The ultimate goal is to withdraw into the ultimate subject

nathan's picture

Average: 4.4 (10 votes)

Perhaps the primary tool on the enlightenment path is to accept and observe whatever is, any thought, any feeling, any sensation.

There are several well-known benefits of such a practice. It is said that if you accept and observe a painful emotion, for example, the emotion will subside and past conditioning related to this emotion will evaporate. Moreover, doing so, you, as the observer, will get less and less identified with the emotion and so the pain of the emotion will cease to be converted into suffering.

It appears that there is yet another benefit, actually much greater than the others, a benefit that has to be grasped as the ultimate goal. While the well-known benefits mentioned above concentrate on the observed object and your relationship with it, the ultimate benefit is concerned purely with the observing subject.

Before we inspect the ultimate benefit, let's remind ourselves who is the "I", our self perceived subject and how it functions. At the core level, you are merely an ultimate observing subject, a pure observer, sometimes called the witness, the self, god, and other names. Through identification with thoughts, feelings and sensations, this pure observing nucleus extends itself to include also the mental objects it identifies with, this is the actual meaning of the action of identification.

While accepting and observing an emotion for example, as you get less and less identified with the emotion, you, the subject, the observing pure nucleus, shrinks. You peal from your perceived self the emotion you were previously identified with, the emotion you took before to be part of yourself. You are now a purer subject, closer to the ultimate true subject.

Hence, this practice enables you to withdraw yourself, the subject, more and more towards the nucleus, the ultimate "I", the ultimate subject. When you reach this state after you pilled all the false external extensions you were previously identified with, you are left with being, your true self. This is the ultimate goal, some call it enlightenment.

dora's picture


Witnessing "what is" is so important, yet so many neglect them for marginal rituals and spiritual exercises, maybe because they look pretty boring to the mind...

dora | Wed, 02/20/2008 - 07:37
SriSriYogiBaba's picture

First Step

It sounds accurate, but really more like a first step than the "ultimate goal".

SriSriYogiBaba | Fri, 08/22/2008 - 20:26
seeker's picture

first and only step?

How can it be a first step while after it is completed there is no one to have a second step, by definition?

seeker | Fri, 08/22/2008 - 20:45
SriSriYogiBaba's picture


Thankfully life isn't nailed down by definitions.

SriSriYogiBaba | Sat, 08/23/2008 - 15:47
divine intervention's picture


hhhhh you were the one to introduce the "first" step etc. :-)

divine intervention | Sun, 08/24/2008 - 14:14
slenten's picture

Don't forget...

to work on your personality as well. It is an inseparable part of you and must be an ally to go deeper.

Learned patterns of response are the precursors to emotions. Yes, withdraw energy from emotions because they cloud the "I" and, more importantly, the heart but change your responses and husband your mental energy.

The "I" is not the ultimate but it is part of a more complete
evolution of consciousness which is not a goal but a never ending process of arrival into Now.

slenten | Mon, 10/13/2008 - 17:17
Omkaradatta's picture


Whether or not it's an 'inseparable part of you' depends on which 'you' you're talking about ;-). Really, personality is a bunch of description, is it not? I did this and that, such and such happened to me, etc. Isn't it a bunch of memories? How does one 'work on' memory?

It's sorta like saying that if you want to tear up a book or take a book apart or recycle a book, the writing in it needs to be an ally :-p.

Omkaradatta | Mon, 10/13/2008 - 17:45
Phroggy's picture

Separating the inseparable

Yeah, ego, which is what we're talking about, does need to be looked at, at least until we're conscious of what's going on and see that it's just a set of thoughts, but I don't think we can say a set of delusional thoughts is an inseparable part of what 'we' are any more than other things that come and go. When certain thoughts no longer happen, they're clearly not an inseparable part of what we are.

Phroggy | Mon, 10/13/2008 - 22:17
dan77's picture

Just always go beyond but beware

Just always go beyond by accepting and observing. Just beware not to try to go beyond spirit (which its fragrance is love), this is not going beyond, this is suppression of spirit manipulated by the logical skeptic mind.

dan77 | Thu, 01/08/2009 - 22:10
kulchnaui's picture

There is only one point

The ultimate subject is necessarily a dimensionless point. You will feel this.

This point is not only the subject but also any object. You will notice that everything is mapped to this point, including all other points. Everything is one. This is the point of unity - not conceptual unity like in Advaita but experiential one.

Follow the instructions and you will experience Advaita, not just speculate about it.

kulchnaui | Mon, 11/09/2009 - 12:48
hugo's picture

Important article

It takes a few times of reading to understand it correctly.

There is a mental barrier doing this important shift of purely abiding in the center with no objects. The barrier lies in the fact that we got used that there are objects, that it is impossible to be without objects, it is also a bit frightening, we may be bored without the amusement of objects.

hugo | Tue, 01/26/2010 - 09:26
Toltec Logic's picture

heart and mind

Do we approach others with a closed mind
or an open heart? Where is our attention
most often?

Restoration of the celestial
within the temporal is the return
of basic nature to natural innocence

Toltec Logic | Wed, 02/24/2010 - 18:48