Have you ever actually looked at yourself? You can look at yourself in a mirror and see a reflection of your face. Do you notice how brief that actual looking is before we spot a blemish or wrinkle that requires investigation? The thoughts come rushing into mind and they are usually negative. Why are we so self critical? Why do we not just see the face without this wall of judgements issued by the self and towards the self?
Moving away from the mirror and resting my attention in the room, I see the walls, the lamp, the chair, and hear the noise of the world outside the window, distantly. I look, I simply look. What do I see? The objects around my room, which I view one after another. They are ‘over there’, away from me, and all in their appropriate places and I, the one simply observing them, do so from a distance.
Clearly, the lamp, the walls, the chair are there and I, the observer, am here. This is the same as my face in the mirror, where I was the observer and the face observed. I had judgements about my face, its shape, its ugly spot about to burst and, likewise, I have thoughts and judgements about my chair and the lamp, which could benefit from a duster and a squirt of polish.
So both the looking in the mirror and the looking around my room have revealed three things. The first is that there is a thing observed. The second, that there is me doing the observing, who is different from the things I am observing. The third thing is the thoughts and judgements that I can lay on them.
This is how I see my world and this is how I have always seen my world. However, I know from previous studies that my eyes are simply extracting light wavelength information from the world. My ears are extracting sound wavelength information from the world. My body is passing sensory information up my spinal cord. Only in my brain is all this information being processed and combined to form the virtual reality picture, which I call looking out. So my eyes are not sending little pictures into my brain, only the electrical information. Therefore, it is my mind that is actually creating the ‘seeing’.
If my mind is creating the seeing then the three parts, which I previously identified as the ‘observer’, the ‘observed’ and the ‘thoughts’, are all within my mind. Therefore simple awareness has shown me that everything I see, I hear, I feel is not out there but actually in my mind. Logically there must be something out there, of course, otherwise my mind would not have any data to extract. I wonder what it might be? All I know is that I can never see it, or hear it directly and have to content myself with the virtual 3D movie that my mind is creating in real-time inside my head.
So let’s get back to the movie and the three parts. The ‘observer’, the ‘observed’ and ‘thoughts’ are all aspects of my mind. My mind is telling me that the observed is different from what I am, because the lamp is over there. My thoughts are telling me it needs a dusting and my observer is looking at my thoughts and the lamp. Yet these three parts are all in my mind. Why does my mind give authority to the observer over the other two parts? The observer is informing me that it is different from the observed and that the observed is over there. My thoughts are stepping in with judgements about my lack of dusting and ticking me off!
It seems to me that my observer is getting a telling off from my thoughts and has taken it upon itself to disown the observed as something which is not me, which of course it is. As this is my mind, and I do not want this continuing three way split, I will take action. What action can I take?
Clearly, I am the observer seeing the observed. The observed is me and part of my mind. Therefore I will no longer disown this aspect of my mind and I will bring it in from the cold, in the manner of a cold war spy. If the observed is accepted that it is me because it is part of my mind, then the observer can only watch the observed. The observed is me too, even though I have previously treated it as if it were not. But now I know that it is part of my mind and I’ll give it full attention. So whatever I now see or hear IS ME.
Three hours later:
Everything I see and hear is me. I am attending to the world around me, which is the same as saying I am attending to an aspect of my mind as me, rather than as ‘over there’ and not me. When I fall off the horse, I notice that thoughts and judgements have come rushing in. So I now know that when I have a thought I am treating the lamp as other and over there. When I know I am the observed, then the observer is the observed and can take no action against itself. Why would I want to fracture my mind and allow the voice of thoughts to shatter my watching? The watching is the peace forever deepening and the sanity of an holistic mind. Some may call it by another name – meditation.