Down the ages, the monks all over the world have been practicing the observer. They may have called it the witness, but it is not the witness. The witness is something totally different, qualitatively different. The observer can be practiced, cultivated; you can become a better observer through practicing it.
The scientist observes; the mystic witnesses. The whole process of science is that of observation; very keen, acute, sharp observation, so nothing is missed. But the scientist does not come to know godliness. His observation is very, very expert, yet he remains unaware of it. He never comes across it; on the contrary, he denies that there is godliness, because the more he observes – and his whole process is that of observation – the more he becomes separate from existence. The bridges are broken and walls arise; he becomes imprisoned in his own ego.
The mystic witnesses. But remember, witnessing is a happening, a by-product: a by-product of being total in any moment, in any situation, in any experience. Totality is the key: out of totality arises the benediction of witnessing. Forget all about observing. It will give you more accurate information about the observed object, but you will remain absolutely oblivious of your own consciousness.
Science is objective; art is subjective, religion is neither – neti neti, neither this nor that. Then what is religion? Religion is the meeting of the object and the subject, religion is the meeting of the lover and the beloved. Religion is the disappearance of the separation, of the duality. And in that separation energy is released; energy that was confined by the dual, that was kept separate, simply dances in utter unity.
That unity is witnessing. It happens only once in a while to you, and even then you don’t take much note of it, because it comes like a flash and it is gone. And because you don’t understand it, you don’t preserve the experience. In fact you neglect it, you ignore it; it seems to be dangerous.
It happens when you are in a deep orgasmic state, when the woman and man meet and merge and disappear into each other. It happens only for a single moment at the highest peak, when their energies are no longer two, when the energies have penetrated into each other so deeply that you cannot call them two at all. That orgasmic peak is the moment where witnessing arises. This is the whole secret of Tantra. Tantra discovered that in orgasmic ecstasy witnessing arises on its own accord. It is a gift from existence, a natural gift to enter into samadhi.
But it happens in all creative experiences, because all creative experiences are orgasmic; in a subtle sense, there is something of the sexual and the sensuous in them. When a painter looks at the trees, then the green and the red and the gold of the trees is not the same as when you look at the trees. His experience is orgasmic, he is utterly lost in it. He is not there as an observer, he falls in deep rapport. He becomes one with the green and the red and the gold of the trees.