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.
Stillness, then silence, then random speech,
Then knowledge, intoxication, annihilation;
Earth, then fire, then light.
Coldness, then shade, then sunlight.
Thorny road, then a path, then the wilderness.
River, then ocean, then the shore;
Contentment, desire, then Love.
Closeness, union, intimacy;
Closing, then opening, then obliteration,
Separation, togetherness, then longing;
Signs for those of real understanding
Who find this world of little value.
— Al Husayn ibn Mansur al Hallaj – Stillness – (Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the early Mystics to Rumi…)
Lamps burn in every house, O blind
one! and you cannot see them.
One day your eyes shall suddenly be
opened, and you shall see: and
the fetters of death will fall from
There is nothing to say or to hear,
there is nothing to do : it is he who
is living, yet dead, who shall never
Because he lives in solitude, therefore
the Yogi says that his home is far
Your Lord is near : yet you are climb-
ing the palm-tree to seek Him.
The Brahman priest goes from house
to house and initiates people into
Alas! the true fountain of life is
beside you, and you have set up a
stone to worship.
Kabir says: “I may never express
how sweet my Lord is. Yoga and
the telling of beads, virtue and
vice – these are naught to Him.”
— Kabir – One Hundred Poems of Kabir (translated by Rabindranath Tagore) – XXI
This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet;
to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to be the self.
Heart, I said, what a gift it has been
to enter this circle of lovers,
to see beyond seeing itself,
to reach and feel within the breast.
— Jalalud’din Rumi – The Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XIII
You cannot possibly say that you are what you think yourself to be! Your ideas about yourself change from day to day and from moment to moment. Your self-image is the most changeful thing you have. It is utterly vulnerable, at the mercy of a passerby. A bereavement, the loss of a job, an insult, and your image of yourself, which you call your person, changes deeply. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. And to know what you are not, you must watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the basic fact: ‘I am’. The ideas: I am born at a given place, at a given time, from my parents and now I am so-and-so, living at, married to, father of, employed by, and so on, are not inherent in the sense ‘I am’. Our usual attitude is of ‘I am this’. Separate consistently and perseveringly the ‘I am’ from ‘this’ or ‘that’ and try to feel what it means to be, just to be, without being ‘this’ or ‘that’. All our habits go against it and the task of fighting them is long and hard sometimes, but clear understanding helps a lot. The clearer you understand that on the level of the mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize your limitless being.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am Not – To Know What you Are, Find What you Are Not (p. 56)
Before the end of my journey
may I reach within myself
the one which is the all,
leaving the outer shell
to float away with the drifting multitude
upon the current of chance and change.
— Rabindranath Tagore – Fireflies