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Chapter-6

THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

Mind: THE Stupidity

Fifth Question

Question 5

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELF-REMEMBERING AND WITNESSING?

Just now I told you the difference between introspection and self-remembering. Now, the difference between self-remembering and witnessing.

Yes, there is a lot of difference again: because in self-remembering the emphasis is on the self. Just as in introspection the emphasis is on the thought, the feeling, the emotion, the mood, anger, sexuality, or anything, and the self is forgotten; in self-remembering the self is remembered and the whole energy is centered on the self, and you just look at the mood, at the situation, at the feeling -- you don't think about it, because in the thinking the look is lost, the purity of the look is lost.

Witnessing is a step further ahead. In witnessing, even the self is dropped; only remembering remains. Not that I remember. The "I" is no longer part of witnessing. Just remembering.... Witnessing is a witnessing of the self. Self-remembering is the beginning; witnessing is the end. By self-remembering you start looking at anger, keeping yourself centered at the self, crystallized at the self, looking at the ripples around you in the mind. But when you look at the mind, by and by, the mind disappears. When the mind disappears and there is void, then a new step can be taken: now, you look at yourself. Now the very energy that was looking at anger, sex, jealousy is free -- because the jealousy, anger, and sex have disappeared. Now that same energy turns around to look at yourself.

When the same energy looks at the self, the self also disappears; then there is only remembering. That remembering is witnessing. In witnessing there is no self. You look at the anger, but when you look at yourself, you are no longer you: just a vast, infinite, unbound witnessing. Just consciousness -- infinite and vast, but with no crystallization. This has to be understood.

Gurdjieff worked his whole life on the method of self-remembering because in the West to introduce witnessing would have been almost impossible, because the West has been living with introspection. All the Christian monasteries, they have been teaching introspection. Gurdjieff introduced something beyond introspection: he called it "self-remembering." He was always thinking to introduce witnessing, but he could not because witnessing can be introduced only when self-remembering is settled; before it, it cannot be introduced. To talk about it before the ripeness of self-remembering will not reach anywhere; it will be useless. He waited long, but he couldn't introduce it.

In the East we have used both. In fact we have used all the three: introspection was for very ordinary religious people, those who don't want to go deep; those who want to go deep, for them, self-remembering; and those who want to go so deep that they disappear in the depth, for them, witnessing. Witnessing is the last. Beyond that, nothing exists. You cannot be a witness to the witness -- because that too will be witnessing. So beyond witnessing there is no possibility to go: you have come to the very end. The end of the world is witnessing.

Move from introspection to self-remembering, and from self-remembering hope some day to move to witnessing. But keep it in mind that self-remembering is not the goal. It is good just as a bridge, but one has to cross, one has to go beyond it.

 

 

Next: Chapter 6, Mind: THE Stupidity: Sixth Question

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 

 

Chapter 6

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 

 

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