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Nicoll on Nothingness

Whenever you have a double sense of the future and past meeting together in the present moment, it always has a quality of Self-Remembering. It can be reached by uncritical self-observation which lifts the consciousness to a higher level - i.e. that of Self-Remembering or the third level of consciousness. Now if you observe yourself critically you never reach this level through self-observation. Why? Because you will always be self-justifying, complaining, negative, and all the rest of it, which belong to the second level of consciousness, the so-called waking state.
But if you can really observe yourself uncritically you will pass from this complaining, unpleasant level to a quite new state of consciousness and you will see yourself standing in Time. Now suppose that you can be sufficiently awake to observe at a particular moment how you are taking some situation, some event, and suppose that you can observe yourself uncritically, that means that you can observe that part of yourself that is taking things in this mechanical, ever-recurring way.
If the observing ′I′ is really uncritical it begins to move towards Real ′I′ which is never critical. But if you are observing yourself with an ′I′ that belongs to a lower level - i.e. a critical ′I′ - then you will not reach the level of Self-Remembering. In other words, the quality of your observation is not fine enough, and you will simply be at that level at which you have to argue with other ′I′s. Your best ′I′s are uncritical ′I′s, ′I′s that never judge either you or other people. Your worst ′I′s are your fault-finders, your jealous, envious, malicious, complaining ′I′s. Through them how can you observe yourself uncritically? But through the pure feeling of the Work you can observe yourself uncritically as a mere nobody - not as a ridiculous and absurd creature, as of course we all are, without exception, because this would be critical - but simply as a nobody, as nothing. And I remind you here that unless we can realize our own nothingness we can get nowhere.

(Maurice Nicoll - Pyschological Commentaries, vol.3 page 817)