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You Are Never Not Experiencing Yourself
Blake: Dear Daniel, I have enjoyed the recent conversations. An intrigue I have is the notion of information, contemplation/reflection, experience and knowledge. If all you take on board is information, you become nothing more than a filing cabinet.
Daniel: Well put.
Blake: Knowledge, as I see it, is only really gained through the reflection and contemplation of information.
Blake: However, we talk about direct knowledge and experiential knowledge from, say, yogic practice leading to samadhi.
Daniel: Direct self-knowledge refers to the hard and fast conviction “I am the self/awareness.” It is a knowledge of identity that frees you of dependence on objects. “Objects” does not refer exclusively to physical things. An experience such as samadhi is an object too.
You may wish to define enlightenment as experience of the self/awareness, but what good is it if you still suffer attachment to experience? Not to mention the fact that every experience is subject to ending.
Enlightenment means that you don’t pursue or avoid objects with the belief that you have something to gain or lose by obtaining or avoiding them.
Blake: Nevertheless, I seek to experience things like the experience brought about be the feeling of understanding of what is behind the mind and seeking the experiences of awareness in everyday life.
Daniel: Understanding that you are awareness, the the unaffected knower of the mind, brings about a sense of freedom because the knower is always free from what it knows. You, the knower of the mind, are always free from the mind.
How can you gain something that you already are? You are never not experiencing yourself, because there is only one self (you) that is experiencing itself 24/7.
Blake: I am just looking at the link between experience and reflections/contemplation.
Daniel: Reflecting on/contemplating self-knowledge does indeed result into a particular experience, but it’s not the experience that you may be thinking of. This experience is an ordinary yet rock-solid confidence of “I am okay, always.” It’s an experience that relaxes the jiva and allows it (Blake) to function with a sense of fullness and self-independence. It’s an experience of fearlessness towards the ups and downs of life.
Blake: I am awareness, so I cannot experience myself; if I try to experience awareness, I am objectifying as little Blake.
Daniel: You are non-dual, self experiencing awareness. There is nothing other than you to experience, and there is nothing other than you that experiences. If you say, “I try to experience awareness,” then you think that you are something other than it. It is identity or knowledge that I am the self “alone,” as Ramana says; that is moksa, freedom.
Blake: So I suppose I’m claiming the experience of contemplation. I may be overthinking this here.
Daniel: You’re doing great, Blake. Your inquiry is clearly paying off. Continue to gently apply the teachings without any expectation; it will gradually remove these niggling doubts, and confidence will slowly ground itself.
~ Much love, Daniel