Man is an imprisoned seed of consciousness because of identity with things like body, beliefs, dogma, race, religion, gender, family, nation etc. Once consciousness is limited like this because of identity there is duality
And so conflict, strife, violence, activity becomes self centered with its disastrous consequences and perennial misery. Consciousness always
tries to come out of this limitation and because it has no comprehensive understanding of this identity its action results in self action rather than
release from the self. Mystics like Ramana Maharshi prescribe ‘Who am I” quest to get rid of this identity. As the quest deepens suddenly the question and the questioner disappears and you penetrate directly into
The existence and you disappear as a separate entity. In this existential experiencing you know the way the seed knows how to grow. The quest functions like a sword to cut all answers that mind can manage.
So we must understand with what stuff the ego is made and whether it is an entity or just a process, whether it is substantial or dream like.
Originally “I-am-the-body-idea” is pure. It is the conduit through which awareness flows to the body. It is the association of other thoughts that makes up the ego. Unless we know the mechanics of ego functioning we will not be able to solve any problems of life. Solving the problems of life on empirical basis is like pruning the leaves leaving the trunk, branches and root of the tree. It is not uprooting, leaves and branches will come more than before. Visible is never the root, root is always hidden. So never fight with the visible, it is just like fighting with shadows and the same problems will come up again and again, there cannot be any transformation of the mind or your way of life till they are resolved.
If you earnestly watch your inner, you will never come across entity like mind(Naiva manasam).Everybody wants peace of mind and because the nature of mind is movement, the movement itself is an obstruction to peace. Mind is tense state, no mind(Amanaska) is peace.
Individual thoughts exist and they move so fast you cannot see the gaps in between. If you deeply observe you will see one thought, another, another thought but no mind. A rapid stream of individual thoughts makes us to feel that there an entity like mind. Such observation is possible when our attention is at the birth place of thoughts. It is not the thoughts that are already produced that are the problem because of life span pf thought is short live but continuous uncontrolled birth of new thoughts that are the main problem. We must inquire into what cause such continuous uncontrolled production of thoughts.
Thought floats in the inner space of conscious sky and there will be intervals. If you watch with aloofness in self-inquiry intervals are more than thoughts. In those gaps Satori happens. In these gaps truth knocks your door, the guest comes, god is realized. When awareness is absolute, there is only a vast gap of nothingness. This is an existential answer to “Who am I” investigation.
Thoughts are like clouds, movement is their nature. They can be so thick that you cannot see the sky of pure consciousness hidden behind them. Thoughts are like clouds hovering around you, filling you. In case of a realized man they turn back and they cannot enter his conscious field. To have a glimpse of sky of consciousness in the gap between the thoughts is Satori and to be one with the inner sky is Samadhi. From Satori to Samadhi is a process of deep insight into the mind which is real self-inquiry. So self-inquiry is easy for those who already had Satori.
Thought exists separate from you and mind becomes a problem only when consciousness identify with thoughts. So identity is the basic problem and from that all other problems arise. Always be “attentive” to that which never comes and goes. Ramana Maharshi advises to hold on to this, then you can see the distance between you and the thoughts. If you identify with the thoughts instead of witnessing them you become the mind. Then the essential guest is lost. This is the original fall, original sin and the only sin that exists. All other sins are progeny of this original sin. Then momentary becomes significant, sensate values prevail and getting involved is them is Samsara.
Those who went very deep into nature of things through physics feel that things are thoughts. For those who deeper into their own Self say thoughts are things.This is exactly Bhagawan points out in “Who am I” book that world and its things are not apart from mind, both of them rise and disappear together. Things are physical part of thought, and thoughts are mental part of things. That is why Hindus call the mind Chit(consciousness)-Jada(insentient matter) grandhi(knot).
The knowing that thoughts are things is very important. Bhagawan’s “Who am I” technique is to through these “things” and the last thing to be thrown is “who am I” thought. There is no effort in throwing these things of thought and they will be burnt in the fire of awareness. Universe is filled with thoughts and things.
If you are really integrated in awareness thoughts don’t enter you, they will be repelled. Then you are an impenetrable citadel of awareness which is the case with a realized soul. As you continue to do self-inquiry you get attuned to observe with pure awareness rather than from ego awareness through which we are trained and conditioned to observe so far. Then you will know thought clouds have no existential roots. They wander because they have no home, no roots they wander. If we do not interfere with their wandering they won’t harm us but if we identify with them or reject them they persist and start causing so many problems to us. Identifying with them is to interfere with their natural wandering flow. So don’t fight with them.How can you stop mind by creating another mind? Once you know you are a sky of consciousness, judgment stops and you see the things, the other “as they really are” and that is what Buddhahood means. So to attain that state of being which is natural to us let us do self-inquiry.