Psychic Tools The Observer
Journal writing is an intensely private process but sadly almost no one in the <modern world escapes the self-consciousness engendered by formal education. The process of learning a language formally entails a long and – for some – painful process. The more formal the instruction, the more self-conscious you are likely to be when you have to write something – a resume, a letter of application for a job, even a Thank You note or Sympathy card can bring back memories of having our writing assessed, criticised and graded. So deeply ingrained is the habit of writing with an unseen critic hanging over our shoulders that we have lost the ability to just write spontaneously - that is, without ‘composing’. Spontaneous writing takes no one else into account; it is just a way to put feelings or questions, ideas or opinions, musings or hopes, on paper. In a world where complete privacy is nearly extinct and our days and nights are subject to a bombardment of the senses through the use of media, the essential human ability to think about our lives and what they mean can become lost forever. What we most need is what we most lack: silence and a place to enjoy it.
Psychic Tools The Observer
It takes time to figure out who we are and there is no substitute for the process of self-discovery. In the pre-media world, silent places were easier to find. With far smaller populations, there was more unspoiled countryside within reach, places to explore, rocks to climb, streams to wade in, birds and other animals to observe and learn from. Today we have Nat Geo and Discovery for that! More and more we are substituting second-hand experience for first-hand experience. There was a more direct connection between humans and their natural environment than we enjoy today and it is that experience of connection that opens the door to journal writing as a way to explore our inner landscape, the landscape of the soul.
The populations of most cities are starved for contact with nature and also starved for direct contact with the deepest part of themselves, the part that needs to experience life without an intermediary of any kind, to bring us face to face with who we really are sans all the roles we play, the relationships we have, the things we ‘possess’, etc. We have lost access to the person we started out to be in earliest childhood before we became aware of what was expected or demanded of us. Our ‘elemental’ self is our soul self, the source of all we need to know in order to live deeply and not just skim the surface of our lives. Journal writing is about excavating our original Self and coming – perhaps for the first time – to know who we are underneath all the roles, the jobs we do, the places we live, the formal ‘beliefs’ we hold. The Soul Self is the Observer, that part of us that knows we have a body but we are not that body; the part that knows we have emotions but knows WE are not our emotions; the part that knows we have a mind but knows WE are not our minds. The Observer, pure awareness, is who we really are beneath all the layers of personality we carry around with us. In his delightfully elegant book, The Right To Remain Silent Rick Lewis takes the solemnity out of silence and introduces us to the sheer joy of finding the place where mind-chatter stops and bliss begins. Finding the Observer is the first step Lewis takes toward demonstrating how powerful we are when we strip off all the external ‘identity markers’ of our everyday lives. The Observer is the conscious self, unencumbered by preoccupation with the distractions of the physical world. The Observer is pure existence, neither male nor female, neither young nor old.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer is a superb introduction to using meditation to directly experience the Observer for yourself. Singer presents a variety of methods to help the novice meditator find that still, silent spot where the Observer resides.
Getting to the Observer can be accomplished in several ways. One way – the most direct – is through meditation of a kind that moves us out of the thinking mind and into the silence from which the mind comes. Any meditation that takes us beyond words, beyond the mental chatter into complete silence will be effective. Another approach is through writing down our thoughts – however trivial or absurd they may seem - in order to get past the verbal level to silent stillness. This is the end result of journal writing – going beyond the noisy mind and resting there. Thereafter, journal writing serves to keep the door to that sacred space open for us. We can get there by unloading on to the journal pages the thoughts that distract us from the experience of pure existence that makes life worthwhile. In the state of pure existence, there are no anxieties, no ‘problems’, no obstacles to overcome, there is only supreme peace. Once you have experienced that peace you will want to repeat the experience again and again because from that state you will find answers to your questions, solutions to problems, energy like you’ve never felt before, creativity that you had no idea you possessed. What seemed impossible will become manageable because you will have a new clarity to your thinking. You will make better decisions, not engage in self-betrayal or self-defeating behaviours and those around you will notice that you have greater effectiveness than ever before. You won’t be bullied or manipulated or guilt-tripped because none of those false tactics will work on you. You’ll have the confidence to trust yourself because you will have gained access to wisdom that is yours by right – an intuitive sense of what needs to be done in the moment for the best results for all concerned. Best of all, you can combine silent meditation with journal writing so you’ll have a visible road map to follow if you should ever feel you’ve lost your way. There is nothing more powerful in life than finding your way to the real you – the Observer.
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