A visitor said to Ramana Maharshi that she understood things only intellectually. This was his reply:
You are already That. Time and space cannot affect the Self. They are in you; so also all that you see around you are in you. There is a story to illustrate this point:
A lady had a precious necklace around her neck. Once in her excitement she forgot it and thought that the necklace was lost. She became anxious and looked for it in her home but could not find it. She asked her friends and neighbors if they knew anything about the necklace. They did not. At last a kind friend of hers told her to take her hand to her neck and feel the necklace for herself. She found that it had all along been around her neck and she was happy! When others asked her later if she found the necklace which was lost, she aid, “Yes, I have found it.”. She still felt that she had recovered a lost jewel.
Now, did she lose it at all? It was all along round her neck. But judge her feelings. She is happy as if she had recovered a lost jewel. Similarly with us, we imagine that we would realize the Self some time, whereas we are never anything but the Self.