By: Ed Yourdon
Every moment the brain is catching thousands of signals. You have periods in the day when the number of signals is very high and periods when it is relatively very low, so to give an exact figure of these signals is impossible.
If you consider only about your ‘thoughts’ then research done on the average number of thoughts that humans are believed to experience each 24 hours during their life is said to be approximately 70,000. And every seeker on the spiritual path wants to observe all these thoughts and stay in the state of permanent alertness which is also known as samadhi, nirvana or enlightenment.
Do you have time to observe all these 70,000 thoughts? Is it possible for a normal human being to observe each and every thought? In other words can you stay into witnessing consciousness for 24 hours?
Your thoughts continue whatever you are doing. It doesn’t matter whether you are asleep or you are awake, mind is always going on and on.
And there is much more happening in your brain than your thoughts. So that is why we are getting very many millions of signals per 24 hours, and this happens just as much within the brains and CNS (Central nervous system) of the most brilliant as with the most mentally retarded humans.
Are you with me?
Now, the question is how to become aware of all those signals!
All so called spiritual masters are preaching you since centuries about witnessing, observation, awareness or sakshi-bhav. But if you use simple common sense then you will realize that it is not possible to observe all those signals and thoughts even for the greatest Messiahs of mankind in the whole history.
They say watch your thoughts, become more aware, observe every emotion.
Thats why I say that all spirituality is bulshit and all masters are nonsense. They are expecting something which is just impossible for you.
Our brainstem is concerned mainly with control of our vital functions such as breathing and blood pressure none of which is part of our conscious thoughts. And our cerebellum with muscular coordination and posture and the thousands of signals to control these are going through us without our realising 24 hours per day and 365 days per year including the approximate 33% of our life when we are asleep, and without even a moment’s cessation when we are alive. It is extremely rare that any of these control signals are part of the individual’s constant thoughts but we all know they happen in us.
For example how often do you actually think about your breathing that goes on all the time, and its frequency and when to breathe in and breath out? Only when there is some unusual reason for you to do so, such as you are trying to meditate (Vipassana or mindfulness meditation) or you are in the doctor’s clinic and he tells you when to breathe in or out. But for 99.9999 recurring percent of your life while your brainstem is telling your heart and lungs when to breathe in and out, you have no concious thought of this happening nor of your heart beating.
Now take the example of ‘observer’. This observer is a part of mind. Mind has the capasity to observe itself. That’s why I say that this observer is not static or some separate entity apart from your mind. This observer is changing all the time. If the observer and the observed are the same thing then the moment the observed (object) changes, the observer will also change.
There is a school of thought which says ‘the obserever is observed’. Means when there is nothing left to obsereve then the obserever observes itself and that state is believed to be enlightenment. That state is also known as absolute awareness or Hosh (in Hindi).
I say, when there is nothing to obsereve the obserever is also gone. It is finished. The observer is illusion created by the things which he is observing, ie. thoughts. The observer and the observed are not two things. They are one. And the observer and the observed goes permanently only when you are dead. Meantime you can just continue to play the game of observer and the observed. That is what meditation is all about.
Once a Journalist asked Einstein, “Can you explain relativity in a few sentences?”
Einstein replied, “It was formarly belived that if all material things disappeared out of the universe then time and space would be left. According to the relativity theory, however, time and space disappear together with the things”.
The same way this so called observer (sakshi, alertness, awareness, hosh, surati or you may call it any bulshit) disappears the moment when there is nothing to observe. This observer is created by the thought, by the desire to get freedom or to become enlightened. You can not remain alert without the intention of being alert and that intention itself is a thought. Means, this so called alertness is the child of your DESIRE, your THOUGHT.