“What is self?"
The self, the soul or Atman or consciousness,is pure knowing.” When there is a duality, doubt comes. And so long as a man thinks there is a second thing to be obtained, he can never be happy because the duality is always there. The Gnani, on the other hand, regards nothing as different, i.e. as a second thing, and therefore escapes experiencing the duality as reality.
The experience of the pain and pleasure are within the waking or dream, but the witness of the three states does not disappear, for that which is called soul or Atman, uncuttable, indestructible. It is infinite because one cannot say where it begins or ends. It is immortal, because one has never seen it die.
The earliest ancients sages used the word ‘I’ to the witness of the three states not to the ego as moderns use it and think the ‘I’ without the body is self. The seeker has to understand the fact that the fact that ‘i’ is not the self but the witness of the ‘I’ is the true self, which is eternal.
People think that the ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ is something different from the mind. They believe that the mind is really two. This is the confusion among religionists and intellectuals. If ‘Soul’ has any meaning, if ‘spirit’ has any meaning, so long as one thinks of them, they are merely ideas. No, Mind is the highest: it is consciousness, non dual wisdom.
The individual is a bundle of memories, desires within the waking or dream. The memories and desires are part of the duality. Therefore the individual self is entirely part and parcel of the mirage. Peoples ideas of that they will go to some world after death, some astral plane or religious heavens will disappear as nonsense with the disappearance of belief in the reality of the ‘I’.