This post was originally written on May 15, 2017 and edited on July 31, 2018.
In a journal entry that I wrote last year, I wrote about how being awake seems to involve a permanent awareness of observing the character going through its daily activities. This later became the basis for the post titled Observing the Character.
Since then, there exists a simplicity of being awake. Being awake is nothing more than being awake to and conscious of what is happening right now. Although there is (still) sometimes a sense of separation between being that which observes and that which is being observed, there is also the recognition that two are inseparable: what is arising right now is both. Simultaneously and mutually interdependent.
[Since I wrote this journal entry], there has also been a slow dissolution of witnessing awareness. Sometimes it seems that there is a witnessing awareness and that what is being witnessed is what is happening right now, including witnessing the witnessing awareness.
But that is an illusion that is created by the first thought or what Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi both referred to as the “I thought”. It is when the “I thought” arises that separation occurs and worlds are created. It is when the “I thought” arises that witnessing separates out into the witness and that which is being witnessed; into both an observer and that which is being observed.
In the spiritual journal, tracing the I thought back to its source, is an integral and necessary part of the journey because it involves a recognition that the character you thought was doing the observing doesn’t really exist. Yes, there are behaviors and patterns and personality traits and quirks. But these seem to arise naturally. There is no character in control.