Is the observer an aspect of the soul or a state of the mind?
I have a question. Is the observer an aspect of the soul or a state of the mind? It feels to me that I can either be in one of three states of being - and I seem to go between all three...(1) totally identified with the body/mind (when I am caught in patterns of behavior etc - though there is an awareness that I am in reaction so perhaps not completely identified), (2) observing the thoughts/feelings/experiences of the body/mind or (3)in a place where the observer is sort of fused into the experience of the feeling/sensations. In this place of infusion, the seeing from the mind all the feelings, thoughts, outer reflections is replaced by more of a sensing as a field.
In the observer there is a feeling of two - the observer and the observed. In the experience of dropping into being through the experience there is less of a sense of two but there must still be a separation since I am aware of the experience.
There is so much emphasis in spiritual circles on being the observer and this certainly is important, but I am feeling a pull to keep dropping through that into the experience, the sensation, the feeling and touch the sense of presence through it. Now that I am writing this out - it souds like what you describe as well - that the observer eventually dissolves. Any clarification would be helpful! =) thanks! Jen
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Likewise Open! *drinks*
Softening into the experience
That's absolutely wonderful Sharlene - I observe a lot of people thinking they are in presence but are not. So going first via the observer, but then really 'softening into the experience' is crucial - a Vipassana will certainly help you do that.
I'm thrilled for you Sharlene
PS - I'm planning a trip back to Aus in February (20th-28th) so maybe see you there.
the gift of presence.....
I have been following this thread with interest, and would just like to share a few very special A-ha moments that have recently happend for me. While attending a vipassana mediataion for 10 days, i learnt to sit and observe the body, and it was explained that by objectively observing the bodys arising and passing sensations is observing feelings/yourself, as every feeling will make a sensation (put in a very very basic way)....I remember been incredibly overjoyed on about day 5 or 6 because all of a sudden all of Opens wonderful sayings like "just be awesomely ok with it"....and "be as nothing with it ".......and "just sit with it and don't need it to go away" suddenly became crystal clear to me. I had no idea it was so absolutely logical, and that to be the observer was really as literal as observing the body....I just loved that I finally understood it in an experiential way! Actually, even thinking about it now makes me feel so joyful.
For some reason, i dont know why xmas envokes feelings of lonliness and sadness, so today while i sat in meditation, i had been contemplating this and felt to become the observer by been
"awesomley ok" with these feelings and of course continue to oberserve the body...and then the magic of presence happened, only for the briefest of moments, but it was unmistakeably there.....and once again, all the wonderful words and articles here came to life, and once again, i understood....
Thank you Open.
The sea of the Seer
Your welcome Jenny! And also thanks to you and Open for your input and sharing of your experiences. Just by sharing I feel a lot of clarity can be gained and the pieces of the puzzle will slowly fall into place. At least for me. I recognize the wanting for the illusion to go away. Yes we want to move forward don't we? But we can not force it or exercise any control over it. But to me your posts are showing me a very authentic drive, a deep rooted will to move beyond the ego. That's as authentic as it can get and very inspiring to others. So I'm glad you posted even if you are not sure if it came out of wanting something. You at least show the processes that you're going through in full honesty and that's something I can learn something from having problems showing my struggling self and often instead project a 'perfect' spiritual self.
Namaste sister Jenny and brother Open. Feeling gratitude for this experience, connection and this forum in general!
Let's all drop one drop at a time into the endless sea of the Seer!
A time to share, a time to contain
In reply to The sea of the Seer by Apollonius
Thank you Appolonius for the heart warming reply...I was feeling a bit of a chill from a sense of overexposure =). I had a friend that strongly reflected to me the inner critic that says I am not enough... She was very tough on me and showed me how it felt to have all my distortions pointed out to me without my own self-realization... It was just a reinforcement of the inner belief of not being good enough. This post brought this up for me not because that's what I received here but because it is what I was unconsciously looking to experience.. . However, there were many gems that came out of that experience and one was that I wanted to be the shiny gem already without going through all the "rubs". So I am far more willing to be vulnerable, to show all my messy not aligned patterns/behaviors. What I feel is being invited now in every area of my life is to tune more into the pause before the action, the words and feel if it is truly aligned...as there can be as much distortion in sharing as in containing but there is an aligned expression for either .. A time to share and a time to contain.... Not based on ideas but on feeling and I will surely not get it right at first but the experience is the teacher!
I love what you say here...
"Let's all drop one drop at a time into the endless sea of the seer!"
You have a beautiful way of expressing in words ... Thank you for the reflection ... It has been so helpful!
