The title does not do justice
To the subject it attempts to describe.
It could be a misnomer,
Yet it is the only word closer to
Giving a caricature of the concept and its contents,
The contents are my own self and the other self that coexists within me.
I tried to recall when this phenomenon
Started occupying the inner portion of my mind.
My memory goes back in time
Searching for that moment
When I became aware of
This intrinsic feeling that there is somebody watching me,
Following me always everywhere.
At times, so I felt, it was watching me
From the corner of my room,
From the ceiling of my room,
Sometimes even sitting on my shoulders
Or like a mirror appearing just in front of me from nowhere,
A mirror, frameless, edgeless and even shapeless,
But a mirror all the same.
As I grew older this feeling about someone
Looking at me, observing me
Became an obsession, a permanent obsession.
I thought about it deeply
With my limited knowledge of extra physical phenomena
Like the Spirit, the Self Consciousness and even my own Soul
I started asking myself
Whether this is part of my own self
Or is it a reflection of my Spiritual entity.
I felt it may be a reflection of my thoughts or
It may be the sum total of my entire consciousness
Trying to attempt a self analysis.
The fact was I was undergoing
A crisis of my own consciousness.
And when I tried to study it deeply
I felt that it stands apart from me and my thoughts
And always looking at me with an intensity
That is characteristic of a Being without a body
That we often hear about in religious discourses.
But I was sure this was no God of any religion
Yet it has something to do with me
And the way I live my life.
The initial impression of the reflection of my Self disappeared
And I soon found this was no mirror and reflection stuff
But something seriously concerned,
Something intrinsically connected permanently
With my life and my thoughts.
A mirror is supposed to show only reflection
To show you as you appear to be
But this phenomenon did more than that
It even spoke with my consciousness
Giving counsels and at times, criticizing severely
To impress upon me to rethink and reschedule
The activities of day to day life
In a way that will satisfy my ethical consciousness
Which always guided my actions and reactions.
It soon dawned upon me that this phenomenon
Knew my inner most thoughts, emotions
And certain deeply personal decisions
Which I only knew and none else in the world.
Is this capable of seeing me through my body entirely
And the functions of my consciousness thoroughly?
And the truth fell upon me like a ton of bricks
And it opened my eyes – this phenomenon
Is no illusion, no psychological delusion
But it is as real as I felt I am real.
This needs serious and correct understanding
Because somehow it is part of, the most important part of
My existence and future life
So I pursued knowledge on the subject.
The Greeks mention a fifth essence,
Apart from the material four
Which they called quintessence.
Is this phenomenon my quintessence?
Being an Indian I searched in the Vedas and Upanishads
And they say there is a Soul in every human body
That they call the “Atma” which,
At the time of death of the person leaves the body
And enters another body because the Atma is deathless
The Atma exists eternally.
Here I had to stop and proceed very carefully
I become aware of Atma when I am alive
After my life what Atma does nobody knows
For the Atma to function I still feel
A live human body with consciousness is a fundamental requirement.
My body and my consciousness and the duration of my life
Are what I am concerned with while I am alive.
Not what happens to the Atma after my death
Or where the Atma was before my birth.
And my family, my friends and people at large
Know me only through my actions and reactions
Which are the products of my conscious thinking.
I am their fellow being, a human like themselves.
If the controller of my conscious thinking is the Atma
I had to find out where it exists within my body
How it is connected to my consciousness
The Vedas say human body is unreal because it is perishable
And what is perishable is unreal
And therefore the body is maya (illusion).
What remains permanently is Only the Atma.
St. Paul says what is seen is temporary
And what is unseen is eternal
By this unseen he does not mean the Atma of the Vedas
But the gift of life the God gives to man.
After years of life since birth
Gathering years of experience in life
And learning both Spiritual and material matters
I arrive at the conclusion that
I am real from my birth to death
I live in this real world
Illusions are the work of my own subconscious mind or
The result of incorrect thinking of my conscious mind.
About subconscious mind we do not know much
We are like children playing on the sea shores
Where shore is the conscious mind
And the subconscious is the vast ocean.
It is in our consciousness that our self originates
And this consciousness is capable of correcting itself
That is – it is capable of correcting our thinking and actions.
It is this consciousness that is the phenomenon
That is present inside me – that at times it appears outside
Is only my illusion.
To discover the ways of the consciousness is to
Know it at close quarters,
Open it up like a book, read every word,
Understand, analyze and arrive
At a correct perception of our consciousness.
This is a great exercise.
You have to concentrate on your own self
And knock at the doors of your own consciousness
With total involvement ignoring what happens around you.
That is to say to meditate on the routes,
That lead to the consciousness
And on attaining it be at one with your consciousness.
So as to yield a disciplined result synchronizing
Your conscious thoughts with your day to day life.
It may take years
Because this is the longest journey
Of body endeavoring to be at one with consciousness.
Nevertheless the effort is a must and it is worth a lifetime
Because the results will change your life
Towards a peaceful life with yourself and your fellow beings.
May be it may even enable you to be at peace with the nature itself.