Monday, March 24, 2008

What is Self-observation?


Before we can go a bit deeper into self-observation we need to define it. In its most simplest terms it is merely the observation of your self. By observation we mean simply what the word observation generally denotes, looking at it, or being aware of it. Next the word self is much more difficult to define despite its being so commonly used in every day communications. Although, volumes of books have been written covering this most fascinating subject, it can be understood in rather a few simple words.

The word self implies you, the unique you. And this uniqueness is maintained by your personal set of thoughts and feelings. The thoughts and emotions are at the core of the human behavior. They are the driving forces whether you are conscious of it or not. This perhaps applies to other forms of life, except it might be of different types and levels.

The other very important and at the same fundamental point is your rather unconscious identification with your individual sets of patterns of thinking and emoting. Obviously, the more you behave in a given way under the influence of your thinking pattern, the more easily you act in the same way next time. Through this natural process of repetitive behavior the certain ways of thinking and feelings are confirmed, and validated, and then repeated. This is the same process for formation new habits or continuation of the old habits. Again with each act of behavior you identify with the act performed. And this identification is strengthened each time.

More or less the process of identification with the your individual sets of unique feelings and thinking is an unconscious one. It seems natural and spontaneous to do. At least at this time of our human development, we don’t know any better. No body has brought to our attention the seriousness of this phenomenon nor are we made aware how far reaching the impact this identification can have in virtually every facet of ones life. Be that health, physical mental; or relationships; or jobs and careers etc.. There is no aspect of ones life that is not touched by this habit of identifying with one’s thoughts/feelings in one way or the other. Your are driven to act in variety of ways, all compelled by your feelings. Here are some examples:

-Violent outbursts of anger.
-Violent acts of crimes like murders, rapes, robberies etc.
-Loving acts of generosity, sacrifice, public good etc..
-Common labeling of oneself as ‘I am stupid, crazy, vengeful, jealous, hateful angry’ etc..

The above list can go on and on rather endlessly. But you get my point. we don’t need to belabor any more. For, this is the primal way the humans and animals have been behaving over long long time. That’s nothing new.

As you might have noticed from the above mentioned examples, and also from your own personal experiences that this process of identification with ones own thoughts and feelings is rather blind one. It does not distinguish between good or bad identification, or whether it’s harmful or beneficial in nature. In the normal course of events, one does not exercise any choice in its selection. This identification is natural that one is hardly aware of its genesis and awesome impacts. You don’t know any better at least for now.

Also, there is hardly any mention of self-observation in the popular media we are so used to. The talk show hosts don’t talk about it. The TV channels don’t cover it. The printed media has some information available but considering the huge amounts of its availability it has not caught as much attention as it is duly deserved. And of course, if you google self-observation you certainly would find multiple write ups. The point I am making is that it has never been discussed publicly as a tool of major significance. Something very timely, and urgent for not only individual’s welfare but also of whole world. As to why it has escaped the proper recognition and interest by the public and leaders alike may have something to with its origin and secrecy involved about it over long times.

My guess is in view of its extreme importance and its relevancy to our rather turbulent period we are living in, more and more attention will be given to it as the time goes on. As the common saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in its taste, as the humans share their life-changing experiences with the self-observation, it’s bound to draw widespread attention in the future.

Because, the self-observation is just a tool available to any body who wishes to utilize it, but without the forceful marketing efforts of the business industry it has been rather slow to gain spotlight. Also, there is no popular personality promoting it, because no body can lay claim as their own invention. Closest example we can give is to compare it with a very useful herb. Because, it’s available to everybody, the pharmaceutical companies can’t claim an exclusive patent, they won’t invest billions in its research and its promotion. You know how these companies are spending billions in advertising in multiple media, the prescription medicines to lay people, not to the doctors! And they have largely succeeded in increasing sales of prescription meds raking billions of dollars in profits. The self-observation does not have the formidable businesses with billions in assets behind it. For, if it were true, it would have cut their very business, because the understanding and practice of the self-observation may render the use of any prescription or any other medicine practically unnecessary!

We just touched this subject rather in its most general terms. It was not the purpose to discuss this from many perspectives. It was decided to handle it rather piecemeal rather than covering all details in a single chapter. For those of you who have gone through this concise book completely, must have grasped enough idea about the self-observation.

Suffice it o say, if properly understood and practiced, the technique of self-observation is bound to bring about far reaching changes in all parts of not only one’s own life but also the whole communities, nations and the entire globe itself. It will be like awakening the humanity has never known about, never even dreamed about. The man then would wonder why and how on earth he ignored such a powerful instrument of such gigantic importance for such a long time. Then he would discover to its utter dismay how his own best welfare was short changed by the petty rivalries and power politics of the few who had their vested interests and agendas as their own top priorities. As to who and what these power players are not hard to figure out, as you might have already discovered after perusing this rather short book. After all the sooner the man assumes full responsibility for its total happiness the better. There is no one but you who has your own best interest as the priority, except you. The sooner you realize this stunning and absolutely clear fact the better.

Unfortunately, everyone has their own agendas, this is not only true of other fellow beings but also of all the prophets including of course all the religious leaders like gurus etc.. Although, it is contrary to the prevalent popular belief, but irony is, our innermost commonsense nudges us to believe its true. We have been so much globally indoctrinated to regard prophets so high and beyond us that we refused to entertain the very idea that the prophets could be as selfish as any other man on the street. The only difference being that each one of us have our own different agenda. But the agendas we do all have. It’s a part of our human nature. Rest assured, we all are humans basically, product of the same evolution with our individual frailties and susceptibilities.

The prophets are no different from you, they are just as humans as you are provided you subtract the conditioning that have been imposed upon you through generation after generation.


The self-observation has stayed in the shadows for longer time than it should have been, for no other reason than the self-serving agendas of globally recognized power players foremost among them, the various prophets, who essentially determined its liberating role for the entire populace as a threat to their specific selfish goals.