth-sensitivity to the dreamstate, and little postulating of a separate metaphysical existence for the dream- “world” and the dream-“self”. Characteristically, people of the modern (and rather secularized, or de-sacralized) era presume there is no reality to “other worlds”—because people of the modern era no longer think of the dream-mind as an alternative (or metaphysically, separately, and independently existing) reality. During their waking hours, people of the modern era typically presume they are “in” the only “real world”—which, to them, means the physical “world”. In actuality, however, such people are merely in the waking-state mind—not in the Real (or non-mental) “world”, not in the “world” As “it” Is (Prior to mind), and, indeed, not “in” any thing at all that is not merely the perceptual-conceptual mind itself. Therefore, being “in” and of mind-only, they do not recognize the apparent perceptual-conceptual “world” As “it” Is.
In the modern era, people have a weak dream-mind but a strong perceptualconceptual (or waking-state) mind. The waking-state mind is the illusory mind of the modern human being. The waking-state mind—rather than the dreammind— is the mind in which the modern human being is trapped. However, the waking-state mind is, itself, a kind of dream-mind—because, like any form of mind, the waking-state mind is a perceptual-conceptual structure, patterned by the brain, and “experienced” entirely and exclusively within the limits and confines of its own patterns and states.
Even every moment of perception is memory-only. The psycho-physical (and “point-of-view”-bound) apparatus of perception naturally introduces a timelapse (or registering-and-recording interlude), to enable the brain and nervous system to “capture” the any moment of physical (or total psycho-physical) perception.
Every moment of conceptual activity (or conventional human “knowing”) is subordinate to all memory-based perceptual activity—because all conceptual activity is subsequent to inherently “late” perceptions, and always only as an exercise of the totally memory-based brain-body (or generalized psycho-physical) formulations of pre-recorded “experience” (or even imagination and illusion).
What the “experiencing” (or perceiving and “knowing”) “self” presumes to be the “objectively real world” is (always) a mere facsimile, made of the “substance” of the perceiving body-mind-complex itself.
Even the “experiential facsimile” that is conventionally presumed to be a perceptual rendering (or immediate reflection) of the “objectively real world” (“out there”) is (itself, and in actuality) a construct of the process of “experiencing”— and that “construct” is an “experiential” appearance that is entirely fabricated by (and of) the space-time-“located” (or “point-of-view”-defined and memory-defined) “self” (within an otherwise indefinable and un-“knowable” context of actuality).
Truly, human perceptual and conceptual “experience” does not directly indicate (or, otherwise, prove) either the actuality or the apparent characteristics of any specific (definable or quantifiable) “objectively real world out there”—just as no space-time-“located” (or “point-of-view”-bound) “self” is able to perceive or “know” what are the apparent characteristics of even a simple room (or, otherwise, the total universe), if the room (or the total universe) were viewed as an actual totality (and, thus, from all possible “points of view” in space and time, simultaneously). Truly, no human psycho-physical “point of view” is able to perceive or “know” what even a single “thing” (or whatever “objectified” anything) is. The humanly “experienced” waking-state “world” is never (itself) an actual “objectively real world out there”—because such a “world” would, necessarily, stand “outside”, and apart from, and independent of—and would never, itself, be changed by—any process of merely perceiving “it”.