As separate selves, we are entirely conditioned by the rules of the "dream of the planet." Therefore, freedom is illusory.
When we commit to totally open to the unknown, the personal entity really does start to drop away (absent the weight of a personal point of view, and being hypnotized by prideful emotions such as anger and agitation).
Thoughts and perceptions start to appear largely because we allow them to be. Somehow, we are aware that we are free to feel the permanency (lightness of being) within this and every moment.
We cannot understand this at the level of thought, but we can, and do, experience it within the eternity of an unfiltered moment. We are free to be.