At the conventional level of understanding, Amida is a being outside ourselves, and the Pure Land is a realm we can be reborn into after death. At the highest level of understanding, Amida is our own true nature, and the Pure Land is the mind when purified of delusion and selfishness:
The higher understanding of Pure Land practice isn’t superior to the conventional understanding. It’s instead based on whatever people need to get them to recite the Nembutsu. It’s adapting the teaching to the different understandings of people as upaya or skillful means:
Seeing the Pure Land as a reality accessible here and now doesn’t reject that there is a Pure Land after death. But all we have right now is the here and now, and the Buddha emphasized the here and now. We can’t be 100% sure what happens after death until we experience it ourselves:
The Buddha always told his disciples not to waste their time and energy in metaphysical speculation. Whenever he was asked a metaphysical question, he remained silent. Instead, he directed his disciples toward practical efforts. Questioned one day about the problem of the infinity of the world, the Buddha said, “Whether the world is finite or infinite, limited or unlimited, the problem of your liberation remains the same.” Another time he said, “Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take out the arrow immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents, and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first.” Life is so short. It must not be spent in endless metaphysical speculation that does not bring us any closer to the truth.