Humans want to know what's real, what's reality, what's true. We have explored the outside world and our inner worlds for millennia, and we seem to still not be sure what is absolutely real. I think the issue might be that what is really real is not something that can be seen or communicated through language at our dualistic level of perception. We have to transcend duality experientially and consciously in order to know the "really real," sometimes called the Nondual, the One, the Real, the Absolute, or God. Perhaps only at that level of consciousness may we come to truly know what is ultimately Real and True.
Many religious people believe that the spirit or soul is the ego-self, our personality, the person we think we are in our heads, our psychological "self," with all our memories and experiences and relationships, etc. But none of this existed at our birth.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali author, poet, essayist, playwright, novelist, composer, and painter. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, the first non-European to do so. He recounted the following experience that he had while in Calcutta, India.
The poem was an anthem to Emerson's belief that to 'know thyself' meant knowing the God which Emerson felt existed within each person.
Mysticism seems to be largely misunderstood. It seems to be either thought of as a kind of ethereal and vague mystery that can never be really known, or as an impractical lofty exercise that can never truly be achieved, at least in this life. For me, it is neither.
Jason Silva is a kind of wild and passionate philosopher, futurist, speaker, and TV host. He has a lot of interesting things to say. In the below video he freestyles his way through talking about how we are simultaneously gods and worms, Tolstoy, the Infinite, consciousness, transfiguration, existential panic, meditation, self-inquiry, breathing, being born again, the Light, out-of-body experience, our inner divinity, grace, ecstasy, the self, the Self, piercing the veil, and Tillich.
The veil was lifted, and he saw the Lord's finger.