If I asked you to count how many thoughts you think within a minute, would you include the thoughts produced by counting or would you consider those part of your task?
The answer may not be obvious, because there are different mental layers at play in any cognitive process. This is what allows you to tackle three different things at once and split your attention throughout the day or navigate life on auto-pilot without being fully present.
However, you’re not likely to notice this, because to you it all appears as one reality, usually in sensory form. Your thoughts are either images or sound waves, but you’re more likely to hear yourself than to watch yourself thinking. You need silence and solitude to observe your thoughts and feelings, because the nature of your mind is to be active, and more often than not any observation leads to new thoughts.
Your ego-mind is the continuous fluctuation of impressions, sensations, and memories coloring your perception and pulling you toward the external world. But when your attention is on the outside, it’s easy to forget that you can use the same consciousness that allows you to experience things, to redirect your attention inward without disengaging from the world. It’s this split in your attention, if you will, that helps you become self-aware.
The split is just an illusion, however, because it’s really an opening that results from a shift in the direction of your mind. The part of you that observes you is not the ego-mind but your Inner Self, the eternal Presence witnessing its own dream through your individual perception. Consciousness at the core of your soul projects and becomes aware of itself, but it gets filtered through the other soul layers that give you the sense of experience—the mind, the ego, and the physical body.
So although Consciousness within you is observing its own projection on what appears to be outside, the energy layers of your subtle body filter this and make you believe that you are observing yourself as a separate person, with a separate mind and body, from a unique, individualized perspective. Ego cannot exist without this division of subjective/objective reality that disconnects you from the unity or oneness of Consciousness.
Nurture and Become One With the Inner Witness
You can’t master ego with the ego-mind, but as you direct the mind inward, the ego has no choice but to give way to the true witness within. In other words, the sense of individuality dissolves in the light of Consciousness, which is the only constant on your journey—the real YOU—and the true owner of your perception and experience. Everything else fluctuates and changes, causing confusion and distress, but the Inner Witness remains unmoved. This is the absolute, permanent reality you yearn for that the ego pushes you to seek outside of yourself.
So if the projection of Consciousness into an ego creates the illusion of individuality and separation that gives you unique, self-centered experiences, then it’s clear that dissolving this illusion entails returning to the essence of Consciousness, which is neutral, centered stillness. The paradox here is that this stillness is the endless Void or Cosmic Womb from where everything emerges. It manifests in all possible forms and shapes through your individual perception while abiding beyond it, as the eternal Presence in all.
In practical terms, what this means is that to remove the root cause of your suffering you must embrace the light within by observing your life-movie but without identifying with it or the emotions it triggers. You need to recognize all the mental-emotional fluctuations that get in the way of a more direct experience of reality, to disbelieve them and eventually become one with your Inner Witness.
To experience true peace and freedom you must find your way back into stillness. Mental silence is the aim of meditation, prayer, mantra repetition, chanting, and any other spiritual practices. But aside from a regular practice, which is essential since it leaves imprints in your subtle body that create a deeper connection to Consciousness, you can further the realization of your Inner Witness by becoming a witness on an ongoing basis. Here are a few pointers:
- Remain fully present in everything you do but anchored in yourself (that is, not centered in others).
- Embrace the ups and downs of life as Consciousness experiencing itself in different ways.
- Step back and watch your own life as a movie, without expectations or attachments.
- Observe your need to control life and people, and drop it as you recognize it.
- Watch things as they unfold without following the desire to change anything.
- Observe your mental fluctuations without identifying with them, knowing they’ll pass.
- Spend time in nature, even if it’s just your backyard or a park.
- Carve time and space for complete silence and solitude—doing nothing, just being.
Surrendering to Consciousness doesn’t mean not caring anymore or being passive; it means shifting your perception while remaining focused on your duties and taking spiritual responsibility for your experience of reality. I know developing emotional and spiritual freedom is not easy without guidance and support, so contact me today to better understand yourself and fully embrace your unique process of awakening!
© 2019 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.