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Information Is Not Knowledge
Garth: On awakeness versus awareness:
During the course of one’s inquiry into self-knowledge, there may be an “aha” moment when one “gets” that they are “that” to which everything is known. They become aware of this “field of awareness” and think “that’s it,” “this is me,” “it’s been me all along, ”etc.
But then where does this “field” go when we daydream, become preoccupied or go to sleep?
This “field” is not awareness, but rather it is “awakeness,” and like sleep it is an object that is “known to ME.”
Awakeness is experienced, and if you can experience it, it “isn’t” YOU. Conversely, awareness can only be “known.”
The true “field” is a matrix of “everythingness” (i.e. awareness), and there is NO “other thing.” Seek only to continue self-inquiry and the yogas until “the Knowing” is realized.
Daniel: Spot on! “Awakeness” is just another experience (object) appearing in/to you, awareness. You, awareness, never awaken, because you never sleep to begin with.
Garth: On knowledge versus knowing:
For many, the word “knowledge” is synonymous with “information.” Of course the jiva will run wild with this and try to consume as much of this as possible “in order to…” (fill in the blank).
Daniel: (*drum roll*) …try to get something that they already have/are? ☺
Garth: “Knowing,” on the other hand, is synonymous with “awareness” and not the obtaining of information (which is an object). It’s a bit of a paradox since the teachings of Vedanta can be considered (by the jiva) to be information, but at the point at which “knowing” is realized, there is only awareness.
For example, if you are looking for your glasses and someone says, “Try looking under the bed and then look in the cabinet, and if that doesn’t work, then look in your car,” etc., this person is giving you information that you will use to try to solve the problem. But then when you look in the mirror and see that your glasses have been on your head the whole time… suddenly you “know.” Problem solved.
Daniel: Correct, information is not knowledge. Information changes and can be debated, whereas knowledge can neither be negated nor debated; it’s something you can always count on. Knowledge does not change and is beyond experience.
That the General Motors stock is $28 today is not knowledge. It is only information because tomorrow it may be $22. You can’t count on it to be at $28 forever. Knowledge is beyond experience. It trumps experience every time. Actually, knowledge is free from time altogether.
As inquirers, we operate our lives confidently on the basis of knowledge and not on experience. Knowledge is always reliable. “Reliable” means always available, always good and always the same regardless of what’s happened, will happen or is happening.
~ Much love
PS: If some someone is telling you to look for your glasses when they do not even know where the gasses are = neither information nor knowledge but simply stupid! Information could at least be of value (i.e. “Where last did you leave your glasses?” or “Your glasses are red so look for a red-coloured item on the couch”). Knowledge would be a direct revealing of the glasses without being able to negate its availability.
Garth: A beautiful gift to receive this morning. Thank you, Daniel.
I love your postscript also (being told to look for your glasses on the couch is information… being told to look in the mirror is “good” information. Realizing they’ve been on your head the whole time: knowledge.
Have a wonderful day, my friend.
Daniel: If the glasses are on the couch and you’re directly pointed to look there, then the source which is signposting/teaching can be said to be knowledge-based (trustworthy). The same applies if your glasses are on your head and a mirror is held up in front of you. These examples are both knowledge-based. Why? Because it’s something you cannot negate – unless there’s something faulty with the jiva’s equipment (brain or senses).
Having glasses-knowledge ends the search of that particular object and in return offers relief/satisfaction with regards to the glasses issue.
The same applies to self-knowledge; knowing that you are limitless, ordinary, self-content awareness dissolves all existential fear attached to the jiva. Freedom from the sense of limitation is the result.
But self-knowledge is not object-knowledge (i.e. glasses), because you, awareness, cannot be objectified. Trying to look for yourself without the aid of an appropriate mirror (i.e. Vedanta) is like trying to look backwards without turning your head – pretty darn impossible. This is why self-inquiry is such subtle work. But hallelujah for Vedanta!
Easy day, my friend.