While it may sound trite, the fact I see is that we each carry deeply set expectations, wishes or desires for our life, that are not obvious until they are disappointed, lost or 'broken', as a broken life.
I often refer to these as patterns arising from (personal and collective) separation trauma, and by any number of other ways of looking, but in the illusion of them, we 'sleep' in an illusion of freedom. Not unlike a seed in its husk or a embryo in the egg or womb.
The breaking an illusion or masking persona of the self and world is built into the human experience simply because illusion is a temporary bias that cannot be forever maintained.
My first response was to say that our world is predicated on an illusion of freedom, but I paused to offer some context. The term illusion can be used merely to invalidate or deny, and the claim of the right to invalidate or deny another's illusion, is the basis of our own as 'closer to truth' in a realm of judgement that can also be called 'self-will' set in conflict as a bias upon a true and total state of communication (or life).
So in our learned and acquired frame of reference, we are in the experience of contraction, compression and pain of fear (conflict) of loss. We seek to defend the invested illusions that we haven't recognised as not just baggage, but distortions operating counter to a true need.
The mask will not go back on, nor can we get 'back' to what was before. Regardless of the agency and means by which the 'world' is broken, betrayed, denied, or brought to such a timing.
What I mean by that is that we cannot un-have our experience, though we may try to regress by intensely investing in masking narratives that divert from knowing what we know. And in such a way as to generate impenetrable confusion that effects 'darkness' as the condition in which to restate or reiterate a sense of possession and control held separate and apart - yet 'joined' in masking virtues, set against feared and hated evils.
No matter what, we have and are the freedom to choose illusion, because truth cannot be thrust or forced upon us. Conditions can seem to be forced upon us. But these are part of (personal and collective) freedom to give and receive meaning - as desired or valued experience, and as the structures through which to organise and align our experience.
The meanings we are receiving, are part of a responsibility, or power, that we wanted to get rid of, deny or cast out. In any real relationship, we have to give or accept another's freedom as the basis for recognising our own and through such an appreciation or recognition, live the process of communication and exchange that is life (that we are).
While I hold prayer to be not other than desire, and true desire to be life unmasked to our being, there is a well known 'prayer' that I can use here to illustrate a point;
"Forgive (release) us our illusions, as we forgive (release) them in others.
The underlying meaning of which, is tangibly restored to a felt and shared or extended alignment in life as virtue, in place of the mind-trap of the attempt to possess and control life by masking in virtue - and be-living our own spin.
I write this to what runs beneath. While we share in this world we have responsibility and freedom of thought - from which we align in or arrive at meanings, accepted experience, of perception and response. If fear has been revealed as unresolved conflicts, then there is a conscious freedom to choose to NOT persist in the conflict, but to align in the desire for resolution, which may open perspectives that change my mind about what the conflict is - and where it is - because we are expert in making sure that we do not see, what we are not ready or willing to see, and can therefore always see something else or find reason to make virtue of NOT seeing under any pretext whatsoever.
Awakening to freedom, is a result of opening deep fear. The illusion or substitute 'freedom', depends on keeping the fear hidden. Unconscious. If the mind-mask over truth becomes itself so fearful as to offer no protection, its core function and basis for any claim to our allegiance is undermined. In the way I am using the terms mask and illusion, the practical basis of freedom is to share in our being, in place of normalised sacrifice to the mask.
If we look out and 'see' our own reactions, judgements and patterns of normalised internal narrative, we don't really look up from the mesmerism of our own 'thinking' that runs its own seemingly private and distanced or masked off realm that we may say is 'in our head' but projects to everyone and everywhere. If it was truly thinking it would join us with everyone, everywhere. But the messengers of truth must be denied to maintain the face and illusion of control.
There is already coherency, order, alignment and purpose, moving in our lives that doesn't have to be defined, patented, marketed, funded and harnessed as a weapon set against a chaos of our own making, so as to exploit the forms of truth to refine the system of its replacement.
What can replace truth but illusion passing off as true - in the mind that chooses by focusing in its currently accepted desire?