The Ego is ignorantly assumed to be the Self &, thus the Knower. The conception of the Mind determines whether one is endowed with wrong knowledge, doubtful knowledge, or true knowledge. With mis-identification, there is wrong knowledge. Then, what is regarded as knowledge is actually Ignorance. Thereby arises self-caused Delusion regarding Happiness, Identity, & Reality.
With spiritual practice, wrong knowledge gives way to yet-doubtful knowledge. This means there is some actual knowledge regarding Happiness, Identity, & Reality. But this knowledge is not yet steady for it is either a conviction, without direct experience, or a conviction fused with some experience. But still, it is not steady because there remains the need to destroy remaining tendencies to mis-identify.
True Knowledge, however, is that state in which Knowledge is invariable. Also, here knowing & Being are one & the same. At all times, the same Consciousness is the only Knower, even when it appears as an Ego, a dissolving Ego, or as purely Ego-less. This is just like a clear crystal appearing as if endowed with different colors or as transparent, according to the proximity of various colors, or the absence of them. In Truth, all such states & their content are known by the Self, have their apparent existence by the Self, which is free from them & depends on no thought whatsoever to know itself. Even so, all such states & their content do not exist apart from the Self, though the Self itself can never be other than the Knowledge, Being itself.
Regarding the great aphorism (proclamation, mahavakya): “Thou art That”, wise Sages declare that the primary meaning of That is the Absolute Brahman. Likewise, the primary meaning of Thou is the Knower, or "I".
The essential meaning of That is the True Self. Likewise, the essential meaning of Thou is only pure Being, pure Consciousness. The meaning of both That & Thou is thus the same, & this identity is what art expresses. “Art” is an expression of complete Identity.
That complete Identity is realized by relinquishing other ideas regarding That, & most importantly, by Self-Inquiry into Thou. The deeper the Self-Inquiry into Thou, the more That is known as it is, for Thou art That.
No repetition of the idea: "I am That", "I am the Self", or "I am Brahman" is intended. For such implies the difference between the instructed & the instruction; between the meditator, the meditation, & the meditated upon; between the one desiring Liberation & the Liberation itself. Repetition further implies a difference between the self who would know & the Self to be known; between the realizer & that realized.
The Non-Dual Teaching of Identity with the Absolute Self, Brahman, is to be practiced by Self-Inquiry, full of clear discrimination, that frees one of the false notion of Do-er-ship, of being a sensing entity, of being an experiencer, of being a thinker, & such. Thus one discerns that the one Self is not the Body, Mind, or Ego, or anything connected with these. Then one knows one’s own true Self to be truly Brahman.
The Knowledge of the Self becomes possible only when the Ego vanishes. What remains is Self-evident, the Self-knowable, the eternally existing, the forever liberated that has never been bound. The Freedom & Happiness of this Realization have no cause or reason. This Freedom & Happiness are self-existing, as Being itself is. Only un-Happiness & Bondage seem to have reasons. By inquiry, these apparent reasons are found to be merely Ignorance.
When the Knowledge that one is the Self, Brahman, is not veiled by certain false notions, the Self-Knowledge becomes firm. Those are the false notions that Reality is something other than the formless, motionless, immutable Self, & that Happiness is other than the blissful Self. Then, the mis-identification of the Self with the Body or any other form becomes impossible.
The direct path of Knowledge is that in which one discriminates as described here, renounces the actions of the Body & the Mind. The direct path of Knowledge frees one from the ideas of being a Performer, Experiencer, Thinker, etc., abides free of outer sensing & inner conceiving activities, & thus know the Self to be That.
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"There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth."
– the "no creation"
, Shankara, Ramana, school of Gaudapada Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com/