Self-realization is self-actualization. Does this mean that before the Self is actualized it does not actually exist? If this be the case, we could say that the Real is born from the unreal, or that the unreal becomes real; which we could further elaborate on and come to the conclusion that right comes from wrong, good from evil, love from hate, and so on. This is NOT true.
When we say the Self is realized or becomes real, it means the Self becomes manifested, the Truth becomes revealed. When someone really loves another, the love does not come from nowhere or NOTHING, nor does it come from hate; that true love already exists, but becomes manifested. True love is timeless, eternal, beginingless and endless: and if it is not, then it is NOT true Love. Likewise, one can say the same thing about Truth and about one’s own Self.
Our True Self is Immortal. Our True Self is indestructible, beginingless, endless, eternal, indivisible, and formless. When this Self is revealed to the mind one is said to be enlightened. When one does NOT know the Self, one is said to be unenlightened. Both the knowing and unknowing are states of mind.
When a mirror is covered with mud, it cannot reflect the light. When the mind is filled with self-centered thoughts, desires, and misconceptions, it cannot reflect the Light of the Soul.
The Light of the Soul means Pure Awareness; it is Consciousness devoid of mental superimpositions. The mind becomes tainted when we impose our ego. In other words, mental superimpositions are created by our self-will.
Self-will originally manifests as the will to live, and is a natural component of life. Self-will is at the root of the so-called survival instinct, and is present in all living things. We are born with self-will, and
WE ARE BORN FROM SELF-WILL.
According to the Vedic science, the Soul (ATMAN) is Swayambhu, which means ‘self-created.’ The Self becomes embodied (created as a human being, or other being) by its own free choice.
“We are the sum total of the choices we make.”
Dr. T. R. Khanna
Originally, we ‘exist’ as Pure Consciousness (Soul, ATMAN). The word ‘exist’ is set in single quotes here to convey that its use is NOT as we generally use it. Generally when we say something exists we mean it is perceptible to our mind and senses. However, the Self in its original state is simply Pure Awareness devoid of mind and senses. This is the state of the Self before the Creation (Big Bang), and this same State of Being is the state we experience in the state of deep, dreamless sleep. Of course, it is really not correct to say that we experience it, because in this instance ‘we’ means ourselves in the waking state of consciousness.
The Soul evolves (actually, devolves) from the State of Being and becomes Jivatman, an embodied soul. Initially, its ’embodiment’ is simply the manifestation of its own inherent Energy (Prana, Lifeforce), and in this state the Atman is referred to as the Spirit Self (PURUSH).
The interaction of this Lifeforce with the coexisting PRAKRITI (unmanifested primordial Matter) reveals (brings into manifestation) the Mind (this is the Universal Mind filled with the Wisdom of Consciousness, and is called MAHATATVA).
By the power of this Mind, the heretofore unmanifested primordial Matter becomes manifest in the form of the 5 TANMATRAS (subtle states of matter, beginning with Space, AKASHA), and along with it the Self expresses it awareness of itself (in this state of flux), and this expression is called AHAMKARA (ego).
The ATMAN, now ’embodied’ in this expression of self-consciousness (ego), manifests the power of discernment in the form of Intellect (Buddhi), which discerns the subtle states of matter (Space, Luminosity, Gaseousness, Liquidity, and Solidity). These discernments bring about the formation of the individual mind in which these experiences are recorded. Actually, ALL experiences already exist in a potential state in the Mind (MahaTatva). It is just the presence of ego (AHAMKARA) that causes these experiences to be accentuated and segregated in the shape of the individualized mind.
Along with the formation of the individual mind, the 5 gross ‘elements’ (Space, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth) are crystallized from the 5 subtle states of matter (TANMATRAS). In other words, this visible universe begins to take shape.
The senses are part and parcel of the mind. In other words, the sense of seeing, the sense of hearing, etc., are powers of the mind. These powers, in conjunction with the impressions recorded in the mind, and in conjunction with the energy and intelligence present in gross matter, eventually bring about the formation of the gross physical body.
In the Beginning of this Drama, when the Self first decides to manifest itself (i.e., hide itself in the world of matter), there are no impressions to speak of recorded in the individual mind. Thus, the ATMAN is initially embodied in a microscopic life form, from whence it (Atman) begins its journey of evolution through 8,400,000 different species until it attains birth in a human body. Naturally, during this journey through so many different lives in different forms, all having various natures of their own according to the Laws and mechanics of Nature, the living soul (now embodied as a human being) will have countless impressions (SAMSKARAS) in the mind. Along with these impressions will be associated tendencies (VASANAS), and along with the tendencies, thoughts and attitudes (VRITTIS) will be formed. Together, these will shape the lower nature of a person. However, along with this lower nature, there always exists the nature of one’s original State of Being, as well as the nature of one’s state of being as the Spirit Self, as the possessor of the Universal Mind, as the ego, as the intellect, and so on all the way back down to one’s nature as a body (and lower still, as the nature of earlier life forms).
All of this sets the stage for the Drama of Existence. The living self (Jivatman) strives to realize its Essence. We are driven by our own dual nature to rise above duality and realize our True Self, our Original State of Being. This is the Drama. This is the Game. This is the Divine Sport. This is our life.
We strive for Self-realization because that is why we are here. We are playing ‘hide-and-go-seek’ because . . . THERE IS NO ‘REASON’ FOR IT. This ‘thing’ called ‘living’ is just what we do, because that is what we do. The real meaning of ‘living’ is to become absolutely FREE (from Ignorance and its evolutes).
Self-realization is the realization that WE ARE FREE. This means being ACTUALLY free, not just imagining we are free or intellectualizing that we are free. We must actualize the Self.
The Self realizes the Self by the Self. OM