Why do you have to practice to be yourself?
When you chant OM for self-realization, you are going outside of yourself. OM is fully present within you. But even it—the un-struck sound, the universal vibration, the essence of all resonances, etc—is an appearance in presence.
There is something that is never absent. What is that something?
There is no pure consciousness. I don't know what teachers and writers are talking about when they use that expression. Consciousness, by its very nature, is variable. And anything that is changeable cannot be "pure," whole, or nondual.
You say that you need to "create a space" for presence to occur, but that simply is not true. You are awareness already; so the "space" would be something extra. The space would be a divisor between your natural state and this imagined creator of the space. And self-knowing cannot occur under those circumstances.
The Lacebark Elms
What is it that draws me to these trees: The Lacebark Elms (Ulmus parvifolia) in the rear of the shopping mall? Arborist are quick to note that they have the poise of a Nothofagus; or they point to their toughness—for they can be planted and cultivated next to patios or in parking lots. And New Zealanders have found that they flourish even on their Zephyr-swept coastlines, which vary from sweeping sounds to staggering fiords.
But I am enthralled by the Lacebark's verdant canopy, which brims with leaf-weigh and symmetry atop its 40-plus-foot height. Its lustrous, dark green leaves turn yellow or carroty in the fall. "Not ornamentally interesting," landscape designers dismissively pronounce, due—in part—to the smallness of its leaves. But the awe, for me, is in the coloration of the bark, which exfoliates, revealing subtle shades of green, slate, cinnamon, and olive. And the hues themselves are baroquely outlined by delicate, orange lenticels—raised pores along the bark that permit gas exchange between the atmosphere and the internal tissues, which allow the tree to breath, as it were.
It is astonishing that these Lacebarks survive at all with the deciduous on-slaught of the southern summer, as well as their polluted water-source from a nearby stream, with its amalgam of septic, bacteric, mercuric, and benthic toxins (which are those deep in the sediment). But the Lacebarks thrive!—their happiness is apparent in every leaf and gesture. Even their naturally drooping branches speak of elation.
And now, I sit under those leaves, in the green light, remembering nothing. And when a thought appears, it speaks of the softness of things, of the near-wonder of this verdant hushness. Any rustle of these leaves is a mere muted whispering. All of this can only be pointed to. One of the things that quickly became apparent to me after this understanding occurred was how little that I could actually share with others, that there was no way that they could know what I felt, recognized, and lived except through their own realizations. Yes, we could remain seated in our stillness; or one of us could reach, unconstrained, for the other's hand, while allowing the quietude to continue. But that would be the end of it. So I sit in my aloneness. And yet, there is no loneliness here—just the silence of this oneness in the soft, emerald gleaming.
Check out Rodney on YouTube talking about "The Fundamental Thing."