Questions About Self-Inquiry (Ask Maria)

Questions About Self-Inquiry and Self-Realization

It is this whole domain of questions that has been tripping me up for a while now. I can’t seem to penetrate to the truth of it all.

For example:

Who wakes up?

At the present time the answer that makes the most sense is that there can’t be two selves, one that is already awake and another that is trying to wake up.

So there is only the Self, and a false ego self that is superimposed over it by ignorance.

But this ego self is within the Self in the same way that the dream is within the dreamer”.

Continuing with the questions, ..

Then there is the question of doership.

I often come across this idea in my studies, that the ego believes it is the doer, but in fact it doesn’t do anything by virtue of not being real.

So then one is forced to conclude that it is the Self that is the doer, but so often I have heard and read that the Self is only an observer.

So who is the doer then?

I’ve also heard that everything “just happens” seeming to indicate there is no doer at all.

Another paradox. There are certainly intentions”.

Continuing, ..

I understand the saying “I am God” somewhat on an intellectual level but it still doesn’t make a lot of sense.

How can I be God?

I didn’t create this universe.

I can accept being in God. But the Ruler of Creation?

What is lacking in my understanding and how do I realize it?

Is it just that I’ve spent so many years as a separate person, it’s a longstanding habit of mind to consider myself as separate?”

Lastly;

I’m beginning to wonder if all this inquiry is a waste of time. It’s certainly fascinating to me, but a lot of it just seems to be unknowable.

Have you gone through a time of thinking similar thoughts, that all this effort goes nowhere?”

My Reply:

It’s the ego who begins the spiritual journey and the self-inquiry but with all the questions the questioner eventually dies and in the process the ego will become tired and feel just like you feel right now and ask things like “what’s the point with all this, it seems to get me nowhere?”

I have personally not had so many of those types of thoughts but I know that it can be frustrating for the ego that is very focused on self-realization (thinking there’s something in it for it to realize), simply because of the fact that the questions it asks can never be realized by “it”.

Why I haven’t been frustrated about it is because I have been more inclined towards surrendering and not so much on very focused self-inquiry.

To me there’s three main ways to self-realization and they are first and foremost:

  • Surrendering to Truth. (Or “God”). 
  • Being the witness/observer of self and thoughts, emotions etc.
  • And then also the process of self-inquiry.

(You can use all three ways or some of them and sometimes combined, it really doesn’t matter).

My own personal “main way” (or path) has been surrender while self-inquiry has come by itself without my “effort” or conscious choice. 

Meaning, I did self-inquiry even before I knew what it was, so it has been a natural way for me to inquire into Truth whereas surrendering has been the part that has been most difficult for me and that has created a lot of frustration for me in the past.

Hope this makes sense to you?

For example, I have always asked a lot of questions and before I knew what self-inquiry was I asked questions (and said things) like “take me to truth”, “what is the truth”, “is God fearful? No. Then who is it that is fearful?” and so on.

These questions came naturally to me so I didn’t make any “effort” to do the inquiry into Truth-process.

It just ‘happened’ all by itself, and still happens; I’m just curious by nature and I’m not interested in concepts and ideas so I naturally want to know the Truth and this means I naturally also question things. 

Here’s a couple of my older articles that you might like:

mariaerving.com/show-me-the-truth

mariaerving.com/leave-excuses-behind-and-realize-truth

It’s just different ways to get to Truth so to speak and your way (at the moment) seems to be self-inquiry, so I would say that when your ego gets annoyed and frustrated that’s actually a good sign.

(It means you’re moving beyond mind, beyond what the mind can comprehend).

So let’s change the direction of your questions a little bit to get you further your progress in this:

Let’s look at your first question “who wakes up?”.

I want to invite you to ask a bit deeper and instead of trying to figure out the answers let them be revealed to you, because again; it’s beyond mind knowledge, this is where “study” ends and realization begins. 

So for example you ask yourself “who wakes up?” but instead of wanting to know the answer to that question, ask who is it that wants to know.

And then the answer might be “I want to know”, and then you go even deeper and you follow this “I”-thread for a s far as you can and you ask things like “Who is this “I”, where does it come from?”.

So you don’t ask so much about who you are (“Who am I?”) but more deeply into who this “I” actually is.

Who is “I”?”.

You ask the questions but you don’t answer them (you never can answer them) but you ask them and then let the answers be revealed to you.

The ego asks them but can’t answer them (that why it gets frustrated), so you drop the questions into your consciousness (into Truth), and when you do that you stay very attentive and alert yet without seeking anything.

It’s a feeling thing. It’s light and loose yet focused.

There’s an openness there, like “air” or space around the questions. 

Can you sense this difference in the way you ask the questions?

There’s attentiveness, openness and humbleness (because you know you can’t answer the questions so you wait yet expect to be shown).

So asking “who is I” instead of “who am I” would be more accurate and “productive” for you now I think, because otherwise your ego can find all kinds of wonderful things to say about itself, like for example “I am love”, “I am Life itself”, “I am awareness” and “I am God” even, but who is the “I”?

That’s the real question.

So you follow the “I” (you demand to see it but without forcing it) and that’s the discovery that you have to make for yourself, the discovery of the illusion of the “I”, and with that discovery the Self realizes itself. 

There is no need to “find” the true Self, only to have the false self unraveled and exposed and then the true will shine on its own. 

Moving on, ..

.. To your next question which was “who is the doer?”.

My reply to that and the other questions that was asked can be read in part 2/2 in this article: 

mariaerving.com/about-self-inquiry-2 

who am i

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