Is Experience the Same as Knowledge?
Ms. Aikya Param
aikya at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Nov 10 11:57:06 CST 1996
I must ask, did Arjuna realize The Self or experience a vision?
What my guru taught us and what seems sensible to me is that
Arjuna had a vision. He didn't "get it" yet. He still saw himself as an
individual separate from the self of the Universal Form
and thus it frightened him. And we got to have more chapters.
In retaining individuality could there have been Knowledge, which is one
without a second.
I use the term "Ego" to mean the functioning focus of consciousness in
the body. My understanding is that all people need to have one
of these and further, that some unfortunate people do not have and it is a very
difficult psychological condition to heal. Usually, it is caused by trauma
sometimes from abuse in the first two or three years of life.
And I use the term "individuality"
to mean the ego plus the biography plus the karma working out from the
subconscious realms. It is important to define things. Otherwise
who knows what is being said.
Fortunately,knowledge of the self and individuality do co-exist. Otherwise
all teachers would have to be ignorant and what a mess that would be.
The individuality is not quite real, not as real as paramaatma, just as
the toenails and the waistline, and the sunrise,
"Real" means remaining the same through all three periods of time.
Only the Self, the paramatma, qualifies. The individuality is a
handy transactional thing which changes all the time. It comes into
existence and will go out of existence.
Existence (sat.h) is the unchanging and true "behind" them.
Consciousness (chit.h) or knownness if you like is true and
unchanging about them. If you don't know the sunset today,
the aforementioned Vishvaruupa has it in mind. So there is
this sat.h chit.h substratum which is more real than the forms
and which is myself. (You can say "myself" here in this sentence;
it doesn't mean just me, Aikya, here in CA)..
If I know what's real (you can say this too; it's not just Aikya),
why does anything have to happen to the not quite real stuff.
The day a child finds out he/she cannot buy a toy with play money,
does that mean all play money disappears? No, the child may
continue to play with it, knowing it isn't the real thing.
Now if the individuality was real and had to compete for space
with the Atman like two passengers on the train, that
would be another thing. But the self is the real thing.
The individuality is not as real, like the sunset is not as real
as the fact that the sun stays in one place and the earth moves
around, but I still see and enjoy the sunset.
Regarding your phrase, "Knowledge which is one without a second",
the Self, the paramaatma, is one. About knowledge being its
equivalent...more after we visit something. I am assuming that
you understand the following.
Sat.h and chit.h have no form.
Only something with a form, with an edge of some kind can be
distinguished from another thing and counted. So they say the
Self is one. Just in case somebody may get confused and think
"Oh, the paramaatma is one but probably somewhere in some galaxy
there is another one and perhaps millions of light years away there is
number three" they added the phrase "without a second". Counting
is useless regarding Paramaatma..
Now regarding Knowledge being the equivalent of the Self there could
be confusion. The term jGYaanam.h is translated "Knowledge" sometimes
when it is referring to awareness or consciousness. Sometimes in context
is refers to which is the capacity to know. Sometimes it is a synonym for the
Self. Our common use of the word makes it confusing when used without a
very carefully constructed context, doesn't it? Ordinarily we talk about
poetry knowledge and physics knowledge and accounting
knowledge, computer programming knowledge.
Is Knowledge other than the Self?
Yes and no. The object of knowledge of Brahman is not an object. It is the
subject, myself, yourself, the Self of God, a.k.a. consciousness, awareness,
sometimes referred to in the midst of teaching or a text by the word jnaanam.h
which is translated as Knowledge. (Confusing)
There is a of teaching, learning texts, listening to the teacher, gaining
more and more clarity. This is comparable to the study of any of the
multiple kinds of transactional knowledge except that the object studied
is the subject. We can call that "knowledge" as opposed to "ignorance"
which was the idea of who I am which was there previous to teaching.
We can use this word :knowledge" about the details of the learning process.
He has knowledge of the ten major upanishad. She knows the
vasishhTaadvaita interpretation of Bhagavad Gita This use refers to a
transactional process and does not imply completely clear self-knowledge.
This ignorance which this kind of study eventually roots out,
is not a real thing needing a seat on the train either, any
more than the individuality is.
At some point in this exposure to the teaching, a new idea of who I am takes
place, a vision of the real me. This vision is not composed of texts or verses,
method of teaching, or the particular parampara. I, the individual, now simply
clearly that I am the paramaatma. It always was the paramaatma but
now the person's mind is clear about it. Here's where they toss in those
lines about the knower and the knowledge become one. Why? because the "object"
of knowledge is the subject is you, me, the self and the object of "knowledge"
subject-is the same as the real identity of the "knower".
In a previous post I was discussing a particular experience, which not everyone
I attempted to make clear is not required for anything. One can know the self
never have this particular experience. Like other experiences, it begins and
leaving people with the wash to do and the boss or the noisy neighbor to deal
In that unnecessary experience one experiences oneness with everything and
the individuality including a vivid identification with the body temporarily
irrelevant. This is what you refer to in the following:
If there is loss of individuality and loss of identification with the body,
who would be left to be aware of being afraid?
The self, Paramaatma, is there and mind that retains the knowledge of
"I am Sam who is supposed to be finishing this accounting report" or whatever.
It's not an out of body experience but the usual physical body is a minor
All that is perceived is one's body. Anyway, it is a peculiar experience and
required for anything related to knowing the reality of the Self. Even from
kind of experience permanent happiness does not result. The experience
ends or at least fades and there is Sam with the deadline for his accounting
If there is fear can there be anything but illusion and ignorance?
Doesn't Jnana obliterate ignorance, like the light removes dark?
Can the snake and the rope be known simultaneously?
Fear is lots of things including a physical reaction perceived in the mind. If
not necessity for the individuality to go away, there is also no necessity for
to go away. They also are not another real things which needs a seat on the
They are part of the instrument with which we experience life and they can be
in all their vividness after I know who I am. There more fun then.
Certainly, if I think something not real is completely real, there is a lot more
for me to be terrified.
This mind-body has complicated ways of storing information, including
which, regarding the self, we are calling ignorance. If ignorance were a
program, it would be like a complicated operating system. When you install a
version, an update, or upgrade of your operating system, many changes need to
in the functioning of other programs. You may not see these needs immediately,
but, as you continue to use your computer, you will discover glitches which you
Similarly, a student of this knowledge at one point has a new vision of who
The old emotional and thinking programs are still there. As that person
continues to live,
if he or she is alert and thoughtful, he/she will discover emotional and
which are not concurrent with the new vision. These are not real as the
they do not instantaneously vanish. Because the person has the knowledge of
these attitudes and thinking patterns can be more easily shed. The
the personality, may or may not be attentive to these things. The plain old
happiness promised by the scripture would seem to result after the ignorance
erased. The lack of happiness experienced probably will eventually drive people
review their ignorance files.
If I am aware of awareness then there is individuality or ego, which is
itself ignorance or Duality.
There is no need for "individuality" or "ego" to go anywhere. It is enough for
know it is not the most real.
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