How do I get at it? (the realization of who am I)
You need not get at it, for you are it. It will get at you, if you give it a chance. Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that and the realisation that you are the source and heart of all will dawn upon you. With this will come great love which is not choice or predilection, nor attachment, but a power which makes all things love-worthy and lovable.
I am engaged in the study of philosophy, sociology and education. I think more mental development is needed before I can dream of self-realisation. Am I on the right track?
To earn a livelihood some specialised knowledge is needed. General knowledge develops the mind, no doubt. But if you are going to spend your life in amassing knowledge, you build a wall round yourself. To go beyond the mind, a well- furnished mind is not needed.
If the shape of things is mere appearance, what are they in reality?
In reality there is only perception. The perceiver and the perceived are conceptual, the fact of perceiving is actual.
Where does the Absolute come in?
The Absolute is the birthplace of Perceiving. It makes perception possible.
But too much analysis leads you nowhere. There is in you the core of being which is beyond analysis, beyond the mind. You can know it in action only. Express it in daily life and its light will grow ever brighter.
The legitimate function of the mind is to tell you what is not. But if you want positive knowledge, you must go beyond the mind.