In the upanishads there is an analogy of the clay pot in reference to understanding reality. Our experience of life can be split into two orders, the changing and the unchanging or the dependant and the independent.
The clay pot for example is obviously existing and has a name and a form. It has many great uses and is very appreciated by the one who owns it, but as strong and as sturdy as the pot is, it does not have an independent reality in and of itself. The pot is dependent on its reality from the clay, even though it appears to be an independent object. The clay on the other hand is not dependent on the pot for its reality. It is not limited either, its possible to make many other pots, cups, plates and anything you desire. Even when the clay is formed into a pot it never actually takes on the form of a pot, it appears to, but it never ceases to be clay and isn’t bothered by the destruction of the pot either. This analogy is a great example of consciousness aka clay and the material world appearing as people, trees, dogs, cars etc aka pot. Although the material world appears to have an independent reality and appears to be a whole lot of separate objects, its real reality is consciousness and consciousness only. Its very easy for the pot to forget that it is clay, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is clay. It definitely will effect the pot and how the pot lives it life, but when the pot realises its real nature its free of the worries of the pot. Intact it realises it was never really a pot after all.