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The Discipline of Self-Observation


If you think about it, we have an evolutionary goal. Our current evolutionary goal right now is to become Soul conscious in our brain awareness. Being Soul conscious involves the realization that the we are not our body, not our emotions, and also not our thoughts. Right now, if we sincerely analyze ourselves, we will come to the conclusion that we actually are identified with our vehicles, thinking that we are our bodies, identifying ourselves with our emotions and apparently inseparable from our thoughts. The operator is identified with their instrument. If we want to become Soul conscious, we have to correct the situation.

Therefore, part of the journey involves undergoing a process of dis-identification. This is a discipline we all have to add to our „Spiritual to-do-list.“ If it is not on our agenda, we will stay identified with our instruments for another ten lifetimes! We do not just wake up one day being Spiritually awake! If we want to become Soul conscious we have to actively participate in the process.

So, what activities can we engage in to help us dis-identify from our bodies and identify with the indweller instead? One of the activities, and that‘s the one we shall focus on here and now, is self-observation. Self-observation is an essential discipline on the Spiritual path without which we cannot grow and evolve.

We have to observe our thinking, our emotions, our words, our actions. We have to analyze the thoughts we think, the emotions we go through, the words we say and the things we do, we have to analyze our habits, our addictions, our automatic reactions etc. and we then have to ask ourselves, Why do I react or respond the way I do? Why do I think the thoughts I do? Why do I have the emotions I experience? Why do I say the words, why do I engage in the activities I do? And as we sincerely ask these questions, we will inevitably begin to uncover the underlying motivational forces that act as their cause and bring them about. We will come to the insight that there are all kinds of forces acting in our vital, emotional and mental natures that we are not aware of, and they have been running our lives! We will arrive at the realization that physical urges, emotional reactions, and random thoughts have been running the show, pretending to be the True Self.

Enriched with this awareness, we can then go about and begin to consciously channel and direct these forces - which is a vast field of learning in itself and not the focus for us now - rather than continuing to let these uncontrolled forces run wild.

So as we can see, self-observation leads to awareness, and awareness is necessary to initiate our growth. Before we can determine what we need to do to reach our goal of Soul awareness, we need to become aware of the status quo, so to speak. Let‘s say, in your self-observations you notice that jealousy is an issue. Jealousy is separative in nature and therefore not in alignment with Soul consciousness which sees everyone as equally divine and valuable. Since Soul consciousness is our current evolutionary goal, however, the jealousy we maintain inside of us needs to be transcended, or else we will not become Soul conscious in our brain awareness. Now that the issue has come to our awareness, thanks to observing ourselves in the first place, we can deal with it. We cannot change what we are not aware of, yet changing our lower nature we must if we want to reach our evolutionary goal. All our unresolved issues, personality reactions, posthypnotic suggestions etc. need to come to the surface of our consciousness so we can clear them away. To transmute the baser nature of the personality into the higher nature of the Soul, we first need to uncover all that is base within us, and in order to uncover what needs to be cleared, we need to observe ourselves.

And as we observe ourselves, there is another great insight that shall slowly but surely begin to dawn upon us, namely that the observer is separate from what he or she observes. As we watch our thoughts, our emotions, our actions, as we keep our thinking/feeling/speaking under review, as we study our responses and automatic reactions, we naturally assume the role and attitude of the detached observer, and this attitude is necessary to bring about dis-identification from our vehicles (physical, emotional and mental body), the not-self, and identification with the observer, the True Self. The bodies are identified as the not-selves, and the Soul is identified as the True Self. So, as we can see, self-observation is a Spiritual discipline that leads us to the True Self.

These are just a few thoughts on the subject of self-observation that are worth pondering. So, ponder on that, as Djwhal Khul would say.

You may also be interested in our Identification-Disidentification Exercise and Meditation.