No witnessing when no (calm) mind?

dora's picture



Average: 4.6 (10 votes)
observer.jpg

There is a certain kind of people whom when I am in company, my mind gets crazy. It starts switching rapidly in a chaotic stream of endless short noisy nervous jumpy pieces of thoughts. The noisy thought pieces themselves are weak in strength but so many. What happens is uncontrollable and usually damages a little my cognitive abilities at that same time. When I distant from these people, it stops.

You can simulate this phenomenon by switching your attention continuously and very rapidly among different arbitrary spots in your head. Imagine the spot of your attention to be a tiny light ball bouncing ceaseless in your head. It is important that you do this simulation in order to understand the following.

I have noticed over time that these people who provoke this mind noise in me are very nervous people on one hand and control freaks on the other hand who try hardly to maintain a relaxed and practical outer behavior.

This noisy phenomenon is hard to notice because it is mild. It is only when I happen to intentionally being present and start a process of witnessing in the same time I am with these people that I notice this noise in my head - I find out then that I cannot do this simple act of presence and witnessing.

The natural state in this situation is to get lost, to be unaware, not to be present. It takes a lot of effort to stay floating above the water, to stay present and aware.

When trying to observe, there is a problem to process the mental decision of what type of object to observe - breath, thoughts, emotions... The mind which is naturally involved in this decision process is failing to dedicate itself to resolve this simple matter. In other words, I simply "cannot remember" which optional objects are there to observe. Second, when I finally resolve what I am going to observe and starts observing, I happen to lose the thread of observation very quickly for the noise and to to lose my conscious presence.

The only thing I can resolve myself relatively easily to observe is the noisy condition itself and the noise. This also does not last much as the observation and presence are soon lost and I am getting lost in the noise, as if the center itself is lost.

There is something else which is more natural and easier to do when being in that state: it is just being with no observation. It somehow feels more natural as I am helpless in picking an object to observe so I am better just being.

Try to simulate the condition as instructed above by doing it continuously and when established in it try to decide about something to observe and observe it, then try to observe the noisy condition itself and later try to just be.

Based only on your experience during this experiment:

What are your findings from this experiment you have just made?

What felt easier (observing an object, observing the noise, being)?

What do you think is the extent the observer needs to utilize the mind based on your direct experience in the experiment?

What do you think about the difference between concentration (on an object) and attention (alertness that is not focused on a certain object) in meditation in view of what you felt during the experiment?

What does it say about the ability of mentally ill people to apply spiritual methods of observation, insight and growth when having such a chaotic condition or similar permanently within their minds?

I will be grateful to hear findings of others on this matter but please only such that are a result from your direct experience in the above experiment, not theoretical ones this time.

Enjoy! :-)



shond's picture

Easier to abide in the being this way

Funny, it is easier to stay in the being this way when the mind is less at our disposal.

It may suggest that our difficulties with the mind are partly due to us being too spoiled with abundance of mind availability.

shond | Wed, 03/04/2009 - 21:01
divine intervention's picture

Aware that you cannot be aware of anything else

Yes, you have no choice with the above simulation.

Actually the experience with this simulation defines what "I AM" or "Abide in the being" actually is (again, the important things which cannot be defined accurately with words are defined by experience as a negation of something):

This "I Am" is the conscious state in which you are aware that you cannot be aware of anything else.

divine intervention | Thu, 03/05/2009 - 07:25
sisi's picture

I Am

I have also experienced this and came to the same conclusion: Be aware of the what is now: that I cannot be aware of my thoughts, the frustration if there is a such and the feeling of loosing control.

And then just indulgence in being...

sisi | Sat, 05/09/2009 - 08:54
Phroggy's picture

~

I don't think I understand. To me, you certainly can be, and are, aware of thoughts and feelings arising now. In the absence of that awareness, they have no significance, and in fact can't happen. The only reason you would not be aware of them is if you are not aware you are aware of them because you are insisting that you ARE them. You are aware of your body in the same way. There is no difference.

Phroggy | Sat, 05/09/2009 - 18:52
davids's picture

Great technique!

What are your findings from this experiment you have just made?

You said it all, I second your findings. I also encountered this phenomenon a few times and the easy technique you suggested is simulating it.

What felt easier (observing an object, observing the noise, being)?

observing the noise.

What do you think is the extent the observer needs to utilize the mind based on your direct experience in the experiment?

As you illustrated, mainly to control and navigate the witnessing - what object to witness and for how long.

What do you think about the difference between concentration (on an object) and attention (alertness that is not focused on a certain object) in meditation in view of what you felt during the experiment?

Indeed, concentration is not purely witnessing. Osho once spoke lengthily about the difference between concentration and attention and did say that meditation is not concentration. Now I understand this based on the technique you described.

What does it say about the ability of mentally ill people to apply spiritual methods of observation, insight and growth when having such a chaotic condition or similar permanently within their minds?

It certainly explains why spiritual methods prove ineffective when there is no conscious center there to apply them. On the other hand, if the individual is not suffering, there is no need for any such methods.

He may even be a "must", as Meher Baba calls them - people who are god intoxicated - upon realization they lost contact with what we perceive as reality and they seem to us as mentally ill with mighty powers.

davids | Wed, 03/04/2009 - 21:48
Tania's picture

I felt kinda loosing the

I felt kinda loosing the center, confusion and even a bit of panic of loosing control and ability to witness.

It was easier to watch the confusion and panic which in turn eased them.

I assume you mean the analytical mind (not the processing of the senses etc.) - The observer still needs a small portion of the mind until you are settled in the observation. I felt that what left is somehow the residue described in http://www.gurusfeet.com/blog/stopping-thinking-no-conflict which then maybe is transformed into attention and not concentration anymore.

Absence of conscious center (presumably the situation with certain mentally ill people) seems as an obstacle to apply awareness - but in this reality. Who knows, maybe they are potent in other dimensions or existences. It demonstrates that the mystery is far greater than what we think is known to us.

Tania | Mon, 03/09/2009 - 11:56
neo's picture

bright observation

This is a bright experiential proof that the witnessing is still a faculty of the mind. Maybe a finer one but still mind.

Therefore, the witness cannot be the soul nor a quality of the soul. It is more of an external aiding periscope.

These leads to the conclusion that one should try to go even beyond witnessing to that which is just being.

PS. There is still a certain kind of "witnessing" which is not doing but just an happening in which you are open to whatever including unknown. Based on my experience this kind of fine witnessing can happen also when the mind is hectic.

neo | Sat, 04/18/2009 - 11:42
dhorai's picture

then u must be away from my son! laugh!

i myslef in tiruvannamali lost my ring also by being near a druncard...
but i could not go through urs fully in yoga they say u have to make ur brain free from all weaknesses when the same suituation arose going to tiruvalankadu i was so hot that no virus stood me...
u can use surya mantra or garuda mantra to protect when ur sensitive...

with love
dhorai.

dhorai | Fri, 05/29/2009 - 12:43
dhorai's picture

will u witness!

even when ur hushband or any respectable human being dying before ur eyes.

stop witnessing and be emotional enough to be good human being.

crying at the irresponsible world born to live...

and crying for being born a brahmin which means witnessor...

be like jesus go and help the poor and sufferers.

with love
dhorai.

dhorai | Sat, 09/19/2009 - 12:06