Where the soul is to be found
Hi Apollonius - thanks for joining us :-)
- "I believe The seer can not be summoned by will; it will just happen when we stop resisting life."
I'm totally with you on that one. My first experiences of it in this incarnation just happened. I found I dropped into it as I followed the soul. There were times when I recognised I popped out, and no amount of efforting or intentioning would bring it back. But when I just let go, and allowed 'me' to be 'me', then suddenly I dropped into it again. Each time, it dawned on me that this state was 'home'. After that, there was simply absolute commitment to the path. What point being anywhere else?
You also said...
- "But asking these questions I believe is very valuable and necessary because once we do understand these processes, spirituality loses its vagueness and becomes very tangible."
Absolutely! In fact, I observe the question alone - the question of the soul - is enough to unravel back into presence.
And you're absolutely right too - that many spiritual practices (certainly the ones I observe) mostly lead only to a state of denial - distancing from the challenges of daily life; instead of surrendering through daily life - which is where the soul is to be found.
Articulating that I'm not going mad.
Very interesting discussion! I personally haven't found the distinction between The observer and The seer but I can grasp what Open says about it. I practiced observing (so I intended it) and I have experienced 'observing' spontaneously also. The spontaneous ones came with a feeling of expansion and really not worrying about what transpires in this physical dimension. They often arrived when somehow I stopped fighting or resisting inside myself. I agree with you Jenny that there is lacking good info on these states in most spiritual teachings. A lot of the time they talk about simply not seeking or stopping the identification with the outer drama. But then people start forcing themselves not to identify or start placing themselves outside of daily reality. I believe The seer can not be summoned by will; it will just happen when we stop resisting life. And life consists of EXPERIENCES so we indeed have to go through these. I recognize the tendency to want the answers too quickly because I do that myself a lot of the time. I start thinking about it in the hope I can figure it all out that way. Leaving it open with trust mostly works best! But asking these questions I believe is very valuable and necessary because once we do understand these processes, spirituality loses its vagueness and becomes very tangible. Through our left brains we then translate what is happening so we can 'map' our journey and understand with our day-to-day consciousness what's going on. Being able to understand the process and to articulate it might also help us to let the small self know everything is okay and we're not going mad. Quite the contrary.
In reply to Articulating that I'm not going mad. by Apollonius
Yes, I would say my experience is very similar to yours in that for a long time there was an intention to watch as Open pointed out - it started out as an intention to watch. At some point there was a realization that there was very rarely a break in seeing the inner/outer from the observer's place....it became a very natural unforced state of being, yet I was quite detached and didn't immerse in anything that stimulated a reaction in me...it became a cozy comfort zone of watching and predicting and avoiding and managing the inner environment. There was an idea that yes, I will not control the outside, but I will sit way back up in here where I can feel nothing at all. I guess this would be a distortion of the observer with the ego owning and identifying as someone "who can handle anything without getting triggered"...hahah!!
So, it's been a new feeling the last couple years to actually come down into the body and feel it all and I have noticed that I feel the observing through the heart at times rather than the mind...this is clearly not the "seer" that Open speaks of, but just a change - perhaps more attuning to the soul as Open described.
Yes, I want the answers too soon and the experience as well but I keep reminding myself that only the ego wants anything at all and I know this only pushes it away. After some reflection I am seeing that a part of me is wanting to put my stuff out there so that the illusions I am living in can be torn to pieces...I am waiting for it and perhaps even seeking it - wanting to just have someone tell me or cause me to see where I am not authentic. This must be ego too...because all the experiences I am in right NOW are here to do just that...to show me where I am not being authentic. I need to look at this and really feel if I am wanting something before I post again, well actually that would be essential in all moments =)
I really appreciate your perspective Apollonius =) thank you for sharing your experience too.
Thank you Open - This is spot on to what I am feelng...you put it so succinctly! This piece in particular...
"But then the more you watch, the more you start to infuse into the experience - you're steadily becoming the soul through the experience." This is the link that I am feeling and that I am observing missing in the delivery of some teachings on the path (besides here!).. there is plenty of guidance to be in the observer but there isn't much talk on most spiritual paths of how that develops. So, I see and experienced personally, (before openhand) a holding onto being the observer from the place of the mind - this creates a false sense of peace - but you are above it, not in it. I know you write about this in Divinicus for sure. Why do I need to get this intellectually? The experience is speaking clearly...but it was like "ok, this has changed and how did that happen?"
