The “witness” is not realization


In Dzogchen, the first teacher of Dzogchen on Earth, Garab Dorje, said “Realization of non-duality is not standing on the shore watching a fish jump out of the water, but rather you are the fish in the jumping.” Many people mistake realization with being stable in the “witness” mode. The “witness” is not realization, its a state of dualistic consciousness, a more subtle ego mode. Many who think this is the actual freedom of Being are often in this illusion for a very long time because it can be quite comfortable. The “witness” state is an attempt to be a detached observer of experience, a type of dissociation. The non-dual state is not one of being an observer of experience. Rather, it is being experience. Since there has never been any separation between empty Awareness and phenomena, non-duality is inescapable. Since there is no distance between awareness and experience, how can there be a “witness”? When this is realized, the “witness” state collapses and an entirely different mode of being arises… non-duality. The search ends as you have now arrived exactly where you have always been… you only imagined you were elsewhere. You are experience.

Jackson Peterson

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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