The atman is none of these. It is अव्यक्त. It is indiscernible. It is not manifest. That doesn’t mean it can’t be realized. But it cannot be realized by the senses. The senses are about our relationships with the external world. The atman is about what is inside us. By seeking to measure it with norms that are relevant for the external world, we are asking the wrong question. It is like a door in a house. That door can be used to step outside. But it can also be used to step inside. If your minds are fixated on stepping outside, we can’t be expected to know what is inside the house.
Every human advance has brought benefits, but it has also brought costs. One of the great advances is the discovery (or is the right word invention?) of language. But let’s not pretend that it has not had its costs. We are so busy talking all the time that we don’t listen. This isn’t just about listening to others. It is also about listening to one’s own self, about contemplation on one’s inner self, without necessarily implying high-flying concepts of meditation. Let’s just cut ourselves off from the external word and think about who we are. I like the word मुनि. It means sage or holy man (especially one who has taken a vow of silence) and comes from मन् the etymological root of मनन, the act of thinking or meditation. What is interesting is that मुनि lead to the word मौन, silence. Silence is also correlated with wisdom.