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I know and I know that I know

"Become adept at discerning the perceptions of your own mind." - The Buddha

How do we know anything? How is it that I can say about anything, "That is true." or "That is not true."

Of course, sometimes we are wrong... well, a lot of the time we're wrong. But even the discovery that we are wrong involves finding a better explanation, something at least closer to the truth.

Why is it that we have developed elaborate ways for truing something out? We have created (or perhaps discovered) reason, logic, critical thinking. But those processes, as valuable as they are, can't fathom or explain things like intuition, inspiration, beauty, the creative explosion or that experience we have all had of suddenly knowing something without arriving at it through any process.

Boom! It just appears.

I once saw a meme somebody had put up "What we think love is" with cute hearts and flowers and all that.

That was followed by, "What love really is" with a detailed diagram of some chemical compound. Besides that tragedy that this guy is not going to get a lot of dates, he is just dead wrong.

That's like saying the Mona Lisa is just paint. It misses the obvious.

So where did that boom, that insightful thought or feeling come from? And, even more mysterious, how is it that we can recognize it as insightful?

We have to break it all the way down, wind the clock back to our own, inner Big Bang. The moment a creative thought (one that could change your world and maybe mine as well) first appeared, apparently out of nowhere and made of nothing.

Let me point out something really obvious but totally overlooked. Whether a thought that appears is the greatest scientific insight of all time, the answer to a pressing problem or suddenly remembering where you put your keys, it is self-evident that there was something there that witnessed that appearing. And, equally self-evident is the fact that, whatever it is that witnessed that spontaneous happening, it is NOT a thought.

Moreover, it not only witnessed the thought coming on stage, it assessed it. It discerned its relative value. It discriminated its worth against the enormous backdrop of the moment; the circumstances, the individual life, the life of family, friends and community, all of humanity, all life on earth and culminating in its relationship to the past and everyone and everything ever in it and its effect on the infinite future. All while chewing on a sandwich or swiping left.

It happens automatically. It isn't a choice. We didn't create any thoughts. Nor did we create the assessing of thoughts. So, what did we create? Well... in a word... nothing.

This is a really big subject and requires more than a blog and a casual read to do it justice. If you want to do just that you can check out my book/audiobook "Not 2 - Non Duality, Self-Inquiry & the End of Suffering" on my site. (Click Here)

At this point I would simply invite you to check this out for yourself. Really watch thoughts. Watch and see for yourself if you are creating them or if they are just happening. They may be pleasant thoughts or painful but the quality of the thoughts is not the most important thing. I mean it is important but step one is to simply notice that they are just happening.

When that becomes clear from your own direct experience three things will happen:

  1. You'll notice that you have been believing a lot of things about yourself that were actually just assumptions not truths

  2. You will have opened the door to dis-identifying with them

  3. You will have opened up to the possibility of knowing yourself without a story

In short you will begin to liberate yourself from all the false ideas you have unwittingly been believing. You may even relax a bit too. The quality of the thoughts is not of your doing. It is just the way your body/mind got programmed early on.

Recognizing that thoughts are just appearing gives you the space to discern their relative value. That discernment allows you to say "Yes, you can stay" or "No, I don't really need you."


GP offers dozens of workshops, meditations and courses on his learning platform, The OM School

Check out GP's podcast on Spotify and other media outlets

Watch GP Live Every Tuesday at noon Eastern and every other Sunday at 2pm Eastern or catch his hundreds of vides on Youtube.

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