The word self-inquiry is misunderstood both in the east and west.The wotd itself means inquiring into “me”without any “inquirer” but watchimg contents of consciousness, their movement with innocent consciousness without any judgment,comparison,evaluation, condemnation. “Me” and “mine” circumsribes and so limits our consciousness and so naturally opposed to similar units of “me” and so there is going to be conflict as long as “me” with its empirical ambitions, sorrow, anxiety, fear, unconscious demands etc. So obviously “me” is the source of conflict and so sorrow right from birth to death.In self-inquiry we inquire into this “me” whether it it has existential validity or it just an entity put together by thought. If it is existential we cannot do anything about it but if it is an entity put together by thought it disappears by uninterupted self awareness.In the name of doing self-inquiry i am afraid we reducing it to another spiritual method of “doing” which is essentially a movement of thought and so is not self-inquiry at all! In one way self-inquiry is simple in the sense that it is just perception of totality of consciousness. But when thought is interfering with perception, and self-inquiry has very little meaning if we have not laid right foundation in which there is no thought disturbace. Founation is laid down by righteous behavior which means a way of life which does not strenthen “me”, an action without any idea, motive,gain which does not mean permissiveness which is just a reaction to conditioning . Our action must come out of understanding and so we are responsible for our action.So self-inquiry is not separate from daily life.We cannot do self-inquiry for some time and indulging in mischieous way of life for rest of day.It is too infabtile.Almost all humanity is deceiving itself by belonging to certain religion and thinks that he is religious just because he goes to temple or church or mosque when possible but leading a mischievous life. We must lead our life with our own light but not borrowed light of some other person. We can have our own light by doing self-inquiry. In self-inquiry there is no place for authority of another, we have to do it alone. It is our psyche and nobody is going to clean it, we have to it alone on our own. Just as body needs bath to be cleanly, mind requires self-inquiry to be clean and empty of contents. Then only mind is free, otherwise it is prejudiced stinking with beliefs and dogmas.Mind must be free of all these if at all one is serious to invesrigate.Even your knowledge, conclusion, experiences distort perception.This is internal authority which must be avoidedI f we are influenced by other peoples opinions in spiritual matters it distorts our perception.So if we follow the other or behave according to our own prejudice because of spme experience we cannot proceed further in investigation.We have to stand completely alone in self-ibquiry which is to find out whole structure of “me”.Self knowing is very important because then only you stand on your own feet, be a light un to ourselves.If a person lives his life with his own light, his way of life affects whole human species even according to science.
Usually we observe through the knowledge which human has gathered in 40,000 years.With that knowlrge we observe from the background of past and so we are not seeing what is actually happening in the “present” moment with a free mind. With such an observation even the present moment actually serves as passage of the past and so the past continues and dominates our observation. But if we can observe with a free mind without the shadow of past, the nature and structure of the “me” begins to unro;;.Understanding of oneself takes place only in the “now” but that “now” should not be movement of past which observes the “now”.This is not observing the “now”.Real observation takes place only when there is no shadow of past in the form of “observer”.If the movement past ends in the present, that is “now”.But if we allow it go on the “now” becomes the future which is modified continuity of past.This is happening in self-inquiry of many and so we don’t see radical transformation in them.Observation can take place in the “now” if we observe anger or greediness only if we do not condemn the fact.Then the fact flowers and disappears.You try and discover it for yourself.In the very act of observing there is a change.But we are conditioned to be guided. For outer matters it is becessary but it is a hindrance in the inner matters to be guided.
If we pursue to experience Self it becomes a mental activity of “becoming”.But internally there is a great demand for it.We got bored with ordinary experiences and one wants this “extreaordibary Self experience”.Experience implies recognition and is Sekf a recognizable entity.We can recognize things which we already knowand so it is not something new.Mind that craves for experience is living in the past and so can never see totally new and original.So there must be freedom from urge for experience.
In observing there is no question of observer and so there is no question of supressing or denying or accepting. Fear, pleasure, sorrow etc are distorting factors of observation.Image making about ourselves and the other interferes with actual relationship in everyday life but everybody has an image about himself and others because there image maker inside.Everybody judges himself and others.
Everybody knows thought is a disturbing factor for peaceful life.Self-inquiry is not a thought controlling system.If you try to control thought it slips away.In self-inquiry we inquire into controller.Control is effort whereas self-inquiry is just innocent observation into things effortlrddly.Many try to control thought to experience Self. Is not controller another thought? But selfinquiry is concerned with whole process of thinking.Usually there is emphasis on control and so there must be effort.conflict, supression with consequent neurotic behavior.When you stop comparing psychologically tou are lefy with your uniqueness/If you see the futility of comparison you have energy to do self-inquiry otherwise energy is wasted in comparison.Can thinking come to an end naturally and easily? When i make thinking come to an end, thinking is still in operation.
Time is movement of past, it moves through present and moves into future slightly modihied. That movement must stop which is the whole movement of knowledge, known, past and unless that movement stops there is no freedom to observe.Can that movement ends without your knowing. Then only we have still mind and with its insight srlf-inquiry is possible.
Past is always moving, “now” is not a immovable, when past meets the present, the movement stops.So thought meets the present completely and ends there.
Can the totality of content of mind be observed, but not by fragment by fragmebt? If you have no motive you can do that. Motive is the “me”.So in self-inquiry we observe the things without any motive. There is no center from which observation takes place.Then there is beauty because there is absence of “me”and that beauty is indescribable