You want to know how that realization will sink in and how to keep the knowing when the body/mind is full of fear or suffering. You say you have awakened (per ‘what I am is obvious’), but I must tell you that you really don’t know who you are. Maybe on some intellectual level you are trying to believe something, but in your heart and bones you “know” otherwise.
The same kind of thing happened when (for example) a devote Christian told me he was absolutely sure that when he died he would go straight to heaven and enjoy everlasting bliss next to God. And yet he was terrified about his own death. Why? If death truly is going to a “better place”, then what is the problem with death?
Humans have very complex brains and minds…and we can hold simultaneous conflicting beliefs. Beliefs are of the mind. The mind lets us circumvent conflicts of beliefs. Beliefs have various levels of depth (in a way)…and the head is the most fickle. Have you ever heard someone say, “I know in my heart”? I find those beliefs tend to be stronger and less changable than what you “know in your head.”
Have you ever had reality destroy a belief you had? Often our beliefs are shattered. You thought you saw something (for example), but when you go back and take a closer look…it was not at all what you thought it was. Then you almost can’t see how it took it for what you thought it was.
That is what is happening right now. You think ‘what I am is obvious’, but I can tell you have not really seen ‘what you are’ yet. If you go back and take a closer look, it was not at all what you thought it was. The depth and clarity of seeing has not happened yet.
How can I say this? Because you are experiencing fear and suffering…you are still wondering when and how the realization will sink in. If you really knew who/what you are…you would not still be identifying with a personal “me” (i.e. ego). For it is the personal “me” that fears. It is the personal “me” that suffers. If you saw through this illusion (ceased identifying with “me”), there would be a cessation of suffering…a cessation of fear. There would be no question about how does the realization sink in. The belief that you are a personal “me” would be shattered.
The belief, in the heart and head, that you are this personal “me” must be shattered. Like any form of ignorance, it must be destroyed by seeing the truth…clearly and deeply. You can’t do this mentally, it is almost kinesthetic…you feel it.
You have to be brutally honest…what do you feel about yourself and the world? Do you feel you are a personal “me”? You must feel you are a personal “me” or who would there be to be afraid?
When you do self-inquiry, you need to delve into what you feel you are. Self-inquiry is not a mental exercise – with a mental answer. That would be too superficial. You can mentally say you are not many things, but deep down you may really feel that you are those same things. Instead there must be a questioning of our deepest feelings of who/what we are.
Lastly, your phrasing was particularly interesting…”what I am is obvious.” Things being “obvious” is often a ploy the mind uses to not really look at something very deeply. I could show you a rose and ask you, “what do you see?” You may say, “it’s obviously a rose.” What you are saying is you have immediately labeled it as a rose and stopped looking. You have gained no further insight because you have ceased to look, because “it’s obvious.”
In this way, the head can say “it is obvious” without the seeing being deep/clear enough to shatter the contrary belief in the heart. And so that is how you can say “what I am is obvious” and say you know who/what you are…and yet say you fear and suffer. In the head, you “know” who/what you are…but in your heart you “know” you are this personal “me”. You have never gone deep enough in the inquiry to truly know who/what you are…where there is no doubt within you on any level.
Go back and look more deeply into who/what you are. The seeing of who/what you are must be undeniable…and it shatters any contrary beliefs. You must know in your head and your heart that you are not this body/mind…this personal “me”.