The experience of being a “detached observer,” is one of those things which come together with the experience of the “true” self. To maintain that state of being, that consciousness is the trademark of true spirituality from my perspective.
Witnessing is a key word in Spiritual talk. Witnessing or being a “detached observer, “ or a “trustee” means in essence to observe life as if it was a movie show where “I” am a participant and part of the audience at the same time.
This paradox could also be referred as the “I” not being there; that is dissolved; then there is Oneness.
For those trapped in words and concepts, that state of being could be labeled as “bad” by those believers in individuality, when in fact; it represents harmony with everything in the Drama of life, the movie of life.
The paradox being that individuality leads into Oneness. The foliage and expansion of the branches of a tree, will eventually lead into the seed.
When there is the consciousness of “I” there is separation. When there is the consciousness of the “real” “I” there is no conceptualization of individuality.
The paradox is that to feel the “real” “I” means to be in oneness with all.
That is witnessing. That is being a detached observer.
Otherwise, it becomes the mind making sure that there is “I” being separated form everything else and “I” “making effort” to be in harmonious relationship with the movie of life.
When we are trapped in concepts, we will merely act a pretentious detached observer role. That is, “I” will think that “I have to practice being a detached observer for 3 hours every day.”
That practice is the practice of a mind driven concept, which is not near as close as what the actual sensation of that state of witnessing is.
In short, to be a detached observer means to experience the self as being “separated” from the roles in life but at the same time; having the experience of that role. Both, separation and unity; not just one aspect. This is embracing duality.
Let us say that someone has a stomach ache. That person wants to become a detached observer from that pain. When that person is practicing this, that person will repeat to himself: “I am not the pain, I am not the body, I am separated from the body, etc.”
Those words become the struggle of being free from that pain in the stomach. We could almost say that we are rejecting that pain.
Acceptance is the first step to go over anything in life.
Without the experience of the self, there will not be an automatic acceptance and therefore, a calm way to deal with things in a “detached manner.”
Take your medicine, treat the pain; but rather than being the “star” of the show; become the one sitting in the first row of the movie theater.
I could “choose” to be the spectator of the movie of life or I could become the protagonist.
To know that balance without thinking about it, is to exercise our “free will,” without knowing about those conceptual words.