Archive Pages Design$type=blogging

the impulsive and the witnessing self

wa jaa'at kullu nafsim ma 'aha saa 'iqunw-wa shahida

and every soul shall come with a driver and a witness.
- The Quran 50:21

The concept of 'witnessing self' is found in the psycho-spiritual framework of many major spiritual path / faith traditions. By the term 'witnessing self' a certain reality is described which talks about the essential component of the self which functions as a witness to the self itself.

In one of the mystic verses of the Quran (50:21) we are presented with the concept that all human psyche or every human self is spoken of being present with two components, a driver or impulsive component and the witness component. In Quranic language "nafs" is an enigmatic term that has multi-layered meanings such as self, ego, soul or spirit. Even though Muslim mystics have gone in details to use the term in many levels of its meaning, essentially it points to the reality of self.

In the particular verse the context is drawn about the Day of Final Awakening when every nafs or soul will come with a driver and a witness. But to People of Reality or the Sufis, the Day of Final Awakening is also the moment of death of the body of every self. Its worth mentioning the hadith:

'This life is but a dream like state of a sleeping man.
Only in death his real realities awaken.'
- Saying of the Last Messenger, holy benediction upon him

Again on a deeper level every moment can also be Qiyamah or Moment of Awakening. The one who lives in the Reality of Presence of God, for him or her every moment is a moment of awakening. In that state every moment one takes into account one's doing and one's being. Its said, "Take account of yourself before you are taken account of." The ever present NOW ceaselessly contains the seed of possibility of that real awakening.

For ordinary people like you and me, for people of lesser consciousness the part of witnessing is often not active to the extent of its potential. If we are to look out into the world we will see the rampant condition of people with overflowing impulsive or driving self with very little activation of the witnessing self. In present world people all over mostly are running in all directions like zombies without having the slightest consideration for what they are doing, where they are going, what is it all about. It is the impulsive self that is responsible for making mental condition miserable, for worry, tension, greed and all negative karma whereas the witnessing self give rise to true inner peace and calmness within. The more we activate the witnessing self, become conscious of it, the more we become awakened. And the fundamental of activating the witnessing self is to watch over, is to witness one's own self like one see oneself in the mirror. Witnessing rising and falling thoughts, passing emotions and states (haal).

Ash Shaheed (The Omniscient Witness) is the Divine Name Sufis use in remembrance practice to activate the witnessing part of our self. "Ya Allah, Ya Shaheed" can be repeated silently or loudly as part of this practice.

I can, of mine own self, do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the Will of the Father Which hath sent me.

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is Another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which He witnesseth of me is true. And the Father Himself, Which hath sent me, Hath borne Witness of me.
- Jesus Christ, holy benediction upon him: John, 5

wa Allahu aala kulli shay-in Shaheed

and Allah is the Omniscient Witness over all.
- The Quran 85:9

The self is a complex and core subject in many forms of spirituality. Two types of self are commonly considered - the self that is the ego, also called the learned, superficial self of mind and body, an egoic creation, and the self which is sometimes called the "true self", the "I" (or "I AM"), the "Atman" (as in Hinduism), the "Observing Self", or the "Witness".

Ken Wilber describes the Witnessing (or Observing) Self in the following terms:

"This observing Self is usually called the Self with a capital S, or the Witness, or pure Presence, or pure Awareness, or Consciousness as such, and this Self as transparent Witness is a direct ray of the living Divine. The ultimate "I AM" is Christ (Consciousness), is Buddha, is Emptiness itself: such is the startling testimony of the world's great mystics and sages."

He adds that the Self is not an Emergent, but an aspect present from the start as the basic form of awareness, but which becomes increasingly obvious and self aware "as growth and transcendence matures." As Depth increases, consciousness shines forth more noticeably, until:

"shed[ding] its lesser identification with both the body and the mind ... in each case from matter to body to mind to Spirit... consciousness or the observing Self sheds an exclusive identity with a lesser and shallower dimension, and opens up to deeper and higher and wider occasions, until it opens up to its own ultimate ground in Spirit itself. And the stages of transpersonal growth and development are basically the stages of following this Observing Self to its ultimate abode, which is pure Spirit or pure Emptiness, the ground, path and fruition of the entire display."

