THE WITNESS – THE OBSERVER – THE WAY
The Mantra: Om Saaksin Jay
To reach the Witness state we must no longer look at everything
in terms of gain or loss but see all as “exercises” given us
by the Divine to teach us something.
a) Once we are firmly established in the Witness state
it will become the very clarity for all our choices and actions,
then we will understand the hidden reasons of all that happens in our life and those close to us while remaining inwardly unaffected by it, see clearly the alternating spirals of light and obscurity, the Divine and undivine influences which govern our lives on earth and will be able to always act in the Truth.
In the Witness state we are no longer carried away by the spiraling
vortex of forces of our life but remain aware of them
with an total detachment.
The true Witness lives in such a way that
leaves no more footprints than the birds leave traces
in the sky or the fishes in the sea.
How many unnecessary traces do you leave in the world?
Are they really unavoidable?
Can’t you see how they keep dragging you back to the past?
How they keep undermining your present?
John Lennon had the right attitude:
I’m just sitting here watching
the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll.
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.
Are you still on the merry-go-round?
If not, when will you let it go?
According to Nisargadatta Maharaj,
There is no effort in witnessing:
you understand that you are the witness only,
and the understanding acts.
You need nothing more,just remember
that you are the witness only.
Jean Klein has a warning:
It is extremely important that you become fully aware that you are the witness,
for that eliminates the old patterns and the habit of thinking
yourself to be the thinker or the doer.
b) Quantum physics has proved that the observer modifies what is observed.
You can make the experience of it
and see how witnessing it changes its nature.
Change your mental attitude and instead of saying to yourself,
for example instead of:
“I think that John is right.”
Say something like:
“The thought is now arising in my mind that John is right.”
“What Mary’s did hurt me deeply.”
“A hurtful emotion is now arising in me in rapport with Mary’s behavior.”
Whenever we have a reaction to anything, a judgment, a liking
or disliking it means that we are still far
from the Witness state.
How far or near are you from the Witness state?
What will you DO to fully achieve it?
Jean Klein has another warning:
Generally there is much anticipation in your observing because while observing you are already projecting a result and focalize your attention on the object of thought.
But the real observation is a seeing without the intervention of a thought
of a result and therefore without tension between the observer
and what is observed
To which extent are you aware of being the Wiriness?
Ramesh Balsekar adds that:
To live naturally is to live as a mere witness,without control and therefore
without mentation,want or volition, uninvolved
in the dream-play of life and living.
c) While striving to reach the Witness state,
don’t be discouraged if sometimes you still fall back
into your old habits and identifications:
even while your detachment from them is still incomplete in the Witness state you can already stand back to some extent from the forces of your life and avoid at least their most ignorant and harmful reactions.
You are the Witness: never let anyone convince you otherwise. Never identify yourself with the parts of you acting, thinking, talking, suffering
for none of them is really YOU
We should all become like
How good are you at being a passerby?
How do we benefit from it?
The prophet Muhammad said the same thing:
Be in this world as if you are a traveler,
sometimes under the shade of a tree will you sit, sometimes
walk in the desert. Be a passerby always,
for this world is not your home.
How does it make you feel that this world is not your home?
According to Nisargadatta Maharaj.
First we must know ourselves as witness only, dimensionless and timeless centres of observation,
and then realise that immense ocean of pure awareness,
which is both mind and matter
and beyond both.
Wu Hsin’s advice is:
Birth and death are merely the beginning
and ending of a series of events.
Stand on the outside,observe them
but don’t get involved.
Standing on the high cliff,
the river below can be observed and enjoyed
without the observer getting wet.
Where is your own high cliff?
Much closer than you would imagine it to be.
d) To establish yourself permanently in the Witness state
be always more quiet inwardly in the awareness that you are really an instrument, a channel through which the Divinity observes the world.
As a Witness, observing your thinking processes and going beyond them
you can reach a higher level of consciousness and completely
transform your whole life.
How do you imagine your own life completely transformed?
No, it will be infinitely more wonderful than that!
You cannot yet even begin to imagine how much!
Ramana Maharshi has a warning:
Talking of the “Witness” should not lead to the idea that there is a witness
and something else apart from him that he is witnessing.
The “Witness” really means the light that illumines the seer,
the seen,and the process of seeing.
Before, during and after the triads of seer, seen and seeing,the illumination exists.It alone exists always.
He also offers His own personal example of it:
I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very
thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness
it has; I become the inner witness of the thing.
Are you always aware of which qualities you are opening yourself to?
It pays off.
e) To establish yourself always deeper in the Witness state,
go beyond even self-observation and feel how only the Divine
is perceiving, knowing, feeling in you, and that you
are not and never were separate from Him.
Realize with your whole being that you are not really the doer of the actions you do and that whatever may happen, even the most terrible that you can imagine,
all that really matters is the experience,
what you LEARN from it.
As the Yoga Vashista affirms,
The intimate relation of the observer with the observed is called a bondage
because the observer’s mind is tightly bound
to the object of his perception.
Therefore it is the absence of the visible objects from the mirror of the mind which is the only means of his liberation.
When the observer comes to know the unreality of the phenomena of the three worlds as well as of his own entity, it is then that his pure soul
attains to the knowledge of kaivalya,
the aloneness of divine existence.
