Excerpt About Gnosis
The question of the status of mystical knowing is clarified when we appreciate basic knowledge. Becoming aware of what is called mystical knowledge is the opposite operation from the development of discursive knowledge. Basic knowledge is being and discrimination at the same time. Discursive knowledge develops by emphasizing the discrimination aspect of basic knowledge, while mystical knowledge emphasizes the direct feel and touch of basic knowledge. It focuses on its Being side. In reality, basic knowledge is gnosis—the common word for direct knowledge of Reality—especially when it is not patterned by ordinary knowledge. Gnosis can possess degrees of discrimination, depending on how much we focus on the discriminating outlines in the field of knowledge. The less we focus on these demarcations and the more we are immersed in the direct feel of the field, the more that gnosis will be mysterious, intuitive, even vague and indiscernible. Gnosis can be divested of its discriminating characteristics such that only a bare minimum remains; this involves deep, direct experience, usually without the capacity to say much about it. This movement toward knowledge without discrimination goes as far as total mystery, where we are touched deeply, totally immersed in the depth of awareness with no content, or even with no sense of awareness.