=Difficulties in Self-Observation=
'''Danger of the Ego '''
But to begin with, how many times, if one thinks, if one quite simply observes oneself, does one catch oneself saying, "It is I!" And, then, one congratulates oneself sometimes, one says, "After all I can do something, I am capable!" I am going further: how many people would be capable of doing anything at all if simply deprived of the pleasure of being able to tell themselves, "I have done this, I have realised that, I have made a progress, how well I played this game"? How many people would be able to sincerely do something if this pleasure were taken away? I have known individuals whose mind was much more developed than the rest of the being, they had understood very well (almost too well); they sat down to meditate and all their energy was gone, all vitality evaporated into a kind of peace, not unpleasant, but very still. There is no more need to do anything, no longer any need to move, one dreams.... Under a tree, arms crossed, one leaves the Divine to do everything for oneself, including feeding you if you need it. This is perhaps very well, but this shows that the instrument is not ready; it is not really at the service of the Divine, it is at the service of the ego, and when the ego is taken away, it does nothing any longer. Therefore, so long as one lives in the ego this illusion is necessary to make you act; it is necessary to keep up action until one is completely transformed or, in any case, till the true consciousness is established. (The Mother, 5 April 1951) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/04/5-april-1951#p14</ref>
...if you do your tapasya, all the time observing yourself doing it and telling yourself, "Am I making any progress, is this going to be better, am I going to succeed?", then it is your ego, you know, which becomes more and more enormous and occupies the whole place, and there is no room for anything else.
(The Mother, 26 April 1951) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/04/26-april-1951#p35</ref>
''' Escape attitude '''
Constantly man rushes into external action in order not to have time to observe himself and how he lives. For him this is expressed by the desire to escape from boredom. Indeed, for some people it is much more tiresome to remain quiet—seated, or to be still. So for them it represents an escape from boredom: to make a lot of noise, to commit many stupidities, and become terribly restless; it is their way of escaping boredom. And when they sit quietly and look at themselves, they are bored. Perhaps because they are boring. That's very likely. The more boring one is, the more one is bored. Very interesting people usually are not bored.
(The Mother, 26 January 1955) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/07/26-january-1955#p14</ref>
'''Focusing on the Negative '''
To be always observing faults and wrong movements brings depression and discourages the faith. Turn your eyes more to the coming Light and less to any immediate darkness. Faith, cheerfulness, confidence in the ultimate victory are the things that help,—they make the progress easier and swifter.
It is a subtle law of the action of consciousness that if you stress difficulties—you have to observe them, of course, but not stress them, they will quite sufficiently do that for themselves—the difficulties tend to stick or even increase; on the contrary, if you put your whole stress on faith and aspiration and concentrate steadily on what you aspire to, that will sooner or later tend towards realisation. It is this change of stress, a change in the poise and attitude of the mind, that will be the more helpful process. <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/31/dealing-with-depression-and-despondency#p22</ref>
'''Surface Level Observation '''
As a general rule, with a few very rare exceptions, men are content to observe more or less accurately everything that happens around them, and sometimes within themselves, and to classify all these observations according to one superficial system of logic or another. And they call this organisation, these systems, "knowledge". It has never occurred to them, they have not even begun to perceive that all the things they see, touch, feel, experience, are false appearances and not reality itself. [Based on Aphorism 7—What men call knowledge is the reasoned acceptance of false appearances. Wisdom looks behind the veil and sees. Reason divides, fixes details and contrasts them; Wisdom unifies, marries contrasts in a single harmony].<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/10/aphorism-7#p3</ref>
One throws oneself out all the time; all the time one lives, as it were, outside oneself, in such a superficial sensation that it is almost as though one were outside oneself. As soon as one wants even to observe oneself a little, control oneself a little, simply know what is happening, one is always obliged to draw back or pull towards oneself, to pull inwards something which is constantly like that, on the surface. And it is this surface thing which meets all external contacts, puts you in touch with similar vibrations coming from others. That happens almost outside you.
(The Mother, 20 June 1956) <ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/08/20-june-1956#p49</ref>
'''Observing Invisible Forces'''