This came up in discussion on another blog. I thought it useful to raise here.
It’s a curious dynamic. Who we are under the mind, emotions and intellect is bliss. I’ve seen that overtly demonstrated a number of times in satsangs, where a teacher will have the student look under whatever they’re experiencing, then under that, and so forth. They always come to peace or happiness in just a few minutes. And it’s certainly been my experience.
And yet the average person is not just averse to themselves, they’re deeply afraid of experiencing who they “really” are. Their real feelings are a pit of darkness where any mortal would fear to tread.
This is due to confusing themselves with the content of their experience, those thoughts and emotions. But as has been noted, if you’re experiencing thoughts and emotions, they are objects of experience, not who you are. If they come and go, they are just content. Who you are is beneath experiences – even beneath the bliss. You are the experiencer itself.
Consciousness, the experiencer, is the light that illumines those dark pits and shows us it’s just a bit of string. Not a snake.
But there’s a further layer to this. As I quote at the bottom of this site:
The face of truth is hidden by a covering of gold. – Isha Upanishad 15
That gold is the celestial, the bliss body. Who you are is deeper still. But to see that, you may first need to become OK with what is here in your experience now. Then you will more easily be able to look to what is under those experiences to who is actually experiencing.
When the experiencer experiences themselves, this is Self Realization.