Buddha after he was enlightened, was walking down a path and he was completely glowing. He was shining. He was effulgent. A man came up to him and was so taken by the light, he asked, “Are you a celestial being, or a god”? He answered, “No”. And then he said, “Well, then you must be a magician”. “No”.
“Are you a man”? “No”.
“What are you”?
“I am awake. I am pure light.

Gargya then asked: ‘Master, when a man’s body sleeps, who is it within that sleeps, and who is awake, and who is dreaming? Who then experiences happiness, and with whom are all the sense organs united?’
- Prashna Upanishad 4:1

Truly in that there is a reminder for one
who has a heart
or he who listens attentively
and is a witness.
- The Quran, 50:37



99 names abida activism adab adamandeveit advaita alchemy alchemy of the divine Ali alka Allah almsgiving americandiary anab analysis antiwar art article ascetic attributes audio authority award bahai bahaullah bangla bangladesh baul bawa beauty bengali bhakti bible bill whitehouse biography blog book book review booklog bosnia breath bual buddha buddhism calligraphy carnival carolyn charity children Christ christian christianity Christology click comparative comparative religion compassion consciousness contemplative tradition conversation cosmology counsel creative creative thought creative thoughts crucifixion current affairs dante darshan death deception democracy desert spirituality desire destiny devotion Dhikr diary documentary donation download dreamwork DVD dying earth ecospirituality ego egypt eid end time endtime enlightenment eschatology esoteric ethics event evil exegesis exergesis experience faith fast fasting feminine folk forgiveness fundraising ghayb gita globaloneness gnosis God golden sufi gospel governance grace gratitude guestblog guide on the path gurdjieff hadith hadra hafez hafiz haiku hajj haqiqat haqqu hasidic headscarf headscarves healing health heart hinduism history humanright humor husayn illusion imran-hosein in_quest_of_oasis inayat khan infographic inspiration integral spirituality interview islam islamophobia jesus Jesus Christ Jewish journalism judaism justice kabir kahlil gibran kenwilber Koan Koran krishna language last age law of attraction life link Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee love love. inspiration lyric mahmud shabistari maktub malamat mansur hallaj mary mary magdalene Mawlid meditation meditative quranic verse mercy metaphysics miracle miraj Mohammad mosque movie Muhammad music muslim mystic mysticism mysticsaint poetry mysticsaint prayer mysticsaint thought Nachman naomi naqshbandi nature news news. jesus tomb old age oneness origin original osho palestine paradox peace philosophy photography pir zia inayat khan pluralism podcast poem poem on God poetry poety poll porshee positive psychology poverty practice prayer presence present project Prophet Muhammad protest psychology qawwali question quote Quran quranic qurbani rabbi meir ben Baruch ramadan reality reincarnation relation religion Remembrance resource Resurrection retreat review roundup rumi sacred activism sacred geometry sacrifice saint saints saying sayings of Prophet science secret secularism self service Shadhiliyya shamanism Shamcher Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee shrine Sidi Sikh social media sohbet song soul sound speedlink spiritual spiritual materials spirituality statistics story submission sufi sufi healing sufi podcast sufi poetry carnival sufi tale sufi tariqa sufi text sufi wisdom sufi-infographic sufihaqqu sufis sufism sufism wisdom sufism. hinduism sufitale surrender survey symbology tafsir tagore tantra tao teaching technology ted temple terrorism the secret thelogy thought thoughts time translation travel tribute truth unity upanishad vatican veda veil video view violence visit webcast wisdom witness woman workshop worship yoga zakat zawiya zen zen mind Zikr
Technology of the Heart: the impulsive and the witnessing self
the impulsive and the witnessing self
Technology of the Heart
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago