The “trick” of Self-Inquiry
Some will understandably wonder about the “Who am I ?” of Self-Inquiry in terms of “which I, which Self” is the target of the question ? Is it the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman, or the false, individual Ego– “I” self ?
The initial Self-attention, subsequent Self-investigation, & ultimate Self-abidance that makes up the Maharshi’s Teaching of Self-Inquiry could be said to suggest “Who am I ?” as more of a “direction” – an inward direction for Consciousness turning in on itself. As a “direction”, either goal, the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman, or the false, individual Ego– “I” self will do. Once directed inward, Consciousness finds itself. No false, individual Ego– “I” self is found, but only the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman.
Another take on the issue [but not on the inquiry itself] could focus first on the fictitious Ego or Mind, the individual self. This limited & distorted “consciousness” bases its seeming existence on its role as a pseudo-Subject (really only reflecting light of Consciousness). This pseudo-Subject defines itself by Duality, by attending to objects [internal & external] other than
itself. Turning inward in Self-Inquiry, other things are “lost” just as in Deep Dreamless Sleep. But accomplished consciously in this Waking State, the Ego or Mind, the individual self ceases to veil the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman.
[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through www.jpstiga.com ]