To know he who knows us. To see he who sees us. To discover he who found us. This is the quest of Yoga.
Behind our every thought, word and deed lies a witness, a watcher, one who observes and notes our every experience but remains unmoved, unaffected and untainted. This 'seer' of all is not a mysterious fabrication but a fact. The witness exists, an identity, just as you and I are identities, and he resides in each and every one of us, some say in the flame of our heart. Whether we know him or not does not matter; whether we are aware or unaware of him, he is always there. However, if we were to come to know him, all our problems, our worries and anxieties, neuroses and psychoses, all of our negative states of mind, could be overcome.
In yogic philosophy, life is for realizing and experiencing all the possibilities within us, all the 'good' and 'bad' possibilities within man's framework, without turning our backs on any part of ourselves which we may not like. This is called the evolution of man and each one of us is destined to evolve. Our lives are undeveloped, our experiences partial and deficient, our knowledge incomplete. Our mind which is becoming more and more full of complexes and negativity must explore outside its habitual areas of thought.
Some philosophic teach that our mind is impure, demonical and sinful. Yoga and tantra however point out that it is our greatest friend and that we can use negative states as tools towards quick evolution, development and even enlightenment. According to yoga the mind is pure and blameless. Indeed, despite its negativity and fluctuations, it is progressing towards total unfoldment and knowledge. If you empty your mind and negate all your experiences, you are left in darkness, but fill the mind with the light of consummate experience and there is knowledge, absolute and unassailable. Once you have realized and experienced all possibilities, once your life is complete you move beyond that experience, beyond the phenomenal world and into the world of the witness.
Developing the witness within us is the ideal way to overcome the kleshas or afflictions of mind and eliminating its negative and conflicting tendencies. As the witnessing self develops, the mind becomes strong and one-pointed, steady and detached. Then we can develop the power of will and gain mastery over our now weak and vacillating minds.