A common question people often ask is how can I know the Truth? While they pose this question, they’re not clear as to what they understand by the word Truth. The usual complaint is that despite best efforts and sincere atma vichara (self-inquiry), the Truth of one’s own true nature remains elusive to most.
The greatest paradox is that the one trying to seek Truth is never apart from it. Any movement in that endeavor is a diversion from one’s true nature – the being or consciousness which is the bedrock of all experiential awareness, including the sense of personal identification as a separate entity or “me.”
Nisargadatta Maharaj said that never having left our house, we crave to go back home. The impersonal awareness of I AM or being is your true home. It is the place of utmost calm and restfulness that never eludes you. Once there is the recognition of being everything becomes clear. This recognition does not come about through thinking.
Thinking is a part of the ego-intellect, which works beautifully in phenomenality, but it cannot lead the apparent “you” to the non-dual truth. There is no “you” to arrive anywhere. You are always here beyond time, space, and causation. When the thinking mind is quiet, reality is seen as the light of impersonal awareness or I AM.
You can only know it by “being” it. It is closer to you than anything else. Any attempt to seek it will be a movement away from it. It is the stillness that is now. It is like the sunlight that illuminates everything but nothing illuminates it. It is self-luminous. It is both the source and substance of all forms of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.
The awareness can never become an object of your experience for “you” are simply an appearance in it. The illusion cannot know the reality. Just like the dream world is composed of objects created by the one dreamer mind, the waking dream is also a projection of the infinite mind that manifests as the finite mind to create phenomenality or life as we know it. This projection is what the scriptures call the Maya.
From a chapter in my book, The End of Me and My Story.