The ability to perceive, understand and modify the actions of the body, life and mind requires the development of a new standpoint outside of the body-life-mind complex. For this reason, the attempt to undertake this process with the analytical power of the mind is bound to fail. Not only can the mind not clearly see and independently observe its own action without any form of bias or ‘blind spots’, but it is also subject to the tremendous influence of the vital and thus is very capable of finding justifications for what the vital desires, rather than dispassionately observing and understanding.
The development of the witness consciousness through the separation of the Purusha and the Prakriti in the consciousness involves a shift into a spiritual seeing rather than a mental review.
Sri Aurobindo writes: “What the Mother spoke of was not self-analysis nor dissection; they are mental things which can deal with the inanimate or make the live dead — they are not spiritual methods. What the Mother spoke of was not analysis, but a seeing of oneself and of all the living movements of the being and the nature, a vivid observation of the personalities and forces that move on the stage of our being, their motives, their impulses, their potentialities, an observation quite as interesting as the seeing and understanding of a drama or a novel, a living vision and perception of how things are done in us, which brings also a living mastery over this inner universe. Such things become dry only when one deals with them with analysis and ratiocinative mind, not when one deals with them thus seeingly and intuitively as a movement of life. If you had that observation (from the inner spiritual, not the outer intellectual and ethical viewpoint), then it would be comparatively easy for you to get out of your difficulties… Of course, all that can be done to the best effect when you stand back from the play of your nature and become the Witness-Control or the Spectator-Actor-Manager. But that is what happens when you take this kind of self-seeing posture.”
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, General Methods and Principles, Observation versus Analysis, pp. 5-7