To know everything else, everything other, without knowing yourself is rather futile. What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world-appearance and lost his soul, that is, lost sight of his true nature or what Nisargadatta Maharaj referred to as the natural state? Self-existing, Self-shining, Self-knowing awareness. There is no one who is reading this who is not aware or spontaneously knowing ‘I am’. However what the nature of this ordinary everyday awareness is, you do not know, and cannot know as an objective thing.
Loosing sight of this naked non conceptual awareness around the age of two and a half years when the “I” thought comes over us, engendered by the acquisition of words and language imposed upon us by the parents and society; one seemingly looses hold of one’s Self or non dual essence by taking hold of the body-mind appearance as one’s identity. A little simple looking, investigation, or discrimination on the part of the so called person would show the falseness of this body-mind identity or imagined entity.