Excerpt About Insight

An Insight is an Event and Essence is a Presence

There are other classes of mental experience that are customarily regarded as the experience of essence when in fact they are not, such as the experiences of insight and intuition. In psychotherapy, for instance, one might have an insight about oneself, about others, or about the nature of reality. It often occurs as a flash of illumination and is accompanied by a sense of expansion and certainty. Such insights can provide valuable information and affective satisfaction. Still, the experience of insight is not itself essence, not yet. An insight is an event, and essence is a presence. An insight is an experience of understanding a specific truth, whereas essence is an embodied presence, an ontological actuality. Most of the time, insights give us liberating information and understanding of how our minds, emotions, and personalities function. They might even help lead us to essence. Insights can be liberating, profound, exhilarating, or powerful, but still they are not essence. Essence is more. Insights can go even deeper, to more profound levels of reality, and can give us information about the nature of reality. But what is this reality? It is nothing but the reality of our true nature, our essence. At such times we are receiving insights about essence itself. For instance, an individual can have the sudden deep flash that “I actually exist,” or an expansive insight that “Love is my true nature.” These are insights about essence, realizing some of the truth about our real nature. But this activity itself is not exactly the presence of essence. It can reach essence and give glimpses of it, but if the person remains at the level of insight, essence will not be realized, embodied, or lived in its fullness and beauty.

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