Nisargadatta Maharaj has another advice:
Man becomes what he believes himself to be,
abandon all ideas about yourself and you will find yourself to be
the pure witness beyond all that which can happen
to the body or the mind.
Do you sometimes still worry about what could happen to your body or to your mind?
It is only human and understandable.
But we are supposed to go
beyond the human now.
Never say: “I cannot avoid being involved In the events of my life.”
But tell yourself:
I always remain perfectly centered
in the Witness state.
The Devil’s Advocate:
My client is inordinately fond of the story about that crazy painter who decided to make a portrait of the whole universe, which he thought it was only all he could see in front of him, so he painted the garden facing his window including the window’s frame, the surrounding houses and the sky, and then also himself painting it…but then painted himself painting himself painting his painting, …and himself painting himself painting and so on and on in an infinite regression.
Darlings, can’t you realize that in trying to reach the so called “witness” state you are doing more or less the same thing?
Never see yourself as separate from the observed or from your “lower” self:
by despising or condemning it you will never be able
to heal and transform it:
always maintain a loving and compassionate rapport with the old “I”
as you witness its gradual dissolution.
Words of Power:
I never forget that the Witness in me
is really the Divine.
“The Witness really means the Light that illumines the seer,
the Seen and the process of seeing.”
“Where is located the seerof the mind itself?
Contemplate that.” Mooji
Instead of immediately reading on, it is suggested that you contemplate it now.
When Vijay was still a wild, anti-conformist adolescent the quiet, patient voice of the Khdir kept disturbing him because it always told him to be just a Witness and avoid doing most of the things that at the times he enjoyed doing, so he kept ignoring it.
But gradually he realized that this Voice was like a friend who never judged nor condemned all his failings, who always supported him in his upward strivings.
Just his silent presence was enough to dissuade him
from his worst excesses.
From the Poems:
A fresh breeze comes from the sea.
The wind chime on the terrace
is happily singing with it.
The frogs all together
are celebrating the monsoon.
And what am I doing?
The witness I am, the instrument
thorough which the prayer of the wind,
of the wind chime, of the frogs You hear
and my own silent one.
Question/ko’han 1 to 4:
How often, or not often, are you in your Witness state?
Why so seldom?
How does it make you feel?
Question/ko’han 5 to 7:
How does being in the Witness state improve your life?
Do you feel quite comfortable when you are not in it?
If yes, look deeper.
The Qur’an has the last word:
God is the Witness of all things and in the world
we should be like travelers.
Is this how you see yourself in the world?
1) Abide in your Center, quietly observing, firmly established in the Witness position, and then forget that you are there.
Stand where you are right now and look
at whatever may come to you:
– Whatever is in front of you,
this landscape, this friend, a flower, anything: remain with it,
absolutely silent in your mind until it will be fully,
intensely present for you at last.
– Enter your Witness state,
merge into pure awareness and then
you will find that your real “I” is not dissolved in it,
only its limitations are.
– Observe objectively,
without judgment, how often your mind is occupied with:
– Thinking about yourself,
about other people, the past and the future instead of being in the Here and Now.
– Indulging in worries, regrets, senses of guilt, unhappiness,
lack and loss, fears…
instead of enjoying all the blessings you have.
– Look at it all again
from the Witness viewpoint.
2) Consider this passage of Osho:
Any problem can be solved if even for a moment you will abstracts
and manage to look at it as a witness.
To be a witness solves everything.
But while you are deeply involved in any state of being it is difficult to be a witness.You are fully identified. While you are angry you become anger.None is left on the sidelines able to see, to observe, to watch, to decide.
if you can live in such a way as to be at the same time the actor
on the stage of life and a spectator sitting in the audience,
the witness has come into play.
3) Follow Nisargadatta Maharaj’s advice:
Watch your mind, how it comes into
being, how it operates.
As you watch your mind, you discover
your self as the watcher.
When you stand motionless, only
watching, you discover your Self as
the light behind the watcher.
1) These words of Krishnamurti:
The problem arises of the observer and the observed.
The observer says, “I am empty; I don’t like it,”
and runs away from it.
The observer says: “I am different from the emptiness.” But the observer
IS the emptiness; it is not emptiness seen by an observer. The observer is the observed.
There is a tremendous revolution in thinking, in feeling,
when that takes place.
Do you perchance consider yourself separated from whatever you observe?
It is only yet another false appearance.
2) This passage of Alan Watts:
There can be no universe without the witness; there can be no witness without the universe.
When the mind is quiet,we come to know ourselves
as the pure witness.
We withdraw from the experience and its experiencer and stand apart in pure awareness,which is between and beyond the two.
Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself.Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies.We are the witnesses through which the universebecomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.
3) These words of Sri Aurobindo about the Witness:
Observing and unmoved by the grief and desire
of the lower members,
smiling at their joys and their strainings… the failing and the darknesses of the thought and the wildness or the weaknesses of the heart and nerves, uncompelled and unattached to the mind’s illuminations and its relief and sense of ease or of power in the return of light and gladness, it throws itself into none of these things,
but waits unmoved for the intimations of a higher Will and the intuitions
of a greater luminous knowledge.
As inwardly blind was I, a stranger the Witness
once was to me, but through me looked You;
although s so hard and closed my heart was still
through me You loved everyone I met…