The Journey To Self-Realization

5 min readOct 23, 2022

Awakening to what is

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

We are all on a journey. The journey to realize who we are.

Most personal journeys are about finding ourself. This journey is about losing all ideas about ourself. It’s an uncommon journey. Few people undertake this journey.

The other thing unusual about this journey is that people undertaking this journey are imagined. So it seems a person is undertaking a journey over a period of time, in actuality nothing ever happens. Like a dream seems real until waking up, similarly this journey seems real until the end is reached, only to realize the character and journey never happened.

This is the peculiarity of this journey. And these are the different stages of this mysterious journey.

1. Unconscious

This is where the journey begins. In darkness. We suddenly come into this unfamiliar world. We try hard to fit in. If we can’t, we rebel. The mind is a jumble of thoughts. We are not aware of these thoughts. Just as a ring is stuck on a finger, we are stuck in thoughts.

We believe every thought. We are what the thoughts say about us. Because we are fused with thoughts. Some of these thoughts are who we want to be. Some of them are about who we are. And some explain why we are not what we want to be.

This is a confusing period. We are easily influenced by any thought. Not just our own but also others. We are not clear about who we are? Who we should be? We are simply propelled by the force of what others tell us, how others are living and how others want us to be.

We may believe we know what we want, but that is the illusion of thought. What we know is mostly what we have heard and read. Most humans start their journey in this stage and end their journey here. They believe they know who they are. Not realizing what they know is just a belief.

2. Conscious

A minority move to the next stage of the journey. Most who venture into this stage have a quest to look deeply into Existence. They search for something unknown, because what they know is not fulfilling. Or because that is how it is meant to be.

These people enter the world of self-discovery, self-healing and self-realization. For the first time thoughts are examined. For the first time thoughts are watched. And for the first time there is space between the person and his thoughts.

Suddenly there is a realization that a radio is going on. It seems to be blaring thoughts constantly. And this radio is within us. Until now, we never heard this radio, even though it was going on in us all the time. As we watch thoughts, some of us get lucky.

We glimpse a mind free of thoughts. No mind. It is the most beautiful experience we have ever had. It is divine. It is heavenly. It is blissful. But it does not last. It goes away. The clouds of thoughts come back. The vast blue sky of silence is gone. The radio is back.

Now begins the expedition to stop thoughts. We want no mind. Freedom from thoughts. Now we become serious seekers. We meditate, chant, heal, regress, affirm, therapize and do all kinds of practices to become a better version of ourself. And we do.

But we do not experience Silence, because we are always in a state of becoming. And becoming is never ending. Because the person that wants to become is kept alive by the desire to become. These people remain seekers for life, not realizing they are Life.

3. Awakening

A handful of seekers experience Awakening. The realization that what they think they are, emerges only when thought appears. In the absence of thought this person with a past and a future disappears. Yet life goes on.

This realization is sudden for some, and for others a gradual progression. This leads to another significant realization. Life is happening by itself. Thought created the belief that there was a person living his life. He was making decisions. He was performing actions.

This leads to the realization no separate person exists. Only Life exists. This Life has two dimensions. One keeps changing all the time. The other watches the change. Life seems to be dancing on the stage of Existence, and also sitting as a silent observer as the audience.

This realization silences the mind. The false identity can no longer hide in thoughts. When the false is seen as false, the True appears. The nature of truth is Silence. Some people call it Awareness. Others Emptiness. But words are meaningless. They dissolve in Silence.

Life no longer has any purpose, meaning or hope. All these are seen as projections of thought. They kept the ‘character’ alive. No one is living life now. Life is living itself. It is seeing itself without the filter of thoughts. Without the lens of duality. Only it exists.

Life is its own authority. It expresses its fullness in different ways. Without the chains of conditioning, it is naturally expressive. It is creative, sensitive and intuitive without the need to be any of it. All happens naturally and spontaneously.

Awakening does not dissolve the mind. There are still thoughts of being a person with a story. But the mind has lost its power. In Awakening thoughts are seen for what they are. A software that creates the illusion of being a person. There are less thoughts, greater Silence.

Awakening knows the journey is not over. It also knows that there is no one there to undertake the remaining journey. The practice is no longer of making effort. There is Surrender. Whatever happens is a matter of Grace. It always was. Awakening realizes it

4. Realization

Realization brings Absolute Silence. Realized humans are either worshipped or crucified. No matter what the world does to them, it does not affect them. There is no identification with the form that the formless has taken. The form will live its destiny. The Formless is never born. Can never die.

Realization speaks more through Presence, than words. It has no will of its own. Whatever happens, happens as Thy Will. The drop of water has realized it is the Ocean. Everything that happens in the Ocean, is an expression of the Ocean.


We are all on this journey, whether we realize it or not. It is a journey in time, towards the timeless. It is a journey where we are already at the end of it, even before we start. A dream character’s journey happens in the dream. When Awakening happens the Realization dawns, it was just a dream.

Dream of the Self, on a journey to realize the Self.