Q.: It is possible that I have unwittingly already Realized, but do not realize that fact, so to speak?
Bhagavan: Impossible.
Q.: What does the practice of vichara feel like whilst one is actually engaged in it?
B.: Go on seeing, "What is this 'me'?'. But doing it intellectually is not the right way.
Q.: All mental activity does involve the intellect.
B.: Yes. This is cessation of mental activity. Realization is not 'you' attaining to some exalted state. Realization is the irreversible death of 'you'.
Q.: You mean death of the ego: for I am the Self, and cannot die.
B.: It is precisely this wretched misunderstanding that causes so many sadhakas to go astray.
Q.: I don't understand.
B.: You are the ego until the ego has been destroyed. What is the use of intellectually denying the existence of the ego while still remaining as it? Why falsely arrogate yourself to the status of being the Heart? Is it the Heart who is talking to me now?
Q.: Am I not the Self?
B.: Whose self are you?
Q.: I am the Self of myself.
B.: Is there, or is there not, in you an intermediary entity subsisting on thought forms?
Q.: Yes. Thoughts come. But they are not apart from the Self: that is what I tell myself.
B.: No, that is not the way.
Q.: What am I doing wrong? Please tell me.
B.: You are still operating on the plane of the intellect.
Q.: Tell me how I can get past it.
B.: 'I' cannot get past it. 'I' is 'it'.
Q.: So I should learn to overcome myself?
B.: No. Learn to subside into the actual Self.
Q.: But how?
B.: Resign yourself to pure Subjective Consciousness.
Q.: Effort is needed to remain in that state. There is the one that makes the effort, his presence is unavoidable.
B.: Yes; the aham-vritti can only be further and further attenuated, but can never be completely destroyed by effort because the one making that effort still remains.
However, when a certain critical radius of introversion is reached, the Heart reaches over and pulls you inside, finishing the job. In order for this to happen, however, the aham-vritti should be reduced into a single, infinitesimal, dimension-bereft point. The aham-vritti can finally be torpefied into this point-like form only by means of deploying a Sadhana in which the one making the effort is the same as that in relation to which the effort is made. There is only one such Sadhana: Who am I?.
'I' is not merely a thought. It is a deeply entrenched idea, which thus requires a deep incision to uproot. Therefore, the wisest thing for one to do is to catch hold of this foundational thought, the 'I'-thought, and vivisect it - what is this "me"? - giving thereby no chance to other thoughts to distract one. There lies the true value of the vichara and its efficacy in getting rid of the mind.

— Aham Sphurana