Chapter 4: The Unknowable Self
Similar is the case with the inner phenomenon, the inner self. Everything is known through it, but it itself is known not by anything else - it is a self-revealing phenomenon. It reveals itself. Self-knowledge doesn’t mean that the self is known by someone else because then the someone else will be the self. So whatsoever is known in an objective way cannot be the self. Always the knower will be the self. But how can this self be known? The self is a self-evident, self-revealing phenomenon; nothing else is needed to know it. You need not reduce it to an object.
Really, when all objects are removed from the mind, when all the furniture is removed from the mind, suddenly the self reveals itself. It is self-revealing. Really, that is the difference between matter and consciousness: matter is not self-revealing and consciousness is self-revealing; matter has to be known by someone else and consciousness knows itself. That is the basic difference between matter and consciousness. There are trees, but if there is no conscious being they cannot be revealed; they need someone’s consciousness so that they can be revealed.
There are rocks, beautiful rocks, but if there is no consciousness they will not be beautiful because then no one will become aware that they are there. Their existence will be mute. Even those rocks will not be able to know that they exist. Existence will be there, but there will be no revelation of it.
A small child comes playing near the rock: suddenly the rock is revealed. Now it is not a mute existence. Through the child the rock has become assertive. Now the tree is revealed. Now everything around the child becomes alive in a new meaning. The child has become a source of revelation. Everything around him becomes alive. Hence, the deeper your consciousness, the deeper you reveal existence.
When a buddha is born the whole existence celebrates in him because of such a deep consciousness. All that is hidden in matter becomes manifest. It was never known before. Just by the presence of an enlightened person, the whole existence around him is enlightened. Everything becomes alive, feels through him. Consciousness reveals others, but there is no need to reveal it for another consciousness. It is self-revelatory.
Take it from another angle: everything needs proof because everything can be doubted. But you cannot doubt the self; therefore the self never needs any proof. Can you doubt the self? One of the great Western thinkers, Descartes, used doubt as a method to know. He started his journey of knowledge through doubt - very penetrating doubt. He decided that he would doubt everything unless he stumbled upon a fact which could not be doubted. And unless there is a basic fact which cannot be doubted, you cannot build the palace of knowledge because there is no foundation stone to make it. If everything can be doubted and has to be proved, then the whole edifice is just logical. Something deep down must be indubitable, which does not need any proof.
God is not indubitable. Remember this: God is not indubitable. He can be doubted - not only doubted, he can be disproved. And really, when someone doubts God you cannot prove his existence. You can only convince those who are already convinced, but you cannot convert a new man; that is impossible. Not a single atheist can be converted because he needs proof and you cannot prove God.