Excerpts About Knowledge

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 expression of fear that is not the direct knowledge of the fear? Knowledge is the very fabric of experience.
Inner Journey Home, p. 53   •  discuss »
Now we have seen three points. The first point is that we usually attempt to go after what we believe to be good. Second, what we believe to be good depends on our knowledge of what we think is good. And third, our education doesn't give us a complete perspective on the value of knowledge: we're taught to restrict it to certain areas and to limit its value. So you see, it is not a luxury to be a philosopher. A philosopher is someone who is interested in knowledge; and to be interested in knowledge is basic to happiness.
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 140   •  discuss »
Basic knowledge becomes ordinary knowledge as time passes. You have an experience or observation, which is basic knowledge, but after a few minutes it becomes ordinary knowledge, stored information.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 116   •  discuss »
So our experience is not knowledge in the usual sense of knowledge. It is not what we call ordinary knowledge – the information we have in our minds that we remember about things in the past. It is knowledge now. Basic knowledge is always direct knowledge in the moment – the stuff of our immediate experience. We usually don’t call it knowledge; we call it experience, and if we are little more sophisticated, we call it perception. Perception carries more of the sense of being aware of your immediate experience, which is the palpable sense of knowingness that is basic knowledge.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 78   •  discuss »
What we are calling "basic knowledge" is the fundamental element of knowingness that is inherent in our experience. Every experience we have of any sort is knowledge. When a form arises in the soul this form is inseparable from the cognition of this form. The whole experience is nothing but knowledge, composed of knowledge and dependent upon knowledge. We can easily see this by contemplating our experience, any experience and at any time. Our hearing of a sound is the knowledge that we are hearing sound; our knowing that there is hearing and sound, our recognition of the quality of the sound -- all these are knowledge.
Inner Journey Home, p. 53   •  discuss »
In the normal cognitive process, we abstract certain forms and patterns from the overall unified field of knowledge and retain them in memory. The accumulation of these abstractions is what we ordinarily call knowledge. Our cultural environment largely determines which forms and patterns we focus on, isolate, and abstract. Thus ordinary knowledge is largely culturally determined. But knowledge can free itself from these constraints and apprehend what is. This is spiritual awakening. Ordinary knowledge is a subset of basic knowledge. It originates in perception and experience, but then forms structures which strongly influence and further structure our moment-to-moment experience. Even ignorance and falsehood are knowledge. When we know we're ignorant of something, this is knowledge. If we are ignorant of something and believe we are not ignorant, this mistaken knowledge, this belief, functions as knowledge in our experience, even though it is false.
Inner Journey Home, p. 57   •  discuss »
Our experience is mostly determined and patterned by self-images and internalized relationships from the past. These images and memories form most of the content of our ordinary knowledge… All of our prejudices, beliefs, positions, and preferences, all of our ego structures and identifications, are either ordinary knowledge or based on ordinary knowledge. And it is the adherence to this ordinary knowledge – taking the position that a particular piece of ordinary knowledge will apply to every moment forever as absolute truth – that limits our openness and thwarts the dynamism from engaging its optimizing evolutionary thrust.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 67   •  discuss »
Ordinary knowledge includes what we think about ourselves and reality, what we take ourselves and reality to be, what we think we want and don’t want. Anything we put in a conceptual framework is ordinary knowledge. So ordinary knowledge is old categories, information, beliefs, philosophies, ideologies, positions – whatever we believe we know and take to be the truth. We ordinarily experience ourselves through the veil of this knowledge, such that our experience of ourselves and everything else is not an immediate, direct, free, spontaneous contact with what is. It is indirect and filtered through knowledge, and this filtering is largely what patterns the experience.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 69   •  discuss »
Ordinary knowledge is in some sense a subset of basic knowledge. However, because we can think of ordinary knowledge as knowledge that is stored someplace and becomes accessible at certain times, we can conceptualize it as not an experience, and hence as separate from basic knowledge. But in reality, whenever there is ordinary knowledge in operation, it is arising as experience in the moment and thus is basic knowledge. If you think of your experience yesterday, that act of thinking is basic knowledge. So ordinary knowledge always originates from and operates within basic knowledge.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 85   •  discuss »
The truth, then, is a moving point. The moment truth becomes knowledge; it quickly becomes what I call ordinary knowledge. The moment the elements of ordinary knowledge become positions, fixed views of self and reality, they become barriers to the inquiry. Knowledge then becomes a barrier to the openness that is the very heart of inquiry. We can say, then, that understanding and transformation are a matter of freeing our experience from old knowledge, from ordinary knowledge.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 69   •  discuss »
The knowledge of essence is needed to bring about the purification of the soul. How will the soul know it is lying if it doesn't know truth? How will it know what is courage if it doesn't know strength? So, in some sense, Essence teaches the soul by providing experiences of how to be a real human being. The knowledge of essence exposes the impurities and teaches us the way out, or the way of purification. These experiences are teaching elements, not just lollipops. We need to absorb essential experiences so that we will grow from them and not use them to temporarily fill our stomach. The growth of the soul has to do with its refinement and purification.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 338   •  discuss »

The absolute is a luminous mystery, yet also the source of all knowledge and being. Everything we know is a knowledge of it; for whatever we know is a manifestation that expresses something about it. Even when we approach it as unmanifest and absolute mystery, nondetermination and nondelimitation, we gain tremendous luminous insights about it. When we see that it is nonbeing and being implicit and undifferentiated, it is an earthshaking insight; when we realize it is stillness and silence it is a balm for the heart; when we know it is nondimensional it uplifts the most ecstatic lovers; when we recognize it is mystery it dazzles our minds and hearts with joy and bliss. Although all these are correct in that they tell us something about the absolute, and lead us deeper into it, they are not completely correct, because the absolute is ultimately indeterminable. They are approximations on the right track, for they lead us deeper into its mystery. We learn a great lesson through this process, which is that the knowledge about what we have thought of as determinate and discriminated objects of knowledge is always approximate, and never absolute. We learn that no knowledge is absolutely exact and correct, for it is never the whole truth, and that there is no such thing as the whole truth. It is always relative, always approximate, yet it can be correct enough to keep us on the right track, and to take us further into the mysteries of truth. In other words, exact, precise, and objective knowledge about something is always relative to a task, an endeavor, a worldview, a perspective, a dimension. It can be useful and enhancing for our life and understanding, but its greatest function is to take us closer to the mystery.

Inner Journey Home, p. 402   •  discuss »

Each of us is different. Everybody has their history, capacities, and situations and, as we do our work, each of us will need to use whatever resources we have. But one thing we have in common—which I have observed both in my own experience and in the experience of others—is that when there is a true breakthrough, when there is a new knowledge about reality, when there is experience of reality that brings in new dimensions, it is always because of true nature. As we have seen, it is never because of our own individual efforts. It is never because of what we think we’re doing. This is a central insight of the dynamic of realization: In our practice, it is Total Being practicing. Whatever insight we have is because the depth of true nature, the sense of the purity of reality, has touched our mind and sparked an insight or an idea or a revelation. That is to say, we never arrive at true spiritual insight or understanding by simply thinking. Just as thinking alone will not do it, neither will doing anything in particular or feeling anything in particular. The realm of realization, the spiritual realm that brings about freedom, is not accessible to the intentions or efforts of our individual consciousness regardless of how heartfelt or intelligent or skillful they are.

Runaway Realization, p. 184   •  discuss »

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