To begin self-study it is necessary to study methods of self-observation, but that again must be based on a certain understanding of the divisions of our functions. Our ordinary idea of these divisions is quite wrong. We know the difference between intellectual and emotional functions. For instance, when we discuss things, think about them, compare them, invent explanations or find real explanations, this is all intellectual work; whereas love, hate, fear, suspicion and so on are emotional. But very often, when trying to observe ourselves, we mix even intellectual and emotional functions; when we really feel, we call it thinking, and when we think we call it feeling. But in the course of study we shall learn in what way they differ. For instance, there is an enormous difference in speed, but we shall speak more about that later.
Then there are two other functions which no system of ordinary psychology divides and understands in the right way—instinctive function and moving function. Instinctive refers to the inner work of the organism: digestion of food, beating of the heart, breathing—these are instinctive functions. To instinctive function belong also ordinary senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, the feeling of cold and warmth, things like that; and this is all, really. Of outer movements, only simple reflexes belong to instinctive function, because more complicated reflexes belong to moving function. It is very easy to distinguish between instinctive and moving functions. We do not have to learn anything that belongs to instinctive function, we are born with the capacity to use all the instinctive functions. Moving functions, on the other hand, all have to be learned— a child learns to walk, to write and so on. There is a very great difference between the two functions, since there is nothing inherent in moving functions, and instinctive functions are all inherent.
So in self-observation it is necessary first of all to divide these four functions and to classify at once everything that you observe, saying, 'This is intellectual function', 'This is emotional function' and so on.
If you practise this observation for some time you may notice some strange things. For instance, you will find that what is really difficult in observing is that you forget about it. You start to observe, and your emotions connect with some kind of thought and you forget about self-observation.
Again, after some time, if you continue this effort to observe, which is a new function not used in the same way in ordinary life, you will notice another interesting thing—that generally you do not remember yourself. If you could be aware of yourself all the time, then you would be able to observe all the time, or in any case as long as you liked. But because you cannot remember yourself, you cannot concentrate; and this is why you will have to admit that you have no will. If you could remember yourself, you would have will and could do what you liked. But you cannot remember yourself, you cannot be aware of yourself and so you have no will. You may sometimes have will for a short time, but it turns to something else and you forget about it.
This is the situation, the state of being, the state from which we have to start self-study.