The one who is the experiencer, the object of experience, and the experiencing in all the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping – this I am not. I am pure consciousness. I am the wondrous witness that eternally emanates grace and goodness.
Whether it is in the waking state or in the dream state or in the sleep state, in each one of them, every experience has three aspects: the phenomenon of experiencing, the object of experience, and the experiencer. The object of experience is what you experience or relate to in some way. If you are eating, then the food is the object of experience; you are eating it, so you are the experiencer, the doer of the action; and the relationship between the object of experience and the experiencer is the phenomenon of experiencing. Experiencing is the relationship between the two. Or you can understand it in this way: the sun rises and you are looking at it: the sun is the seen, you are the seer, and the relationship between these two is the seeing. A thorn has pierced your foot and it is hurting: the pain is the known, you are the knower, and the bridge between the two is the knowing, the perceiving.
Every experience can be broken down into three aspects: the object which is outside you and which you, the experiencer, are experiencing; the I am-ness, the ego, which is experiencing, and the bridge, the relationship between the two, which is the experience. You can understand these three. And if there is something beyond these three, the fourth, which is also within you, is the witness.
If there is a fourth dimension within you which is watching these three from above – which is watching the food being eaten, the one who is eating, and the bridge of experiencing between these two – if something in you can just watch the whole thing from a distance, then this fourth possibility is called the witness.
You experience the first three, but you don’t experience the fourth. You experience only the three states of consciousness that I mentioned earlier. In both the waking and in the dream state, there is only the experienced, the experiencer and the experience. When you go into deep sleep, then when you wake up in the morning you say, “How refreshing! How relaxed and pleasant my sleep was!” This perception of pleasure again boils down to the division of the experienced, the experiencer and the experience – but you have no idea about the fourth. In all these experiences, you don’t have even a glimpse of the fourth.
Meditation is the way to awaken this fourth state, to invoke it, to give it a base and to enter it. Whatsoever you may be doing, become aware of the three and notice if the fourth is also there. And as you continue to remember it, the fourth will start to arise – because it awakens only through remembrance. There is no other way to awaken it.