Hello zavk, Ben, all,
Here is an occurrence of the term - not sure if this will help or hinder ~
from "Clarity of insight by Ajahn Chah"
pps. 14 - 16
"That means you must become your own witness, able to confirm the
results from within your own mind. It's like the example of the sour
fruit. Imagine I told you that a certain fruit was sour tasting and
invited you to try some of it. You would have to take a bite from it
to taste the sourness. Some people would willingly if I told them the
fruit was sour, but if they simply believed that it was sour without
ever tasting it, that belief would be useless (mogha), it wouldn't
have any real value or meaning. If you described the fruit as sour,
it would be merely going by my perception of it. Only that. The
Buddha didn't praise such belief. But then you shouldn't just dismiss
it either: investigate it. You must try tasting the fruit for
yourself, and by actually experiencing the sour taste, you become
your own internal witness. Somebody says it's sour, so you take it
away and, by eating it, find out that it really is sour. It's like
you're making double sure - relying on your own experience as well as
what other people say. This way you can really have confidence in the
authenticity of its sour taste; you have a witness who attests to the
truth. Venerable Ajahn Mun referred this internal witness that exists
within the mind as thitibhutam. The authenticity of any knowledge
acquired simply from other people remains unsubstantiated, it is only
a truth proven to someone else --you only have someone else's word to
go on that the fruit is sour-- you could say that it's a half-truth,
or fifty per cent. But if you actually taste the fruit and find it
sour, that is the one hundred per cent, whole truth: you have
evidence from what other people say and also from your own direct
experience. This is a fully one hundred per cent substantiated truth.
This is thitibhutam: the internal witness has risen within you.
What causes wisdom to arise? It comes from contemplating
impermanence, suffering and not-self, and gaining insight into the
truth of the way things are. You have to see the truth clearly and
beyond doubt in your own mind; it has to be like that. There has to
be continuous clear insight. All objects (arammana) that arise into
consciousness are seen to pass away; that cessation is followed by
more arising. After more arising there is further cessation. If you
still have attachment and clinging suffering must arise from moment
to moment, but if you are letting go, you won't create any suffering.
Once the mind is clearly seeing the impermanence of phenomena, we
call it thitibhutam - the internal witness. It is self-sustaining.
Hence in the beginning, you should only accept as the truth about
fifty per cent of the things other people tell you.
On one occasion the Buddha gave a discourse."http://www.abhayagiri.org/pdf/books/clarity.pdf