– quoting Jed McKenna –

Realizing that you have no idea of who you are is the beginning of finding out who you are.

Self realization is the practice of self inquire for a direct experience of self. Asking yourself, “Who am I” is a good example of this practice. The so-called self-realization is the discovery for yourself, and only by yourself, that there is no self to discover. There is no self to realize. Nothing. That’s the discovery. There is no self. You cannot find the self. That’s a huge and direct realization that hits you like a thunderbolt. There is no self to discover.

The part you call “you” is ego. Ego is the false self. The personality. Everything you think as you. Everything that makes you different form everything that’s not you. The false self is not bad, it’s false.

Your constant utilization of thought to give continuity to your separate self is “you”. There is nothing there inside you other than that. You cannot know who you are. This fictional self that is “you” is erected to compensate for the lack of direct experience of your true nature. This fictional self, the costume represent the self, the false self, redundant because there is no true self.

We can’t see our true self because it is not there. There is no true self to perceive -there is only false self and no-self. Truth and self are mutually exclusive, the same as “false self” is a redundant term. One looks for true self and finds nothing, as if one’s true self was no truth at all.

“That which rises in this body as ‘I’ 
is the mind”
– Ramana Maharshi – 

If you don’t have a direct experience of your true nature then you are forced to create, project and constantly maintain a false image. How could it be otherwise? Everyone else seems genuine, while you have some degree of awareness of your inauthenticity ranging from maybe none at all to a degree that could cause a meltdown.

So people don’t know themselves, don’t know their own true natures. And so they have to create artificial selves because that’s the only self they know. And that’s the ego, the false self which you are constantly constructing. That’s how you spend your energy and your life force. It all goes into projecting the illusion of you. You’re constantly projecting an external representation of yourself that is always a work in progress, always shifting and evolving.

The false self cannot be perceived directly, but only by the reflection it casts in the eyes of others. Humans connect ego-to-ego. So if I want to think of myself as attractive, I need other people to see me as attractive. We spend our lives and our life-force cultivating and grooming our appearance in the eyes of the others. That’s how we know that we exist. That’s how we know who we are. That’s where we find reassurance that we are real and not just hollow dream characters. That’s how the illusion is constantly maintained.

Belief and emotions are what hold you onto the dreamstate. You are what you choose to hold within you. The false self is created by how we define ourselves. There is no need to define yourself. However you define yourself is how you create your false self.

In this sense, freeing ourselves from attachment is indeed the process of awakening, but such attachments aren’t what we have, they’re what we are.