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Self-Knowledge, Not Remembered Knowledge
Edward: Hello, James. I wanted to relate to you my knowledge, understanding, realization. Why? You may wish to correct or further illumine my mind.
Before coming across your site and reading your book and other materials, I thought enlightenment is an experience. I kept trying to bring about the experience, and when epiphanies arrived I tried to cling to them. I no longer do either. I now know that enlightenment is knowledge, understanding, a realization of the facts of the matter, not an experience. If experiences come, great. Don’t seek or cling. If they do not, so what?
My understanding is that reality is non-dual, all-inclusive. Much of my knowledge has been built on theoretical physics, by such men as Steven Hawking and Dr. Michio Kaku. The space-time continuum is Consciousness. The ant I just stepped on as well as my wife’s automobile and myself are this One Consciousness expressing itself, a playfulness experiencing Itself as all that is for the sheer hell of it. That includes me and you. It includes the “monkey mind” and all facets of what I used to think of as “me.” Right now, this instant, is It, Awareness/Consciousness. I remind myself of this knowledge throughout the day. That does not bring any experience other than a calm and a feeling of the rightness and truthfulness of the knowledge.
Yes, when I am upset or whatever, it is Awareness. Reality is nondual. I am Awareness. I find it rather simple and easy to understand, to “get,” but it takes practice to remain mindful of the fact. The knowledge untwists and dislodges my erroneous and negative thinking, more so as time goes by.
Thank you for reading.
James: Dear Edward, I assume you wrote because you would like feedback. I am sorry concerning the delay in replying, but I have been totally swamped with emails. From reading this I can see that there is a very subtle confusion. Please think about the following statements. When you are clear what awareness is, there is no longer a need to “remain mindful,” because the object of your knowledge is you. Since you are never not present, you cannot forget once you know. So no practice is necessary. For example, you do not have to remind yourself that you are Edward, because Edward is always present and known to you. It is hard and fast knowledge. Edward is not going to realize he is awareness. Awareness is going to realize it is awareness. Right now it thinks it is Edward.
Nonetheless, the habit of thinking the “I/awareness” is Edward is causing awareness to temporarily think it is Edward. So the practice you are doing is the right one. Keep at it. Eventually it will destroy the tendency to see yourself as Edward. You are very close to the end of your spiritual work.
~ Love, James