We all have the feeling of existence; of “I exist”. That “I am” feeling dictates our thoughts, our memories, our feelings and our actions. It defines who we are as individuals. It is our identity of our mind with our body and with the world around us.
If we take the time and the effort to look deeper into our “I am” feeling we would find a deeper sense of being: a deeper “self”. The realization of that experience is not merely one of “I am”, but the more profound experience of “I know that I am”. That “I” of “I know” is the essence of our existence: pure consciousness. And the realization of that consciousness – our inner self – is called self-realization.