The Silent Observer, Part I: What a Load of Crap
In each of us is a silent observer. It doesn’t judge anything. It simply sees, it even sees what you see. It can see the world objectively, but more important, it can see the world that you see, which is subjective, objectively.
This silent observer seems uselessly passive, because it is silent. Yet it is wise beyond any wisdom we can know. It knows the layers of meaning that we attach to every experience, and it understands where every layer comes from, what it means, and why it is there. It can cut through our judgements and attachments to the truth of any experience. It can see how and why we have drawn that experience into our lives and what we are supposed to learn from it.
This is where our last vision before death comes from. When your whole life flashes before your eyes, it is contained within a single moment, and it is seen from a new perspective… the perspective of Truth. You see how and why everything that happened to you happened to happened when and where it did. You see what you could’ve learned, what you actually learned, and how that gap between the two occurred and was cultivated. You also see how that gap could’ve been bridged at any time.
This is an important entry to me, and I have to chop it up into pieces to flesh the whole thing out to my satisfaction. I’ll start by saying that the first day I learned the term “The Silent Observer”, it immediately became a huge part of my thinking. Unfortunately, my thinking process was not quite so clear then in many ways. Some of my mental missteps have been revealed over time, while others seem they should have been obvious no matter where or when I was.
One of the most relevant aspects of my spiritual journey has been the practice of stepping back from situations or concepts to see them from other possible perspectives. Perception is such a huge part of how each of us relates to the world, and questioning the way we see things is often the one solution that we overlook in trying to take control of our lives. Yet it is the solution that we most often need, opening our own eyes just a little wider to see that it is our narrowed perception creating the problem.
The silent observer is the still center in all of this, able to step back from the many possible human ways of viewing life to a perspective that resists or simply ignores these usually strong biological pulls. A whole new perspective comes from dwelling in this place as often as possible, until seeing from that new perspective naturally puts you in that place. The first myth that gets revealed is that the silent observer is not actually silent, but communicates on a frequency that only works when lower frequencies are silenced.
It may be silent in that it’s not yet another dumb program running a destructive mantra over and over in the broken record that is the mind. The language that the silent observer speaks is not the language of silence but rather the language of potential. All wisdom awaits in the realm of the silent observer, and all it takes to hear it is: silence. Learning to listen in that space and translate that language can change programming so deeply ingrained that the one running the program had come to identify with it. Re-seating the identity in spacious awareness is a goal in and of itself, one that some paths may call the end goal. It’s not, though… it’s just a new beginning.
Listening intently to the desires of the Universe as they may apply to you is both humbling and exalting, and the point of view built on this regular practice can somehow make the individual doing the looking feel both infinitesimally small and infinitely expansive at the same time. The silent observer can strip away layers of programming consisting of thousands of thought repetition in one slow searing glance. That’s its job, at least in the beginning, and the first thing we do after making the silent observer’s acquaintance is invite it to tear our illusions to shreds and show us the truth hiding behind them. The chattering monkey mind is re-tasked to watching shoddy structures fall away, trying to find a foothold in a place where making sense is the new form of currency.
There is much to be learned from the silent observer; and I can honestly say that most of what I consider worth having learned in my life, I have learned from it. After years of going back to that place for renewal and refreshment, I had a long moment of stillness overcome me recently after a sudden realization descended on me with a booming voice: “Your silent observer talks too much”, it said, then left me to reel with laughter and swim in spacious stillness. This led to me becoming acquainted with my silent observer in a whole new way, for the umpteenth time… and what a delightful relationship.
So what am I so disgusted with by this entry that I sub-titled it “What A Load Of Crap”? It’s the whole third paragraph, me stepping from the clean space of spiritual psychology into the muck of afterlife supposition. The folks in that field paint a pretty picture, sometimes; but that picture is theirs. The only thing I will say with confidence about the beforelife or afterlife experience is that it is different for each of us. One of the worst things I think anybody with a little wisdom can do is pretend they have more than they do. Trying to predict others’ experiences in any realm based only on your own is hemming in the Infinite with every word, and it’s just plain rude. I like to think that my path is much more about evolution than aggrandizetion, and in that spirit I refrain from making predictions for anyone other than myself. Your afterlife experience is yours to create as you will. Sorry for the load of crap. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for reading!