Self & self

joejo's picture

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I have followed the path of enquiry as the main focus for over 20 years now and though I consider Maharshi Ramana as the most concise exponent of it, it is worthwhile to look at it from different ways.

One of the approach could be to distinguish between Self and self. Self is unknowable but all that is known and considered as self could be put aside. I recall from memory Ramana saying that in the beginning it appears as nothing. He was very firm to say that "i am That" (soham) was not his method. Similarly "I am not the body" is also a verbal thought. He said that as soon as any thought arises one must enquire to whom it arises and not complete it.

He gave another direct method which is to silently go on focusing on the feeling of I arising inside (excluding all thoughts) and with practice one gets used to dwelling in the Heart.

He also gave milestones, like one feels as a center of power first then as an observer and then nothing.

If we look at nature we see that a seed is covered with an outer covering and when the time is right, it sprouts. Same is the case with eggs and the period of incubation.
My personal opinion is that we have this protective shell of ego that has a function very similar and that is to protect the essence till it has grown. The only downside is that if the ego gets too strong it obstructs the growth of essence.

Those who are born saints have a very developed essence but a week ego and the other extreme could be a person with a week essence with or without a developed ego. Essence grows through experience provided ego is not like a hard shell not letting anything filtering in.

The turning point in the growth of essence is the awaking of conscience which allows us to see the contradiction in ourselves. 'Seeing' of the contradiction gives a shock effect to the psyche and often the contradicts get resolved as a result of insight.

Insight is the perception of facts as against the mental cognition through the realm of Ideas. One important aspect of it is a degree of vividness or immediacy which brings about action that is not premeditated. Could this be Meditation?