My fellow Spiritual Seekers,
Today, we are going to talk about the power of self-observation as it relates to awakening. Developing the Observer, also known as the Witness, is fundamental on the journey to awakening.
Because I talked about Witness before (see Week 3), I will stick to this term.
What is the Witness?
The Witness is pure presence in the here and now. It’s NOT your subconscious, but the exact opposite. It is pure awareness.
It is the Alchemic Fire of change. It is the Central Self (and Soul) we are going to develop during the course of this 25-week Journey to Awakening.
What does the Witness do?
The Witness observes the Selves’ behaviors, reactions, and emotions without judging.
To learn more about the various Selves read my Week 4 post about Social Roles and the Fragmented Self.
Things the Witness does not do:
- The Witness does NOT judge the Selves
- The Witness does NOT interfere with nor does it intervene in the matters of the Selves’
The Witness doesn’t attempt to change the way our Selves react to the external world; it doesn’t try to correct their (re)actions in any way.
So for instance, if your psychophysical apparatus reacts to provocation and gets into a fist fight, the Witness is not going to stop it. If instead of fighting it decides to walk away, the Witness is also not going to do or say anything about it.
The Witness is a detached observer.
Its constant, silent presence (also known as Alchemic Fire) is enough to create change within the various Selves.
Why is the Witness so important?
Because it’s by developing the Witness that we will awaken. And we develop the Witness by observing non-judgmentally our psychophysical apparatus’ actions, reactions, behaviors and emotions on a daily basis.
Witness and Soul
We are Soul. Most of us, however, identify completely with the physical body. Therefore we perceive the world only through our human (i.e., limited) senses, and that’s why we cannot see past the Illusion. Waking sleep, reacting instead of responding, and being on constant autopilot are a consequence of our total identification with the physical body.
So hopefully you’ll now appreciate why getting pissed off at people, hating them, holding grudges against them and so on and so forth is illogical and a waste of precious energy.
In fact, how can you feel anger and resentment toward someone who reacts to external impulses and stimuli on autopilot? Someone who has no free will? Someone who doesn’t know any better?
We get upset with people because we think they do things on purpose. Truth is no one does anything on purpose because whatever they do has no free will behind it; it has no real intent, even when we are tempted to think it does.
Even guilt is an illusory feeling. In fact, how can you feel guilt over something you did on autopilot, guided by the lower wants and needs of the psychophysical apparatus?
Even when we think we are doing something consciously, most of the time we are not.
Until we awaken.
What about people who commit atrocious acts?
Now don’t get me wrong. Punishment has to be administered and legal action has to be taken against those who hurt/violate others, no matter how deep in their waking sleep they are.
What I am saying is that feeling negatively about others based on what they do and/or say is a waste of energy because, unless they are Awake, there’s no one home, so to speak.
Exercises for staying present
Stay present whenever you cross a threshold.
Be mindful of your passage.
What’s your take on the Witness? Have you ever heard about this method of awakening? Are you willing to give it a try? Can you think of anyone in history who applied the tidbit about not being resentful toward others because there’s “no one home?”
I want to hear from you!
As always, feel free to share your experience and opinions in the comment section below, or shoot me an e-mail with any questions at email@example.com
You can also reach me on Twitter @WayofdaLoneWolf
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I look forward to hearing from You and sharing with You.
The Lone Wolf