Here is a simple way to talk about the absolute and relative:
The absolute is what is, when not filtered through stories.
The relative is using the filter of thoughts to help this human self navigate and function in the world.
And it is all happening as the absolute, as awake void and form, as temporary form manifestations of God.
What Don commented on… which is, as he pointed out, not accurate at all…
The absolute is seeing a thought as a thought. (And recognize any content of awareness as awareness itself.)
The relative is using the information in that thought to help this human self navigate and function in the world, whether we recognize it as a thought or not.
And the initial draft…
We can say that the absolute is what is, when not filtered through stories, and the relative is what is, when filtered through stories. When there is an overlay of stories, there is the appearance of the relative, with shifting boundaries which can seem real or not. Without, there is just what is, this awakeness and its content, and this content as awakeness itself, inherently absent of any boundaries from stories, including I and Other, subject and object.
Or, we can say that the absolute is seeing a thought as just a thought, and the relative is the use of information within that thought to help this human self function and navigate in the world. The absolute is recognizing what arises in awareness as awareness itself. The relative is the use of information in thoughts and stories to help this human self operate in the world.
Simple. Yet it is not so easy always to differentiate the two. As soon as a thought is taken as more than just a thought, as soon as the content of the thought is taken as more than just an innocent question, of temporary and practical value only, it is not seen, and there is a sense of something being off. The whole appearance of I and Other, and the drama of this separate self, is created.