The Guru replied,
At no time throughout the beginningless succession of lifetimes has there ever been actual birth. There has been only the appearance of birth. There has never been actual death, only the transformation of sensory appearances, like the shift from the dream state to the waking state. All sensations—seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt as forms, sounds odors, tastes, and tactile sensations by the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin – are merely the mind being conscious of its own projections (rang-nang), without their ever having even a hair’s tip of existence as something else.
You may think that something other than this does exist in its own right (rang-gyud), since you can see it directly with your eyes, actually hold it in your hand, or experience it through your other senses. But in fact, although all the forms, sounds, odors, tastes, and tactile sensations in dreams seem to truly exist in their respective contexts, from the point of view of waking experience they have never existed, being nonexistent as objects (yul-med).
Throughout the beginningless succession of lifetimes, there has never been any actual experience of transition or going from one state to another, or any actual experience of being located in some other place. This is analogous to the images in a dream.