Do you accept any of the traditional ideas of why God creates the relatively “illusory” universe? In short, what's the enlightened, esoteric theodicy? If he’s hiding from himself, why would he do that? The explanation I offer in this article seems to me disturbing and ironic enough to be true (assuming theism, for the sake for granted). In particular, this explanation isn’t just wishful thinking and it gels with what we know from history and from the psychological effects of having access to absolute power.
I think your second point about “transcendent awareness” is semantic. You surely have to draw some distinction between the experience of mindfulness and the entrapped, egoistic mode of experience which mistakes maya for reality. The former is surely shocking if it confirms perennial secrets about God and the theological nature of the universe. That’s all I meant here about “transcendent awareness”; it’s the esoteric awareness that there’s a deeper meaning of all the contingent, material affairs we take for granted.
Philosophy’s my jam. I’m also into art, so I can experience the world aesthetically, which I think approximates a mystical apprehension of divine creativity.