The Observer is not the Observed. What does this mean?

Shakespeare says, “The eye sees not itself but by reflection.”
When we go to a mirror and look into it to see ourself, we see not ourself but a reflection of our face. A simple fact, yet of tremendous significance.

If we look inside ourself in an attempt to see what we mean by the self, we discover, if we pursue our attempt to the end, that the self is not see-able in any objective sense. The Self is consciousness itself, awareness, sentience. It is that in which objects may appear, but it is not itself an object.

Consciousness is not an object, not a formed thing; it is that in which objects, things, forms and ideas appear. Somehow consciousness is, yet is not so in any objective sense. We know this to be so because we are immediately aware of our consciousness as soon as we turn to it. We say immediately aware because our awareness of our awareness is not mediated by anything other than itself.

When we are aware of some object through one of our senses our awareness is mediated through the sense organ.
When we are aware of our awareness, this awareness is not mediated, and therefore we say it is immediate. (without mediation).

Whenever we use a sense organ to become aware of an object the sense organ in some degree conditions what we know.
When we are aware of our awareness, our awareness is immediate and therefore unconditioned.

The Observer is not the Observed. Consciousness is not an object. This rule is the key to Reflexive Self-consciousness.

 

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