Observing the mind in spirituality | The Art of Pure Observation


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We often live an “unobserved” life. Observation, is an act of purity. Analysis, can never be part of observation. When analysis happens, there is always involvement of the mind. Mind, with all its prior experiences and conclusions, gets into the act of slicing “observation”. It is like having just a drop of pure poison in a glass of pure hygienic milk. Analysis of any sort, will contort and bias, observation. The art of pure observation cannot be cultivation. When cultivation of all sorts subsides, pure observation, is all that remains. Only under these circumstances can observation open higher possibilities. As Einstein said “The mind that created the problem, can never solve it”. This is a profound statement. All of us are prejudiced and hold very strong opinions about the world around us. This polarizes everything that we think, say or do.

In this regard, we have fixated ways of functioning, irrespective of factors like gender, culture/community, race, religion, financial status and other sociological orientations. Given that we are positioned with certain co-ordinates mentioned above, most of us are already programmed to function in a certain fixed way. There is a lot of data, based on researches done world wide. This, data, if seen and studied, may throw up mind-boggling revelations. This data will also reveal that, over a period of time, human civilization becomes regurgitative by nature. There is nothing phenomenal happening around and life just goes around in smaller or larger circles.


Yet, all this said, there is a zone of infinite possibilities. Those who graduate to this zone, shall never come back to this ever revolving hackneyed life-status that the general population is living through. Spiritual practice, is the means to get to this zone. Observation is possible, only when one, through spiritual practice is able to clear the distortions within one’s thinking process.

The thinking process, may be considered as a tool for survival, nothing more than this. However the larger vista of human possibilities lie beyond the limited thinking process. Observation, unhindered by the thinking process, is a tool which can pave the pathways to the zone of infinity from where one never returns to the regurgitating zone. Observation or pure witnessing, as it is sometimes called, is not possible ordinarily, as our mind starts over-working as soon as we begin to observe something. This disturbance of the mind, is arrested through spiritual practice alone. When the mind is rendered pure and light, the faculty of the spirit comes into being and perfect observation becomes possible.

It should also be understood that, hunches or intuition is not necessarily connected to observation. Intuition or hunches happen at the initial stages of the calming of the mind. One should not take intuition or hunches seriously and flaunt it as if it were a serious capability. Just as sunlight rushes in from a tiny hole in the wall of a dark room, hunches or intuition may give someone, a peek into something beyond. However it is foolish to stop at this stage. What is needed is to break down all the walls of the room so that we are fully available to sunlight. Then there is no question of “allowing” or “getting access” to a little sunlight. It is better to be completely bathed in sunlight. It is better that there is no room at all. Observation and spiritual practice are the sledge-hammers with which one can easily knock down the barrier-walls of the dark room called life.