In A Melancholic Dream
One thought strikes me, and this could be my own take on your initial query. If indeed life is a dream, a distant memory, or nihil, then there is no responsibility for actions, as nothing really matters nor does anything really happen. It's all a dream, where consequences have no place.
But if everything is choice, then there should be no consequence. However contradictary that may sound, is it not true? If the burglar decided not to break into the house, he would not be in jail. If the man decided to use protection, he would not have a family. In our lives, choice is the utter essence of our own discipline. Whether there be consequences to actions, or not, it's our own choice that has the effect.
You as well, posted that "It's all a dream, where consequences have no place." How do we know that are dreams do not have consequences? Whom is to say that we don't have control of our own dreams? That this leads to our choice in our own dreams? I forget the name of the practice, but I believe there is a way to have such discipline that you begin to control your dreams. In any sense, our choice are made by us, there's no way to say that we are not in control of our dreams.
Your very question presupposes that life is not illusory, and that there is something real to know.
An illusion is far fetched statement, is it not? Our dreams are the concepts of our mind trying to comprehend the things that we cannot understand, life may be the essence of the things we cannot understand. There is something 'real to know' in life, almost all believe that. How can life, be so bleak and so meaningless? Ive seen the shadows, and Ive seen the bliss, how can life hold such importance, without there being anything that holds importance above that?
If your life is merely a dream and an illusion, then wouldn't you yourself be unreal? How can such a belief be "liberating" to self that is non-existent? Or how does this belief lead to the conclusion that you are "here" and "have something beyond this", if "here" and "beyond" only refer to unreal states of affair?
Your conviction of the possibility of ontological certainty (or at least reality), and your belief that life is just an illusion are contradictory.
I, like you, believe in ontological reality, and the possibility of real knowledge. But I don't believe that life is somehow "unreal". I don't know what such a belief would be based upon. I think it's a fun speculative philospher's game, until you really begin to believe it, then it can become a nightmare.
Again I'll state, that 'illusion' is a far fetched statement. As is nothing is an illusion, more so a dream. Though, if Dreams are illusions, that doesn't mean that I myself do not exist... for there should be something behind the currents, beyond the conception of life. No existence is not what I stated, since dreams and illusions do exist, don't they? There is always something beyond the bland blitterness of life. As Ive said, dreams are not unreal, they are as real as we make them. Dreams do exist, we all know this, is it so hard for us to believe that we may be in a dream beyond our own understanding and conception? It's human nature to understand everything that goes on around us, and since you ask how can it be liberating to know that your unreal, I'll change that. 'How can it be liberating, to know that everything you see and everything that you know to be a dream'... It's liberating to know that I am not trapped in such a melancholy life and it pains me to see the bitterness of what you call reality.