Direct Experience Is All There IsWhat is the definition of 'direct-experience?' How can I be certain that direct-experience is the only criteria for investigation?
What is the definition of ‘direct-experience?’
How can I be certain that direct-experience is the only criteria for investigation?
I believe it is axiomatic that present, direct experience is the fundamental for direct-path teachings. Everything builds up from what can be directly experienced, now, with no reference to past or memory. This is based on the fact that there can be nothing outside our experience or, better put, that there is nothing outside our experience that could be experienced.
But couldn’t this approach ‘miss’ things? Couldn’t there be a reality that is outside of the investigative parameters direct-experience puts down?
Say I’m working though perceptions, sensations and feelings in the now. Then I have an epiphany. Would this epiphany fall outside of the axiom’s rule-boundaries and therefore be precluded from being a part of the investigation? Or would it be called a part of something that is directly experienced and subject to investigation?
Jerry: What is defined as experience?
Rupert: All experience is direct so the question could be reformulated as ‘What is experience?’
At first glance experience seems to consist of the mind, body and world, that is, it seems to be made out of mind and matter.
On looking more carefully we find that it is, in fact, only made of mind, that is, that the mind, body and world are, in fact, only thinking, sensing and perceiving.
On looking again more closely we find that the only substance present in thinking, sensing and perceiving is Consciousness.
And finally, looking more closely again, we simply find Consciousness, that is, Consciousness finds Itself, the Knowing of its own Being, alone.
At this point we may look back, as it were, and see that experience is, in fact, always only Consciousness Knowing Itself. There is nothing other than that.
Jerry: Why is direct experience the only criteria we should use for investigating reality?
Rupert: Simply because there is nothing outside experience which could either explore or be explored.
Jerry: You stated in one of your early answers:
“Rupert: Yes, you are on the right track, but just for clarity, I would say that the mind is made out of thinking and imagining, the body is made out of sensing and the world is made out of perceiving. Thinking, sensing and perceiving could simply be called ‘experiencing.’‘
Using this definition of experiencing, it would mean that I should just use that which is directly available to me - (mind - thinking / imagining; body - sensing / perceiving; world - perceiving) in the investigation of reality.”
If that is correct, then my second question is answered - there is nothing outside of that that I could use to investigate reality.
Am I close?
Rupert: Yes, but you are leaving Consciousness out of the picture.
The mind can only explore an object, that is, thoughts, sensations or perceptions, or, more accurately, thinking, sensing and perceiving.
However, sooner or later the mind discovers that it has itself constructed the apparent reality that it is exploring.
In other words, the mind is looking for the substance of the apparent world and finds that it is itself that substance.
The mind is looking for the substance of all seeming things only to find that ‘seeming things’ only exist in its own imagination.
At this point there is a sort of spontaneous and natural ‘standing back.’ We are thrown back as it were into our true nature.
Of course, it would be more accurate to say that we suddenly find our self standing ‘there,’ in timeless, spaceless Presence, and realise, at the same time, that we have always only ever been standing as that.
At this point our approach becomes contemplative rather than investigative.
We simply abide as that.