The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind is one my favorite book titles. In it, Julian Jaynes argues that with early man the right and left hemispheres on the brain were separate entities. The left hemisphere was used for most tasks, but when confronted with an unusual situation the right hemisphere would chime in with authority, and early man thought this voice as being the voice of a god.
An interesting take comes from the Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallwey. He also divides us in half, with Self 1 and Self 2. Self 1 jabbers happily away, knows everything and criticizes Self 2.
Self 2 is the doer. It will learn just fine on its own, except when Self 1 comes up with all kinds of stupid advice and non-constructive criticisms. If we can put Self 1 in its proper place we could harness it and put it to work in a constructive way.
Enter a couple of 14th Century German Mystics, Meister Eckhart and Johannes Tauler. Both preached about the need for detachment, “letting goness.” In doing so, we can use Self 1 as a passive observer, letting Self 2 do its thing.
Enter Dr. Maxwell Maltz who in 1960, published Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living out of Life. A plastic surgeon, Maltz contends that our self-image is very important. This came from his experience with his patients, and how after their plastic surgery they suddenly felt better about themselves. Still the same person on the inside they experienced a better self-image. According to Maltz, if one's self-image is unhealthy or faulty — all of his or her efforts will end in failure. The cybernetics part is based on the Greek for “steersman.”
Mixing these all, together Self 1 can be a passive observer, detached and steering Self 2 towards a specific and reasonable goal.
Lastly a bit of Zen from Zen in the Art of Archery. "You know already that you should not grieve over bad shots; learn now not to rejoice over the good ones. You must free yourself from the buffetings of pleasure and pain, and learn to rise above them in easy equanimity, to rejoice as though not you but another had shot well. This, too, you must practice unceasingly-you cannot conceive how important it is.”