The discovery of self is a must for experiencing depth. It comes by self-observation. The Upanishads describe a simple technique for accomplishing this. They say : deliberately divide your attention at all times so as to direct a portion of it back on yourself. Divide you, the
person' into anobserving I’ and an `acting or thinking I’. Within the vast array of selves of your personality, establish an awareness that only watches all the rest. By observing yourself you will realize that not YOU but IT speaks within you, moves, feels, laughs, and cries in you. This concept is enumerated in the following Sutra:
Two birds, inseparable companions, perch on the same tree.
One eats the fruit, the other looks on.
The first bird is our individual self,
feeding on the pains and pleasures of this world;
The other is the universal Self, silently witnessing all.
The individual self, immersed in the world of change,
deluded, laments its lack of freedom.
But when it discovers God, full of dignity and power,
it is freed from all its suffering.
Our ancestors admonished; `Be present at every breath. Do not let your attention wander for the duration of a single breath.’
Thoreau, a transcendentalist, had this to say about the concept of self-observation: `I am conscious of the presence of a part of me, which, (as it were,) is not a part of me, but a spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it ….. When the play, (it may be the tragedy,) of life is over, the spectator goes his way. It was a kind of fiction, a work of the imagination only, so far as he was concerned.
The hallmark of Socrates’ philosophy was `Know thyself’.
Discover and nurture the `observing I’, and you will find yourself to be more in command of your life!