We tend to relate to ourselves from the outside in. Our minds come in contact with the objects of the world and we identify (negatively or positively) with those objects/experiences. In order to feel alive, we become dependent upon external phenomena. We know ourselves only in relation to that which we perceive outside of ourselves – always comparing and contrasting. There is always that separation between the perceiver and that which is perceived. That separation is a root cause of suffering.
Yoga is the process of union. Eliminating that separation and thus removing the root cause of suffering. Contemplation is a tool which helps us know ourselves from the inside out. The application of contemplation along with meditation allows us to bridge the gap of separation and experience the oneness which lies beyond the apparent dualistic nature of the external world. Contemplation is an internal practice in which we ask questions such as – Who am I? We slowly start to unravel the mystery of who we are at the deepest levels. We begin to eliminate the false identifications and external conditioning of the mind. This self-knowledge gradually leads one to freedom or liberation.