The formless soul is the true self. The soul is in the form of consciousness. Consciousness cannot become what it already is. And what self already is, is what it wants to become.
Within the illusion, which appears as mind or universe, the self is in ignorance, so it does not know its own formless nondual true nature. However, that 'ignorance' can end.
In waking experience or dream soul or true self is not aware of itself due to ignorance. Thus there is no self-awareness in waking or dream. ‘I’ and ‘I AM’ is the seed of ignorance. Thus one will not get self-awareness until they stick to ‘I’ or ‘I am’ and think it as self. The self-awareness is conscious existence of without ‘I’ or ‘I AM’.
Self has to know itself by dropping the seed of ignorance, which is ‘I’ or ‘I AM’. It exists with or without the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’. Thus it is necessary to realize the formless substance and witness of the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is the self. The formless substance and witness are one in essence and that essence is consciousness. Consciousness is the true self and ultimate truth or Brahman. One has to know that his existence is dependent on consciousness.
Mind is form. Mind is time. Mind is space. The knower of the mind is not mind but consciousness. All feeling, revolving, growing are within the mind ,which is mere illusion from the standpoint of the formless knower of the mind, which is consciousness. The mind is dependent on consciousness for its existence whereas the consciousness is independent. It can exist with or without the mind.
Physical awareness is not self-awareness, because the self is not physical. The physical awareness is mere illusion from the ultimate standpoint. The physical awareness is present when the universe is present. The universe is present when the mind is present. The mind is present only in waking or dream. And mind is absent in deep sleep. The knower of the coming and going of the three states is neither the waking entity nor the dream entity, therefore it is not physical. The true self is within the three states but it is without the three states. Thus mentally tracing the formless knower of the three states and realizing it as the self, leads one to self-awareness.
When the self is in intoxication of ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ it is in physical awareness, which is in the form of mind. The mind is in the form of universe. The universe appears as waking or dream. Thus it is necessary to realize the fact that, ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is not the self.
Some sages in the past have prescribed ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self in the past, to help the seekers to realise the illusoriness of the ego or physical self. But ‘I’ or I AM’ will reveal only half-truth and the inner journey is incomplete. People who are stuck with ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ concept are like stagnant water in the pond. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate “What is mind?” and “What is the substance of the mind?” in order to understand, assimilate and realize the nondual truth.
‘I know’ attitude blocks one from realizing the nondual reality. Seeker has to know consciousness as true self, and then only the truth will be revealed. Thus bookish knowledge, intellectual speculation, scriptural mastery, logical conclusion are not the means to acquire self-knowledge. Academic merits, virtues, love, service are valuable in practical life within the practical world. But they are not qualification in acquiring Self-Knowledge.
One is aware of his body and his experience of the world because of consciousness but he is unaware of the consciousness because he thinks his body and the world as reality within the illusion. But as he goes in deeper self-search he becomes aware of the fact that there is neither body nor the world but everything is consciousness. Thus consciousness alone is all else is mere mirage created out of consciousness. Thus it is necessary for the seeker to sure his body and his experience of the world is mere mirage created out of the consciousness. The consciousness is the cause of everything and it itself is uncaused.
The individual experiences within the waking experience are as real as dream. The dream is parallel waking experience and waking experience is parallel dream. Thus judging the truth on the base of waking entity is erroneous, because waking entity is not the self. Thus realization of true self is necessary in order to get freedom from experiencing the duality as reality. The clarity of understanding and assimilation of nondual arises only when one drops all inherited conditioning of reasoning on the base of ego or false self.