= How to Observe Oneself? =
But you must begin when very small, and consciously, very consciously; you must begin with a sense of observation of all the movements in yourself, of their relation with others, of—precisely, of your degree of independence, real individuality, of knowing where impulses come from, where other movements come from: whether it is contagion from outside or something that arises from within yourself. A very profound study of all the movements in oneself is necessary in order to succeed simply in crystallising a being who is a little conscious, a little conscious.
(The Mother, 22 September 1954) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/06/22-september-1954#p43</ref>
You project yourself on the screen and then observe and see all that is moving there and how it moves and what happens. You make a little diagram, it becomes so interesting then. And then, after a while, when you are quite accustomed to seeing, you can go one step further and take a decision. Or even a still greater step: you organise—arrange, take up all that, put each thing in its place, organise in such a way that you begin to have a straight movement with an inner meaning. And then you become conscious of your direction and are able to say: "Very well, it will be thus; my life will develop in that way, because that is the logic of my being. Now, I have arranged all that within me, each thing has been put in its place, and so naturally a central orientation is forming. I am following this orientation. One step more and I know what will happen to me for I myself am deciding it....".
(The Mother, 29 July 1953) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/05/29-july-1953#p47</ref>
If one begins to find out, to understand what a feeling is and what a thought is, and how it works, then one can already go quite far on the path with that. One must at the same time observe how his feelings and thoughts have an action on the body, what the reciprocity is. And then, there is another exercise which consists in looking into oneself for what is persistent, what is lasting, something which makes one say "I", and which is not the body. For obviously, when one was very small, and then when each year one grows up, if one takes fairly long distances, for example a distance of about ten years, they are very different "I"s from what one was when as small as this (gesture), and then what one is now; it is difficult to say that it is the same person, you see. If one takes only this, still there is something which has the feeling of always being the same person. So one must reflect, seek, try to understand what it is. This indeed can lead you far on the path. Then if one also studies the relation between these different things—between thoughts, feelings, their action on the body, the reciprocal action of the body on these things—and also what it is that says "I" permanently, what it is that can trace a curve in the movement of the being, if one seeks carefully enough, it leads you quite far. Naturally if one seeks far enough and with enough persistence, one reaches the psychic.
(The Mother, 9 March 1955) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/07/9-march-1955#p23</ref>
But you have only to observe yourselves... you can observe yourself, catch yourself at least a hundred times a day, with a mind which decides everything, knows everything, judges everything, knows very well what is good, what bad, what is true, what false, what is right... And also how one should act, what this person should have done, how to resolve that problem.... All men know, you see... If they were at the head of governments, for instance, they would know very well how to manage everything! But people don't listen to them... that's all!
(The Mother, 21 July 1954) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/06/21-july-1954#p40</ref>
But a time comes when instead of doing things automatically, impelled by a consciousness and force of which one is quite unaware—a time comes when one can observe what goes on in oneself, study one's movements, find their causes, and at the same time begin to exercise a control first over what goes on within us, then on the influence cast on us from outside which makes us act, in the beginning altogether unconsciously and almost involuntarily, but gradually more and more consciously; and the will can wake up and react. Then at that moment, the moment there is a conscious will capable of reacting, one may say, "I have become conscious." This does not mean that it is a total and perfect consciousness, it means that it is a beginning: for example, when one is able to observe all the reactions in one's being and to have a certain control over them, to let those one approves of have play, and to control, stop, annul those one doesn't approve of.
(The Mother, 28 November 1956) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/08/28-november-1956#p19</ref>
Take one hour of your life, the one which is most convenient for you, and during that time observe yourself closely and say only the absolutely indispensable words. <ref>
== By Developing a Quiet Mind ==
But if you remain very quiet, only if you observe—as though you were silently looking at something, you understand—then you will begin seeing more precisely, and little by little distinguishing between different categories of things. You will be able to know what one thing is and what another etc., whether it comes from you or from outside, whether it is on a material plane or on another plane. All this is learnt through a very quiet observation, quiet but very sharp, you understand; because there are very tiny shades, very tiny, between different things, and when you get used to distinguishing these nuances, you can discern exactly what it is.
(The Mother, 20 October 1954) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/06/20-october-1954#p46</ref>
...You must be able to silence your head absolutely and be completely detached, not to have (for example, when you are looking for the solution of a problem), not to have already in your head the solution that seems to you right or the best or most profitable. That must not be there. You must become absolutely like a blank paper, with nothing on it. And you proceed in that way, with a very sincere aspiration to know the truth, without assuming beforehand that it will be like this or like that; because otherwise you will see only your own formation. The very first condition is that the head must keep completely silent during the time one is observing.
