The following is an excerpt from the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi.
D.: How shall I reach the Self?
M.: There is no reaching the Self. If the Self were to be reached,
it would mean that the Self is not now and here, but that it should be
got anew. What is got afresh, will also be lost. So it will be
impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So I
say, the Self is not reached. You are the Self. You are already
The fact is that you are ignorant of your blissful state. Ignorance
supervenes and draws a veil over the pure Bliss. Attempts are
directed only to remove this ignorance. This ignorance consists in
wrong knowledge. The wrong knowledge consists in the false
identification of the Self with the body, the mind, etc. This false
identity must go and there remains the Self.
A woman, with her necklace round her neck, imagines that it has been
lost and goes about searching for it, until she is reminded of it by a
friend; she has created her own sense of loss, her own anxiety of
search and then her own pleasure of recovery.
Similarly the Self is all along there, whether you search for it or
not. Again just as the woman feels as if the lost necklace has been
regained, so also the removal of ignorance and the cessation of false
identification reveal the Self which is always present - here and now.
This is called realisation. It is not new. It amounts to
elimination of ignorance and nothing more.