” …You must cease to think and speak as if you were phenomenal objects. I have been telling you that you are not phenomenal objects, but consciousness itself, the animating consciousness which provides sentience to the sentient being; further, that you are consciousness only in manifestation, but truly you are that which is prior to consciousness itself, ie you are Pure Awareness.

Is it not simple enough to understand, Maharaj asked, that a mere object, an appearance – which is all that a physical body is – cannot possibly perform any action whatsoever as an independent entity?   it is only when the Impersonal Consciousness, in its total functioning, manifests by objectifying itself and becomes identified with each object that the concept of the personal ‘I’ comes into being.  This concept is the source of ‘bondage’, the objectivizing of ‘I’  the I-concept, or the ego – which is the imaginary bondage from which liberation is sought.  A clear perception of what constitutes the sentient being that is seeking liberation will show how ludicrous the whole idea is.  The body itself is nothing but the growth of the male’s sperm which gets fertilized in the female womb; the fetus is the essence of the food consumed by the parents, and in it consciousness is latent.  If it is now clear that what we appear to be is nothing but the essence of food, may I ask, said Maharaj, which particular grain of food you want to liberate? Which particular grain of food, or which of the five elements, food being the essence of the combination of the five elements, are you identifying yourself with?

Awakening, or enlightenment, or liberation is nothing, absolutely nothing other than apperceiving profoundly, deeply, intuitively that what we are – that- which- is-here- now – is the absolute absence of whatever is imaginable or cognizable; which is the same as the absolute presence of the unknowable potentiality.”

Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj by Ramesh Balsekar