(The Mother, 30 September 1953) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/05/30-september-1953#p13</ref>
== By Developing the Witness Attitude ==
Have you never felt this? As though you were a little behind or above things, and were looking at them taking place but were not doing anything yourself? Witness means an observer, someone who looks on and does not act himself. So, when the mind is very quiet, one can withdraw a little in this way from circumstances and look at things as though he were a witness, a spectator, and not participating in the action himself. This gives you a great detachment, a great quietude, and also a very precise sense of the value of things, because it cuts the attachment to action. When you know how to do this with yourself, when you can withdraw and watch yourself acting, you learn many things about yourself. When you are all mixed up and take part in the action, you do not observe yourself acting, you don't know what you are like. But when you draw back and look at yourself, you can perceive many imperfections which you wouldn't have seen otherwise.
(The Mother, 13 October 1954) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/06/13-october-1954#p2</ref>
== By Sincerity and Impartiality ==
For that you must be absolutely sincere and impartial. You must observe yourself as if you were observing and criticising a third person. You must not start with an idea that this is your life's mission, this is your particular capacity, this you are to do or that you are to do, in this lies your talent or genius, etc. That will carry you away from the right track. It is not the liking or disliking of your external being, your mental or vital or physical choice that determines the true line of your growth. Nor should you take up the opposite attitude and say, "I am good for nothing in this matter, I am useless in that one; it is not for me." Neither vanity and arrogance nor self-depreciation and false modesty should move you. As I said, you must be absolutely impartial and unconcerned. You should be like a mirror that reflects the truth and does not judge.
(The Mother, 12 November 1952) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/15/12-november-1952#p6</ref>
If you observe yourself, you will see that as soon as you do something which disturbs you a little, the mind immediately gives you a favourable reason to justify yourself—this mind is capable of gilding everything. In these conditions it is difficult to know oneself. One must be absolutely sincere to be able to do it and to see clearly into all the little falsehoods of the mental being.
(The Mother, 15 January 1951) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/04/15-january-1951#p3</ref>
==By Becoming Aware of Desire ==
For that you must observe yourself very, very attentively, and if there is anything in you which produces something like a small intense vibration, then you may be sure that there lies a desire. For example, you say, "This food is necessary for me"—you believe, you imagine, you think that you need such and such a thing and you find the necessary means to obtain the thing. To know if it is a need or a desire, you must look at yourself very closely and ask yourself, "What will happen if I cannot get the thing?" Then if the immediate answer is, "Oh, it will be very bad", you may be sure that it is a matter of desire. It is the same for everything. For every problem you draw back, look at yourself and ask, "Let us see, am I going to have the thing?" If at that moment something in you jumps up with joy, you may be certain there is a desire. On the other hand, if something tells you, "Oh, I am not going to get it", and you feel very depressed, then again it is a desire.
(The Mother, 25 January 1951) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/04/25-january-1951#p3</ref>
If you observe yourself attentively, you will see that before acting you need an inner impetus, something which pushes you. In the ordinary man this impetus is generally desire. This desire ought to be replaced by a clear, precise, constant vision of the Truth.
(The Mother, 21 December 1950) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/04/21-december-1950#p7</ref>
==By Education of the Senses==
But it is through sensations that you learn: by seeing, observing, hearing. Classes develop your sensations, studies develop your sensations, the mind receives things through sensations. By the education of the senses the growth of one's general education is aided; if you learn to see well, exactly, precisely; if you learn to hear well; if you learn through touch to know the nature of things; if you learn through the see of smell to distinguish between different odours—all these are a powerful means of education. In fact, they should be used for this, as instruments of observation, control and knowledge. If one is sufficiently developed, one can know the nature of things through sight; through the see of smell one may also know the value, the different nature of things; by touch one can recognise things. It is a question of education; that is, one must work for it.
(The Mother, 31 March 1954) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/06/31-march-1954#p13</ref>
It is only gradually, very slowly, through the movements of life and a more or less careful and thorough education that you begin to have sensations which are personal to you, feelings and ideas which are personal to you. An individualised mind is something extremely rare, which comes only after a long education; otherwise it is a kind of thought-current passing through your brain and then through another's and then through a multitude of other brains, and all this is in perpetual movement and has no individuality. One thinks what others are thinking, others think what still others are thinking, and everybody thinks like that in a great mixture, because these are currents, vibrations of thought passing from one to another. If you look at yourself attentively, you will very quickly become aware that very few thoughts in you are personal. Where do you draw them from?—From what you have heard, from what you have read, what you have been taught, and how many of these thoughts you have are the result of your own experience, your own reflection, your purely personal observation?—Not many.
(The Mother, 20 February 1957) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/09/20-february-1957#p6</ref>