The word maya is used in the non-dual traditions to describe consciousness’s ability to assume a form with which it seems to limit itself. It is the power that a screen possesses to appear as a landscape and, as such, seem to veil itself with its own creativity. From this perspective maya is often translated as ‘illusion,’ that is, the ability of infinite consciousness, the self-aware screen, to appear as something other than itself, which it now knows from the perspective of a separate subject within its own dream. However, the illusion is only such from the limited and ultimately imaginary perspective of the separate subject of experience that seems to come into existence as a result of consciousness’s veiling power.
Maya, as illusion, is the activity of the mind through which infinite consciousness brings manifestation out of its own being into apparent existence. It is its own cause. However, from the point of view of consciousness, its ability to assume innumerable names and forms does not create the illusion of a world, but is rather seen and experienced as an ever-changing outpouring of itself within itself in order to realise, manifest and enjoy the endless flow of its own infinite potential in form. Thus, the deeper meaning of the word maya is ‘creativity,’ the process by which consciousness manifests itself as an ever-changing flow of experience without ever ceasing to be and know itself alone.
In other words, the veiling of consciousness is only such from the perspective of the separate subject of experience. From the perspective of a separate self, maya is an illusion; from the perspective of consciousness, it is an expression of its own inherent freedom and creativity, with which its never-changing reality appears in the form of ever-changing experience.
Thus, when the apparently separate self is divested of its self-assumed limitations and stands revealed as the true and only self of infinite awareness, maya ceases to be a veiling power and is experienced as a revealing power, and in correspondence with this change, objective experience, which once seemed to veil consciousness, now shines within it.
Consciousness knows itself in and as the totality of experience. Even our darkest moods shine with the light of its knowing. This ability of consciousness to be, know or become anything other than itself is the experience of love, which admits no separation, objectivity or otherness. Thus, from the perspective of consciousness, creation is a manifestation of love.
Rupert Spira, The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter.