That is Love when it is all and that is nothing when it is understanding. That is not perceivable, not graspable, beyond intellect and knowledge. For it is not different from the perceiver, the perception and the perceived. It is beyond these and it is all. Knowledge can not understand it because it is not an object of understanding. The eyes cannot see it because it is not visible through the senses. And hence it is omnipresent and permeates all. It has no dimension because it is beyond dimensions. It has not been created because all creation happens through it. It is beginningless and endless. Realizing That is dying to the Self. That is revealed by Self-Knowledge although it cannot be known. If it is known, it is not That. If it is experienced, it is not That. If it is perceived, it is not That. If it is described, it is not That because it is beyond words, beyond perception, beyond experience and beyond intellectual knowledge. Being in the state of Self-Knowledge reveals that which is beyond all concepts, that which is beyond duality. Talking about Oneness is wrong, because the label is never That. Nobody can teach you That but it is understood through listening. It is understood by devotion. It is understood in Love because it is Love and it is all. That is all and That is nothing.
Suppose you know the definitions
of all substances and their products,
what good is this to you?
Know the true definition of yourself.
That is essential.
Then, when you know your own definition, flee from it,
that you may attain to the One who cannot be defined,
O sifter of the dust.
— Jalalud’din Rumi – Sifter of Dust – The Rumi Collection
To learn about oneself one needs a great deal of humility. If you start by saying, “I know myself”, you’ve already stopped learning about yourself. Or if you say, “There is nothing much to learn about myself because I know what I am—I’m a bundle of memories, ideas, experiences, tradition, a conditioned entity with innumerable contradictory reactions”—you’ve stopped learning about yourself. To learn about oneself requires considerable humility, never assuming that you know anything: that is, learning about oneself from the beginning and never accumulating. The moment you accumulate knowledge about yourself through your own discovery, that becomes the platform from which you begin to examine, learn, and therefore what you learn is merely further addition to what you already know. Humility is a state of mind that never acquires, never says, “I know”.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Talks & Dialogues – p. 212
That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is you basic urge. Be true to your own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously.
When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear, and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I am That
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)
It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For, as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as total negation. All you can say is: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense. What you can point out as ‘this’ or ‘that’ cannot be yourself. Surely, you cannot be ‘something’ else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting; the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. Can there be perception, experience, without you? An experience must ‘belong’. Somebody must come and declare it as his own. Without an experiencer the experience is not real. It is the experiencer that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you?
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – p. 2
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