Observing Yourself: A Spiritual Perspective
Observing yourself is a seemingly innocent, yet imperative part of achieving peace. If you have done any reading in spiritual concepts, you have probably already come across this concept of the observer and the observed. When having “tunnel vision” we are so wrapped up in our thoughts that we believe we are part of these thoughts. We touched on this in previous blogs, but it’s worth going a little deeper now because there is nothing more important than learning to put space between your thoughts and your consciousness. You probably come across many examples of this every day. For instance, you undoubtedly hear people state, “I’m so pissed!” for example. This person is having a thought of anger and they believe therefore that they ARE angry. However, that person will most likely get over their anger after some time. Therefore, we can ascertain that they aren’t anger itself; they were just having angry thoughts. Are you with me so far?
Well, if you are not the angry thoughts, you are not anger itself. Instead, you are simply aware of your angry thoughts and have temporarily allowed yourself to become wrapped up in these thoughts to the point where you cannot tell the difference between the thoughts and yourself (the observer of these thoughts). At some point though, you have probably recognized the futility of your emotion (anger in this case) and snapped out of it with a realization like, “Man, I really need to calm down. I’m not sure why I’m getting so worked up.” This awareness is the key to understanding the concepts we’re driving at. Keep with me here, because it’s all coming together now. At first you feel you are angry, but you somehow realize that it isn’t worth being so upset, so you stop the thoughts and feelings of anger. It sort of appears at that moment that there are two different people residing in your mind, right? There is the person who is angry and the person who observes the anger and decides on a superior course of action. So which is the real you? The one who thinks it is angry or the one who observes the angry thoughts? Ahh … this is the million dollar question.
If we take this idea just a step further we can quickly ascertain that the only “real” person is the observer and not the thinker. Whew, there it is. I couldn’t just come out a say that you are not who you think you are now could I? It takes many examples sometimes to drive this truth home. So, let’s recap it now with fewer words: There is an observer in you that, when trained, can take more control over your life, remove you from your perceived problems and put you in touch with sufficient wisdom to overcome the problems that your mind has created. This observer is the perceiving part of your spirit which is infinite and totally connected to the rest of nature. However, our minds have been so programmed to put up road blocks via negative thoughts and emotions, that we are sometimes utterly confounded by our very own actions. Please take a moment to re-read this paragraph.
This website is dedicated to achieving peace which is in large part directly linked to your ability step outside of yourself, become associated with the observer and to learn to see yourself in all of nature. As was put so eloquently by philosopher, mathematician and historian Bertrand Russell:
“The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.”