You can watch the mind because you are not the mind. That is the whole reason to watch it: To become aware that you are separate.
Existentially, no problem arises because you cannot watch this watcher. You have come to the very end of the rope; in the very first step you have completed the journey.
Logically, you can manage to create the problem. Watcher one watches the mind; watcher two watches the watcher number one… and then go on ad absurdum. Don’t make it a puzzle. That will be risking your own possibility of becoming aware. It is not a logical conclusion. Logic has no dominance over existence.
There is only one watcher; you cannot go behind it. If you can go behind it, then it was not the watcher, it was part of the mind — mind was befooling you. A part of the mind can watch the other part. But if you have become completely unidentified with the mind and you are simply a watcher — not a thinker, not part of the mind in any way — you have come to the end of the rope in the very beginning. There is no beyond it; however you try, you will not be able to go beyond it, you will always remain the same watcher.
It is the experience of the meditators — they have all tried — that perhaps behind the watcher, they may find some other watcher. But the watcher as a word creates the problem. It is not watcher, it is really watching. It is a process; it is complete in itself. You cannot jump out of it and watch it. You are it, so you cannot go behind yourself.
It is possible to watch the mind because you are not the mind, so you can step back and have a look at the mind. And this stepping back and having a look at the mind, is the greatest transformation that can happen to man. Freed from mind, you are freed from all that was binding, imprisoning, enslaving – your miseries, your sufferings, your desires, your fears.
The watcher has no disease; the watcher is simply a mirror, reflecting. And the miracle of the process is that the more you become clearly distinct from the mind, the mind starts disappearing. That is the elimination.
Mind exists with your support; it has no source of nourishment other than your support. And the support you can give to the mind is of identity; you have to become one with the mind. Then mind as a parasite goes on living. But the moment you are separate from the mind, the parasite dies. You can see it disappearing just like smoke, into thin air. Only watching remains.
You cannot watch it, you are it.
You know it, but you don’t watch it; you feel it, but you don’t watch it; you live it, but you don’t watch it, because you cannot go behind it. It will be still the same watcher.
It is good that existence is not logical; otherwise there would have been no buddhas, no awakened people. There would have been number one, number two, number three… There are unending numbers, and the whole process would become tedious. But the process does not exist; it is only mind that can create the problem and can stop you from going into existential experience.
So to eliminate you is the only way, Rashid. To illuminate you, to make you enlightened, the only way is to kill you, to kill you as an identity with the mind.
As the mind is left — like a snake leaves its old skin and slips out of it — you have done the whole pilgrimage from darkness to light, from the finite to the infinite, from death to deathlessness.
Excerpt from The Invitation, Chapter Eight
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