It is understood from scriptures like the Brahma-saṁhitā that in the spiritual abode of the Lord the houses are made of touchstone and the trees are all desire trees. There the Lord is accustomed to tending thousands and thousands of kāmadhenus (cows able to supply unlimited quantities of milk). And all the houses, trees, and cows are qualitatively nondifferent from the Lord. The Lord and His paraphernalia in the spiritual abode are one and the same in quality, although there are differences for the pleasure of the Lord. In the material world also we have various paraphernalia for our pleasures in life, but because all this paraphernalia is made of matter, it is all destructible at the end. In the spiritual sky there are the very same varieties of pleasure, but they are all meant for the Lord. There the Lord alone is the supreme enjoyer and beneficiary, and all others are enjoyed by the Lord. The Lord is served there by all kinds of servitors, and both the master and the servitors are of the same quality. This spiritual variegatedness is displayed by the Lord when He descends at Vṛndāvana, and we may know that the Lord descends with His personal staff of cows, cowherd boys, and cowherd maidens, all of whom are but spiritual expansions of the Lord Himself for His own pleasures. Thus when called by the Lord the cows were overwhelmed by joyous affection, just as the mother's breast overflows with milk when the child cries for it.
All of us living beings are differentiated expansions of the Lord, but our affection for the Lord is submerged within us, artificially covered by the material quality of ignorance. Spiritual culture is meant to revive this natural affection of the living being for the Lord. The ingredients of fire are already present in safety matches, and only mild friction is needed to ignite a fire. Similarly, our natural affection for the Lord has to be revived by a little culture. Specifically, we have to receive the messages of the Lord with a purified heart.
For spiritual realization one has to purify the heart and know things in their true perspective. As soon as one does this, the flow of one's natural affection begins to glide toward the Lord, and with the progress of this flow one becomes more and more self-realized in various relations with the Lord. The Lord is the center of all the affection of all living beings, who are all His parts and parcels. When the flow of natural affection for the Lord is clogged by desires to imitate His Lordship, one is said to be in māyā, or illusion. Māyā has no substantial existence, but as long as its hallucinations go on, their reactions are felt. The Lord, by His causeless mercy, displays the reality of life so that our hallucinations may be completely dissipated.