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What is Self-Knowledge?

Everyone wishes to know, “Who Am I?” It is a very complex question because the body, mind, and soul comprise the quantity of what you are. Since you can observe, read, and know all three, and more so because you consider all the three-element as yours, you are more than the said three as one unit. Body as gross energy, mind being subtle, and soul as the core. According to Spiritualism, self-knowledge is the end of all knowledge. Knowledge keeps evolving and in the end what is left is that truth, with no one left to deny.

Moreover, once you know the self, it is the knowledge of the ultimate. Why? Because it is the self that is responsible for discovering the universe from microcosm to macrocosm, and everything in it to explore, discover, create, reflect, and experience. To realize all that exists is temporary to appear and disappear back into the universe where it came from.

As you keep unpeeling yourself from what has been provided to you by others; name, gender, nationality, culture, religion, knowledge, etc., from various media and beliefs or others’ experiences, finally maturing into a bundle of thoughts; What remains is your memory of the past, the baggage you carry for the intellect to choose, discern and experience for its body and mind.

In this game of life, the soul too enjoys being a spectator and an actor. Spectator, when it is purely watching and witnessing the mind. An actor, when it makes the mind aware and conscious to experience the world of duality to relate in opposites of divine and the devil going through different roles in life that of a child, youth, middle age and old to disappear back to start a new game of life after death. After all the peeling is done what remains is that emptiness of nothing, as if you have peeled onion and in the end, you find nothing inside.

This nothing or zero is what the Hindus discovered and refer to as shunya, the substrate from which everything, from the stars to the subatomic particles superimpose to appear and disappear restricted to their respective space and time. What is left is nothing but Brahman or as Quantum Physics refers to the same as energy. The power which is indivisible cannot be created nor destroyed but has the ability to alter, change, expand and evolve within itself. The supreme ability of energy in making the mind aware of which we perceive and conceive through our senses. It is the intensity of aware individual energy, which makes a living creature know and understand existence. That spirit contained in the soul, the everlasting awareness, absolute and nondual, is the final truth of ‘who is the self’.

The unchanging intelligence, the aware energy, the only reality which empowers your mind to observe, perceive, discover and experience the universe; the purpose of life through our individual consciousness, which our awareness creates differently and uniquely for every living creature. Consciousness is that link or connection to the larger whole, that underlying substrate.

Spiritualism teaches and clarifies the separation between you, the noumenon as the divine awareness and the mind being that phenomenon, both representing the most fascinating element of life. Our scriptures say that the only person you do not know is yourself. You seem to know everything and everybody externally, but you are ignorant when it comes to your innate self. You are under an illusion, ‘Maya’ or deception. It is essential to understand your ‘self’.

They also said you are that divine because even the divine exists because of you. If you were not there, the divine would not be there. Divinity will not be there. Plants and animals cannot behave in divinity So, everything revolves around the self. How do you know anything about God when you do not even know the self? You came first, and God followed later.

What is the self? Is it the psychological image of what you think, feel and believe? No. Psychology is the mind, and to the mind, you say your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. You attach ‘your’ before everything which means that these are yours. That means it is something else; it is not you. It is your quantum. It is a part of what you are and not who you are.

The body, mind, and soul are individualized, whereas the subject of spiritualism speaks only of you, the universal self. It speaks only of that wholesomeness in you – omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. It comprises waves of energy in unity and continuity. 

The self is universal, and the knowledge of the self has no beginning or end. It has no “I” to back it up. Knowing the self is not even an achievement. It gives you clarity about life. If there is clarity, you will understand clearly. You will be in full consciousness. Clarity is the highest form of understanding. Your intelligence provides you with clarity.

So, neither the psychological self nor the soul is who you are. You are not the ego, the lower consciousness, either. Because consciousness triggers the mind, it activates the mind. It goes beyond the mechanical mind. It is that wakefulness; it is not you.

You do not understand from your mind your actual self because the psychological self is not the self. It is that universal expanse of awareness, which is always there, not even aware of itself, but has the power to make your mind aware and, after that, conscious. It is that context within which you have the content of the physical and the thinking self with an identity. You simply need to be aware of its presence to enhance your intensity of aware energy, making your mind constantly alert, attentive, aware, and conscious.

Self is in that “beingness”, not the being. It is that beingness/awareness which makes the mechanical mind aware and then conscious. That being-ness is who you are, and the rest is what you are. It is the quantum. For example, you see waves rise and fall in the ocean, but water is the essence of everything in the sea. It is the essence that matters. Beingness is the essence of who you are, and it is reflected in awareness. Once you become aware externally and internally, you start knowing what you are. Otherwise, you would not. You need to be aware either from your past awareness or present awareness in spontaneity. The past awareness in the memory is deciphered by the intellect, whereas the present awareness in spontaneity is considered intelligence.

In spontaneity, intelligence comes through intuition and instinct. Intuition and intelligence are your beingness. The soul, which many consider the ultimate, is not the ultimate because it is individualized. And once it is individualized, it is one step less than the universal spirit. It is not in its wholesomeness. It is in duality. It has a subject-object relationship with the cosmos. It is that divine within you because it contains the non-dual absolute spirit, but it is not the actual self; it connects to the cosmos and receives the divine aware energy.

So, who is that self? None of the three: witnesser, witnessing, or witnessed. That witness, the flow of energy with the supreme ability, settled in the superconscious section of the mind called the soul, which has the power. Our spiritual sages of ancient times called this power: “Paramatma”, which means beyond consciousness, “Parameshwar” – beyond God, and “Parabrahma”, which means beyond the standard abilities of the energy. It is that supreme ability of energy which remains non-dual and absolute.

Similarly, in the case of an observer observing the observed, when they all become one, what remains is only observation occurring in spontaneity. When you are witnessing only the witness, who you are is the ultimate truth; not the apparent truth—one without a second. There is no second to it. This is how the subject of spiritualism has described the self. It is the essence of who you are.

It is that supreme ability and it is the understanding of the self. There is only one spirit as the essence of everything that we have discovered, everything that we know. The essence prevails and pervades the ocean of awareness, which activates the mechanical mind and forms the conscious principle. Without the conscious direction, the mind would be mechanical.

Therefore, the Self is nothing but waves of aware energy settled in the mind, in the soul, which has been individualized. It goes into the mind and provides that “thinking self” or “illusory self” functioning in duality. You cannot call your mind first ‘me’ and then refer to it as ‘my mind’.  So, either you say I am the mind or the mind is yours.  And according to the subject of spiritualism, this conflict can only be settled when you have self-knowledge in self-awareness. 

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