Awareness and the Self
"If the Self is silent, and only watches, who speaks through this body/mind when the speech is clear, lucid, empowering and inspiring? It is not the ego, certainly. For example, when you write a reply to me, who writes?
I have had the same question regarding thoughts. I have the sense that I can guide the flow of thoughts towards kindness, love & usefulness. By asking questions for example. "How can I see this differently?" "What would God say?" "What would Love do?" So, can Awareness guide the thoughts in a certain direction? If not, who is guiding? I have a sense that some thoughts are heavy, and create disharmony, and some thoughts feel light and create harmony. Some resonate, some don't.
So basically, what I am asking is, who is doing the critical thinking? Who is the one discerning between truth and falsehood? It must be the Self, but if the Self is silent, then who? " A.S
You ask extremely important questions. I will do my best to answer, based on my own experience.
Essentially, we contain two distinct 'selves'. One is the personal, historical self/ego with all its contraction, unhappiness, wanting and fear. Most people take this to be the truth of who they are and suffer accordingly. We contain another 'self', our authentic self/natural state, which is usually obscured (but is never absent) by the activities of thoughts, feelings, sensations of the personal self. The nature of the authentic or true self is peace, clarity, care, stillness, wholeness, connectedness. This is often called the 'Self' but there is something prior, something that is observing these qualities: empty, unlimited awareness.
When the false/personal self is seen through and falls away/falls into the background, what remains is this unlimited, undistracted awareness. When the false self falls away, the authentic or true self is revealed and we become aware of its qualities of clarity, peace, stillness and so on. 'Clear, lucid, empowering speech' arises from here; non-grasping love arises from here; discernment arises from here. We are Awareness - empty and featureless - but freed from the burden of the personal identity, the ground of our Being ('I Am') is realized or discovered/uncovered. We contain a tremendous treasure as you can see.
Regarding the mind: the mind is an extraordinary mechanism, mostly concerned with our survival, making judgements, projecting into the future or past, and the solving of problems both real and imagined. An unexamined mind will generate constant thoughts, most of which are meaningless and some of which may be harmful or dangerous. Most people believe they are the mind. We need to become aware of the nature of mind and learn to discriminate between which thoughts are helpful and useful and which are not. We are not the mind. We are what is aware of the mind and its functioning.
When you rest in and as the Self, the mind naturally quietens, and takes up its true position as a servant or tool of the Self.