When we come to this world we are ignorant and don’t know how it works.
From the moment we start to read and learn, we try to overcome our ignorance by learning as much about the world as we can. Our learning never stops. Each day we learn something new about the world.
To most of us, what matters most is what this world is made up of and how it runs. We focus most of our learning on the world that’s outside us.
We learn new things about this world so that we can make a living, and make the right choices in our day-to-day life while dealing with this world around us. We also want to know more about this world so that we can identify our role in it.
So our whole life, we continue to learn more and more about the world outside us.
But how many of us ever question the value of what we learn? How many of us give a deep thought to the nature of the things that we learn? How many of us ever think of learning anything else besides the outside world? Very few.
The knowledge that you seek outside isn’t the ultimate goal in your life. It may help you to earn money, make a living, understand things outside you, and seem knowledgeable to others, but it won’t help you find true happiness and permanent peace in your life.
Why? Because the knowledge of the outside world keeps changing from time to time. And how can anything that keeps changing bring permanent peace and happiness. It simply can’t.
The greatest knowledge in the world is not what’s outside, it’s what inside you – the knowledge of the self.
There is no end to the things that you can learn about the outside world. If you were to live even for a hundred years there is no way you can gain even a fraction of knowledge of the outside world. And even if you gain all the knowledge of the outside world, what use will it be to you? Will it remove all your suffering? Will it give you permanent peace? Will it help you understand the purpose of your life? No.
Only true knowledge of the self can help you overcome all your problems in life. And that’s why you should spend every wakeful hour in pursuing the knowledge of the self.
Any true knowledge in a field requires you to go deep into that field, explore it, see it’s practical use. Gaining true knowledge of the self is no different.
You understand about this self within you only when you explore what’s inside you, in detail. This exploration isn’t the same as any medical exploration that involves identifying different parts of the body. This exploration is more of what you yourself experience to be true within you.
This knowledge of the self is gained by practicing meditation. When you practice meditation, you dive deeper and deeper within yourself, and the self starts to reveal its true nature to you. This doesn’t happen instantly, but often takes years of practice to happen. Though depending upon your intensity of meditation this can happen a lot quicker.
When you meditate, your mind becomes quiet, your thoughts cease to trouble you. You can feel every thought and every feeling arising and falling within you. You realize, possibly for the very first time, that you have full control over your thoughts and feelings if you are mindful of yourself. And you start to feel a deep peace and quietness within.
In this quietness, you start to feel something in you that’s separate from your thoughts and feelings. That’s the self which you need to realize first, then understand in more depth, and then finally become one with.
The more you understand about your self, the more peaceful and happy you become. Your understanding of the self shines the light within you which helps you to see why you act the way you act, why you think the way you think, why you feel the way you feel. If you keep diving deeper within and keep discovering the self, it will even show you the right way to live your life.
Whenever we come across a crisis in our life we start to look for the solutions outside. We seek help from self-help books or coaches, gurus, psychiatrists or other people whom we think can help us. While what advice others offer you may be helpful to you, but if you want to find the root cause of your crisis so that you can not only cure your crisis now, but also understand how to avoid it permanently, then the place you should look for the answer is within your self.
Instead of depending on others to tell you how to live your life, what to do and what not to do, why not try to realize this for yourself and search for the answer within.
Start to practice those activities that bring you closer to your self, such as mindfulness and meditation. Stop to do those activities that take you further away from your self, such as greed, lust, and different ways of entertainment.
Once you realize this self, you see for yourself how authentic it feels to live in sync with your self, how right it feels when you make decisions as per it, how peaceful you feel when you think and act as per it.
This knowledge of the self is something that can bring a revolution within you and altogether change the way you have lived your life until now.
The purpose of every spiritual book, every mindfulness book, every meditation book is one and the same : To make you aware of your true self and start to see the world and live your life as per this true self.
There is so much to know about this self that any article, any book will be too small to cover it in depth. All you need to know now is that you have as much access to realize this self in you as anyone else has, and the only thing you need to do to find this self is practice as much meditation and mindfulness as you can.
When you start to have glimpses of this self, you will know that you have found it. In the beginning it will take you time to get in touch with it. But with practice it will keep getting easier.
To live with true mindfulness is nothing but to live in sync with the true self. This self is also known by several other names. Different cultures and religions call it by different names such as soul, atman, consciousness, mindfulness, presence, the god particle in you. No matter what you call it, the self is still the same.
This self is timeless, indestructible, limitless, and pure. But to understand it in full depth is something which even advanced meditators and yogis fail to do. All that you and I can do is continue our practice of mindfulness and meditation and understand as much about it as we can, so that we can start to discover the truth about this self for ourself and gain first-hand experience in realizing it.
If you have read this far, and for some reason, doubt what I have said today, I can understand that. Due to your existing knowledge and conditioning of your mind you may find what I say true or you may find it false. Whatever you find it to be, why not take the path of mindfulness and meditation and see for yourself if it’s true or not.
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any queries, and you are reading this in your email, just hit the reply button and let me know your doubts. I will try my best to answer your questions.