''Everything is preordained, as long as you believe you are the body. Everything is karmmic, as long as you identify with the world and believe you are the doer.
But as soon as you start to turn within, as soon as you begin to listen to the still small voice within you, as soon as you start practicing self-inquiry, your life begins to change drastically. You become happy. You no longer search for happiness, for you are beginning to realize you cannot find it externally.
You may appear to find it. In other words, you may get married and you believe “This is great, I found what I’ve always wanted." Then you may get divorced and you say “This is great, I finally got rid of that person." You won the lottery and you say “This is great, I'm rich."
All of these different things take place in your life. The world is a phenomena that belongs to a dream. You've got to be mature enough to ask the question “To whom does this world belong? Who lives in the world? Where did the world come from?" and your answer to all the questions begins with I. "I live in the world. I partake in the world. I see the world." And we're back to I again. You finally get the idea that the whole world is hanging on I. The I has to be transcended.
You begin early in the morning, when you first wake up. Before you become aware of I, you notice that you are in a state of peace, of joy, even if for only a few seconds. I was not present. You are not aware of the world. Catch yourself tomorrow morning. It only happens in a flash, in a few seconds. Yet all of a sudden the world becomes real for you. I has awakened. Where did the I come from?
Therefore the wise person catches the I before it goes any further. In other words as the I emerges from your chest, you abide in the I. To the extent that you can abide in the I, or focus on the I, something phenomenal will begin to happen. The I will reverse its course and begin to return to its source.
I will repeat this again. To the average person the I begins to become stronger and stronger when you wake up in the
morning. It emerges from your spiritual center and heads up your spine to your brain, where you become cognizant of the world. But for the spiritual aspirant who practices self-inquiry, you begin to watch the I doing this.
You abide in the I [stay with the "i"]
As you begin to abide in the I, it will reverse its course and head back to the center. When it heads back to the center, it will rest on the circumference of the center. That is as far as you can go by yourself. You will be in an effortless thought-free state. You will be in the void, as it tells you in Buddhism.
Yet most Buddhists think the void is self-realization. That’s a mistake. The void is when your I is resting on the circumference of your heart center. When that happens you've come a long way. You are a mature disciple. Yet the self has to pull the I inside the heart. Then you become liberated. This is very rarely done by the self or by yourself.
I'm speaking of the small self. Only in a very few, will the I go directly into the heart center and be extinguished.
That is why sages are necessary. That is why satsang is necessary. For the sage, who may be a 1000 miles away from you, as long as you have a direct line to the sage mentally, the sage is omnipresent, all-pervading. Therefore the sage, and the self, and the guru and God are one. So that even if you are away from the proximity of the sage, if you have a close association with that particular sage, or that sage is your guru, the self, which is really the sage, will pull the I into the heart, and you will be liberated.
That's how it appears to work. The rest is up to you.''