Q. My overriding question is what is the point of the collective consciousness? Why are we not all born into that non duality? Why go through the “charade“ of life?
A. It is not that life is a charade, but rather life is an expression of current patterns, tendencies. It has a certain momentum that has to express, just like the gust of wind has a certain momentum that is expressing. As that expression completes, the gust of wind is re-cognized as air. A shift or broadening of attention from the expression to that which is expressing offers a more complete picture.
We are born as this. What “this” refers to depends on the sense of identity. We can say that there is only the Second Mind, or that there is only multiplicity, or that there is only the other. All are right or wrong depending on the sense of identity that notes this. To give an example, water is always the case, while waterfalls, droplets, rain, lakes, oceans, rivers, streams are all expressions of water. It is simply the nature of water, given its nearly infinite flexibility, to take on as many forms as the situation affords. Imagine then what the case would be for consciousness itself, which is unlimited in how it presents. It can and does express in infinite ways, and it is not different than you, me, she, they, it.
From the First Mind perspective, we can say that the point is to discover oneself, to see the underlying patterns, and to grow in this way. That can be a helpful story, but it can also be burdensome. So the frame we choose depends on what is useful. However, the truth that what we are is infinite is always here and accessible.