from Awareness by Anthony De Mello

Self- observation—watching yourself—is the most important thing of all.

What is that?

It is not the same as self-absorption. Self- absorption is self-preoccupation, where you’re concerned about yourself, worried about yourself.

Self- observation means to watch everything in you and around you as far as possible and watch it as if it were happening to someone else.

What does that last sentence mean?

It means that you do not personalize what is happening to you. It means that you look at things as if you have no connection with them whatsoever.

The reason you suffer from stress, depression and anxiety is that you identify with it. You say, “I’m stressed.” But that is false. You are not stressed. If you want to be accurate, you might say, “I am experiencing stress right now.”  But just wait, it will change; it won’t last: it never lasts; it keeps changing: life is always changing.

Clouds come and go: some of them are black and some white, some of them are large, others small. You’re the big blue sky, observing the clouds. You are a passive, detached observer. You’re not interfering.

Don’t interfere. Don’t “fix” anything. Watch! Observe!

The trouble with people is that they’re so busy fixing things they don’t even understand. It never strikes us that things don’t need to be fixed. They really don’t. The mystics keep trying to tell us that reality is all right. Reality is not problematic. Problems exist only in the human mind. Reality is not problematic.

Take away human beings from this planet and life would go on, nature would go on in all its loveliness and violence. Where would the problem be? No problem.

This is a great illumination.