Nonduality: Intellectual Understanding vs Direct Experience. New MJ Awakening Blog

knife in electric socket

NONDUALITY: INTELLECTUAL UNDERSTANDING VS DIRECT EXPERIENCE

Intellectual understanding is when your mother tells you when you’re a kid not to put any metal objects into an electric socket because you’ll get shocked. Direct experience is when your mother is not around and you go ahead and stick a knife into the electric socket and get knocked on your ass as your whole body receives a powerful and painful white hot jolt of unforgiving electricity.

With the former, your understanding was conceptual. It had not penetrated your being. But with the latter, no words are ever again necessary because now you know from direct experience the dangers of sticking a fork or knife into an electric socket.

The same is true for Nonduality. You can read dozens of books and watch hundreds of youtube videos on Nonduality, but your understanding will remain intellectual. You understand that the “me” is an illusion, but only as a concept. And thus you find you’re still suffering. And so you look for another video, hoping the next one will do the trick.

But the truth is until you actually see this for yourself, the suffering will continue because the “me” hasn’t been fully realized to be a phantom. It seems like it’s there, but when looked for can never be found. And that’s the key, you have to actually look for this “me.” Meaning, the next time you’re suffering, instead of trying to think of a way out, you hit the pause button and take time to actually look for the one who claims to be suffering. I mean really look!

You’re looking for the entity inside you that claims to be suffering or annoyed or hurt or upset or whatever. Because if you can’t actually find it, i.e., there’s literally nothing there (and you’re willing to be honest with what you actually find… or don’t find in this case), then the whole thing collapses as the house of cards it actually is. This is the practice of “self-inquiry” in action. But few actually do it, and yet it’s the key to ending this business of seeking once and for all.

You have to actually do the looking for yourself (no one can do it for you), which is direct experience and goes deeper than just intellectually agreeing with the concept that there’s no “me.”

Michael Jeffreys

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