What I mean by ‘real life’ is our living in ways fully consistent with who we are at the most fundemental level.
Consider a life experienced in a dream: It seems very real while asleep, but upon waking we realise it is not our real life. Even though the range of emotions experienced while sleeping are tangible, perhaps just as tangible as those experienced in our waking life (for example, we may cry and feel sorrow intensely, or feel the ecstasy of being in love), still we readily step back from our dream … which, after all, is only a dream.
But if we carefully look at the roles we identify with in our waking state – that we normally accept as our real life – I suggest it is equally as possible to step back. In that there is similar misidentification of self going on, our waking-state-life is actually not any more (or less) real than our dreaming-state-life. In the day dream, we, an eternal spirit soul, misidentify with our body. In the night dream the we identify with a dream body.
So let us try to wake from our day dream. But not by further stripping back our misindentification of self, but by switching focus to our experience of emotion.
In both day and night dreams we experience tangible emotion. I propose that this feeling of emotion is in fact fundemental to the nature of the soul, and thus the clue to our real life. It is so fundemental that it takes place continually, and completely independant of knowledge/ignorance of self. Whether we identify with a night dream life, with a day dream life, or whether or not we have a philosophical conviction that we are spiritual beings in material bodies, etc., it doesn’t matter.
In fact we cannot at any time avoid living in a way fully consistent with who we are at the most fundemental level – a conscious emotion-feeling entity. And we do it equally well in ignorance, in knowledge, or anywhere in between.
Who we think we are at this moment in time might be false, and that might impact upon the flavour of emotion we are experiencing, but Real Life is nevetheless is happening right now.
So real life is not about knowing at all, but about feeling. It is therefore not something we need to achieve. We always have it.