(Ātman): The transcendental Self. The etymology of atman clearly shows its meaning, as the prefix a- is a negation and tma means “darkness.” Therefore, atma or atman means “the opposite of darkness” or “shining.” As such, it is a key concept in Hindu metaphysics. Atman is the immortal and immutable aspect of mortal existence. It is the substratum of every object in creation, including humanity. The Self cannot be seen, cannot be perceived, cannot be reached, cannot be grasped, because It is the seer, the observer, the indweller of all embodied beings, and the doer of everything. In other words, the Self reveals itself only to itself. No finite act of cognition is involved. It is the supreme revelation. In this way, the Self becomes the subject, the object, and the means of the experience.
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