To continue on from my last blog, examining the remarkable writing of Susan Segal.
Susan’s experience is so unusual, so mind-bending, that I feel it is crucial information if we are seeking to understand how we process our awareness of who we are and how we function in this illusion we know as existence. She speaks of ‘the witness’ which is an internal aspect, often overlooked or ignored by many but which is a necessary part of who we are. We are not talking here about the cruel voice in one’s head; that harping demand insisting we are useless, that we should do better and not to be so stupid. No! that ugliness is our conditioned response gone haywire and should be shut down as soon as possible. The witness Susan writes about is an awareness that seems to sit outside our daily exploits, observing but not interfering. It sits inside all of us, though many remain unaware of its existence. In my case I find it very hard to separate my daily functions from what I am really doing deep inside so I’m constantly aware of my witness. She is a full partner in my world. In Susan’s case a vital change took place when her witness moved beyond the zone of her physicality. Suddenly she felt it was observing her day to day activities from outside her body and although the intelligence of the body continued to run her physical life, from her ego/mind perspective Susan was panic stricken by this split. She felt out of control. Indeed, it felt so serious she was sure that without this witness she would not be able to continue living. Of course, as she did, nevertheless she was terrified.
This idea, that without our witness’s interaction we would cease to function, is staggering, but from my viewpoint, understandable for I feel sure that all our thoughts and actions are in lock-step with our witness. Such an entity might be just observing but obviously it is some type of support mechanism. So does this mean that in some way the mind must be the servant of the witness? This felt very strange to me. For somebody to believe they needed their witness in order to maintain existence is a huge statement. It tells us that the ego/mind actually knows it is not in control. Was this phenomena strictly Susan’s experience or does this apply to all of us? It hard to say, but in my own case, I am not sure how I would react if suddenly this very familiar entity suddenly moved beyond my reality.
Examining Susan’s account a little further we can itemize 3 powerful events.
- Her witness moved out of the body-mind complex.
- When her witness totally disappeared, Susan lost her identity.
- Through an extraordinary awareness, Susan discovered she was moving through herself, in other words, she was the world.
The first 2 events have given us an astounding insight into how we might function. It appears that the ego-mind needs the security of the witness to be able to maintain an identity in this dimension. Though this is profound, I am not sure how many people are aware of this part of the self that oversees the life being led in this dimension. Perhaps some people reading this will question such an idea but I think the vast majority of us are quite aware of our witness. I first bumped up against my witness when I started to explore my own creativity. I was completing a degree in Ceramic Design, and the demands of the course opened up a hidden part of me. That’s when I became aware of being watched from within. It was not judgmental, nor was it is sympathetic; this witness simply observed all that I was doing – and still does! These days I am reassured and comforted by this presence, so I can understand how fearful Susan was when suddenly her witness moved beyond her daily movements.
The second huge event was when the witness disappeared from Susan’s life altogether. This is when all awareness of having an identity disappeared. This is remarkable on many levels. That her witness would disappear is amazing in itself, and immediately makes us question the stability of our own state. Although I am aware of my witness, I have not explored its inclination or its purpose. In Susan’s case when it vanished she became free of her identity, free of all the conditioning, free of ego. She found she was functioning inside her greater self and felt the oneness of the whole. Obviously, once the identity goes then the awareness of who we really are can begin to seep into our being. It is dawning on me that maybe the ego/mind needs the security of the witness to be able to maintain it identity. When the witness goes this world we know suddenly changes! Staggering!
Once again, the idea of ceasing to exist is before us. But no in a fearful way. For Susan, once she was able live without the constrains of an identity, she expanded to such a degree that one day as she drove down the road she realised that she was driving through herself! What an enormous revelation! To be able to feel and understand that she was the world. In today’s society such a transformation is what many of us are seeking, but who knows how or when this phenomenon will occur? When Lester Levinson broke through the dream-state of the ego/mind, time and space changed and he was able to see what his friend was doing thousands of miles away. This is a quote from his biography:….. as he looked his body seemed small and distant sitting in its chair. He could see it there if he chose, but he felt himself spread across the entire universe; that body was only an infinitesimal speck in the vastness that he was. He was omnipresent There was no travel, only a thought, and he was there – end of quote.
Over the centuries many have made this powerful transition; many have been able to move past the limitations of this reality. It depends on our mental structure – how the mind functions. If we can work with consciousness so it flows through the electro-chemical impediment holding us in the dream we must eventually escape.
This is the legacy Susan Segal left us.