Often in the past, which of course does not exist, We have talked about the difference between how your ego perceives the world and how it is seen through the eyes of Spirit. You have been encouraged to learn how to do the latter. It is time to discuss this in a little different way. You are. You have no memory of not being nor can you conceive of a time in the future of not being. That is because you are. That is the truth of you. Anything you might add to that description is not the truth. You are not male/female, mother/father, worker/retiree, scholar/athlete, musician/artist, happy/sad, smart/stupid, brave/timid, or any other descriptor you might come up with. You simply are. Everything else is not the truth. When you look at the world and see yourself or others in specific roles, and evaluate, judge, set goals, or attempt to change what you perceive, that is all done through the eyes of your ego. Today let’s talk about looking through the eyes of Spirit.
The part of you that is notices what is there in front of you, whether that be the seeing of physical objects or people, or things perceived through the other senses of touch, smell, hearing, or taste. Using your senses, you notice everything around you. Nothing that crosses your awareness has any particular value of being better or worse than anything else, nor of having good or bad qualities. Whatever you perceive simply is a part of the world you are noticing. We will identify you as the noticer and whatever is perceived as the noticed. If you desire to see always through the eyes of Spirit, be the noticer. Simply notice what is in front of you. As soon as you label anything, whether it is through naming (for example calling something a chair), or qualifying (what a nice day), you have left behind noticing and are now evaluating, classifying, or separating. You are back to seeing through the eyes of your ego. You are now noticing the noticed instead of the noticer. Go back and notice the noticer. Be the noticer. Who is noticing?
That may feel like a very difficult thing to do because it is not your accustomed behavior. You haven’t been trained in this manner. Your education has always been to analyze and evaluate. When you begin those mental activities, you stop noticing. You make decisions as to the specific qualities the noticed appears to have. You decide that you know everything about that. Say you are sitting outside and watch a bird land on your lawn. Your ego mind wants to identify the species of bird, know what its habits are, be able to recognize its call, and find out about its diet, mating practices, and migration patterns. You may feel concerned that your cat will snare it or worry that it might have a hard time surviving winter, and think perhaps you should put out a feeder. The noticer, however, uses no names, does no thinking, and simply watches. This noticer has no thoughts that what is seen should be different in any way.
You may be thinking that this sounds like a pretty difficult thing to do. How can you possibly shut down this process that is always on, always busily at work judging, wanting to understand, and looking out for personal advantage? Besides just being the noticer may sound boring. What kind of fun can you have just doing that, you might wonder, if you are not reacting to the world? Let me start with some motivation. If you think that you can ever truly understand anything, you are sadly confused. If you think you know something, you are wrong. If you think science has answers, science knows nothing. The individual you might consider to be the most brilliant person on the planet is an idiot. I am not picking on anybody here. Only the ego mind can “know”, and it is a mental cripple. Any truth that can be known by the noticer could never be explained in words. To know is to separate, divide, and label. As soon as you begin doing that you are seeing untruth, because the truth is all One, indivisible [under God for you Americans :)].
You say that you want to awaken. This can only be accomplished while looking through the eyes of the noticer. You notice through those eyes what is there. You can notice when you have stopped noticing the noticer and are now noticing the noticed. Notice that the ego has taken over again. The noticer has no horse in the race. It has no desire to change or reject any part of the illusion. It simply notices. Your ego thinks you have to accomplish something, go somewhere, or do something in order to awaken. You don’t awaken by doing something, but by stopping doing things. You stop paying attention to the noticed instead of the noticer. You stop placing attention and importance on the effect rather than the cause. Your job is to notice. You are doing this all of the time. There is never a time when you are not noticing, but in the midst of your awareness you try to jump in and interact with and modify the noticed. You do this for whatever reason: to make it better, to protect yourself, to protect someone else, to deliver justice, to get revenge. You stop noticing that you are noticing. Your job is now to notice what is transpiring, to notice that you are now identifying with the ego, with the noticed. Who is noticing that? Bring your focus back to the noticer. The ego mind wants to punish you for the transgression, to try to change and do better in the future. Notice that and go back to the noticer. You don’t need to change, Nothing is wrong. Just go back to noticing.
