"The more God is in all things, the more He is outside them. The more He is within, the more without."
It is taught that God is both totally transcendent and totally immanent. If I could skirt around the God word here, it is not unreasonable to say that if I am genuinely to enter into the necessary process of "knowing oneself", then I need to take on the mantle of divinity, in other words to reach out far beyond what has been called the higher Self. Only then can I enter the realm of the ego, and truly know it, without becoming in any way attached to it, thus freeing myself from its dominion. When I talk about the ego here, I am referring not only to my conscious personality; its traits negative and positive; its thoughts, emotions and senses, but also to its natural tendency to form attachments. Thus, if I am 'unclean' I do not know myself; if I cannot come clean, I can never know myself.
To achieve the ultimate state of spiritual cleanliness, or to become totally transcendent, does not seem to me to require a single, giant step. The work that needs to be done is a process of step-taking, each step raising myself to ever 'higher' levels. The higher I am able to go, the more deeply I can immerse myself in the process of "knowing myself" without risking attachment. The more transcendent the Self becomes, the more immanent it becomes. It may well follow that the more I know my lower self, and unblock the inner, lower pathways, the more I can consciously experience my higher Self.