Realization is not an action somebody accomplishes. The idea of realizing the self implies a path from an unrealized self to a realized self. Realization of the self as a goal cannot be permanent. Something permanent has no beginning and no end. Hence the goal is already there, the self is always realized. The intention to realize the Self is itself a hindrance. Our nature is always free but we are making huge efforts to become free. Who is making these efforts and trying to realize the self? It is the I-thought that has wrongly identified itself with the mind that veils our happiness and makes realization of the self a goal. This implies two selves. A non realized self and a goal, a realized self. And here starts the whole process of searching. Going to a guru, performing rituals, reciting mantras, doing prostrations, meditating, reading books and taking all kinds of hardships upon us to walk firmly on the path towards realization hoping to reach our goal in this life. The irony in all this striving for realization is that we have never been separated from our true self. We falsely believe it to be found somewhere, to experience it, to realize it, because we search with our mind and the mind can only exist in duality. So, our task is to find the real nature of the mind. We will discover that there is no such thing as a mind. It is in understanding that we are not the body, neither the mind that we will unveil our true self and the I-thought will be transcended eventually. We already know this freedom. If we wouldn’t know it, why would we spend our lives searching for it? But we must take care not to use wrong tools. It lies in the palm of our hands. It is beauty and love in its purest essence. We are that, lets embrace it in silence and cut those chains that hold us prisoners.
The electron on which forms and worlds are built,
Leaped into being, a particle of God.
A spark from the eternal Energy split,
It is the Infinite’s blind minute abode.
In that small flaming chariot Shiva rides.
The One devised innumerably to be;
His oneness in invisible forms he rides,
Time’s tiny temples to eternity.
Atom and molecule in their unseen plan
Buttress an edifice of strange oneness,
Crystal and plant, insect and beast and man, –
Man on whom the World-Unity shall seize,
Widening his soul-spark to an epiphany
Of the timeless vastness of Infinity.
— Sri Aurobindo – Collected Poems – Electron (Sonnets – p. 141 – 15/07/1938)
“Science has already changed its conception of matter – to it, Matter and Energy are interconvertible. The Vedic Seers also considered matter to be a conceptual form of substance – so much so that a point can be reached where only an arbitrary distinction in thought divides form of substance from form of energy. In fact, to the spiritual tradition of India, ‘Mind’, ‘Life’ and ‘Matter’ are just different formulations of the same Energy. If so, then this ‘Energy’ is not a brute mechanical force that works through accident or chance but a Cosmic WILL in action – a consciousness applying itself to a work and a result.”
— Institute of Integral Yoga Psychology – www.iiyp.net
Your direct insight tells you that yourself you know first, for nothing exists without your being there to experience its existence. You imagine you do not know your self, because you cannot describe your self. You can only say: “I know that I am” and you will refuse as untrue the statement “I am not”. But whatever can be described cannot be your self, and what you are cannot be described. You can only know your being by being yourself without any attempt at self-definition and self-description. Once you have understood that you are nothing perceivable or conceivable, that whatever appears in the field of consciousness cannot be your self, you will apply yourself to the eradication of all self-identification, as the only way that can take you to a deeper realization of your self.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – p. 517-8
Why are you unhappy?
Because 99.9 per cent
Of everything you think,
And of everything you do,
Is for yourself —
And there isn’t one.
— Wei Wu Wei – Ask the Awakened: the Negative Way (1963) – Part One: The Crossroads