The foundational transforming process of the Work consists of self-observation, non-identification, and Self-remembering. Non-identification is an effort of attention whereby one separates one’s “feeling of I” from what is being self-observed. It is the realization that, This is not “I.” We know we are non-identified when we can self-observe non-critically. In the process of non-identification, the feeling of I is withdrawn from what is being observed; there is an energetic sense of inner separation from what is observed; one’s life force is being withdrawn from a fragment of the self, from a story, a memory, sensation, an acquired way of being. There is always a certain degree of Self-remembering with non-identification.
“[Non-identification] is to separate oneself from so much that is continually going on inside the heart and mind and laying hold of oneself continually. …. [When] you are trying to observe yourself you must not put the feeling of ‘I’ into what you observe. You think that everything is ‘I myself.’ There is no light because you are identified with yourself. When you begin to observe yourself, to catch glimpses of yourself, to notice what is going on in you, you begin to separate yourself from yourself. This lets in light. Self-observation lets in a ray of light.”
-Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Non-Identifying,” June 3, 1944, Vol. 2