We don't say that this cartoon isn't real, but that it is only a momentary ripple on the surface of this ocean - the still, silent, unfathomable sea of consciousness.
What happens when your finger writes letters on water? How deeply do they gash the sea? This world is a cartoon written in disappearing letters on the thinnest surface of our awareness. Don't worry so much about the cartoon; just deepen yourself.
The cartoon may appear noisy, frenetic, horrifying, painful; at other times it may appear silly, comical, poignant or lovely. But the story lines of the cartoon don't penetrate the depths of our true nature, which is silence.
The problem is not the cartoon. It's mad and fleeting forms will continue to come and go, no matter what we do. We reach into the cartoon for brief moments and try to change something. But we are reaching into the field of change itself. The moment we attempt to change anything, it has already changed. Why change what is already changing?
The real problem is, we have lost the ability to fathom what doesn't change: the very depth of our own consciousness. We have forgotten how to repose in the groundless ocean of the Self. Hypnotized by the cartoon, we forget who we are. Like children at a movie, we get frightened because we think the flickering images on the formless white screen are real.
This is why meditation should be the first step in dealing with the world's "problems." When we open to the vast radiant silence of our own Being, the flickering images of the world do not overwhelm us. We can deal with them as "situations," not "problems."
You don't have to deny the existence of the world. Of course it is "real," but only in a relative sense. That wavering mirage of birth and death - yes, even your own birth and your own death - is not an obstacle. It is not even a solid substance. It is a fluid cartoon on the thinnest surface of the Real.
99.99999% of "reality" is within you, and it is never a problem at all. It is silence, it is stillness, it is the fullness of Being. The perfect fullness that cannot be grasped or sought, neither held by memory, nor explained by intellect, is nearer than any search for it. It is who you already are before the search begins. God need not be sought, only awakened.
When you repose in the unfathomable peace of your own existence, your peace resonates in others. This work of resonance, from inner core to outer world, from Self to other, you accomplish not by doing, but Being. And yet this work achieves more transformation in humanity than all your efforts to change the cartoon that you call "the world."