Upanishad's say:- "He who thinks he knows, does not know." This means that to know anything implies a second, an object of knowledge, hence duality, i.e. no Gnana.
Gnani and Illusion
A King who was greatly incensed at the wisdom taught by Gnani that everything here below is an illusion. He wanted to teach the exponent of this doctrine a lesson. So he invited the then Gnani to his palace. That Gnani went there and stoutly maintained that everything in this world was an illusion. The king had arranged to let loose a hungry lion against Gnani. The beast rushed at Gnani who took to a precipitate flight to save himself.
'Oh, Venerable Sir,' shouted the king, 'why do you run so fast seeing that the lion is only an illusion?'
'Oh, king,' said Gnani in his course of his flight, 'my running too is an illusion. Everything in this world is an illusion.’
Similarly, we all are searching truth within the illusion not being aware of the fact that, the illusion is created out of single stuff is the formless soul, which is present in the form of consciousness.
Thus searching the truth within illusion with the illusory self, within the illusory experience, has to be an illusion. The illusion is created, and sustained, and finally dissolves as consciousness, which is Soul, the innermost self. Since, there is no second thing other than the consciousness; the consciousness itself is God/ Brahman/Christ. This conviction derives only through deeper self-search.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.― Khalil Gibran
The soul, the innermost self has to be free from experiencing the duality as reality. To overcome the duality, the waking entity has to know it itself is not the self but the self is the soul, which witnesses coming and going of the three states. Thus self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is necessary to realize ‘what is truth’ and ‘what is untruth’ to reject the untruth by accepting the truth.
Lust, anger, greed are part of the duality. From the ultimate standpoint the duality is mere illusion. If duality is mere illusion than the form, time and space are mere illusion. If form, time and space are mere illusion than the universe is mere illusion. If the universe is mere illusion, than the three states are mere illusion. If the three states are mere illusion than the experience of birth, life, death and the world are mere illusion. If birth, life, death and the world are mere illusion than the individualized god, heaven, hell, sin, and karma are part of the illusion. Therefore it is necessary to realize ‘what is illusion’ and ‘what is reality’ in order to get freedom from falsehood.
By inquiring WHO AM I? it unfolds the fallacy of the form thus only half the truth is revealed. The ignorant who fail to apprehend the ‘self’ are caught in the web of illusion experience, the birth, life, death and world as reality. The people who think the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self are caught up in the web of duality experiences the pain and pleasure as reality.
As the waking entity or ego becomes more and more inward turned, it becomes gradually free from experiencing the duality as reality. When the soul, the innermost self becomes freed from all the obstruction by fully eliminating the ignorance it remains in its own awareness. When the soul, remains in its own awareness in the midst of duality then the duality is mere illusion created out of the soul, which is present in the form of consciousness.
So long the soul, the innermost self identifies itself with the waking entity it remains in ignorance of its formless nondual true nature. Therefore it is necessary to realize the fact that, the ‘self’ is neither the waking entity nor the ‘self’ is dream entity but the self is the formless soul, which witnesses the coming and going of the three states.
Just as the sun is the direct cause of the daylight, so without the self-knowledge or Bramha Gnana or Atma Gnana no emancipation can be had. Compared to all other forms discipline self-knowledge is the only direct means for freedom from experiencing the illusion as reality.
Only when the wisdom dawns the soul, the innermost self can remain in its own awareness in the midst of duality.