Commentary on Verse 1 of the “Xin Xin Ming”

Pure Witnessing is How Truth Reveals Itself

It happens when you and your attachments to your story end.

Alan Lew
5 min readMay 13, 2023


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“Pure witnessing, without a witnesser, is effortless when there is no self, no you with preferences and a story.

It happens when you and your attachments to the story end. That is how truth reveals itself.

Anything other than pure awareness is self-delusion.”

Is it possible for there to be witnessing (or seeing, sensing, being aware), without a witnesser (or someone who sees, senses, or has awareness)?

Most people would say “no”, it is not possible for there to be awareness without someone or something that is aware. It is not possible to have any experience without an experiencer.

Some would say “yes”, pure awareness, without a self that is aware, is possible. Most of those would say yes because various forms of Buddhism and Hinduism teach that a state of pure awareness in which there is “no self” (anatta in Buddhism) is possible. But they might not have gone there themselves.

Some would say “yes” because they have known a degree of pure awareness, often associated with meditation. I have experienced this in meditation. But to say that implies that there was an “I” that was experiencing. As silent as that “I” was at the time, there was still a subtle sense of “self”.

Some would say “yes” because there has been a complete dropping away of a sense of self. We have many terms for that, including “liberation”, “self-realization”, “awakening”, “ego death”, and “enlightenment”. Such a dropping away may come and go (more common), or it may be permanent (less common).

The dropping away of a sense of self can take various forms:

  • Some are committed to mental hospitals when that happens. That may happen when the person has no spiritual context in which to place the loss of the self…



Alan Lew
New Earth Consciousness

Anything and Everything is Possible in an Infinite Universe — (paywall-free article links)