If we want to grow, we need to open the 4 windows of self awareness which govern the bandwidth of awareness. The trick is opening them in the right order. Do you know what they are and how to open them?
The window represents portal, normally fitted with glass, they are built to allow light to enter a closed space. So, what do windows symbolize from either a psychological, spiritual or mystical point of view? These are the questions we want to answer.
The Symbolism of Windows
There are many factors which change the meaning of this symbol. The window can be clear or distorted depending on the light source, shutters, drapery, or blinds. Is the window open or closed? You can be on the inside of a room looking out, or on the outside looking in. You can be at varying distances or angles to the window. How many windows are there? How does it make you feel?
The ancient typologies associated with the window are no longer viable because our cultural narrative has changed significantly. The windows were covered by shutters, then they were made of paper in China; it was the Romans who discovered how to smelt and form windows made of glass around 100 CE.
Most of the early glass windows had bubbles and other distortions because it was difficult to manufacture clear glass. Glass windows were not something everyone could afford, which is why stained glass windows became a status symbol in the 12th Century. These historical references are not a part of the current cultural folklore. So the symbolism of windows has fragmented depending upon your own relationship to this object.
What Do Windows Symbolize in Your Life?
The window is a metaphor for many things. The stories of Gods and Heros in the legends of Charlemagne gives us a glimpse of the rich symbolism of the window. We see the window as a portal through which Anaxarete watches a funeral procession of the fallen deity Iphis.
Upon seeing the corpse, the blood in her veins turned cold, and she was frozen solid. There is a statue of her at the temple of Venus at Salamis to commemorate this event. The window opened a doorway of perception that she could not handle. So, the window was the gateway to hell. (1)
The window often represents the pathway to some truth. Mystics talk of the window as the object between the seer and divinity. (2)
If you want to answer the question, what do windows symbolize in your life? Get out your journal and begin writing. Answer these questions.
- Do you have significant memories which include windows?
- Do you have any significant feelings associated with windows or a specific window?
The more you ponder the subject the more associations you’ll likely to find.
The Symbolism of Windows in Dreams
One of the prominent places find the metaphor of the window is in our dreams. Dreams add another level of complexity to the symbol because we each have a unique meaning with all symbols in dreams, and the window is no exception. Dreams are one of the three primary windows of awareness along with waking and sleeping.
To answer the question, what do windows symbolize in dreams, you must decipher the personal meaning.
- How does the window manifest?
- What is your physical relationship to it?
- Are you looking through the window from the inside of a building? Or, are you looking into the building from the outside?
- Is the window in a wall or standing on its own?
- What do you see when you look through the window?
- What is going on emotionally? How does it make you feel?
The 4 Windows of Self Awareness
Think of these 4 windows as an analogy to help you remember these elements of consciousness. Unlocking the windows of awareness in the proper order is critical.
3) Intuition and
Think of this as a process, like baking a cake. You need to follow the recipe. You need to add the right ingredients in the correct order. Then cook at the right temperature for the right amount of time. If you follow the recipe, you get something delicious. If not, you get a mess.Don’t skip steps. Otherwise, you will not achieve the desired result, which is to expand awareness. Why would we want to do this?
Expanding our Range of Awareness
When we expand our awareness, we increase several aspects of the mind, which include increased efficiency of memory, greater analytical ability, and emotional equilibrium.
Each window affects awareness in a different way. Each has its own way of transcending and expanding consciousness. Some ways work better than others depending upon your personality, instincts, experience and health.
The 4 windows of self awareness are available to everyone, but it is important to unlock and open them in the proper order. The first portal is the use of logical reasoning, because everything we do with the other windows depends upon the anchor of clear thinking.
For example, some people try to expand awareness using meditation alone, but if your mind harbors harmful bias and prejudice, meditation will not remove these thinking patterns. Or if we learn to observe our thoughts but cannot recognize the harmful programming, we are stuck. If our intuition is clouded by negative thinking, we don’t understand its messages. If we rely on emotion as a means of decision making without logic to guide it, we make mistakes.
However, using these ingredients in the correct order will bring about positive changes in thinking, meditation will provide a more consistent connection with the transcendent, we achieve clarity of intuitive messages and can maintain healthy emotional equilibrium even in crisis. It increases the bandwidth of self awareness, making us more present. It allows the real you, the Observer to be in the driver’s seat of awareness instead of the habitual thinking of the Ego.
One of the first places the Observer makes its presence known is in dreams. The technique of lucid dreaming can facilitate this transformation of awareness.
We are the Observer. We are not our personality or instincts which are part of our Ego, this is just a tool that connects our consciousness to our bodies. The Ego contains the critic, the negative voice of the Ego. Sadly, many people think they are either their body or their Ego, but the “real you” is the Observer.
When you open these four windows of awareness in the proper order, you create a chain reaction that propels our mental and spiritual growth. Opening them expands the bandwidth of our perception. When awareness grows, we increase our capabilities on several levels.
