Sunday, 17 July 2016
If we are able to be steadily self-attentive, where do we go from here?
A friend wrote to me explaining how he is practising self-investigation and asked, ‘Where do I go from here?’ The following is what I wrote in reply to him.
When you write, ‘I seem to be “witnessing” or aware of the I am thought all the time now’, what exactly do you mean by ‘the I am thought’? The reason I ask is that people tend to objectify everything, so some people assume that the I-thought is some sort of object that one can watch, but the term ‘I-thought’ is just another name for the ego, which is not an object but the subject, the one who is aware of all objects. Therefore what we need to watch or ‘witness’ is not any object but only ourself, the subject (the ego or thought called ‘I’).
Since we are not an object or phenomenon,WATCHING ourself means simply being self-attentive or attentively self-aware. We are always self-aware, but generally in waking and dream we are negligently self-aware, because we are so interested in being aware of other things that we overlook our own self-awareness, which is the foundation or screen on which awareness of other things appears and disappears. Because of our interest in other things, we constantly direct our attention away from ourself towards other things, so our aim now is to turn our attention back and fix it on ourself as keenly and as steadily as possible.