Can you know yourself through [these] means - through these mechanical means? All effort, mechanical or of the will, is habit-forming. Through the forming of habit you may be able to create a certain state, achieve a certain ideal which you may consider to be yourself, but as it is the result of an intellectual effort or the effort of the will, it is wholly mechanical and hence not true. Can this process yield the comprehension of yourself, of what you are?
Then there is the other state, which is spontaneous. You can know yourself only when you are unaware, when you are not calculating, not protecting, not constantly watching to guide, to transform, to subdue, to control; when you see yourself unexpectedly, that is, when the mind has no preconceptions with regard to itself, when the mind is open, unprepared to meet the unknown.
If your mind is prepared, surely you cannot know the unknown, for you are the unknown. If you say to yourself, "I am God", or "I am nothing but a mass of social influences or a bundle of qualities" - if you have any preconception of yourself, you cannot comprehend the unknown, that which is spontaneous.
Ommen Camp, Holland
1st Public Talk 4th August, 1938