Many who seek to awaken, seek the Real in the Unreal, in the world, in philosophy, religion or in a legion of teachers and gurus. The source of Consciousness, often called 'Self' in the East, will never be found by looking without; that which appears to look without must learn to accurately look within. This is obvious. The witness cannot be found in the witnessed.
Robert Adams and I in Darshan, circa 1993-4
There are many ways of looking within to find the originating place of consciousness and understand what Consciousness is.
We must understand first though ― even if you assume it for the sake of argument ― that the world itself arises from the mind as an appearance within Consciousness.
The world is mind, mind is the world. Without mind, the world is not.
The world is created by thoughts, and the mind is nothing more than thoughts; it is not an entity with autonomous existence separate from Consciousness. The 'real' world exists only in the mind and you are neither mind nor the world.
The mind and thoughts are not you. They are like ghost-clouds that float on top of you. You are that which is beyond ― the stateless state ― untouched by the waking world, the sleep world, or deep sleep darkness. All these are added onto you. You are beyond all phenomena. This you must see clearly.
In fact, there is no looking within. Within and without only arise with thoughts ― which are the world ― which create the conceptual duality of within and without.
There is no beyond either, as the concept implies the opposite of not-beyond, or here. You are neither beyond, nor not-beyond.
You are not real or unreal. You are not mortal or immortal, because immortal implies eternal presence or existence. You have nothing to do with either.
You are beyond all measures, beyond all dualities and opposites, beyond even the concept of beyond, beyond freedom and enlightenment.