In the East the idea that God alone is real is deeply embedded in the very fabric of societies and cultures. In the West it is often unfamiliar and viewed by most as dubious, implausible and clearly counterintuitive.
Yet, if God is, as we say, infinite, then nothing can exist outside of God. And if God is, as we say, the source of all existent things, then nothing can exist without God.
Everything derives its being from that one absolute Reality we call God, and can have no permanent existence outside of God. God is the only self-existent, self-sustaining Reality. Everything other than God is merely flickering, changing, transmuting, shifting, phenomena.
All existent things come from God, are sustained by the presence of God and cease without God. They are each temporary manifestations of some limited minute aspect of God.
For God there is neither time nor space. When we say God is infinite we do not mean that he is immensely big but that there is no limit, no boundary to that which we name as God. It is That which is everywhere and in everything and also beyond everywhere and everything.
When we say God is eternal we do not mean that That Absolute Source exists for an infinite amount of time. It does not mean that God has no beginning or end. Beginning and End are relative to a continuum of time. For God there can be no beginning and no end because there is no time. In fact God is not within time or space, not subject to time and space. They are within him.
Yes, the universe is real. But its reality is derived from something else, dependent on something outside itself; its reality is not self-creating, self-sustaining, autonomous. The universe, the miltiverse, phenomenal reality, does not own, generate, or control its essential reality. The reality of the cosmos is a temporary manifestation of eternal Reality; its reality is contingent on the activating presence of absolute Reality. It comes from, is sustained by, and ultimately dissolves back into its source.
The reality of the phenomenal is a genuine reality; it is simply not an inherent reality. The physical universe and all its component elements derive their reality from the One self-sustaining Reality which some name "God". And if the absolute Reality which sustains it is withdrawn, the phenomenal evaporates like a mirage - or, as the Eastern philosophers call it, an illusion. Just as the body dies, disintegrates and vanishes when the life that animates it is gone.
Our life is generated each moment by God's Life within it. It is maintained by God's Life, held and cradled and nurtured by God's Life. We are living in God. God resides within all things and all things reside in God. God is present in every particle of matter, in every wave of energy, in every thought and feeling. God is manifesting in and through all things. We are each an infinitesimal manifestation of God in this world.