Ordinary consciousness is a much more profound state of trance than the hypnotic state according to Dr. Charles Tart. It is a consciousness that few wake up from; which continues on most of our lives. We may protest because we believe that what we know and perceive is real when, in fact, it is not. This consciousness according to the Buddha is like a magician's illusion. We are so awed by the world illusion that we don't question how the trick is done. We are unable awaken from consciousness seeing how it works. We have, to a certain extent, been trained to fight off awakening.
Instead of taking the blue pill described in the film, The Matrix, we have been in a trance since even before our birth. No blue pill is necessary. The modern world is much more diabolical. If we wish to awaken from this trance or what Dr. Tart calls consensus consciousness and the consensus trance, we have to self-awaken which means, as the subject in consciousness, we must transcend abjectness, or the same, see the unconditioned Mind. It is quite a daunting task since we are imprisoned by conditioned objectivity; unable to penetrate through this wall.
To break through the grip of consciousness, it comes as somewhat of a huge surprise to behold a pure object which is not really an object which, at the same time, swallows up we the subject in which is revealed the true state of reality. In what seems like an instant we awaken seeing what we were unable to see before: seeing the substance or essence of phenomena. In seeing this essence, phenomena become empty. In respect to our new position, it makes no difference whether things arise or cease. The substance or essence is unaffected by either arising (becoming something) or cessation. The unborn or unconditioned alone is reality. Phenomena are just its expressions or functions. Zen master Mazu will put it this way: "The conditioned is the function of the unconditioned; the unconditioned is the essence of the conditioned."
Consciousness is self-deception by which we, as the subject, mis-take some conditioned object to be essence, or the same, to be our self (ātman). We as subjects are always trying to find the truth of our self as object in the form of: this is mine, I am this, this is my self. The problem, however, is the object is never other than conditioned. The subject ends up following the conditioned in the belief that he might one day discover his true self. He never does—not in this manner.