There is no absolute existence for anything but God. No evil, etc. But for us, who see things imperfectly, different things exist relative to our progress. Thus certain things impel us to turn away from God, and others guide us toward Him.
If we were to abide in the perfection of our nature, there would be no perception of otherness and separation, and no room for speech in the context of self-definition.
So there exists a world of relativities, an illusory world because it exists only insofar as we perceive differentiation in God’s creation. The very perception of this world, and the judgments we use to erect it, and the failings we possess which hinder us from seeing beyond it, are proofs of the interposition of “self” between us and God.
Otherwise, we would be capable of seeing past this veil, and recognize that “all things are of God”.
But we cannot lift this veil through judgment and discrimination, or by analysis, because these tools require knowledge to function. And it is our very acceptance of ignorance, in the guise of relative understanding, as knowledge, which creates the sense that the self has validity.
What is knowledge, and how can we approach understanding? True understanding is a comprehension of the reality of something, apart from its appearance. But since the reality of all things is that they are reflections of the attributes of God, we have access only to our perceptions of things, and no direct intercourse with the thing itself (refer to the argument of the noumenon).
Our truest relationship is not one of knowing truth, then, but of leaving it to its mystery and engaging it directly. In this state judgment is not possible, but experience is. Take for example the lover and his beloved. In the moments of purest engagement, one does not enjoy the moment while reflecting and considering the quality of that enjoyment. At such a time the beloved simply is, and her being is its own proof, leaving no further questions.
Self, then, is a blindness to our lack of division from things. By desiring to establish a “knowable” sense of permanency, as apart from the faith inherent in trusting our own eternity, we devise a world which we claim as our creation – although mostly it is more unpleasant than it is enjoyable. But we can at least own this, and since one cannot be secure in unknown realities, it at least gives us a fleeting sense of not being in the dark.