Questioner: There are times when persons and things take a vague, almost transparent form, as in a dream. One ceases to observe them as outside, but passively conscious of their existence, while not actively conscious of any kind of selfhood. There is a deep quietness in the mind.
Is it at such times that one is ready to dive into the Self? Or is this condition unhealthy, the result of self hypnotism? Should it be encouraged as yielding temporary peace?
Ramana Maharshi: There is Consciousness along with quietness in the mind. This is exactly to be aimed at. The fact that the question has formed on this point, without realizing that it is the Self, shows that the state is not steady but casual.
The word ‘diving’ is appropriate when there are outgoing tendencies, and when, therefore, the mind has to be directed and turned within, there is a dip below the surface of externalities. But when quietness prevails without obstructing the Consciousness, where is the need to dive?
Taken from Talks with Ramana Maharshi, Talk 348
The sadhana (spiritual practice) that Bhagawan recommends above is to simply remain quiet (in mind and thought) and also to remain aware.
This is self-knowledge. This is the Self.
When thoughts can come and go without disturbing this essential quality of mind, there is no need to ‘dive’ using the tools of Self Inquiry (ie. the question ‘Who am I?’). With time it may be seen that nothing ever disturbs this ‘peace that passeth all understanding’, and that nothing ever did.
It was always here, fully manifest, right under our noses.
Here is the gateway to Self-knowledge or liberation.