You want to know how to realize the self? First of all, come to know the non-self. Know what is not the self and understand it completely. Finally, nothing will remain; eventually, everything that is not the self will disappear. That is the self. That emptiness is the self. Only emptiness is really full.
What is this thing called consciousness? The mind is not consciousness. When the movement of the mind has totally ceased there is another stirring – and this I call consciousness. Only when the mind becomes empty does consciousness manifest itself. The mind is the instrument, the medium. When it becomes involved with the activities of the ego it ceases to be a medium of consciousness because it is otherwise engaged. To become acquainted with consciousness is to bid farewell to the machinations of the mind.
The mind is like a servant who has usurped his master’s place in the master’s absence. Will such a servant ever desire the master’s return? He will never be able to welcome the returning master with sincerity. He will put up every possible obstacle he can to delay the master’s return. And the most basic obstruction will be his contention that he himself is the master and no one else. He will simply deny that any other master exists.
Generally the mind does exactly the same thing. This is how it becomes a barrier; this is how it hinders the advent of consciousness.
If you wish to move towards consciousness learn to let your mind relax. Allow it to remain free of activity; allow it to be empty; allow it to disengage itself from its involvements.
The cessation of the activity of the mind marks the first stirring of consciousness. And the death of the mind heralds the birth of consciousness.
It is certainly very difficult to conquer one’s self, but it is impossible to conquer anything but the self. And remember, the man who conquers the self can easily achieve victory over everything else in life as well. In life there is only one conquest and only one defeat. The defeat is of the self, by the self; the conquest too is of the self, by the self.
The greatest freedom is the freedom of one’s self from oneself. We usually remain unaware of the fact that we are our own tightest chains and the heaviest burdens on our own shoulders.