Here are some ideas that can help us understand and therefore better able to enter into that state of consciousness that is called by many the observing self.
• The ability to observe ourselves objectively and compassionately is one of the most important skills to develop on the path of meditation. Because:
- It is the doorway to our Essential Self, to that within us which is pure awareness pure Being, and the great mystery.
- It is that place in consciousness that is the fulcrum point from which choices can be made with the most freedom and which will lead to the most Joy.
• The observing self is a positive function and an aspect of the superconscious self that we can experience as the conscious self.
• The observing self is a benign witness to our inner processes and outer events. It simply notes, without judgment, whatever comes to the surface of our awareness.
• The observing self provides a loving space for those messages from the unconscious which bring us potentially new information about ourselves. It does not discriminate between the “good” and the “bad” that emerge from within; it welcomes all to awareness.
• The observing self is completely free of self-judgment or self-criticism. It is fundamentally a space of loving compassion and illumination.
• The source of distortions and negative judgments in Self-Observation stem from the internalized voices of parents, early authority figures, or rigid cultural and religious codes of conduct. These judgments are not the true self-observer but are generated from an idealized self-image that embodies unrealistic standards of perfectionism against which we measure ourselves.
• Learning to stabilize our consciousness in the observing self is a lifelong process. This stabilization is increasingly realized, embodied, and expressed by a dual meditative process.
- One aspect of this stabilization is to enter into the incredibly subtle and refined states of awareness of the super-conscious Mind and directly experience its bliss, love, and illumination.
- The second aspect of this stabilization is to essentially transmit this love and illumination into the subconscious mind in support of its integration and synthesis with the conscious self.
• Stabilizing a loving self-observer is analogous to being a good parent to ourselves. Slowly we learn to give unconditional love to all aspects of our personality, especially to the parts of ourselves that are childish, weak, immature, or parts that have strong negative feelings which they act out. As the loving self observer, we help the parts of our subconscious realize their “inner beauty”, learn appropriate self-expression, and cooperate and co-create with all parts of the self.
• Some names of the Observing Self with increasing subtlety: fair witness, neutral observer, compassionate watcher of thoughts, conscious self, choiceless awareness, awareness without an object, pure awareness, pure Being.
• Learning radical loving self-acceptance of ourselves allows us to be totally honest with ourselves and not flinch from anything we experience in our thoughts feelings or behaviors. It also strengthens our ability to love others as we can create a loving space for others and all humanity,
Jerry Rosser, MFT ©2014 www.psychologyofjoy.com