Lay spirituality and life in the world
All in all I believe that for us laymen life "in the world" is more congenial, also because our research never goes beyond the self ... and the self is present everywhere and in every time.
And here are my reflections on this issue.
The individual I (ego) arises from the reflection of consciousness in the mirror of the mind. An identification superimposition with the observed object. The object is the body-mind that reacts in relation (to contact) with other external objects.
The moment that, in self-knowledge, the fictitious identity with the agent disappears, what remains is the pure awareness of the Self. It is therefore not necessary, for the purpose of realization, that the images - the world and the observer - disappear, it is sufficient for the false identity with the reflected object / subject (ego) to disappear. This means that the world can safely continue to manifest itself not being perceived as a separate reality, much like a dream could be compared to the dreamer. At this point the Self and the manifestation of him are seen as the exact same thing while the sense of the separative self (of the me and the other) is obliterated. Ultimately dualism is only self-ignorance.
The sage watches the actions unfold without there being any propensity or intention or judgment in him. Spontaneously everything happens conveniently and consequently to the designated "destiny". Destiny is the response to the natural interaction (and predisposition) of the various elements involved ... Since everything happens automatically, there is no "preference" in the behavior of the wise. Indeed, his own action is (apparently) intentional only in the eyes of "others", since for the wise everything happens by itself. Every event experienced simply happens in his presence and he is the silent and detached witness. His action (or state) can be compared to sleepwalking, or to sleep when awake.
And also the concept of "destiny" and action has a meaning only in the mind of the observer who is still identified with the outside, or rather of an ego that identifies with the agent and with his actions. But the moment - as already said - that this identification is destroyed, every other connected concept disappears.
Wisdom consists in remaining immune from delusion after understanding the truth. The fear of action and its consequences (karma) remains only in those who see even the slightest difference between oneself and the other. As long as there is the idea that the body / mind is the ego, one cannot be an expression of truth.
But it is certainly possible for anyone, and in any condition, to know their true nature since it is absolutely true and real, it is the unicum for everyone. In fact, the state of pure Being is common to all and is the direct experience of each one. Living one's true nature this is meant by self-realization, as the self is present here and now.
The thought of feeling separate is the only obstacle to the realization of the all-pervading and omnipresent Being. And also from the empirical point of view, identifying with the agent (ego) is an impediment to the proper functioning of the psychosomatic apparatus, in the context of global functioning. Therefore, the intellectual acceptance of the truth is already a liberating form from the intentional (rational) propensity to act. What is bound to happen will happen.
It is in everyone's experience that struggling with the question is a handicap in finding the answer. Regardless of whether you meet a teacher or not, each path is valid only for the mind. In my experience, the relationship with a teacher does not have the purpose of transmitting any doctrine or spiritual teaching but rather to perceive the "touch" or "perfume" of its realization. His words are only a subterfuge to convey his "grace" (there is no other word more pertinent and appropriate) ... spending time in his "presence" ...
And the confirmation of this comes from another great sage, Nisargadatta Maharaj, who said: "Every path leads to unreality. Paths are creations with the intention of transmitting knowledge. Therefore paths and movements (religions) cannot lead to Reality since their function is to involve you in the dimension of learning, while reality comes before this. "