The reason it takes so long to become self-realized and become free is you’re looking to do something and in truth there is absolutely nothing to do. There is nothing to do to become free and liberated – What is there to do? If you say, “I have to try”, you’re saying the hallucination has to try. Thinking that this is the truth and you have to identify with something to become higher. No. All you have to do is remain still, that is all. Remain quiet, still. Nothing to do. Nothing to become. If you try to become something you get caught in the world of cause and effect and you will have all kinds of problems. But if you’ve made the mind still and quiet then there is no-one to identify with anything and you become free. You don’t become free, you awaken to the freedom that you already are. Ponder this.
Why not awaken from the dream right now. Why not wake up right now. All you have to do is to stop your thoughts. And you do not stop your thoughts by trying to stop them. You stop the thoughts by observing them and not paying any attention to them. There is a wall between your thoughts and consciousness. In your mind break down the wall and let the thoughts flow into consciousness where they will be totally transcended and consciousness will be your reality. So do not fight your thoughts.
The self-inquiry “who am I?” does not wake you up. It is the silence after you say, “who am I?”, and you keep still. Then the time comes when the stillness wakes you up and you become free.