What is Spiritual Knowledge? How Do We Gain It? – Drukama RadioTM Episode 19
This week Daishi speaks to Deniz on the topic of spiritual knowledge. What is the difference between spiritual knowledge and worldly knowledge? How is it possible to know something beyond intellectual understanding? Why is it important to have spiritual knowledge?
Episode 19 Extract
What is Spiritual Knowledge?
“When we look out into the world and we see our lives, we realize that I am not in control of the mass majority of what happens to me. I’m not in control of my external perceptions and the world around me.
And I’m certainly not in control of my mind and my emotions, how I feel physiologically. I really have no control, except the cognitive awareness to some degree. So, that is a scary fearful place – that everything is happening to me and I can’t determine how this vehicle is going to maneuver for the most part…”
“…and so the whole path – this whole mystical path – is about learning how to work the mind-body vehicle so that we can determine how we perceive, make sure that we continually perceive in a clearer unfiltered way, control the way that we empower thoughts and take away the reactionary emotions so that we can harness the kinds of emotions we want to perceive in our lives.”
Drukama™ podcast extract – EP19
Full Transcript of This Episode
Deniz: Hi everyone and welcome to Drukama Radio. I am your co-host today Deniz. As always we’re very grateful to have Daishi with us. How are you Daishi?
Daishi: I’m doing great. I look forward to talking you, thank you for having me.
Deniz: Okay great. So today’s topic is spiritual knowledge and how to gain it. My first question is:
What do we mean by spiritual knowledge and how does our school look at it?
Daishi: We see knowledge gained in two ways – one is through the worldly way which would be the way that we typically use the intellectual faculties of the mind to mostly remember things and then later, put them together in variations, and that’s called creativity, right? So if I learn a bunch of sample data, like a bunch of shapes and a bunch of colors, I can then take those shapes and colors stored in my memory and then regurgitate them in a creative way later, but I can only work from the data that I get in this memory bank. I can only work from the information that I know. I can’t create anything new something from nothing. In spiritual terms, knowledge is a direct experience it’s a sharing of attributes it’s a way for us to merge with something so thoroughly that we actually share attributes with that thing. It shares with us and we share with it, and only through that merging can we really know something.
And so, the knowledge is different in the mystical path than it is in the worldly path, and it’s really important to understand the differences. We don’t memorize or intellectualize or study so much in the mystical path, at least from our school’s perspective. We merge and have direct experiences with things and we know them personally, not because somebody else told us about it or because we read about it or heard a lecture about it etc, but completely because we’ve experienced it ourselves. I would liken it to the difference between discussing the ingredients or the way in which ice cream is made as opposed to actually eating ice cream – those are two totally different things right? One is a very deep and intimate knowing that would be the mystical side and one is a studying intellectualizing and sort of the way that the world looks at knowing things which is by seeing it from the outside and so in that regard there’s a galactic difference between those two things. If I want to know a flower in the world we cut it up and we look at how it’s built in a way that the molecules form and the way that photosynthesis affects it, and how it grows in the soil and water and sunlight and everything, all the aspects of it. In the mystical side, we become a flower, and in becoming a flower we understand what it is to be a flower and we know a flower much more deeply and inherently than we would from the worldly side, which is studying it from the outside. So, merging is the mystical side, and dividing or contemplating from the outside is more in line with the world.
Why do we need spiritual knowledge on our journey?
Daishi: That’s a great question and that’s a really beautiful way to approach the subject of spirituality because it’s all really based in that. Why do I need to know something? Why do I need to know anything? It seems to us that we couldn’t possibly know everything. If the universe is infinite and there are infinite possibilities, then trying to learn about the universe right out of the gate would seem to be an erroneous plan of action because we can’t ever know it all. So why don’t we just give up trying to know it? It’s too big, it’s too much. So if it’s infinite let’s just stop here and forget trying to know anything. We’re never going to achieve the goal of knowing, but in fact spiritually we want to experience phenomenon and the whole reason we’re in this world of dualistic perception is to experience phenomenon so we can understand from its mirror image perspective from a dual perspective, from a polarized perspective; what is the nature of light? What is the nature of the substance of energy and vibration that make us up? And we can’t possibly do that being completely overwhelmed with just a unifying light so if there’s just source for example, like you if you take a blank piece of paper and you just say here’s all you could ever know about everything right there on that blank piece of paper. We would say, okay that’s too much. I don’t know how to break that down and quantify that or understand that. I have no way of realizing what that means. So we just take a black marker and draw a line down the middle of the page and then we say okay, now that some of the white page is gone, I can now relate with it as the number one and I can create a character to it and associate some terms and definitions and then later maybe I can make a four-sided square. Then I could look at that square and say, okay that now we’ve taken away some more of the light of that page more of the white part of that page, and now I can determine through terms and ideas that that’s a square.
