Monday, December 15, 2014
Self-observation as a practice.
The Keyword for the day is "Self-observation" or "self-observation".
Note- There is no difference in spelling 'Self' with a capital S or 'self' with a small 's'. Countless books seemed to have confused the point beyond repair, in order to stress the point that there is a 'true' self (Self) and a false self (self). However, practically speaking, there is only one findable self- the self that you are right now, which is aware of this sentence. Inquiry into your self, right now, always works (regardless of what you think that 'self' is).
As a verbal cue, we can use this word today to bring us back to our self (and ourselves apparently, for as Gurdjieff said, we appear as multiple "I"s all day long).
"Self-observation" can be done either by focusing on a part, or a function or a segment of ourselves, or by focusing on ourself as a 'whole'. Either way is OK. Focusing on a part or function (or "centre" in Fourth Way terms) is normally done first, since it is easier to gather attention or concentration on a specific external part, rather than the whole. However, if we find it easy to do, it is probably more efficacious to focus our observation on the whole, which includes all parts (that we think constitute 'us').
Self-observation brings me back to myself, breaks identification of the mind with objects, and strengthens the 'witnessing' power of the mind. Ultimately, it enables us to remember ourselves, or 'self-remember', which often takes enormous energy and can only be done a few seconds at a time. With repeated self-observation (and especially during quiet sitting sessions), self-remembering can happen more frequently, for longer periods of time, and automatically throughout the day.
Practice: Verbally repeat the phrase 'self-observation' today, and then rest in some quiet self-observation for a few moments. This can be done at any time or any place. Alternately, it can be done on the hour throughout the waking day.