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Sri Ramakrishna on the concept of Neti Neti

In the concept of neti, neti – First the seeker tries to separate his individual self from all diversities by negating them as mere superimpositions of the deluded mind. Simultaneously he affirms that his individual self is the only reality and that it is the focus of the universal Self, the common Self of all beings and things.
First of all you must discriminate, following the method of “Neti, neti”: He is not the five elements, nor the sense-organs, nor the mind, nor the intelligence, nor the ego. He is beyond all these cosmic principles.” You want to climb to the roof; then you must eliminate and leave behind all the steps, one by one. The steps are by no means the roof. But after reaching the roof you find that the steps are made of the same materials—brick, lime, and brick-dust—as the roof. It is the Supreme
Brahman that has become the universe and its living beings and the twenty-four cosmic principles. That which is Atman has become the five elements.
Sri Ramakrishna