I must point out that I'm a beginner in self-observation.
This night I had a dream in which I was at my workplace, and a good friend of mine walked in. However, it was not him the way I know him now, it was him the way he looked when he was a little boy.
I immediately thought in the dream "there is no way I'm not dreaming right now, he looks like he's a middle schooler, I'm totally dreaming". But then I did not awaken my consciousness...
I even did the little jump
Nevertheless, nothing happened. (I wasn't even aware of my body, so how could I know whether I was floating or not after the jump
I'm such a fool... does that mean that I was not consciously aware of what I was thinking and doing in that moment?
I think this is a problem of laziness of the consciousness, like when in the physical world you say "oh, I'm totally asleep right now", but then you do not make the "effort" to be present here and now, right?
I hope I'm not self-observing mechanically during the day... I always try not to.
UPDATE: I just woke up, it's 5 AM. I think I received some kind of answer the next night. I gained some insight on this.
I'm writing this the day after the main post. Another night went by, and again this night I had the same experience of self-observing in a dream and not waking up. This time however the causes of this were a little clearer.
I dreamt of being at a gnostic retreat (I've never actually been to one, so it was all from imagination). It was night-time, and it was raining hard, and some instructors, some students and I were running uphill to seek shelter from the rain.
Every student had their own umbrella, there were some couples sharing a single umbrella, the instructors had their own umbrella, only I didn't.
While running uphill I was judging the ego of other people: "look at that instructor behind me, that's ego, he's so selfish he won't share his umbrella with me". Meanwhile I was not paying attention to myself.
The situation felt like we were soldiers in training, running in bad weather condition, with mud, etc.
Then a female instructor (which in this "military" scenario was like a drill instructor) pointed out that while running, we had to observe the situation, to observe how tired we were, observe our breath, how we were breathing heavily, panting. Observe the situation, how the ground under our feet looked, how other people looked, etc.
Then I shouted "Do the little jump!". No one did it, except for me. Nevertheless I did not float.
After that, I do not remember what happened up until the next segment of the dream (maybe I took for granted I was not dreaming and "relaxed" my attention?).
I reflected on this after waking up, and I think the problem lies in the fact that when observing myself, I fail to be detached from my internal senses. I think I might get identified with the "sixth sense", even if I observe the other five in a detached way.
When the dream instructor told us to self-observe, the dream landscape did become clearer, however my internal states did not change. I did not observe inside. I was not in the middle, but I was caught up in the "discursive emotions and thoughts".
I was not even questioning whether what I was observing was true or not, I just observed it and that's it. I did not ask myself "Am I dreaming?". I just accepted it. I was identified with internal states. This is regrettable, because in my dreams, often there's a part of me that "kind of knows" I'm dreaming. But I never question it, since I think my feelings and thoughts are never mistaken and that they are "me"...
So, I hope this can help other people. It's true, the best instructor is the one we have within
Do you have any advice about internal observation? I know I'm not my thoughts, and that I can observe them, but when observing the five senses, the sixth one is always there, in the back of the mind, interfering, making me identified.
Like for example, I could be watching the present moment, and meanwhile I'm thinking that I'm doing it. That thought is probably what gets me identified with the intellect, and prevents me from observing (and questioning) my internal states.