"When we understand that there is something very real deep within us which, unlike everything else, while absolutely dynamic, is not subject to change, we begin to recognize the true nature of our Self. According to some commentators, the Sanskrit term for this Self, the Atman, derives from the verbal root ‘at’ — to eat. So Atman would mean, ‘eater of thoughts’ (+ ‘man’ from the verbal root, ‘to think’). There could be no better etymology, for that which ‘eats’ even mind itself can only be our true nature. Thus to realise this Self is indeed Self-realisation.
"Though we seek to modify the circumstances of our lives and be comfortable within ourselves, we are in general afraid of change. Although we are aware each moment is unique, we resist it because we continually repeat in our ignorant way our old familiar patterns and conditionings, our vasanas. When everything is unaltered we feel secure. Actually all we do is freeze our perception into a tight band of limited consciousness. We insulate ourselves from adjustment and dwell in the delusion that our unchanged existence replicates the nature of Brahman. We have seen that it does not. By reinforcing our conditioning it actually weakens and diminishes our ability to cope with the transformation that is at the heart of all life. Thus we retard our spiritual progress and remain bound by our own conditionings, we neither grow nor expand. Our spiritual knowledge and experience likewise remain limited by our not allowing ourselves to accept and be fully open to change."
-Ram Brown Crowell, "Self-Enquiry, Change, and the Nature of Brahman" (from April-June 2020 Mountain Path)