This psychosomatic structure is, by and large, an intelligent machine. It is a self-perpetuating mechanism acting to maintain its continuity. It is the medium through which Its expression is experienced. The experiencer of the external world while we are awake, the experiencer in the dream state and the experiencer in deep sleep are One. It experiences the three states of being: the contentless, the mental, and the mental plus sensory.
The story of your life is nothing more than the imaginations that you can remember. They occurred in one state or another, the specifics of which are not important. Ultimately, you must observe, understand, and transcend your own conditional creations. Attention freed from the grasp of the self-program functions effortlessly, impartially. This natural condition is highly intuitive; it is beyond the perceptual and the conceptual.
It is timeless being, not being this or that.
The first movement in consciousness births the mind which projects the world with a seeming-you in it. At that instant, not only is there Consciousness, but there is also seeming-you consciousness, self-consciousness. However, there is only One, in which both the personal and the impersonal are aspects.
The one who is freed from this self-consciousness is contentment itself.
Now, let’s review a few of your questions.
My leanings are more toward the devotional. The question ‘Who am I?’ does not resonate. Is there an alternative for me?
Yes, the question ‘Whose am I?’.
Has science confirmed what you claim to have discovered?
Since science is confined to the realm of the measurable, it can never confirm what I have discovered.
I treat Talks with Ramana Maharshi as my Bible. Is there any book that is better?
I would exercise caution with that book. Since no recording or note taking was allowed in the Hall, it is nothing but third party reporting, hearsay. The entirety of his teaching is contained in the single word Atmanishtha, abide as the Self. If you want to use Ramana as your teacher, you would be better served with Who Am I and/or Forty Verses.
I practice vipassana. What are your thoughts about it?
I find that it is superior to observe the one who practices vipassana. In time, it realigns everything.
When will I be freed?
You’ll be freed when the conviction ‘I am nothing perceivable, the source of all’ replaces the conviction ‘I am this body/mind’.
The body is the medium of perception. The body anchors the seeming self-as-object. Since the brain has to model everything it encounters, the self-entity is just a representation maintained in the brain.
There exists some unseen center of awareness. You are in a body that feels like it’s yours. This constitutes self-identification and body ownership. Your body occupies a certain volume in physical space, self-location. You look out from behind your eyes providing a first-person or subjective perspective on the world. Because vision, touch, and proprioceptive sensations all match up, there is a sense of ‘mine’.
However, these attributes of self-location, self-identification, and first-person perspective are constructed using the brain’s self-representational capacities. The brain creates a body-centered frame of reference, and everything we perceive is then intimated to us in terms it.
When things clear up and the fog abates, you’ll come to see that there is total functioning and you, this seeming entity, have nothing to do with it. It’s all a stream of events on a stage of experience crafted into a drama. For every performance that presents itself, you are the audience only. I don’t know how to make it any plainer than that.
Life is a spectator sport. Yet, you insist on inserting yourself on to the playing field.