The Buddha teaches that our world is a conditioned world. It is something formed or constructed. Because it is conditioned it cannot be absolute. In this respect, it is always 'becoming' which also implies it is impermanent. Today's new car is, in twenty-years, a junk heap. Today's baby will eventually become an adult. My body of twenty years of age is today's dung bag. It is hard to escape looking at the world this way. No, it is not a pleasant picture. We are doomed to growing older, getting sick, and eventually dying (usually with much sorrow).
Conditionality serves as the cornerstone of our great universe with all of its galaxies. We are always reminded of it every single day. If we are not aware of it, then we need to be. We will, in time, be devoured by this conditioned world. In many ways, we have to learn to cope with it in order to lessen the blow of impermanence. It will not disappear on its own accord.
Given the fact that our world is conditioned, for us, there is only one thing that is unconditioned (S. asamskrita) this is nirvana (which comes in many different epithets such as the 'island', 'refuge', 'immortal', 'unborn', etc.). If we were to realize nirvana, in this seeming omnipresent sea of conditionality and suffering, we would see an essence or substance that ever remains unaffected by the tumultuous state we find ourselves in. Let's put it this way: if the conditioned is like waves, the unconditioned is water. Using a more subtle illustration, if we are only aware of our thoughts be they pleasant or painful, with nirvana we would see the very substance of our thoughts. As we might look at this essence, more and more, the thoughts would be seen to be illusory. They eventually lose their sound and fury including all of their sensual passion.
To achieve final release from conditioned existence implies seeing, exactly, what is unconditioned, unborn, increate, and so on. It is not a matter of just being aware of the conditioned—it is, instead, a matter of realizing nirvana, directly, in our very self (S., pratyâtma). In a number of respects this is the end of our conditioned journey and the beginning of our unconditioned journey. With nirvana all our practices effect a disenchantment with the conditioned world, a turning away from our bewitching thoughts and a turning away from the foolishness of the external world having the vision of things as they really are from the perspective of nirvana.
It is not an authentic turning away from conditionality without having first attained nirvana. There must first be something to turn to. With disenchantment, there cannot be authentic disenchantment without first beholding the immortal; that which is truly blissful and eternal. We are deluding ourselves by trying to imitate nirvana. But we are also deluding ourselves by becoming hedonists, chasing after pleasure and wallowing in materialism.