Thank you for the question on questions Cynthia =). What I frequently experience is recognition of a disharmony between some currently held idea and the experience. It may be an idea that is expressed by another or by myself, but it creates a yearning inside to sort of create a pathway to connect the two - to clear the dissonance. In that, though for me, it feels important to find ways to express that in words in a way that can be understood mentally. It feels touchy here like it's very easy to get stuck in an idea that I need to find words versus expressing in being. I see the soul and ego are tangled here, it seems.
I do find that at times this process gets stuck in the mind - where I become overly analytical and start to go in loops. This exploration felt that way for me...looping. Opening, expanding and keeping the question open rather than turning in on myself is a good reminder. Thank you all for the experience! <3 Jen
Questions of the soul are unveiled
Yes indeed - I'd say that's spot on Cynthia.
questions for the soul
I will be sitting with this for a while, but it seems to me that the explorations/questions that you have suggested are questions for the soul with answers that can not be found through the intellect but are unveiled. The sitting with experience vs seeking facts? It would seem then that soul answers are not actually totally definitive in the way this 3-d world likes answers, but are instead an understanding that becomes richer, evolves and deepens over time.
Different types of questions: of the ego and soul
And on the question of questions:
I observe there's two different types of thought and two different types of question.
There's thought that lands simply and instantaneously as 'knowing'. It's like a an instant flash that appears as if from nowhere. I experience it as a Fifth Density experience.
In the beginning, these are not easy to spot. Because lower - Third Density - mind then owns the experience and starts to create chains of thought around them. Since Third Density thought is so dense and intense, in comparison to the lightness of the 5D, then the experience is effectively 'written over'. Imagine it like trying to experience the divine with a loud TV blaring in the background!
Then there are two types of question: there's the question from the lower egoic mind, trying to steal and own the show, trying to figure out how to do what it wants to do.
But then there's the questions of higher mind. Higher - Fifth Density - Mind is asking a question for exploration as a part of the co-creative weave that we're all a part of. It's these very questions that create the consensus reality we're having in the first place. The One is exploring an aspect of its nature through the consensus reality.
So for example, here are several explorations humanity is having right now:
- how to be consumed within the physical, yet still connected with the divine
- how to trust in the infinite benevolence of the divine
- how to work in harmony with all life
- how to be in the flow, yet amplify the flow for the benefit of all
- how not to be attached to the physical outcome
These are just a few of the questions that created our consensus reality. Your soul will be relating to these questions - to this creation. So sometimes a question will just simply arise, without you efforting to create it. You may start to recognise this as a question of the soul - a question of the consensus reality. When this happens, then you've touched a deep aspect of the flow, and it usually comes pretty instantly with the answer. The universe is conspiring to reveal it to you.
The Observer, the Soul and the Seer
To me, the Observer begins as an intention to watch - so it is mostly an aspect of mind - of the ego mind.
But then the more you watch, the more you start to infuse into the experience - you're steadily becoming the soul through the experience.
The more you ride the soul through the experience, the more the ego softens, the more the inner convolutions of identity - the eddy currents in the flow - then unravel themselves.
As they do this, if you keep persisting, then you drop into the presence of the Seer. The Seer is absolute stillness, absolute emptiness, THROUGH the experience.
a thought/question about thinking and questions...
In what dimension do thoughts/questions reside or are they multi-dimensional depending upon the content of the concept in question?
Ahhhh after reading this... I am recognizing the discomfort I experience in just being.. When nothing is being stirred up it seems... The empty feeling of being stirs up a need to fill it and perhaps this whole contemplation is an attempt to escape just feeling what is arising in the blank space... All the resistance to being in that space without filling it up. Hmmmm...
More on the observer
Been sitting with this today...part of my question arises from my own personal experience as well as what I am observing in working with others, that there is a tendency to stay in the place of the observer as a protection from feeling. It seems impossible to me to be observing AND feeling fully at once UNLESS there is the dropping into the feeling completely and seeing, sensing from this place...though it feels very different from observing. I perceive the difference is observing from above the experience versus observing from within it - and then observing doens't feel like the right word.
I recognize that as we walk the path, our soul brings us into the places where we become identified with the body/mind - where we have a need for a particular outcome and that it is in dropping into the feelings you are experiencing and feeling who you are through them that these patterns are released and the soul self-realizes through the experience. So, what I experience is in the times where there is just a feeling of simple beingness - where nothing in particular is being stirred up, there is a back and forth movement on where I am...seated as the observer or dropping into the sense of presence and infusion into the arising experience. Perhaps the understanding I am seeking has to just come from my own experience of this and how I feel to be with it, but a part of me wants to know what's happening...perhaps it's just the ego that wants to get a grasp. Thank you for letting me share =) love, Jen
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