The sages have always said that what your experiencing now is the illusion. It is like they say that you carry the keys to your own prison. That the one is completely responsible of freeing him/herself from this prison. This comes the story that we tell ourselves about everything that goes on. We even go as far as to make up this whole character doing things in the world, that is controlling a plethora of outcomes, events, and relationships. This is called the doer or the one who is involved, and it is this something that needs to feel important. This is the sole catalyst to the perpetuation to the illusion.
It is not the case that things are not happening, because it can be seen that things are indeed happening. The fiction lies with the “doer” doing the things. There is no illusion with the tree being a tree or a bird being a bird (although these are all labels based for human convenience) but what is always unchecked is this assumption that there is something doing things and getting things done. Where is that then, the body is obviously doing things based on its survival on its own regardless of whether there is this thought to tell it what to do or not to do.
So to put it into perspective, first there is reality, the bare bones of what is going on, what is actually going on. Then there is the “doer” in which all these events are happening to, emotions are happening to, decisions are happening to, etc. The thought of a doer creates this grand fantasy going on around itself, so that it can maintain some illusion of what is actually going on. This is all in the head, most of the time it is what we refer to as a “day dream” and sometimes it is bad enough to where the body/mind will not even remember how it got somewhere or any intricate detail about going from location A to location B. It is like driving through a beautiful landscape but the fantasy of a fight between the person and his lover is taking place inside of the mind, and therefore he does not recollect a single beautiful site that took place along the drive. That is what the sages are referring to when they say that your world is the illusion. It has nothing to do with what is actually being seen or what is actually being experienced as being the illusion; those mountains, hillsides, wind, grass flowing so gently to be illusory but the filter of this “doer” that is putting on reality that makes your world the illusion.
This phantom person tends to splice in the dream world with reality like Tom Cruise does in Vanilla Sky just before he “donates” his body to the Life Extension program. It adds potentially a vast amount of flavor to the world, but with every potential, the pendulum swings both ways, which is why the Nightmare often presents itself. Things don’t quite go according to plan and the individual finds himself suffering because that expectation of the world begins to clash with Reality. There is nothing wrong with the dream but if you’re willing to lock yourself in the cell of illusion, you have to be willing to take responsibility for crushed dreams or nightmares as well. Innevitably it will come down to the choice of staying in the dream (and most people will choose to stay there until they are absolutely fed up with it) or to wake up. To open your eyes to what is going on.
There is nothing easier to be said then what is going on is that you are the dream, there never was a you, there is only ever reality. There is no doer, but only the experience, and even the experiences and fantasies are part of the experience. They are within it and always will be!