Excerpts About Knowingness
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 41 • discuss »
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 36 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 36 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 122 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 193 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 199 • discuss »
So the whole field of experience is pervaded by knowingness, constituted of knowingness. If you look at a mountain, you say, “I’m seeing the mountain.” Are you seeing the mountain or is there an awareness of a knowingness of seeing the mountain? All you can be aware of is your knowingness that there is a mountain. The knowingness is the object and subject of awareness, for the experience itself is nondual. You are in touch with knowingness in a nondual way. To say that there is a mountain is entirely another step. I am not saying that there is no mountain, but to assert that there is a mountain is a whole other step in addition to the fact of knowingness, which is immediate and direct. You are aware of me talking to you; this is your knowingness. Apart from that knowingness, I cannot exist, as far as you are concerned. That does not mean that I do not exist; that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that as far as your experience is concerned, I do not exist apart from your knowingness. Reality inherently possesses not only awareness, but a discrimination, a faculty that discerns what is encompassed in this awareness.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 38 • discuss »
You can know your body through being intimate with it, you can know your feelings through being intimate with them, you can know your inner state by being intimate with it. Intimacy means that no barrier exists between you and whatever you are knowing. It’s a direct in-touch-ness, a direct contact. More than that, it is a mixing of your consciousness with whatever it is you’re knowing. There are no barriers, no walls, between you and what it is that you are knowing. This has been traditionally termed knowing through identity, that is, knowing by being what you know. It has also been termed gnosis (jnana in Sanskrit; yeshe in Tibetan; ma‘rifa in Arabic). For example, you know anger by being anger, by experiencing it as part of you when your awareness and consciousness pervade the experience of anger. The nature of the soul is such that when a feeling arises, we can experience that feeling from within the feeling itself. We can intimately mix our consciousness with the specifics of our experience and recognize directly what the experience is. This is the ground of knowingness, which is direct knowing, and it is necessary in the process of understanding. Without this kind of knowingness, this gnosis, there is no possibility of real understanding; understanding remains only a mental operation, which is good for mathematics but is not enough for spiritual transformation.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 333 • discuss »
Knowingness is more than just perception, for perception alone indicates only the fact of seeing differentiation. To recognize the differentiation—for differentiation to become discrimination—knowingness is required. This knowingness precedes labeling. For example, an infant knows that it is uncomfortable without having the word or even the concept for being uncomfortable. It simply starts squirming. Its body recognizes that something is uncomfortable. Later on, when we develop language, we call it discomfort. So this capacity for knowing is preverbal, prelabeling. Labeling arises as the next step. In experience, first there is differentiation, that is, awareness that there are various elements and patterns in consciousness. This awareness functions in the same way that a mirror reflects—it reveals the shapes and patterns of our experience but provides no knowledge about what is reflected. The next step is discrimination: recognizing what these elements and patterns are. Knowing implies both their differentiation and discrimination. The third step is labeling, putting a tag on each known element. Thinking assumes all three of these steps in order to proceed. The knowing necessary for understanding occurs in the second step: the discrimination of experience. Labeling may arise—it can be present or not. If it is, it will serve as a tool for articulating the understanding, unless we use the labels as a substitute for the direct knowing. In that case, we end up with only mental understanding.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 334 • discuss »
So, little by little, the concepts go away. The concept of being the body, the concept of being an individual, the concept of past, present, and future, the concept of space—all dissolve. The last concept to go is existence, the notion that something is there. Awareness of existence is called consciousness. We are attached to the sense that there is beingness. And even when the sense of beingness goes, there can remain a sense of consciousness. If the sense of presence or existence goes, there will be just consciousness. Pure consciousness is awareness without content. In Zen, this is often called fundamental reality. There is no sense of existence, there is just awareness. There is knowingness, but not knowingness of anything in particular. Nothing can be said about it. But even this open knowingness has to go at some point. It doesn’t go and never come back, but we discover that knowingness is not final, that consciousness is not final. As the sense of knowingness and consciousness dissolves, the soul is in cessation; it has no sense of being or existence. We call this the Absolute. You realize your final nature is not that cosmic existence, but the source of cosmic existence. You discover that the nature of the human being you have taken yourself to be is ultimately the source of everything. This is the deepest mystery, unknowable by mind or by consciousness. You realize that the universe is simply a robe that you wear. When you take it off is when you go to sleep. The Absolute is like the sleep of the cosmic existence; the cosmic existence is like the waking up of the Absolute. The cosmic existence is the day; the Absolute, the night.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 116 • discuss »