Even in Christianity the Self-knowledge or truth was hidden. And it is imparted only to few.
While speaking to the multitude in a veiled manner, ‘privately to his own disciples he explained everything’ (Mark, 4:34), and advised them not to ‘throw your pearls before swine’ (Matthew, 7:6).
Long before Socrates’ injunction: - “Know Thyself”, Indian sages of truth have been exploring for long the question of the truth of the man and his experience of the universe. Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is fundamental since all other knowledge is dependent upon this knowledge. It is important for one to know “what is truth” to realize “what is the untruth.
Without first knowing the true Self, one can never understand truly where he stands in the cosmic scheme of things. Ignorance of the innermost Self is seen as the root cause of experiencing the birth, life, death and the world as a reality.
The ignorant is always egocentric. He thinks what he knows is the truth. He always indulges in an argument. The Ignorant is sentimentalized to his belief system. An ignorant person just to prove that he is correct and others are wrong because the ignorant presumes he already knows and wants to see whether others know or not.
The ignorant person provokes others to snub them. Ignorant accumulates knowledge and try to show his intellectual wealth. Such intellectual’s sharing of knowledge is mere garbage. It is of no use in pursuit of truth. Because they are egocentric based on ignorance thus they will not yield any truth.
Thus, the belief, actions, conducts, love, virtue, scriptural mastery, religion, rituals, prayers which are mere theories based on the false Self are great hindrances in realizing the non-dual truth, which is the ultimate truth.
All religious theories are meant for those who believe in the practical life within the practical world as a reality because they are unable to verify the truth of their true existence.
The religion is based on the birth entity (you). The birth entity is the false self within the false experience (waking). Thus, the religion is based on the falsehood, because the religion accepts the experience of the birth, life, death and the world as a reality. It is very much necessary to realize the self is the formless Soul, which is birthless and deathless because it is ever formless. The Soul, the innermost Self has no religion. All religious theories are based on the birth entity is bound to be a falsehood.
The seeker has to verify the fact about his true existence through deeper Self-search to realize, the Self is not the form, but the Self is formless Soul (consciousness).
When he realizes the Self is the Soul, then he becomes aware of the fact that, the practical life within the practical world is mere an illusion created out of the Soul or the consciousness.
The practical life within the practical world is nothing to do with the formless Soul, the innermost Self. The practical knowledge within the practical world is not wisdom, but it is knowledge based on ignorance. The real wisdom is non-dual wisdom, which arise only when ignorance vanishes.
All are seeing the world that confronts them due to ignorance. When ignorance vanishes there is neither the seer nor the seen because they have become one in essence. That essence is the consciousness (Soul).
That is why Jesus said: ~ “Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.
It means one has to know the world which confronts him confronts to realize his body and world are made of the same essence and that essence is Spirit or consciousness (father).
Sage Sri, Sankara says: ~ one must first know what is before him. If he cannot know that, what else can he know or understand? If he gives up the external world in his inquiry, he cannot get the whole truth.
VC~ 63. Without causing the objective universe to vanish and without knowing the truth of the Self, how is one to achieve Liberation by the mere utterance of the word Brahman? — It would result merely in an effort of speech.
In Self-awareness, the Soul will as objectless –awareness in the midst of the duality and then the duality will cease to exist as reality.
The mind is nothing but objective existence. The seeker has to eliminate such all the objective knowledge through wisdom and then objectless knowledge will alone remain. This is the nature of the Soul, the innermost Self.
As for the well-known example of the hallucination of a snake in a coil of rope, the rope is real and the snake is unreal. There is neither the snake nor the rope in Self-awareness. Even after the truth of the snake is realized and the hallucination of a snake dismissed, there is still the reality of the rope persists. Until the rope is recognized to be the Self, the Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is an impossibility. The universe is like the snake because it mere an illusion. Deeper Self-search reveals the fact that, the universe is neither the snake nor the rope but is the Soul, which is present in the form of the consciousness. The true nature of the Soul is objectless awareness.