Question: I begin by asking myself "Who am I?" and eliminate the body as not 'I', the breath as not 'I', the mind as not 'I', but then I am unable to proceed further.

Bhagavan: Well, that is all right so far as the mind goes. Your process is only mental. Actually all the scriptures mention this process only in order to guide the seeker to the Truth. The Truth cannot be directly indicated; that is why this mental process is used. You see, he who eliminates all the 'not-I' cannot eliminate the 'I'. In order to be able to say 'I am not this' or 'I am That', there must be the 'I' to say it. This 'I' is only the ego, or the 'I-thought'. After the rising up of this 'I-thought', all other thoughts arise. The 'I-thought' is therefore the root thought. If the root is pulled out, all the rest is uprooted at the same time. Therefore seek the root 'I'; question yourself: "Who am I?"; find out the source of the 'I'.

Then all these problems will vanish and the pure Self alone will remain.