Excerpt About Knowingness

Knowing Through Identity

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.

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