You may not see it unfolding, but here’s what happens the moment you take your eye off of seeing the whole of yourself:
Some unseen part of yourself takes one step closer to falling into the pit of some pain created by its unanswered unconscious demand on life. To know this as inevitable creates the impetus for a holy new wish in life, based upon a whole new set of values; such self-knowledge is the seed of inner vigilance; it is the heart of mindfulness, the soul of successful self-observation.
This higher understanding, and the acceptance of its truth, is the secret path of self-denial, the narrow gate that only an awakened need for God’s mercy can open.
The new inner vision that comes from self-observation is what provides you with true self-knowledge. To see yourself in this new way means that at the same moment of being aware of your physical self, you are also watching what you are thinking and feeling without involving your old inclinations to jump in and judge. Simply stated, self-observation is a way of being fully aware of yourself while remaining free from any self-concern. In this unique psychological posture you remain effortlessly apart from all wrong concerns because, should any of them arise, they are treated as just something else you are seeing, not as something you are.
At first, this idea of expanded self-awareness may sound to you like a little too much going on all at once. I assure you that it is not. Once you get the feel for it, self-observation is not any more difficult than leisurely watching a juggler under the Big Top. He may have as many as six or seven assorted objects flipping and spinning all at once, but that is of no concern to you. Seeing takes no effort. You are just enjoying the performance!
When we can observe ourselves by being awake to our thoughts and feelings, we allow our natural higher intelligence, our higher nature, to prevail over the unnatural thoughts and feelings of our self-defeating lower nature.
Self-observation allows you to understand what you are witnessing within you instead of being dominated or devastated by it because your new and higher inner-position as the observer is outside of and so separate from what it is watching. This unique inner-sanctuary must always make the right choices because it has no past investment in any events or their possible outcome and so it is free to select what is intelligent. Intelligence cannot be bound by the momentum of accumulated desires. The silent observer does not think. He sees. This is an important point. To self-observe means that you cannot be self-absorbed. Higher awareness through self-observation increases your field of choices because this elevated inner-position places you high above the game and lets you see all of the players. On the other hand, self-absorption is like being on the field. Not only can’t you see all of the players, but those that you can see are more often than not slamming into you, turning you around and around until you don’t know which way to run. That’s the whole point: Stop running and bumping, and start seeing.
The true measure of our wealth is not counted by what we do with the riches we may have, but rather is determined by the character of what fills our heart when what we have is taken away…