All your life, there has only been Alfred.
Your parents died while you were very young. Due to unfortunate circumstances, you've never been healthy enough to leave the house. So Alfred has been your sole and constant companion, feeding and entertaining you.
Only you haven't realized it. Alfred's got a number of really clever masks and vocoders. You think you're being entertained by an enormous troupe of players.
One day, during another of Alfred's brilliant performances, for some reason you pay special attention to the show -- and have a mild shock. The actors are wearing masks, but you never realized it. So you look closer during the next show.
My god, they're not masks at all. It's just one guy, putting on funny faces. And dear me, there's no vocoder at all: it's all just funny accents!
At first you assume that this can't all just be one guy. That's ludicrous. Clearly he's just a puppet, being played by someone else, invisible, that you're certain must exist -- though you've never once caught a glimpse of him.
Alfred waits, with infinite patience.
One day, you consider that Alfred might, just might, not be being played by an imaginary someone-else. You finally look him dead in the eye, and when he smiles back lovingly, you break down in a flood of overwhelming gratitude. It's been Alfred, and only Alfred, all along.
You've only ever encountered one thing while alive, though you don't realize it.
Every sound? This thing. Every taste? This thing. Every memory, belief, emotion; this thing.
Your sense of time? Yup. Your sense of self, of existence? The one thing. Your entire process of reasoning? The one you use whenever you deny, with ultimate certainty, the one thing? Most ironically of all, it too is only that one thing. You just never bothered to look.
"Pfft. Why should I look? What could it change? Even if I noticed what you say, I could explain it. You see, it's quite simple. It's caused by some other thing that I've, uh, never experienced. And neither has anyone else."
And so instead of turning to face and simply notice The One Thing you've literally ever seen, you come up with series of grand dismissals. All of which are, of course... made of the very thing you're dismissing.
"Well, that other thing [matter] causing this only thing [consciousness] may not be directly experienceable, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist!"
(Actually, sorry, I have to pause for this marvelous opportunity...)
So if it doesn't reveal itself to you in its Infinite Glory, I hope you'll forgive it. Whether or not you realize it, you've spent literally your entire life* using it to deny its existence. But then again, since Time is made of it**, maybe that's not such a big deal after all.
* Actually, that's not entirely true. Every now and then, while out in nature, you get a whiff of something impossibly beautiful. And for the briefest of moments, the overwhelming gratitude brings you face-to-face with it, and you smile knowingly at yourself. But then you walk on....
** Try this out, just for fun. Notice how a movie screen doesn't age based on what's playing on it. In a similar way, notice how the contents of your experience are ever-changing, but what you fundamentally are -- the space through which these experiences move -- does not change one iota based on it. Now notice if you can get the vague sense that being five years old was just yesterday. Perhaps, just a moment ago....