The Observing Self is an awareness independent of a person’s trains of thought, miasma of emotions and physical movements. When there is significant continuity of self observation, those manifestations begin to seem more and more as “Other,” something that runs on automatic, apart from that observing awareness.
The more self observation grows, the less a person is trapped in the mechanical manifestations of the lower chakras and becomes free of them.
When self observation becomes permanent, it is self remembering, a higher state of consciousness. In that state, the ability to generate and sustain higher emotion is possible, the rocket fuel of consciousness.
Seekers during the Sixties, like the present generation, rejected traditional religious paths, but there is one very big difference. They did not throw out the baby with the bath water. While rejecting fundamental practices, they looked deeper into religion itself for life transforming experience.
Fourth Way mindfulness is not a form of elitism, but can be viewed as esoteric Christianity since very similar methods were practiced by early Christians, Gnostics, and contemplative monks. Self observation has core traits in common with some forms of Buddhist meditation.
The difference lies in Fourth Way’s insistence on being in the world rather than drawing away from it, and using everyday experiences as stepping stones to higher consciousness.