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Who is the Observer?

who is the observer,spiritual awakening,spiritual consciousness,conscious shifting

Who is the observer?

Most people, doctors, and scientists agree that we are our thoughts and emotions. They claim there is no difference between us and our thoughts. Furthermore, some go as far as to state that any concept of self is just a sophisticated function of the brain. Consequently, they believe consciousness expires with the body. 

OK then. I have a Question? First of all, in order to understand the question, you need to understand meditation. So, I invite you to follow me on Facebook. Every Wednesday night at 7:00PM PST there is a live broadcast. Or if you prefer, take a meditation class with me. In meditation we learn to be aware. We learn to observe our thoughts and emotions.

My question. Going back to the meditation. Who is watching? Who is the witness? Exactly who is sitting there in the stillness? There is awareness taking notice of the functions of the body and of the mind. Who is this awareness that is aware of the thoughts and emotions? Who is the observer?


Please allow me to introduce you to you. When most people have this this experience, it is their first conscious experience with awareness of self. Awareness of what is. Presence. Some people have had previous experiences with presence but without understanding. They just know something was different.

In emergencies or during traumatic events for example. Have you ever had an experience where time seemed to stand still? When your senses were so alive you later compared them to super human. It was as if you were not even there and yet aware of everything. Capable in ways you had only dreamed possible. These are indications of experiencing presence.


Most people are brain washed into becoming one with the subconscious mind. They do not differentiate between the subconscious and conscious mind. We the people of the world are raised this way. Beings conditioned to the point of unconsciousness. Totally identified with the subconscious while thinking we are conscious.

For thousands of years this is what we have been taught. For the most part we are prisoners of our own minds. Prisoners of subconscious programming. The majority of which we didn’t consent to. We have been reduced to human robots.

Human consciousness

The basis for most thoughts and emotions is our subconscious programming. But even when we move into basic human consciousness, we are still identified with the ego. We are still identified with our intellectual process. We still only see through the viewpoint of the human mind-body.

Calculators are useful. The ego is a sophisticated calculator of the human mind-body. A great tool. A tool we can use. However, not who we are. Even a brilliant intellect. Even a genius. Without spiritual awareness, is still just intellectual capacity. A great calculator. A great ego.

A shift in consciousness

With expanded awareness there is always a shift in consciousness. Sometimes the shifts are huge. Such is the case when we realize we are not our thoughts and emotions. The shift from subconscious identification to actual consciousness is a whopper. It is as if someone hit the warp drive.

Our viewpoint changes. We no longer falsely identify with our thoughts and emotions. It is no longer necessary to act on nor react to our thoughts and emotions. They are not who we are. We observe our thoughts appear and disappear while our emotions rise and fall. They are merely mind-body phenomenon. We are free from subconscious control. We are the observer.

Our life changes in ways we could not have imagined. We are no longer slaves to our emotions. We are no longer compelled to act out. This new-found awareness teaches us about ourselves and our programming. In each moment we consciously decide which thoughts and emotions to act upon. We can avoid useless and destructive behaviors. Thereby reducing the suffering of ourselves and others.

who is the observer,spiritual awakening,spiritual consciousness,conscious shifting

A profound question

But the next shift is even bigger. Once we become the observer, eventually we ponder a most profound question. The answer propels us beyond the physical world. Beyond both time and space. We are not our thoughts nor emotions. We are not our mind-body. So, what are we?

We are the observer, the see-er, the know-er. But still spiritually unconscious. And so, mankind continues to suffer. And what do we suffer from? Spiritual Amnesia. And spiritual amnesia is the cause of our suffering. We have forgotten who and what we are. The awareness however, continues to expand.

In meditation we learn to be the observer of our thoughts and emotions. How can we be both the observer and the observed? We can’t. So, what are we then? If we are not our thoughts and emotions, then we are not a product of our brain. Can the awareness expand any further? Oh yes! Much, much further.

Spiritual awakening

We have a mind-body. But we are not the mind-body. We are in the physical world, but we are not of the physical world. This awareness frees us. Spiritually this is where shit hits the fan. This is the beginning of spiritual awakening.

Our awareness continues to expand. Not just beyond the central nervous system with all its thoughts and emotions. Far beyond the human mind-body. Not just beyond Spiritual Amnesia. Beyond the physical world. Beyond time and space. Check all that at the door. But the door to what?

The spiritual realm. Boom! A realization of who and what we are. Are you starting to see why meditation is so relevant? Meditation is critical for good physical health, yes indeed. Meditation is also great for mental health. But meditation as well as breath is the middle ground. They are the doorway between the physical and the spiritual realms.

The bottom line

We are the observer. Spirit in essence. Human in form. We are consciousness. Pure conscious energy. Welcome to consciousness and to the beginning of spiritual consciousness. This new-found awareness is called awakening. It is and always has been deep inside. Allowing it to emerge is the way home.









About Howard Mann

Creator of Conscious Shifting. Instructor of Awareness, Meditation, and Tai Chi

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