This morning I was astonished when Audrey informed me that she had just realized that thinking about something is not looking at it. Oh, Duh! I said, looking at Audrey straight in the eyes. After five endless years of painstaking thinking and hanging around trying to gain some kind of definite awareness foothold, as well as all that had happened that ought to have caused her to observe and feel herself (which was a lot!), she finally realized that thinking you are observing was not actually observing at all. Thinking is just that, thinking, I said! Observing, as I mean it, comes from a quiet, unobtrusive, and passive mind. It does nothing but silently rest, to effortlessly gaze, so as to allow that part of the mentality being the mind (The Observer) to clearly "see" or witness what it has created, and to do so without judgmental ideas (i.e., interference by the mind) or overall mental attitudes distorting what is "seen" by interfering with the inner landscape in any way.
She clearly had not been understanding the way I use the terms looking, observing, or gazing. It had not occurred to me that I needed to carefully define the word "observing" for the millionth time, especially since she had years of experience being around people intensely interested in and doing far-out awareness type work. But, then, in this awareness work line of business what is absurdly simple is almost always excruciatingly complex and virtually impossible to see, until you finally do see it, whereupon you wonder how you could have been so stupid as to not see what was so obvious and simple all along.
Oh, poor Audrey, we often remarked, as she would sit with her head buried in her hands, diligently and intolerantly looking inside, frustrated that she was not getting the results as other people around her had shown easily possible. But then, how could she? She was spending all her time thinking, or "doing," so it was not surprising that she failed to get any substantial results. To be sure, thinking is not observing, and observing is not thinking, or such is the case in my world. Observing is like gazing. It is "not doing," while thinking, in contrast, is a "doing." As long as the mind is busy "doing" anything, churning out calculations of one sort or another, there is no chance of what I call observation, which is a "not doing."
When I observe or gaze at something, whether it be in my inner or outer reality, my mental apparatus is ideally quiet, or at least mostly at rest, such as when little pockets of mental energy still insist on being active. But these little remnants of busy mentality do not completely stop me from observing, and I do nothing to stop what yet refuses to be calm. I love it and respect the reasons for not stopping, observing any disquieted parts along with everything else. Thus, I have gained the ability to observe the intricacies of whatever floats into and out of my inner field of vision, in part because I have made it safe for divergent energies to play within me. Furthermore, this kind of attitude has created an environment whereby there is no effort involved in observing whatsoever. There is no push, nor pull, since I am more or less neutral. Observations are never tiring or disruptive, as I am merely gazing without any active attempt to influence anything that might or might not drift by.
To get anywhere with understanding and resolving one’s inner reality, and especially so with undoing the reasons why the Will may seem to be non-existent, thinking as a way of solving anything must come to a complete stop. Using the mind, which is a collection of judgments, to solve what the judgments have unawarely created is like having the wolf guard a herd of tasty sheep. The end results are not going to be manifest according to your wishful plan. Thinking may get you a passing grade in school, where judgments are rewarded, but, from my perspective, that is about all it's good for--good grades. Without feelings and the Will to guide your knowing thinking can’t even be used to pick out a good tomato, or at least not one that I would touch to my lips.
The key to the secrets of life does not lie in logical thinking. If it did all our problems would have already been solved. Instead, they continue to multiply, along with more and more thinking by more and more people who love to think. Unlocking the door into the "lost" realms requires observing and feeling what is actually manifest and present in your life, without the camouflage or disruptive influence created by calculated thinking and the pretense it usually causes. But, uh-oh, this means that a person’s huge investment in modern academic training will prevent the kind of awareness that I and some of my friends enjoy.
However, I do not mean that someone must sacrifice or let go of all they have carefully learned, as long as it remains a practical and useful tool for wherever reality they have chosen. It is the way modern academia trains one to judge and use what is perceived that is the culprit here. I still enjoy using my logical mind, which happily stores a lot of stuff that is useful to me. But none of that stuff is a truth, it is only kept as long as it is useful for the reality I choose to create and maintain. Once I allow my reality to shift to the point where its usefulness expires, out goes the no longer needed judgmental stuff, and the mental energy used to maintain those old ideas is released and set free, so that it can serve me in new and yet more desirable ways.
This is recycling energy in a way that may seem odd or maybe even impossible for someone right now, but it works wonders for me, and is something that might be useful to others, too. What I choose to let go of (or unchoose) is gone, freeing me from useless mental chains that would otherwise accumulate and weigh me down. Thus, by freeing up energy that no longer serves me I reward myself with increased vitality and freedom. I love living this way, although, in some respects, I may not fit in very well with a society that insists that everything must be recorded, saved, and held rigid as some kind of perpetual truth. In the meantime, to go full circle here, Audrey is again holding her head in her hands, thinking, but at least she is laughing ....