The individual experience is mere illusion. Thus without first examining them and inquiring into them thoroughly is to delude oneself. The three states common to all; therefore, one must begin his inquiry, analysis and reasoning on the true base. It is only after it has inquired into the nature of the three states that he should inquire into who is the knower/witness. If, however one inquires into the knower before the analysis of the three states, then it is mere mysticism. What are these three states? Must precede 'What is ‘I’?'
The ‘I’ is inborn samskara or conditioning, because of this inborn samskara or conditioning one has accepted the ‘I’ as ‘self, he is ignorant of the fact that, he has accepted illusion as reality. The ‘I’ itself is an illusion. And whatever is connected to the ‘I’ is bound to be an illusion. The self is not an individual because it is birthless because it is formless. The self is not limited to waking experience alone because it pervades all the three states. Thus identifying the self without the form alone is erroneous. The self is without the form, without the time and without the space.
Thought is nothing to do with the innermost self, which is ever formless because without the form, time and space the thought will not be formed. The thought comes only to the waking entity or dream entity. Without the waking entity or dream entity the thoughts will not rise. Deeper self-search reveals the fact that the self is neither the waking entity nor the self is the dream entity but the self is the formless soul or consciousness, which witnesses the coming and going of the three states.
The three states are nothing to do with the self because they are mere illusion. The mind arises from the formless soul, which is in the form of consciousness. The sense of ‘I’ rises as mind. The mind is in the form of the universe. Thus ‘I’ is the mind or the universe. The universe appears as waking or dream and disappears as deep sleep. Holding sense of ‘I’ limited to the ego is the cause of separation. It makes one feel, he is an individual separate from the world and world existed prior to him, and he is born in it afterwards. Until one has this conviction, it is very difficult to grasp the nondual truth.
Thus it is necessary to realize the self is neither the ego nor the world but is the witness of the ego, body and world together. The true self is formless witness of the three states. And it is also the formless substance of the three states, because without self the three states are non-existent.