The Watchtower

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We cultivate a wise understanding of the past and a keen vision of our future. We actively think and look ahead so that we may see what is coming over the horizon and prepare for the eventualities, opportunities and difficulties of our lives. This will enable us to be wise forerunners for the New Message.

"The Watchtower—looking within yourself and scanning your inner world. The Watchtower—looking to the outside and scanning your environment and discerning what is coming over the horizon."[1]

Spiritual Practice

A Practice of awareness and observation

"The Watchtower is a spiritual practice, something you learn to do. You sit quietly and watch the world without judgment and without conclusions. You sit quietly and watch others without judgment and without conclusions, trying to feel the mental environment, listening for Knowledge as you do so. Here you listen to others. Instead of being caught up in your conversation, you listen to hear and to experience their deeper nature and their true condition at this moment. Here you are not judging them. Instead, you are discerning them. You are present to them. And if this is carried out correctly, you will learn a great deal about them in a short time. You will also feel compassion towards them; you will understand them, and you will not deny their humanity."[1]

"You can practice being in the Watchtower in so many situations
Waiting for a bus, sitting there, being present to the world
In any roomful of people, checking the mental environment
In any conversation, listening carefully to others while you are listening for Knowledge within yourself
Receiving news from the world and really considering what this means
Watching certain key indicators in the world in the face of the Great Waves of change
Watching the price and availability of food
Watching the availability of water and the problem of drought
Watching the indicators of a change in climate and a warming world
Watching the economy to see how stable or unstable it really is
Watching the weather and the changing circumstances of your life
Watching the actions of other people to learn from their successes and mistakes
Being present to the beauty of life around you, to the marvel of your existence and to the innumerable things in your life that are supporting you and that are beneficial for you."[1]

"Here going up in your Watchtower to look at the horizon of the world; to look at your immediate circumstances; to be watchful for hazards, problems and opportunities as they arise is not something you just do once in a while. It is actually part of your spiritual practice, something around which you develop a set of skills. Here you practice stilling your mind to be observant. Here instead of immediately judging the world or reacting to situations around you, you begin to discern them more objectively. You check your own reactions and impulses so that you may become aware." [1]

"You are living in a dynamic world and in a dynamic universe. The world today is a different world than even your parents experienced, and it is changing quickly. It is changing so fast that people cannot even keep up with it. Being present in the world does not mean that you have to experience everything. What it means is being present to what is occurring that is important now, keeping your eyes and ears open, not fearfully but attentively. Like a person in a watchtower scanning the horizon, you look out onto life as it is, and you look out onto the horizon of your future, for what is coming is coming."[2]

"It is important to have this idea of a watchtower in your mind because this helps you to understand where you are, who you are with and what is happening in the mental environment that could be affecting you emotionally and mentally. Here you keep track of what is happening in the physical environment, for events do not just happen like that. Things build up and then things happen. The ones who are attentive will see the oncoming difficulty and will prepare accordingly, if they are wise. They will rarely be taken by surprise completely, though that is still possible. They will see what is coming, and they will feel it while others do not even have a clue. Consider the animals in the world, whose very existence depends on the ability to be observant and to be cautious. They do not take their existence for granted. They do not assume that they are protected and provided for. They are watchful. They are careful. They live vulnerable to life. Yet you have a greater capacity and a greater intelligence." [2]

"As a leader of others, as a person who is in a position of responsibility, it is therefore necessary for you to see farther than others, to consider things that most people would not consider, to look ahead, to plan ahead, to see what is coming up over the horizon of your life, to build your own watchtower, to watch and see the greater forces now that are moving in the world." [3]

Watching without coming to conclusions

"The world itself will tell you what is coming if you know how to read it and to discern its signs and its messages. You do this without projecting any of your own thoughts or fantasies or fears. You just watch and you listen, and piece by piece, the picture comes together. But to have this clarity of mind, you must be watching without coming to conclusions, without trying to tie things together, without trying to make things simple and comprehensible. Instead, like building a puzzle, you allow the pieces to emerge and to fit together."[4]

Ready to respond

"All of humanity now there is growing danger, and nature has equipped you to respond to it, and you need to respond to it in order to survive. Yet people are not looking and are not listening. They go about their affairs without looking over the horizon, without listening to the signs of the world. And if they hear something, they will dismiss it, or discuss it with their friends, or use it to reinforce some attitude or judgment they have against someone else, and the message will be lost on them. They will not be able to receive the instruction, which will give them an indication of something they must do."[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Watchtower (February 17, 2009)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Living The Way of Knowledge, Chapter 10: Being Present in the World
  3. God's New Message for the Political Leaders of the World (May 27, 2006)
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Great Waves of Change, Chapter 4: The Freedom to Move with Knowledge

See also

Hearing

Listening in the world

Seeing

Silence

Further study