In previous articles on witnessing, I’ve explored how a sense of detached observer can arise. This may come before awakening, with awakening, or even develop post-awakening as it becomes more established. The degree of sattva v.s. rajas can also influence how distinctive it is and how separate we feel.
But we can also look at witnessing from another angle – it’s depth. Witnessing can come on fully with a bang but it also may arise more slowly. It can also come and go until the kundalini stabilizes at makara.
If it’s coming on gradually, we may first witness the body. Here and there, we watch the body move and do things without our volition. This can be a distinctive change from an ego perspective of being the doer and in control.
In a further step back, we also witness the emotions playing out without getting caught in their drama. This greatly improves our ability to just allow them to complete. Often this dramatically reduces the time emotions spend making a fuss. They arise and complete in a few minutes.
Still further back, we witness the mind. We see thoughts arising and falling without our involvement. We see the stories that are running more clearly and may be appalled by a few of the programs we’d not recognized before. Again, this makes it much easier to let go and resolve the worries, stories, and so on that arise.
As we wind down the emotions and mind, our inner life settles considerably. If we have moments of clear samadhi where the breath stops, thoughts are then much less inclined to break the samadhi. We can sit in clear peace while thoughts and emotions roll on by.
Deeper still, we observe the intellect making choices, judging, and so forth. This allows us to get much clearer about the dynamics in play. Our discriminative abilities improve. This level also relates to our intuitive abilities. Greater clarity enhances that.
We can also come to witness the bliss body but as that’s universal and not entrapped, there is little to disentangle from here.
Finally we come to the level of perception. Witnessing perception disentangles us from the binding influence of the senses. We continue to perceive but it becomes the play on the screen of consciousness rather than “mine”.
All of this is much easier to see in retrospect if your process is following this path.