Tag Archives: Self-observation

“You will never understand yourself if you seek to change yourself. The harder you try to change yourself, the worse it gets. You are called upon to be aware.”

16 Nov

Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”

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“What is the most important thing of all? It’s called self-observation. – No one can show you a technique. The moment you pick up a technique, you’re programmed again. – What’s [self-observation]? It means to watch everything in you and around you as far as possible and to watch it as if it were happening to someone else. – It means you do not personalize what is happening to you. It means you look at things as if you have no connection to them whatsoever.”

11 Nov

– Anthony de Mello in “Awareness” on Self-observation, P.35.

More on the process and understanding of self-observation, “I” vs “Me” and suffering below.

on P.46 “Be aware of your presence in this room. Say to yourself, “I am in this room.” It’s as if you were outside of yourself looking at yourself. Notice a slightly different feeling than if you were looking at things in the room. Later we’ll ask, “who is this person doing the looking?” I am looking at me. What’s an “I”? What’s “me”? … If you find yourself condemning yourself or approving yourself, don’t stop the condemnation and don’t stop the judgement or approval, just watch it. I’m condemning me; I’m disapproving of me; I’m approving of me. Just look at it, period. Don’t try to change it… Just observe what is going on.”

on P. 47 “Notice you have “I” observing “me.” This is an interesting phenomenon that has never ceased to cause wonder to philosophers, mystics, scientists, psychologists, that the “I” can observe “me”… The great mystics of the East are really referring to that “I”, not to the “me”. As a matter of fact, some of these mystics tell us that we begin first with things, with an awareness of things; then we move on to an awareness of thoughts (that’s the me); and finally we get to an awareness of the thinker. Things, thoughts, thinker. What we’re really searching for is the thinker. Can the thinker know himself? Can I know what “I” is? Some of these mystics reply, “Can the knife cut itself? Can the tooth bite itself?…Can the “I” know itself?”

P.47 “Am I my thoughts, the thoughts that I am thinking? No. Thoughts come and go; I am not my thoughts. Am I my body? They tell us that millions of cells in our body are change or are renewed every minute, so that by the end of seven years we don’t have a single loving cell in our body that was there seven years before. Cells come and go. Cells arise and die. But “I” seems to persist. So am “I” my body? Evidently not!”

P.48 “Is my name an essential part of me, of the “I”? Is my religion an essential part of the “I”?

P.49 – 50 “What constantly changes is “me”. Does “I” ever change? Does the observer ever change?… So when you step out of yourself and observe “me”, you no longer identify with “me”. Suffering exists in “me,” so when you identify “I” with “me,” suffering begins.”

P. 51 “Anytime you have a negative feeling towards anyone, you’re living in an illusion. There’s something seriously wrong with you. You are not seeing reality. Something inside of you has to change… The one who has to change is you.”

“I am delighted!’ You are certainly not delighted. Delight may be in you right now, but wait around, it will change; it won’t last; it never lasts; it keeps changing; it’s always changing. Clouds come and go: some of them are black and some are white, some of them are large, others small. If we want to follow the same analogy, you would be the sky, observing the clouds. You are a passive, detached observer. – Watch! Observe!”

1 Nov

– Anthony de Mello in “Awareness”