“Don’t be the witness.”

There’s no such thing as the witness. This topic came about because I’ve been bumping into the recurring and fairly strong belief that we shouldn’t become the witness. In some way, we should become an objective observer or witness to our thoughts or feelings, things that happen as if they occur to somebody else. In this way, disengaging and disidentifying with everything. Granted, this does create or can create a certain detachment and aloofness, which may reduce suffering and make life easier. However, it creates a whole new set of problems. If what you really want is enlightenment, enlightenment is not about distancing or disengaging or becoming aloof from reality. There is no such separation. There is no other. There is no distance in terms of distancing.

Now, even if you look at being the witness to your own experiences, you could be trying to allow and watch everything come and go. But if someone sneaks up and pokes you in the back hard, suddenly it hurts. It’s sudden, it’s immediate. There’s no distance. Then we arbitrarily try to create distance and say, “Well, I’m going to try to witness the pain.” Which is kind of funny because with sharp jabs, there’s a spike, it hurts, and it goes away almost immediately. It’s not like you were stabbed and there’s something still there, causing continual pain signals by the nerves. It was probably one spike of pain and it’s gone. By the time you’re trying to create a witness to witness the pain of that jab in the back, the pain is already gone. So you’re delaying what is experienced in order to try to witness it.

Or when somebody says they’re witnessing their thoughts, well, that tells me they’re not being present. If you’re 100 percent devoted to the experience of now and totally present, there’s no room for thought. So what would a witness be watching? There would just be the experiencing. That one-pointed attention on experiencing what’s going on. And when things are being experienced, they don’t have a distance. If your eyes are open and you see something, the eye sees it immediately. Why create an arbitrary witness to say, “Now there’s a witness of the seeing”? Don’t eat it further. Furthermore, when you try to not only create this distance but when you’re creating the idea of a witness, you’re just creating another “me” to identify with. A witness is just another “me.” It’s a more rarefied and purified form of ego, but it’s ego nonetheless.

Enlightenment, awakening, is the seeing of what it is and it truly is. It’s a shattering of the illusion of duality, which includes the “me” and the other. So that duality and illusion shatter. The “me” how does this occur? If we’re constantly identified with and reinforcing the “me” by saying, “I am the witness.” In saying, “I am the witness,” you’ve already created something to identify with. There is no witness. There’s simply the witnessing. There’s no experiencer. There’s simply the experiencing. There’s no seer. There’s simply the seeing. In this trying to create distance and then have something else to identify with is a dead end.

I think it creates a lot of problems for a lot of spiritual seekers and people interested in non-duality as they’re ever trying to refine and become better at being the witness, which, by the way, isn’t a goal-like activity. “I need to be the witness better.” That’s totally ego, trying to improve at being this separate, detached thing that’s trying to fake it in a way. Don’t be the witness. I don’t recommend it. There is no witness. Just be witnessing. Just be experiencing. Just be seeing. You know, there is nothing to identify with. Don’t identify, but don’t disidentify and try to gain separation. Just feel what is. What comes, come. Let what goes, go without critiquing, judging, creating stories. Let all go. There’s no need for a witness anyways. Thank you very much.

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