“We know what we mean by white in comparison with black. We know life in comparison with death. We know pleasure in comparison with pain, up in comparison with down. But all these things must come into being together. You don’t have first something and then nothing or first nothing and then something. Something and nothing are two sides of the same coin. If you file away the tails side of a coin completely, the heads side of it will disappear as well. So in this sense, the positive and negative, the something and the nothing, are inseparable—they go together. The nothing is the force whereby the something can be manifested.”
“…And so it’s all made up of off and on, and conscious and unconscious. But the unconscious is the part of experience which is doing consciousness, just as the trough manifests the wave, the space manifests the solid, the background manifests the figure. And so all that side of life which you call unconscious, unknown, impenetrable, is unconscious, unknown, impenetrable because it’s really you. In other words, the deepest you is the nothing side, is the side which you don’t know.”
Advaita means, "not-two" and reveals the truth that all objects are expressions of unqualified Consciousness and always point back to Awareness, our true nature, the unfathomable Vast-ness-that-we-are. Consciousness and its objects are One, not two. This can never be conceptualized, only intuitively realized. Yana is the pathless "path" we traverse as our misperceptions of separation are healed. This path is not developmental. Separateness is not a case of something that exists becoming non-existent. Our 'self' never exists in the first place except conceptually. The path reveals the non-existence of the 'self' that always was nonexistent. Yoga is the means we utilize in realizing our non-separateness. We investigate all that we take ourself to be (body, senses and mind), and understand That, which we always are Be-ing-unqualified Presence. The body/mind is an expression of Consciousness, and we are That unqualified Consciousness. There is only Consciousness. Our yearning to understand comes from Consciousness. The path we traverse unfolds in Consciousness. The means that we utilize are the tools provided by Consciousness. And That, which we realize is Consciousness. Therefore, the emphasis of Advaitayana Yoga from the beginning, in the middle, and at the end is not on transformation but upon seeing, listening, understanding and welcoming all that is. From the non-dual perspective nothing needs to be changed in order for freedom to be ex-perienced. It takes effort to live our separateness. It takes no effort to be free. This is the final understanding of Advaitayana Yoga.
Listening is an action in which the miracle of understanding takes place.
If I may turn aside for a moment, I think it is important to understand what it means to listen, for then, perhaps, what is being said will have a meaning beyond the words. It seems to me that very few of us ever do listen. We do not know how to listen. I wonder if you have ever really listened to your child, to your wife or husband, or to a bird? I wonder if you have ever listened to the mind as it watches a sunset, or if you have read a poem with an attitude of listening? If we know how to listen, that very listening is an action in which the miracle of understanding takes place. If we know how to listen to what is being said, we shall discover whether it is true or false. And what is true, one does not have to accept: it is so. It is only when there is contention between the false and the false that there is acceptance and rejection, agreement and disagreement.
To all deep-thinking minds, the enquiry about the “I” and its nature has an irresistible fascination. (Ramana Maharshi, MG, 72.)Self-enquiry is the one, infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned, absolute Being that you really are. (Ramana Maharshi, MG, 50-1.) Disciple: Is it not funny that the “I” should be searching for the I”? Does not the enquiry, “Who am I?” turn out in the end [to be] an empty formula? Or, am I to put the question to myself endlessly, repeating it like [a] mantra? Master: Self-enquiry is certainly not an empty formula; it is more than repetition of any mantra. If the enquiry, "Who am I?”' were a mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of Self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its Source. It is not, therefore, a case of one “I” searching for another “I.” … Where the “I” merges, another entity emerges as “I” - “I” of its own accord. That is the perfect Self. (Ramana Mahrashi, GFB.) Inquiring into the nature of one's self that is in bondage and realising one's true nature is release. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 21.) Though the “I” is always experienced, yet one's attention has to be drawn to it. Then only knowledge dawns. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 92.) If the ego is, everything else also is. If the ego is not, nothing else is. Indeed, the ego is all. Therefore the enquiry as to what this ego is is the only way of giving up everything. (Ramana Maharshi, FVR, verse 25.) Experiences such as "I went; I came; I was; I did" come naturally to everyone. From these experiences, does it not appear that the consciousness "I" is the subject of those various acts? Enquiry into the true nature of that consciousness, and remaining as oneself is the way to understand … one's true nature. (Ramana Maharshi, SE, answer to question 2.)