Excerpts About Knowing

In self-realization we experience ourselves as Presence where Presence is both Being and knowingness. Here, the cognitive act and being are the same experience... The reason we experience knowing and being as a single phenomenon is that Presence is the Presence of consciousness, pure consciousness more fundamental than the content of mind... experiencing the direct truth and reality of our consciousness requires no object.
The Point of Existence, p. 22   •  discuss »
One corollary of the fact that not-knowing underlies all knowing is the recognition that knowing is not something we must have. Knowing is a transitory phenomenon. Something arises and you know it; the experience of knowing it at that moment is what matters. what is important for your liberation is not that you’ve just gotten a piece of knowledge, which you can store in your brain in order to increase the amount of knowledge you have. What matters is the direct experience of the luminosity. And this direct experience of the luminosity needs and requires the ground of not-knowing.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 101   •  discuss »
Knowing is a fundamental characteristic of every moment of our experience. Our sensation is knowledge of sensation; our emotion is knowledge of emotion. Our seeing is knowledge, our hearing is knowledge, our thinking about past, present and future is knowledge. Questioning is knowledge. Our sense that we don’t know something is knowledge; we know that we sense that we don’t know.
Inner Journey Home, p. 46   •  discuss »
The first kind is called learned ignorance. It can also be referred to as developed ignorance or accumulated ignorance. Sometimes the term conceptual ignorance is used, which means that as our mind develops and we acquire the capacity to conceptualize, we develop a certain kind of ignorance that is specifically human. Generally speaking, animals and other beings don’t have that type of ignorance, because it is something that you have to learn in order for it to develop. Usually this ignorance develops as knowledge. That is to say, much of our knowledge about ourselves and about the world is actually learned ignorance. It is ignorant because it is simply wrong; it does not reflect how reality is. We have all kinds of beliefs and ideas about reality that are not true. We have positions and philosophies and ideologies about ourselves, about how things work, and about what makes things happen, and many of these are inaccurate. Of course, it is difficult to see this as ignorance, because it is what we know, it is what we take to be our knowledge.
The Unfolding Now, p. 114   •  discuss »
The other level of ignorance is more fundamental, more subtle, and more difficult to deal with. It is called innate ignorance. But we cannot even recognize it as ignorance until we work through much of our learned ignorance. Unless we become much more illuminated about our beliefs, ideas, positions, and patterns, our innate ignorance will be hard to identify. But at some point, it becomes clear that no matter how much of our learned ignorance we work through, the realization arising from that process does not bring us to the clarity, openness, and immediacy that we have experienced when we are more directly in touch with reality. This is when we begin to recognize what is called innate ignorance, which is also referred to as primordial ignorance. This is the ignorance that we share with all animals. It is not learned; we come into the world with it.... We come into the world not knowing our True Nature. We don’t know who we are. That doesn’t mean that we don’t experience True Nature. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel it. It doesn’t mean that we don’t perceive it. It means we don’t understand it. We don’t know what it is. We don’t know its meaning, its significance. We don’t know that it is what we are.
The Unfolding Now, p. 116   •  discuss »
To know the truth you have to be both a scientist and an artist. To really go about doing the work from the perspective of truth you have to unify the two sides of the brain. You have to be rational and intuitive at the same time. Loving truth for its own sake creates some kind of sincerity, some kind of humility and honesty about who and what we are. Am I angry but pretending to love? Do I want something from you but am pretending to give you something? You have to be ruthlessly honest here, out of loving the truth and loving who you are and who the other is. Your will engages with exact and utmost precision. You want to see exactly why you are doing this and what it’s about. So as you see, knowing the truth is a precise, scientific way of looking at what’s here now.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 207   •  discuss »
The knowledge of the soul does not mean only experience of the various states and conditions and transformations of the soul, which is the personal consciousness. It also includes the various capacities and functions. To know the capacities and functions of the soul means to know how to operate as human beings should or can operate. The knowledge of the soul includes knowing how to live correctly. The soul evolves through some kind of education. Frequently, while some parts of the soul develop, others remain untouched. Often the development of the soul is not balanced, is askew in various ways. So we tend to go around in circles instead of going straight because of this imbalance in development. But with the development of balance, we learn to move forward, toward greater evolution and expansion.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 333   •  discuss »

I think it is good to distinguish between the two kinds of not knowing. The not knowing of ignorance is when we don’t know something because we don’t have the information. This is different from the not knowing that is a state of being, which means that the knowing faculty is at rest. That kind comes about not because we are ignorant but because we trust that we can be in that gap, that stillness. It is not the same as the normal not knowing, which is, “I don’t know; I haven’t heard about it.” When people here talk about not knowing as an experience, it doesn’t mean not knowing in the sense of not having information.

The Power of Divine Eros, p. 214   •  discuss »

We began this book by looking at the relationship between the particular individual who practices and the larger reality that is manifesting realization. In order to understand that dynamic of realization—the fulcrum of the path—we had to resort to the view of totality. What we discovered is that we cannot fully understand the relationship of practice and realization from the perspective of any one state or condition of realization, regardless of how profound or enlightened it may be. The view of totality is both very unsettling and very liberating. Its liberating power comes from its unbounded inclusiveness, which, at the same time, is unsettling because it doesn’t tell us where to stand. In fact, it shows us that there is no place to stand. This challenges our tendency to fixate and to take positions, which is a cornerstone of the sense of self. Our usual sense of self requires some kind of position—a secure perch or foundation or ground—to establish itself. The view of totality reveals that any stability, any fixity of experience, is ultimately a delusion. Reality is not only empty, but also fluid; it moves smoothly like a flowing, free void.

