"Did you ever feel like an alien who somehow became stranded on a planet called Earth where nothing seemed to make any sense?" A quote from "Ming The Merciless"
Recovering from civilization can be brutal but neccessary if we are to become truly free from it's influence. Kick the civilization habit here!
What if you suddenly discovered that the person you think you are and the world you think is real is actually just a product of your mind's ability to create imaginary realities and for some reason one day you woke up and decided that one of those realities was the real actual world and that your imaginary image of yourself was also the real you? But you are not aware of making such a decision, or perhaps it was not convenient for you to remember at the time. This is the fundamental process by which we deceive ourselves into believing whatever is comfortable and pleasant for us to believe. But, what happened to the real world? Where did it go? Is there even a real world at all?
In order for us to deceive ourselves on a regular basis, we have to figure out a way to get away with it so we don't have to be aware of what we are doing, at least until the act of self deception becomes a habit we no longer pay attention to and so do not realize what we are doing. The best way is to create an imaginary identity of ourselves and then create an imaginary reality for our imaginary identity to live in and superimpose both on the real world and then give that reality the power of our attention until we actually believe that it is the real world. Once the replacement is complete, we are good to go, we can just create any deception that serves our needs and desires and because it all fits into our imaginary reality we won't have to be faced with things like personal responsibility.
I know, this is dancing dangerously close to the edge of sanity, but don't we all live in some kind of bubble world where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day? Think about it. If we actually perceived that imaginary identity as the real us and that imaginary reality as the real world and believed it, wouldn't it seem to be real to us? Think of the wonderful benefits of such an arrangement, not the least of which is that we don't have to really cope with the actual real world in which all things are changing every second of every moment in time, which demands a great deal of personal awareness and responsibility that constitutes the process of maturing into an adult life form and leaving behind our adolescent self serving level of development.
I know this all sounds crazy, but it is actually the real situation in our world today. I like to think that is has come about as a response to the overwhelming nature of the world we have created as a result of our long term neglect and complacency. And it might not be so bad except for the fact that all this was done by the adolescent mind, which means that not only is the new ego identity likely to be underdeveloped and immature, but the version of reality or the new world that we create is also likely to be a little sideways as well.
I stumbled upon this myself as a result of my desire to raise my level of self awareness through meditation. When we fool around with self awareness, things are likely to happen out of nowhere at weird times and places. In my case it was while I was driving my car. I have always considered myself an excellent driver and when I'm out there on the streets it's all about me against a world full of morons who can't drive worth spit! I rant, I rave, I wonder where my box of hanganades (a kind of nerf handgranade) has gotten to, I wonder why there is never a hanganade around when I need one. I imagine pushing a button and a fifty caliber machine gun rises up from the hood, and my mind is consumed with thoughts of destruction. I was so bitchin and everyone else in the whole world was dysfunctional.
I drove around like this for decades, my beautiful daughter watched me behave like this and learned, and then self awareness kicked in and I saw myself clearly for just one brief moment in time. OMG! Who was this person? What kind of world did this person live in? Actions speak louder than words and my behavior gave it all up. Of course, back then I wasn't strong enough to deal with such intense revelations all at once, but the door was opened a crack, and in time I began to learn some very unpleasant things about myself and that allowed me to change them.
But it was the realization of how I could have been living in such a strange reality and be such a strange person for so long that ultimately enabled me to begin to dismantle that world and begin living in the actual here and now, which is the only time and place that the real world and the real us can exist. Also, I keep a close watch on the activities of my mind these days. I never again want to suddenly wake up and find that I have been living in a conceptual representation of reality created by my own mind for the purpose of avoiding the realization of who and what I really am and what the real world is truly like. I never again want to find myself living in a world of thoughts rather than the world of direct experience where I can feel the sun on my skin, feel the vibrations we call sounds, see the vivid colors of the rich tapestry of life and the beautiful environment that host it.
There is a great e-book that explores self deception and power here.