knowing knows knowing


IMG_2910bPOSTCARD #205: DELHI: … like suddenly waking from a dream, an unfinished story and something just happened – so fast that everything is out of sync, skips a beat. It’s because I’ve been unknowingly holding this pain in my head that’s now breaking through and the holding is not as important as the getting away from it… this is not happening to me! With that recognition, suddenly there’s no ‘me’ to whom this pain is happening just the velocity of it, like a wind storm and I’m lying flat in the grass as it passes over.

Some time after that, having taken my meds and the pain is now walled off in a corner of the head, I’m sitting in a straight-backed chair, just to see how that feels. Breath enters the body like a wind gusting in, withdraws, comes back, blows through everything then it’s not there again. Focus shifts to a great emptiness opening up – opening and opening… I might easily believe this will never end, but moving along with it to see what the next thing is. The purpose of my life is the on-going experiential response to the impact of sensory contact – what else could it be about? Skin, muscle, flesh, and these mysterious organs held by ligaments bonded into a skeletal structure. It’s as if there’s an electrical charge in there, sparks flying out. I am the context for the outer content. The whole investigation is one that is open to following where the knowing of it leads, see where it’s going, how it reacts. Conscious awareness of how the mind is able to concentrate and to what extent – passageways of insight open in an instant and a great flood of things to think about pours in.

Thought sequences and memories become apparent when they reach the point of “being”… before that they’re in the uncreated state – arbitrary, disassociated. Things don’t exist at all, until I observe them. There’s the Observer Effect in quantum physics, the experiment showing that when one is observing the movement of electrons it changes their behavior. In Buddhist thought, the ‘observer’ is not the ‘self’ but the self-construct arising from responses to sensory input via the Five Khandas. Received data is formed according to the mechanisms of the human sensory process – including cognition, which is a sense like all the others, and the great dome of sky above. Mindfulness is a returning to that place where I see how things change through my engagement with them…

‘All we know of a thought is the experience of thinking, all we know of a sensation is the experience of sensing, all we know of a sight is the experiencing of seeing, all we know of a sound is the experience of hearing…. And all that is known of thinking, sensing, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling is the knowing of them. And what is it that knows this knowing? Only something that itself has the capacity to know could know anything. So it is knowing that knows knowing.’ [Rupert Spira]

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Note: excerpts from an earlier post titled: ‘it’. Photo: Buddha rupa on the my working desk and the view of the garden

13 thoughts on “knowing knows knowing

  1. Does observation of electrons change their behavior because observation involves a transfer of energy? One can feel when one is being stared at even without looking. And most people look at the source of the staring… except my husband 🙂

    • I suppose you could consider it as a transfer of energy, I’m not qualified to say but ‘energy’ is what it is. It’s an enigma. And being stared at (with or without looking at the source) is an interesting analogy and something women must be sufficiently qualified in to give talks, share in discussion groups and the transfer of energy could be ongoing. This is an interesting subject, thanks for your energy 🙂

      • Not just being observed that alters the object of observation, there is also non-local connection. Particles and events that appear to be separate in space and time maintain a connection with one another according to physicists. Pairs of photons or quanta of light are sent off in opposite directions at the speed of light but retain a connection, even after traveling many kilometers. A change in the polarity of one photon observed by a researcher in Basel causes a corresponding change in the other photon observed by a researcher in Zurich. This was used in an article called “Close to Grace: the physics of silent transmission to describe how Sri Ramana Maharshi transmitted grace and truth through silence by being in his presence and continued to transmit these to followers after they left his presence from a distance. I also wonder how this relates to Shakti pat and the transmission of spiritual energy. Have seen this happen with Moojit but know very little about it. Thank you for sending me thinking about these things and rereading an important article!!

      • Hi Ellen, thanks for this and the reference to “Close to Grace” I thought it was worthwhile creating the link for others to read and ponder. For me, the strange thing about it (being observed alters the object of observation) is that it makes so much sense in the context of the smallest moments of perception, not only particles and events in space time, but also on the level of citta/arammana (Nina van Gorkom). It would be interesting to see what scientists would make of that association.
        Anyone who has studied Insight meditation will know that a particular kind of directed thought has an effect on smaller items of thought/experience and finds groupings and associations between other items of thought which are assimilated, formed and comprise the spontaneous creative moment.
        Thanks also for the reference to Shaktipat or Śaktipāta, and I need to read more about this to know how it has an effect, etc. On a level we are all immediately aware of here, the blogger is in a world of the tiniest particles in information/ experience which has an effect on other bloggers’ thought associations. Also (in my own experience) brothers and sisters separated by thousands of miles continue in a paralleled form.
        So much to think about it’s worthy of a separate post. Thanks again for a development of what I’d originally thought of as how things change through one’s engagement with them and how the vast range of thought items are in the uncreated state until the focus reaches them and they’re brought into ‘being’… things don’t exist at all, until I observe them.

      • I am surprised that article was online. It’s an old one I give out when I teach Reiki because I think it is such an important article. It was an incredible experience for me to dig this article out in response to your post because it refers to Sri Ramana Maharshi and Mooji studied him. So I take this synchronicity as confirmation that I belong with Mooji. Any light you can shed on Shaktipat would be appreciated as I learned of that through a friend in my Reiki class who was in Siddha Yoga. I think that I will never be able to learn all you have learned of Cittas in your branch of Buddhism. I am doomed to concrete thinking through the Asperger’s, no matter how much I try to grasp concepts. Anyhow thanks for putting in the references and expanding my comment! Thanks, too, for your thoughts!!

      • For me also a synchronicity; one that links separate things together as a result of reading that article again, but no recollection of the context or in relation to what event, only an odd familiarity. This is what blogging does; immediate access to search engines, and on the same keyboard, a connection with others who lead you back through the pathways until we tumble into a place we’ve been in before, find the same information and a renewed interest.
        The reference to cittas seems complicated at first with all the Pali names which most readers do not understand and are confusing. I needed to get the gist of it quickly, so when I first came across an online version of the book, I did copy and paste and deleted all the Pali words in a short piece that was of interest, then I was able to see the sequence more clearly. It’s this constant ‘returning’ that unravels the knot. Thanks for bringing me back…

    • Thanks Jude, the photo is a view from my desk in Delhi, taken midmorning before it gets hot. The whole subject of observer having an effect on the observed is fascinating.

  2. Thank You.

    I think you might like this:

    I am a blogger dedicated to share what Alexandre says.

    My name is Sara and I had been a spiritual seeker for a long time until I found Alexandre and his unique way. I also found myself in that encounter…

    Alexandre is what is called nowadays a modern mystic, although he declines every and any kind of definition.
    The “standpoint” from where he speaks gives him the authority to affirm so vehemently what he says, and we can feel it… sometimes he is tender, other funny, many many times he is very patient, but he can also be very direct and “cut the spiritual crap” kind of way.
    He partakes his view with others, with no other interest than sharing his point of view.
    The published texts presented in the blog are transcribed from recorded talks with Alexandre and a close group of friends with whom he partakes his discoveries.
    Some other texts are written words from Alexandre.
    If you’re inclined to know more about him and what he says, take a look at: http://www.whatalexandresays.wordpress.com
    Please, leave a comment…
    Thank You
    Sara

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