A Day in a Life: The Observer

Take note: The Observer is always present. It’s clear that we all have one. But how do we access this most pragmatic and sage voice of wisdom? I like to call this aspect of the psyche the Ancient Spirit Self, but for today I will stick with the term Observer.

Lately, in dream work, I have noticed this Observer most clearly. Having set my intent to access this aspect of self over the past few weeks—writing about it on the website and meditating into quiet specifically to access it—its voice has grown more pronounced. That is how intent works. I bow to intent today in writing about my experiences of the Observer.

Last week, I wrote about two dreams I had in Dreaming Intent. I noted during those dreams that I was both Participant and Observer and since then I have been aware that I am always both Participant and Observe while I dream. Even in waking life we are Participant and Observer, though perhaps it is easier to experience these two sides of the self in dreaming. With our busy minds and the difficulty we have in shutting down our thoughts, the dreaming world might be a good place to begin experiencing the Observer and note the difference between this voice and other voices, such as those related to the ego, the voice that speaks most loudly as we navigate the everyday world.

We all dream and I suggest that in dreaming we all clearly experience ourselves as Participant and Observer. Think about it. Recall a recent or old dream and note from what perspective the dream was viewed. Most likely, even though while deeply immersed in the dream there was another aspect of awareness that was present, as if directing the action or watching from afar. This is the Observer.

For instance, while dreaming recently, I clearly heard my Observer self telling me to wake up and write the dream down. “You know you’ll forget it, or you just won’t get it right if you don’t wake up now and write this down,” it said to me, rather sternly. I rather reluctantly got myself up to a sitting position, reached for my notebook and pen, which I keep open and ready beside the bed, and, in a half-awake state, in the dark, I wrote out the experience of the dream.

In the morning, my first thought was that I would most likely have to elaborate on what I had written, sure that I had not captured the essence of the dream during my bumbling state in the night. But, when I took a look at what I had written in the dark of the night, I saw that I had most clearly captured the dream, that I did not have to elaborate or alter a single word that my Observer had instructed me to write down.

This fascinated me on two levels. First, I noted how my ego jumped right in with its judgments, sure that I could not have captured the full essence of the dream. But when I read what I had written, I pointedly asked my ego to step down and be humble, to not be so quick to jump to conclusions. Second, I was fascinated by the language that flowed out of me in that dream state. I decided that I must learn to trust the Observer more often. I liked the tone of this Observer. It had simply and truthfully captured the dream. I note that the Observer, present in both my dream state and in my half-awake state, was the voice of truth, of reason—the one who knows all—and when I listen to it, I see that it does, in fact, get things right.

It is humbling and almost frightening to note that we all have this voice of reason within us. We all have the potential to get our lives in order, to live as ancient spiritual beings, and yet we relinquish this most central aspect of ourselves as we navigate the world from our participant selves, our egos, thinking that they have all the answers. I find this pretty scary while at the same time I note that it is how we must live in this world. We must build our egos to the point where they can topple without our attaching to them, without our needing them anymore. They will always rise up again and again to test us, to challenge our Observer-Who-Knows-All, seeking to thwart our true need for this aspect of self to live more fully. The ego is there to both draw us from this inner aspect of self, and challenge us to more fully embrace it.

In our dream world we have the opportunity to more fully connect with this Observer self, to understand how it directs us to not only observe and take note of the truth, but how it pushes us to act, as it did in my dream, asking me to: “wake up you sleepyhead and write this down!” In gently nudging us awake, night after night, it asks us to remember its voice, its sober and truthful tone, its pragmatic and knowing insinuation that we are fully capable of hearing and acting on its directives. We just have to train ourselves to do so.

As I mentioned above, we are both Participant and Observer in dreaming and in waking life. Personally, I intend to keep studying this inner and outer phenomenon. I intend to be more alert to myself in both roles. When am I Participant and when am I Observer? Am I indeed both at the same time, all the time? Can I switch over to Observer, ancient spirit self, volitionally in waking life, even when I am not meditating? Yes, I believe it is possible. And to do that, I must remind myself constantly to stay present in the moment.

I know—and perhaps it is my Observer telling me this—that if I constantly remind myself to stay in the moment that I will more fully access this aspect of self. So, I elect to challenge myself this week to more fully stay in the moment. That is the intent I set, with the added intent of being able to hear the clear voice of the Observer, as clearly as I heard it in my dream.

I ask that my Observer wake me up throughout my day and tell me what I need to know. This is my intent. Why not try it too, and then let’s see what happens!

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Thanks for reading and passing these blogs on to others! Sending you all love and good wishes,

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