The Critic, The Rebel and The Witness

I think we all have these 3 personalities that always are taking charges of our minds, lives constantly. I notice it in me more and more. The bad thing about it is that – these 3 archetypes aren’t evenly distributed.

The Critic

Obviously the critic is kinda kicking everyone’s ass. You could notice it if you start to watch your self talk. Or when you are in front of a mirror. Or you watch people as you stand in a line at Starbucks. The Critic is always making opinions, giving negative feedback – about me, about my environment, about the people I interact with. It’s kinda how we navigate this world. It does has very good use though – judgement. The Critic can judge fast and it’s very useful in certain situations. But we let it dominate all other things and thats when it kinda ruins our lives.

The Rebel

We all know this person. Especially if you had rough teens. We all rebel in various ways. Usually – internally this rebellion is against that Critic and externally it’s directed towards parents, siblings, colleagues and rest of the world. You may think there isn’t any rebel in you, but trust me there is. It might be subtler – like you love grunge or dub step or eat really spicy food. This rebel kinda helps us break through the threshold of your limits placed by the Critic. This guys lets you break through the glass ceiling that the Critic put in place. Without the rebel we can’t do a lot of things that we admire ourselves for.

The Witness

Then there is this witness – probably occupying like 0.01% of our being. The ironic thing about witness is, it doesn’t do anything. I mean literally like anything at all. It doesn’t prompt you to do any action, it doesn’t prompt you any thoughts either. It’s just witnessing, running the cosmic tape recorder and recording. Why is the Witness important? Remember what Archimedes said? “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth“. This witness is the place for us to stand. The place where we can move things and the Earth (metaphorically). The witness is the place where we are nothing and yet notice everything. The witness is the position where you see who you actually are.

A lot of religions, new age societies have named this witness as God, Universe etc.. pick one you like but it’s a special one.

The trick is to make all these 3 psyches balance. It’s not easy. Our default mode is Critic and it’s probably going on by now how this blog post is BS (believe me mine is telling me the same too!). What I have noticed is that the only way to increase the Witness’ role is through contemplation, journaling and meditation. The rebel will automatically take care of itself.

Personally I am giving myself till this year end to add some of these practices more often to my life and make them active part so that I am in a better place with Witness and be able to live a meaningful life.

Author: akbar

Ramblings on Ideas, Creativity, Technology, and Spirituality.

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