The thinking mind is like a form of hypnotism. You ever seen anyone hypnotised and told that they cannot see the colour purple? So if a man dressed all in purple came into the room and removed a cup in front of them, the hypnotised person would believe that the cup was floating out of the room in mid air all by itself. Thinking is like that. The matrix, if you are plugged into it is like that. It is a form of hypnostism. Once you become unhypnotised you see life for what it is. The world is nothing but a dream. "Only a sleeper considers it real" - Rumi
Once you know yourself as the Awareness behind thought, you become aware - you become conscious - you wake up. You become a lucid dreamer. Those that have passed have left the dream but are as alive as you and I.