I experienced that what I looked at looked back at me.
I have heard this from a few people on the awakening path.
Most likely, it’s a middle stage between identifying as a separate being in a world of objects and all of it waking up to itself as consciousness.
Somewhere in that middle ground, we look at something, and experience that it’s looking back at us. We intuit consciousness over there, even in inanimate objects.
In reality, we are consciousness and the world as it appears to us happens within and as this consciousness. What we look at is consciousness, and if we don’t notice this clearly but intuit or sense it, it may seem as if the object is conscious and looking back at us.
I don’t think this is an inevitable phase in the awakening process, but it seems it may happen if the awakening is more gradual and happens over time. I imagine it’s intriguing and can be one of the carrots on the path.