What is observation?

Speculating about choiceless awareness or any other subject is not observation. In observation one may become aware of the duality of words and ideas; the observer and the subject/object of his observation, the observed may come into view.

How does one learn to observe? Why observe, watch, listen to ones thought process? Is he afraid to observe his self in action? Is that the impediment? Or is he so addicted to trying to make sense that observing is merely another subject to be discussed and disputed?

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Tricky paradoxical question on a K forum - which means either that the prospective observer ends up understanding what meditation is - at least in terms of intent and effort - or that they only approach the question from a theoretical position.

A third option is a form of observation with the self very much present and separate from what it is observing - our normal state of being. (Good indications that the self is present : recognising, knowing, effort, intent)

The “impediment” is a lack of interest? Also an impediment may be not understanding that awareness of one’s ‘inattention’ is attention?

Lack of interest appears to be a major problem as well as imagining one is observing when in fact one is accumulating an opinion and of course preventing ones self from seeing ones inattention in real time.

Lack of interest may be due to ones fear of self discovery as well as being held back by excuses such as social pressure, public opinion, habit, etc.

So can one observe ones self while in ones ‘normal state of being’ with the self [observer] and the observed [also the self] present? Active? Alive [so to speak]?

Or must one deny all of that activity to reach the ‘promised land’?

Surely, observation means observing all of that activity in real time, while it is active, in order to see ones inattention and learn ‘how’ to attend/observe.

Our habitual, conditioned process of perception, is not a state of clarity and awareness - if our perceived reality consists of a self separate from what it perceives, this is our habitual point of view, not awareness.
Of course denial of what we are and a desire for some imagined ‘promised land’ is an additional delusion built upon delusion (and created by delusion)

It might help if you describe this process for us. What happens during this process?

btw he can only approach the question from a theoretical position, though he would never admit to it, and that is the problem isn’t it? we live in a theoretical world, a world of ideas & ideals which we’ve mostly gleaned from our environment including the teachings; that and his ego in which he lacks the humility to say or feel that ‘I don’t know’

I just did describe it;

‘observing all of that activity in real time, while it is active’

Perhaps calling it passively observing the chattering in ones head is clear enough… or observing ‘Our habitual, conditioned process of perception’ as you’ve stated.

Watching it; listening to the self talk without interfering when possible, without doing anything about it… to me that is learning to listen or observe passively rather than be driven to further action by it.

This is interesting David, this is an opinion of K.? Have you felt this all along? No “humility”? Could you say more about this? I don’t have this view, but would like to hear yours.

Mostly what I observe in people’s talk & in expressing their opinions is " I know" this and that… and when it comes to the technological, they do know… and when it comes to the psychological they often repeat the latest idea and their ideal way of looking at things, which are contrary to the actual mess of conflicting ideas and the confusion most of us live in, again psychologically speaking; and it appears as a defense against what is actually going on inside and between people.

When I began to face my own conflicts it was the same thing going on. I knew what was right and my ideas and my ideals were the correct ones… Until I began to see the crack in my thinking, I was upholding ideals that were in reality not actually manifest in me not in most, that insight was like a huge spot light illuminating my lack of humility and at the same exact time my lack of self knowing.

When I first saw that I did not actually know something that I thought & felt that I did know, but didn’t, their was that humility thought said without any promoting that I know of I don’t know followed by a more comprehensive I really don’t know voluntarily delivered by the psyche a recognition of that fact and it goes on like that like oscillating radio waves higher and lower and mostly it seems undetectable but the curiosity is active most if the time.

We are getting into muddy waters here - but it is related to the question of observation.

Contingent with the idea of discrimination between attention and inattention is the desire for continuity : - I have an idea, or an experience (and therefore a memory) of attention (thus of peace and clarity) and I want more of the same (which unfortunately means more of the same idea)
Related to the desire for continuity (of attention) is the desire for control : - I have entered into a relation with an idea (awareness/peace/clarity) and would thus like the ability to conjure it up at will. (unfortunately we want to conjure up a dead thing existant solely as memory). K talks of this in terms of the “desire for security in relationship, which is conflict”.

Put simply, the desire for attention and the aversion to inattention, must simply be seen as habitual movement of the self - this “sensitivity” (detection of our own subtle movement) being attention.

So awareness is the seeing and surrender in each moment.
Surrender and seeing occurs through the moment to moment perception of the self relating to itself.

So what happens when there is awareness of one’s inattention? What is observation? How does the process usually play out in your experience?

Good post, mac. Going to look more closely at what you write here and may respond further later. But you were very clear on an issue that I was ‘cloudy’ about. I had an ‘ah ha!’ moment when reading it. :slight_smile:

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Who/what is the one who sees & surrenders? is aware?

It must be the same one who desires!

Whereas actual seeing is unrelated to desire; seeing is inadvertent.
mind/brain/thought [whatever] sees its self desiring ends it

When I am pushed out of what is my ‘comfort zone’, the reaction is to get back to the ‘status quo’ right? Now the ‘disturbance’ may go on and a period of ‘self-pity’ takes place. I want things to be the way they were and they’re not. I am suffering. This can go for some time. Until there is the realization that the suffering is a result of wanting to go back to the way things were. Then I say to myself “why shouldn’t I be feeling this way?” “What is wrong with my feeling this way?”…Maybe this is the “surrender” Douglas is talking about? The giving up of the resistance to what is? It changes in that moment from a ‘battle’ to ‘peace’.

Which may be true if your comfort zone is in control…

However; once you remain with it, the discomfort, it appears to transform itself, or your psyche transforms itself, whichever, and instead of escaping from the discomfort, your psyche stays with it, it looks a little deeper, has a broader view into what is going on…
… as with shoes, no size fits all.

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I have to say, that all may be true and it is, the question is, in my humble mind, can you stay with it and watch the whole thing unfold?

To me, that is what is important, not all the doomsday, its always this way doom and gloom; stay with it, live with it, until you are no longer afraid of it and see what happens.

As a psychiatrist, if I were one I would not disagree, but get out of it for Gods sake and look at what is going on; for one thing it is by far the most interesting thing that is going on in life and secondly, don’t you want to find out how to go beyond it without deluding yourself. I do and so that is what I do.

Yes of course. Can you say ‘how’ you ‘do it’ “without deluding yourself”?