Then it is all mere Maya, with which the Brahman deceives himself. – Upanishads
Here is a description of the walls and iron bars that comprise your prison. You are driven relentlessly by the will-to-life to maintain your existence and seek as much power as possible. The driver is your desires, and these can never be wholly satisfied. If your desires are not met you feel pain. This is the floor of your prison cell – the thing that keeps you from sinking into oblivion. But you have to continually construct this floor, because below it is destruction.
The walls of your prison are constructed from the limitations of your mind. We think in terms of crude logical concepts – IF Joe does that again THEN I will tell him to stop it. Our world is deterministic – endless chains of causality affecting the way we think and what we do. We are puppets pulled by the strings of causality. For us the world is made from a myriad of things, each separate with limited duration. There is nothing permanent or real in the world our minds construct. We have nothing to hang on to.
The iron bars on the window are constructed from our sensory processing. We live in a world of space and time – constructs of our consciousness, and we perceive nothing outside this self-generated framework. This space-time matrix is forever changing with no permanent point of reference.
The prison cell door is constructed from our emotions – the passions that keep us rooted in fear, sadness, anger, love, hatred. We cannot move beyond these emotions, and to try and force the door open is to make it stronger.
But here is the spell breaker. By understanding the prison and its construction, and by not resisting, the walls, floor, and iron bars dissolve away. By fully understanding what something is, we implicitly gain knowledge of what is beyond it.
Many religions and “spiritual” traditions attempt to destroy the prison cell, and as a result make it stronger. The way of the sly man is non-action. Understanding is all we need.