Those who realize the fact that, the Self is not physical (form) but the self is formless soul,which is present in the form of consciousness enter into the realm of non-dual self-awareness. They are fully aware of the fact that, the soul or consciousness is the true self and it pervades everywhere and in everything in the universe, which is in the form of the mind. Thus the mind or universe is mere mirage created out of consciousness. The mind or universe is myth on the standpoint of consciousness, which is the true self. Whatever the mind or universe contains is myth. Thus, the birth, life and death or pleasure and pain which are happenings within the mind or universe are myth. Thus judging the truth on the base of the physical self (waking entity or ego) is erroneous.
The gross universe is merged into the mental universe in the sense that when it is analyzed, it is found to exist inseparably in and as the mind alone. All "spiritual" planes are really mental: those who regard them as different or higher will remain ignorant.
Doubts and Confusions arise when seeker finds the scriptures and yoga are inadequate or useless to quench his spiritual thirst. Disappointments in religion or yoga or even science imply error or ignorance. Seeker reaches a stage whether he is right?" Where is the certainty that he is proceeding on right lines?" Thus doubts arise and the inquiring spirit comes and impels to search elsewhere for truth where it will not be possible even to have doubt. The test is therefore in experience. And only in non-duality, where there are no two to argue about views or to have difference of opinion can such doubtlessness be possible. Belief depends upon unstable bases whereas certainty depends on proof.
The truth can never change. The nature of truth is, it can never be changed under any circumstances. It may be misrepresented. It must apply to the whole of existence, to the whole of the universe. It is in the object (three states) alone that one has all changes, as deeper analysis points out.
The subject (formless witness) remains unchanged. The subject (formless witness), as such remains immortal. It can never die for it never changes. The body and world are an object, and goes, but the subject or knower of the body and the universe, can never go. Seeker has to take this principle as his guiding thread and non-dual truth becomes easy to grasp. The formless witness can never be subject to the changes of the object; it is unchanged. The mistake usually made is that subject becomes object, or that object is subject.
If self has no relation with the three states then the self prevails in its formless non-dual true nature. When wisdom dawns then one becomes aware of the fact that, the self is not physical but the self is consciousness and he becomes fully aware of the fact that, the physical body, ego and universe (mind) and its contents are mere mirage created out of consciousness. Thus, seeker has to first know body, ego, universe are mind. When the mind is present they are present and when the mind is absent they are absent.
Everyone is aware of the three states. There is a need to analyze the three states and realize the fact that, the mind is not limited to the physical body but mind appears as whole waking or dream experience and disappears as deep sleep. Therefore there is a need to understand “what is mind? And what is the substance of the mind in order to unfold the truth hidden within the three states. Therefore, anyone who sleeps dreams and wakes up can sit and examine this process logically, without any prior exposure to any scriptures or teachings. Such an independent analysis will lead seeker of truth towards perfect understanding, assimilation and realization of non-dualistic or Advaitic truth.
It is absolutely not possible to examine the three states logically if one is not aware of the existence of formless witness. The formless witness is within the three states, but it is without this three states. Formless witness is nothing to do with three states, because it is not an entity or identity within the three states. It pervades everywhere and in everything as formless substance and witness of the three states. The three states are an object to the formless witness, which is in the form of consciousness. Thus consciousness is the subject and the mind, which is in the form of universe, is an object. Therefore mind is an object to the subject, which is consciousness.
The waking, dream and the deep sleep states do not have a sequence as one really thinks and believe. Since everyone is habituated to view and judge the three states on the base of the waking entity, which is not the self. Thus viewing and judging the three states on the base of the false witness (“ego or waking entity”) is erroneous. Therefore perfect understanding is necessary in order understand and assimilate the existence of the formless witness, which exists apart and beyond the three states.
In all the three states, the formless witness remains unchanged. One who has not analyzed the three states deeply will never be able to grasp the existence of the formless witness, which is the soul or consciousness. He will just wake up, dreams and goes to deep sleep without this analysis. Everyone thinks the three states are their physical experience whereas the physical experience is limited to the waking or dream. In deep sleep there is no experience of any sort.
In the deep sleep state the formless witness prevails in its formless non-dual true nature. It is without the waking or dream experience. Consciously becoming aware of the formless non-dual true nature of the witness, which is soul or consciousness in the midst of the waking experience, is realization of the self or truth.
The soul, which is in the form of consciousness, is the source of the mind which is present in the form of universe. The universe appears as waking or dream (duality) and disappears as deep sleep non-duality. The source, which is consciousness is the true self and the on the standpoint of consciousness as self the three states are mere mirage thus there is nothing exists other than consciousness. Therefore, there is no forth state because the three states are itself is mere mirage created out of consciousness. Thus
Only an independent analysis without the scriptures will lead one to deeper understanding assimilation of the ultimate reality.
An ignorant person may identify the cotton with the cloth and gold with an ornament, forgetting that the cloth and the ornament are not cotton and gold, respectively; rather, they are only manifestations of cotton and gold. Similarly, one may identify the empirical ego with Self or Soul, ignorantly without knowing the real nature of Self or Soul.
A person walking in a desert may perceive water in a mirage by wrong perception. Likewise, in semi-darkness one can perceive a human figure in a post. All such perceptions are illusory. So also the perception of Self or soul as identical with the elements of this universe is illusory. Just as perceptions of a castle in the air and a second moon in the sky are illusory, so also the perception of Soul or Self as identical with the universe is unreal.
All these illustrations point to the basic and absolute nature of Self or Soul. The Self is that which is imperishable, the unseen witness, the unheard hearer, the un-thought thinker, the un-understood understander. Other than it, there is naught that hears; other than it, there is naught that thinks; other than it, there is naught that understands." Thus, Self is the absolute consciousness, the source of all experience and knowledge.
The ignorant thinks his body is the self. And all is accumulated knowledge is based on the body as self. The more learned thinks, "Self is his personality and all his knowledge is theories based on his intellectual speculations. But the Gnani knows the true Self is consciousness." He is fully aware of the fact that his body and his experience of the world also as consciousness. He has dissolved the "mind or universe” in the Self, which is in the form of Consciousness.
When non-dual truth is deeply assimilated, a permanent weakening of illusory experience follows, and one finds freedom from experiencing duality as reality. The ego ceases to be prey to compulsions. And one becomes capable - How to be in the illusion, which is in the form of universe but not of it? One has to adopt the formless Witness point of view i.e. to dis-identify with the three states mentally in the midst of waking experience and remain consciously as the formless witness of the illusory three states which comes and goes in succession.