The noticer has no stories. They belong to the ego’s realm. The noticer is only aware of the now. You cannot see the past. Only the ego mind can hold stories from the past. In front of you is only the now. There is no future to be seen either. It is not in sight. Any projections of hopes or fears are only in the ego mind. The noticer is absolutely unaware of them. Neither past nor future can exist in the now.
How does one go about only noticing the noticer? The easiest way to explain this is to describe what is not part of the noticer; things that belong to the ego mind. The noticer does not have words: names, labels, thoughts or ideas. If you picture an infant looking at the world, lacking language, you can have some concept of what that might be like. You are simply observing what is there. There is no name for cat. There is no memory bank. There is no experience based expectation of how a “cat” might behave. You observe “black” but have no word for it. Those labels belong with the ego. The ego mind creates terms in order to separate. The ego may prefer black cats or, on the contrary, believe them to be bad luck. The noticer just sees what is there, thoughtlessly. Your ego mind will come in and attempt to interpret what is observed. No problem. Notice that. Notice that you are noticing the noticed instead of the noticer. If you judge yourself for analyzing, notice that that is also the ego. Notice that. If you are trying to understand, again the ego is taking over. Notice that. Think of a movie camera. All it does is record what is noticed. The download of what has been recorded includes no explanations, judgments, evaluations, or opinions. You only see and hear what the camera sees and hears. Your inner camera adds the other three senses, but smelling, tasting, and feeling also add no interpretive qualities. The sounds, sensations and tastes are not evaluated, simply noticed.
I encourage you to play with this. Take some time and notice the noticer noticing. Be very kind to yourself, recalling that the noticer never judges. Replace the self judgment with noticing. You will likely continue to notice your ego self analyzing, categorizing, comparing, classifying, dividing, or judging – that is fine. You noticed the activity. Now return to pure noticing. These things that you wish to achieve for yourself: spiritual awakening, peace, unconditional love, and being in the now – you may begin to experience when you are only noticing from the noticer and the ego is inactive. There will be no past or future, just the glorious infinite now. There is nowhere to go to awaken; you notice that you are awake. There is no time. There is no illusion. You have always been and always will be awake. You have simply been pretending not to be. You have pretended to be your ego, separate from others, knowing something, having wisdom or knowledge, needing to defend and protect yourself, striving to fill your needs. This is what Jesus meant when he said that to realize the kingdom of heaven you must become as a little child; just observing, just noticing the now.
You may find some parallels with what I have been talking about and meditation, though in the latter you are often trained to close your eyes and shut out the world. You might have an intention in meditation: to calm yourself down, lower your blood pressure, find peace, become enlightened, draw things to you, or leave your body. Any of these things might occur as a result of observing, but only when that is not the intent. If there is intent, the ego is right there in the middle of it all. Again, the observer doesn’t have a horse in the race. There is no focus on changing anything. There is only noticing. Your ego mind screams out against this. It goes against everything you have been trained to do. It tells you that you should be active, doing, working, and focused. It asks what can be accomplished if all you do is just notice without any interaction whatsoever.
Obviously, it is not possible to stay in that absolute observing mode indefinitely and stay in a body. At some point you must eat, drink, move, and do something. There is also a reason why you appear to have a physical body. There is some action to be taken with that body. However, you don’t have a clue why you are here or what the purpose of your body is. You also don’t have the ability to figure that out. When you practice noticing the observer and let go of holding importance for the observed, you will be guided into action in the illusion. It may be in order to take care of your body. Your first job, however, is to notice the noticer, to let go of placing importance on the noticed, on your body, and the world around it. When you realize that, you are awake. There is nothing very special about it. It is the natural state. As you are focused on the observer you accept whatever is shown to you. There is no resistance. It simply is what is. You will feel a natural knowing as to what to do with each thing that comes into your awareness. You won’t know where it will lead or why you should do it, but life simply becomes an experience of playing with each gift that comes in that moment.
If your ego mind is telling you that you came here to make a difference, it knows neither what that difference is nor how to affect it. The observer flows gracefully with what is, doing exactly what is called for in that moment. We can say that in the endpoint of this dance, everyone realizes their observer. This Oneness cannot happen without you, nor can you stop it. Your part is to notice. In that noticing comes the end of suffering, not because you are noticing with that goal in mind – we have already pointed out the impossibility of doing that – but as the natural byproduct of being present. Notice that you are here.