“The all-knowing Self was never born, nor will it die. Beyond cause and effect, this Self is eternal and immutable. When the body dies, the Self does not die. If the slayer believes that he can slay or the slain believes that he can be slain, neither knows the truth. The eternal Self slays not, nor is ever slain.
“Hidden in the heart of every creature exists the Self, subtler than the subtlest. Greater than the greatest. … When the wise realize the Self, formless in the midst of forms, changeless in the midst of change, omnipresent and supreme,they go beyond sorrow.
“The Self cannot be known through study of the scriptures, nor through the intellect. The Self can be attained only by those whom the Self chooses.” ~The Katha Upanishad
A few days ago, someone on a Facebook spiritual group was bragging that he knew Self. He claimed that since he knew who he was, he knew Self. He felt that since he knew what he did that morning, he knew Self. Believing that everything about him was himself, he felt he absolutely knew Self. He was totally wrong.
This person was confusing Self with the ordinary self; Soul with the mind. The soul and the mind are not the same thing. The self and the Self are not the same thing. As the quote notes at its very beginning, the Self is all-knowing. The self is not,except in the minds of most teenagers.
Beyond Cause and Effect
The true Self is beyond cause and effect because those things are attributes of time and space. Action and reaction can’t happen without linear time. Since the true Self is spirit, it is not affected by space and time. The Self cannot be limited by space and time, therefore, it cannot be subject o cause and effect.
The true Self cannot die. The true Self was never born. This is a concept that is hard to grasp when you are used to the working of a realm governed by time and space. In a land where there is no time or space, there is no beginning and no end, no birth and no death.
The All-knowing Self exists outside of time and space, so it must be changeless. Time is,after all, just a way of measuring and predicting change. The idea of being formless is a bit more complicated. The Self can take on a form if it wishes, but that form is not its true form. It can change it form whenever it wishes. It can be smaller than the smallest pinhead, or larger than the entire universe of matter. But these forms are all disguises. The All-knowing Self has no body. It is just energy, just spirit so it has no permanent form.
Study and Intellect
The true self cannot be known through reading or other forms of study. You can only get hints of it from those things. The only way to truly know it is to be it. We must awaken our spirit and soul using the light of the spiritual sun. The awakened soul can understand the true Self, the brain-mind intellect cannot. The intellect can speculate about it, but that isn’t knowing. Only by experiencing it can the Self actually be known.
To say that the true Self can only be known if it chooses to be known doesn’t make sense. The Self wants to be known. It wants us to stop wallowing in the mud-pies of matter and start taking care of our spiritual self. But with a catch-22 kind of thing, the Self cannot be known by the brain-mind. It can only be known and understood by the soul. So awakening the spirit and soul must be an early step in the process of learning about our true All-knowing Self.