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Direct Knowledge

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Direct Knowledge

The Direct Knowledge that there is Only One Beingness, One Existence, Indivisible, Eternal

The perception of reality—which is more objective than the perception of separateness—is the perception of oneness: the direct knowledge that there is only one, one beingness, one existence, indivisible, eternal. If we do not see that, if we do not experience that, if we do not live according to that, then we are still believing certain lies. There are things we do not see about reality. There are illusions in our individual minds that we haven’t penetrated yet. So the goal of someone who is sincerely doing inner work is oneness, or unity, which means that it is not just for you. It is everyone and everything, and it is for everyone and everything. The nature of this oneness is absolute goodness. It is the source of all love, compassion, color, beauty, peace—all inner richness and fulfillment. The oneness is the source of all the Essence that you know, all the goodness, all the beauty you’ve experienced in your life. In fact, it is the source of everything. It also is everything. So to believe that you are an individual little thing, and you are going to get your share of life, of reality, is to isolate yourself from this rich, immense reality, and to make yourself poor, small, and insignificant.

Direct Knowledge, Knowledge Acquired through Directly Perceiving Something in the Moment

Can you experience your knee apart from the sensations and impressions? Is there a knee in your experience apart from the impressions? You might separate sensation and shape into different categories, but they are both knowledge that is not ordinary. They are not knowledge that is in your mind, they are knowledge that is in the moment, here in your present experience. The experience of the knee is nothing but a knowingness of a particular impression or perception. And the perception is inseparable from the knowingness of the perception. This is what we call direct knowledge, or knowledge acquired through directly perceiving something in the moment. It is not secondhand. You might not even call your knee a knee. You might forget everything about what knees are, but the sensation will still be there, the shape will still be there, the temperature will still be there, and you have a general impression of something, which is a piece of direct knowledge. You can call it something other than a knee, or you might not call it anything, but there is definitely a specific piece of information that is very different from the experience of your stomach, for example. This gets us closer to what I mean by basic knowledge.

Every Impression Involves Knowing and Every Experience is Knowledge

When we experience a sensation, there is knowledge that there is a sensation. We are not merely aware of a differentiation in our awareness; we have discriminating knowledge, or recognition. We know it is sensation. We also know the specifics of the sensation. In fact, is there anything else in our experience of the sensation other than the knowledge that there is a sensation and the specifics of the sensation? Our experience of the sensation may elicit associations, memories, ideas, and beliefs we have about it. However, we can discriminate two kinds of knowledge in this situation: the present-centered, direct knowingness of the sensations, and the remembered knowledge about them. The former, the direct knowledge that is implicit in all experience and fundamental to the soul, is the basic ground of knowledge; the latter, which we call ordinary knowledge, is a subset of the former. Knowledge is part of whatever happens in the field of our consciousness. If we feel pressure in the stomach, what is the pressure but the knowledge that there is pressure and the knowledge of the specifics of the pressure? Every impression involves knowing. Every experience is knowledge. Is there an experience of fear that is not the direct knowledge of the fear? Knowledge is the very fabric of experience.

Indirect Knowledge is Not True Knowledge, Even if it is Correct

The second problem is that indirect knowledge—knowledge you get from other people—is not true knowledge even if it is correct. It is not yet what we call personal truth, not experiential or perceptual truth. People tell you things, you learn things in school, you hear or read things. All this is not true knowledge, it is only secondhand belief and conviction, beliefs taken on faith. There is no certainty here, and yet your belief may prevent you from perceiving reality in any other way. For instance, each one of us believes that our body is composed of atoms. Do we really know that? We have heard it, read it in chemistry books, but it is not direct knowledge. We don’t really know. It is knowledge based on faith. It has been useful in the development of our technology to think that our body is composed of atoms, but if scientists took this as absolute truth, our science would not advance.

Revelation, Insight, or Direct Knowledge is Nothing but the Impact of Essential Diamond Presence in the Soul

Inquiry can open us up to the possibility of revealed knowledge. Although inquiry, exploration, and research by themselves do not lead to wisdom or revealed knowledge, they can help us see our barriers—our beliefs and prejudices—so that we can open up and be receptive to the revelation of direct knowledge. Inquiry invites Being to manifest its secrets, and this manifestation is revealed knowledge, new basic knowledge, timeless wisdom. We begin to recognize the Diamond Dimension itself as all the essential aspects appear anew, in the diamond form. Now, instead of experiencing a fluid or formless presence, we experience a faceted bright diamond, a ruby, or an emerald, for instance. In the emerald experience, we have the sense of loving-kindness and warmth inherent to Compassion, but with a precision, adefiniteness, and an exactness not familiar in conventional experience. The diamond restructures the soul in such a way that its experience is now inseparable from insight, from direct knowledge. Understanding, then, is simply the stream of structuring of our soul by the diamond and what it is communicating. Revelation, insight, or direct knowledge is nothing but the impact of the essential diamond presence on the soul. The soul’s experience is affected and structured by the diamond presence, rather than being patterned by ordinary knowledge.

True Knowledge Immediately becomes Ordinary Knowledge, Old Knowledge

So our work has to do with inquiry into the very consciousness and perceptivity of our experience. We need to rely more and more on our own immediate, direct knowledge. However, even true knowledge based on our own experience is composed of concepts, labels, ideas, images, and so on. So it exists only as a memory. For instance, you work on yourself and you have the experience of being an ocean of consciousness. This is a true, direct knowledge of your consciousness. But the next moment, it is just memory, an image, concept, idea, impression from the past. It is true knowledge in that you got it directly, but it immediately becomes ordinary knowledge, old knowledge.

Why it is Important to Find out What is True Through Your Own Direct Experience and Knowledge

The third problem is that reliance on information and assumptions communicated by others establishes in us the habit of not exercising our own intelligence. Then our capacity to know, and our love of knowing, weaken in ways that we do not even notice, especially in terms of experiencing and knowing ourselves. That is why it is important to find out what is true through your own direct experience and knowledge. If you only listen to others, you don’t exercise your own muscles of inquiry or your own intelligence. If you adhere to—and are satisfied with—indirect knowledge, you will disconnect from the immediacy of your experience. So our work has to do with inquiry into the very consciousness and perceptivity of our experience. We need to rely more and more on our own immediate, direct knowledge. However, even true knowledge based on our own experience is composed of concepts, labels, ideas, images, and so on. So it exists only as a memory. For instance, you work on yourself and you have the experience of being an ocean of consciousness. This is a true, direct knowledge of your consciousness. But the next moment, it is just memory, an image, concept, idea, impression from the past. It is true knowledge in that you got it directly, but it immediately becomes ordinary knowledge, old knowledge.

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