You don’t have to go anywhere to find these portals. You don’t need to join a religion, because you will not find these keys in any famous religious texts. These windows are within your consciousness. Here we go.
Reasoning And Rational Thinking
The first window we must open is the window of reasoning. It begins the expansion process by bringing your analytical capabilities online, enabling common sense and wisdom to shine through. Common sense and logical reasoning will help you uncover your internal deceptions. It also allows you to shine your light outward at the right time to the right audience.
Increasing the bandwidth of reasoning and common sense helps us connect to our intuitive powers, improving our self-awareness. Self-awareness takes us beyond the Ego. It allows the Observer of our consciousness to come to the forefront. The Observer is the awareness we are talking to inside our heads. It’s the real you.
Expanding our range of critical thinking skills will increase the scope of perception. You’ll need to do this before trying to use the other keys. We’ve divided this key into three tools, logical reasoning, spotting logical fallacies, and the truth-seekers axioms. Together they will help you determine fact from fiction, theory from mythology.
Using this tool makes unlocking the next window possible. Strange as it may seem, but logic and intuition are not opposites. They are complementary tools that work together.
When most people hear the term self-observation, they think of the senses or observing the body. But, it’s really about being able to monitor your thoughts and feelings without judgment. The last part is the hardest, because we learn to assign values to everything. When we judge, we give values such as good or bad, and we change whatever we are assessing. Our valuation of the thought distorts the original.
So, the key to self-observation is learning to do so without judging, accepting yourself as you, then enabling you to change it. If you try to change any thought pattern, you must first take it in its original form. To do this, we need to think logically. That is why we must first enhance our ability to reason. Then we can use the insight to apply techniques for self-observation.
The third of the 4 windows of self awareness is our intuition. It’s the ability to discern the hidden with the heart. The window is the window of unrelenting love. Once we can think logically without the inference of mythology and superstition, we can observe our thoughts without judgment. Clarity of inward observation opens the window to allow our intuition to speak. Expanding our range of intuition increases our ability to discern fact from fiction.
Intuition is the ability to gain knowledge without proof or evidence. Intuition is insight without the use of reasoning. We don’t know where the answers come from; they just arrive. Different writers give the word intuition different meanings. It ranges from mystical insight to unconscious pattern recognition.
The word intuition is often misused or mistranslated as instinct, truth, and belief. The word for intuition comes from the Latin verb intueri, which means to contemplate. And, so intuition and reason seem to be two different roads? But, perhaps just different paths to the same conclusion?
Once you’ve opened the first window now, you are ready to cultivate your intuition to encourage its growth. It involves learning to focus on the power of your intention. Your mind is like a garden. To get the flowers you want, you must tend the soil. Then plant the right seeds, water, and weed.
Our emotions are the fuel of our mental processes. Emotional turmoil is the link behind most of the popular love songs. A broken heart exposes the link between emotion, mind, and body. Losing a loved one or anything you love is like severing your soul.
Emotions are the final ingredient and, when used correctly will empower us to do good. Emotional regulation (3) is a skill which can be used to gain and maintain emotional equilibrium.
The strategy used for this is called cognitive reappraisal, this involves changing the emotional link to memories and thinking. The easiest way to do this is through a guided meditative process, but it can be done solo.
We have a detailed article on this process called Exploring Memories to Understand What We Value. The important thing to note is that you do not start with this process, this is the last of 4 windows.
Revealing The Observer
Here’s the goal, we finally “see” without the interference. We need all of these windows open to get past the Ego and any negative programming of the cultural narrative. It’s the window of the Seer and Shaman.
There are several ways to reveal the real you, the person you are talking to inside your head. This entity is the Observer who “Sees” all of your experience but is silent and unjudgemental. Some traditions call this the Soul or Spirit. We forget the Observer is the one looking out through the “windows of awareness.”
“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” ― Ramana Maharshi
The experience of the Observer is the natural outgrowth of consciousness. You can get a glimpse of this when one meditates, reaching pure consciousness. You can open this window of awareness using a process like Japa Meditation. You can also use the commercial version of the technique known worldwide as Transcendental Meditation. We teach Japa as part of the progression in our blended learning process.
Ask yourself some questions. Is this a portal to the spirit world or my subconscious mind? What feelings does this object conjure? Am I fearful of what I see or may see?
The analogy of windows helps us remember the correct process for expanding awareness. Unlocking the 4 windows of self awareness in the proper order is the key. Expanding our range of awareness makes us whole.
“Strong people have a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness; they don’t need the approval of others.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Analytical reasoning is first—intuition second and then the Observer’s window. Don’t rush past the first two while trying to reach the Eureka experience without grounding in reasoning and intuition.
(1) Bulfinch’s Mythology, The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry, The Legends of Charlemagne, 1913.
(2) Mysticism, A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness, by Evelyn Underhill, 1911.
(3) Emotion regulation: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31961170/