Runaway Realization, p. 227   •  discuss »

The experience of the Personal Essence is independent from memories. This is because the Personal Essence, with its sense of being a person, is neither an image nor a feeling dependent on an image. It is independent from the mind and its structures, and hence it is independent from the memories of one’s personal history. It is direct perceptual recognition of a state of Being, in the here and now. It is direct and immediate knowing of one’s true personhood, that is inseparable from being the person. This kind of knowing is characteristic of Being in general. The usual kind
of knowing is through inference. The knowing of Being is by identity. One knows oneself because one is oneself. It is knowing by being what is known. So it is an immediate, direct, and existential knowing, in which there is no duality of subject and object. So the recognition that Personal Essence is oneself as a person is a definite, clear, profound and unassailable knowingness. There is confidence and certainty. One experiences oneself as a human being, as an ongoing-personal beingness. One is real for one exists absolutely, irrespective of the past and of the environment. One is an ongoing sense-of-beingness that is made out of alive consciousness, consciousness that is a palpable presence and not merely the capacity to be conscious. To be is not just to know in one’s mind that one is. To be is to be Being, as existence, and as a substantial presence that is experienced as concretely as physical reality. So to be the Personal Essence is to be a substantial presence, a fullness, a compact consciousness that feels personal.

Pearl Beyond Price, p. 91   •  discuss »

Knowing the answer to “Who am I?” happens only in the moment. The answer has nothing to do with the past. If the past determines the answer now, then it is obviously not a correct answer, since the past no longer exists. To really answer the question requires that we see that we don’t know, and also that we don’t know how to find out. Is it possible to let yourself see that you don’t know the answer and don’t know how to find it, and still let the question burn in you? “Who am I?” “Who am I?” Can we allow ourselves to see that we don’t know? If we assume we know, then we stop the inquiry. If we assume we know how to go about it, we assume we know what the answer is, that we know what we are looking for. Perhaps not knowing is the real knowing. If you allow yourself to see that you don’t really know and you don’t know how to know, something can happen. Maybe this is your first chance of really knowing something. Assuming that you know and assuming that you know what to do are barriers to true knowing. When you finally know that you don’t know, you finally have absolute knowledge. Complete ignorance is what will bring true knowledge. You see, the mind can’t function here. This has nothing to do with your mind. Your mind can only answer the question and say that some of the answers are not the answers. The only thing we can do is to eliminate what we believe we know and see that we really don’t know. That’s all we can do. We cannot do anything positive to begin finding out because the moment we do that we’re assuming that we know where we’re going. How do you know what should happen? That knowledge is inferred from memory, from past experience.

Diamond Heart Book III, p. 29   •  discuss »

The most important insight needed for a student to move from the deficient lack of support to the actual state of support is the recognition that the feeling of helplessness, of not knowing what to do to be oneself, is not an actual deficiency, nor a personal failing. It is rather, the recognition of a fundamental truth about the self, which is that we cannot do anything in order to be, for to be is not an activity. We can come to this understanding only through the cessation of intentional inner activity. At this point, not to know what to do is a matter of recognizing the natural state of affairs, for since there is nothing that we can do to be, then it is natural that we cannot know what to do. There is nothing to know because such knowledge is impossible. Nobody knows what to do to be, and the sooner we recognize this, the easier is our work on self-realization. In fact, feeling that we don’t know what to do to be ourselves is the beginning of the insight that we don’t need to do anything. This fundamental insight underlies many advanced spiritual practices, such as those of surrender and “nondoing” meditation. We can arrive at this insight by exploring the question of support for identity, but it is another matter to remember and practice it. When we truly learn this fundamental truth, then we have become wise; for self-realization is now an effortless relaxation into the nature of who we are, and this is the presence of Being. Nothing more need be done; the transformation is a matter now of spontaneous unfoldment.

The Point of Existence, p. 256   •  discuss »

Recalling our discussion in chapter 3, it would seem that pure presence is nonconceptual awareness, the ground of experience and perception. This conclusion is true but partial. Pure presence is undifferentiated, so it has no discriminated conceptual categories. However, one discrimination remains: nondifferentiated presence is conceptualized as presence. Thus this dimension of true nature retains one concept, the concept of being. The fact that we experience it as presence means we recognize it as beingness. It has no other recognition, but still the recognition of being is a recognition. Being free from all determinations, and hence from all existents and beings, it is true nature with the self-recognition of its own presence. True nature knows one thing here, only one thing. It knows it is. And it knows it is by being. More precisely, nondifferentiated being is true nature with one concept, the concept of being. This lack of differentiation in pure presence divulges that Being is the original concept, the root of mind and knowing. The first thing that true nature knows is its being, its presence. This knowing is knowing of its being, a knowing not differentiated from its being. Being, in this dimension, is knowing of being. In other words, in this dimension, manifest true nature is being, which is knowing of being. More accurately, in this dimension of true nature, knowing is being and being is knowing. Being and knowing are both present in pure presence, but undifferentiated. We can say that being is the original knowing, before which there is no knowing.

Inner Journey Home, p. 307   •  discuss »

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