Every time I pull away some of the white paper I can understand ways that the white paper manifests different ideas and concepts through it. But the odd thing about this kind of intellectual learning is that I could never really know the white sheet. I can only know ways that the white sheet isn’t. You know it’s a little bit strange right, but if I take away parts of the white sheet I can only understand what the white sheet isn’t. It isn’t a square it isn’t a one it isn’t those things so from a human perspective and this can go very deep and we obviously don’t have time for that but from the human’s perspective and the intellectual mind perspective we can never accomplish the goal of trying to understand the infinite nature of reality it’s obvious that should be clear, just from knowing what it’s not we’re never going to get to what it is. So it’s kind of a fruitless act. It doesn’t stop us right, we’ll still smash molecules and we have desire to know it so we keep driving to figure out what it is through what it’s not, but the ancient mystics said that there was an easier way.
There’s an easier way and that is to understand the nature of how we’re filtering the perceptions of the light in the first place in other words it’s not the light that has an issue understanding the light is not the issue. Understanding our own filters in the way that we perceive the light is the issue and instead of using those faulty perceptions to try to investigate the light we simply clear up the faulty perceptions than the light makes total sense. So it reverses the way we perceive and project this idea of investigation. Instead of looking at the light through the lenses of the faulty self-filter and trying to figure out what’s wrong with the light or how the light is good or bad or evil or ugly or beautiful or wonderful, we just simply clean up the filters and then everything begins to make sense. We get outside the nature understand that the binary mind itself the dualistic mind itself and is inherently flawed and if we can draw back from it and understand the way it works we can begin to utilize it in a fantastic way. The aim of our practice, the aim of our investigation if you will, isn’t to look toward the light and use the filters. It’s to turn around and look at the filters themselves and figure out well, what’s missing in the filters? If I can figure out what’s wrong with the filters then I have clear perception everything else makes sense. So in the most basic way the mystical path is about turning the light around on to the mental aggregates, the pranic energy, the way that the pranic energy runs through the body and the Nadi’s of the pranic body, and the way that the physiological emotions work, and the way that the physiological speech in action works, and etc which is learning about the vehicle we’re residing in, and fixing that clarifies our natural relationship with the light itself.
So how does the spiritual knowledge help our ultimate goals of realization and liberation?
Daishi: Another really great question. So I’m not suggesting to you these are definitive answers by any means. I’m simply just giving you some ideas and hopefully if someone’s seeking maybe it lights a little fire to go deeper within themselves because everything we do on the spiritual path is about your unique and personal journey. The actual steps of the path are simply a way to make the process of it more efficient and effective but it doesn’t take the place of your direct experience. I want to predicate this conversation on that premise that we’re not defining rules and laws. We’re simply saying that there is a system that can help enhance and effectively increase the efficiency of the path to a certain extent, but the experiences themselves, and the growth of your clear light perception is all your own experience, and it’s all your own special path that you need to go through and you need to journey through in order to evolve and mature. So with that said, let’s go back one step – why do we need knowledge? We don’t really need knowledge we need needing. We have a desire of desiring going on and it could be in the form of food, sex, control, power, or knowledge. It shows itself in all kinds of ways but inherently within us we desire. So if you’re talking specifically about the mystical path and desiring knowledge, the reason we desire knowledge in that path is because we believe that if we gain enough knowledge, we will understand the nature of the structure of creation and the nature of ourselves better, and if we do that we can gain control because at the end of the day everything we want is more control.
When we look out into the world and we see our lives we realize that I’m not in control of the mass majority of what happens to me I’m not in control of my external perceptions in the world around me and I’m certainly not in control of my mind or my emotions, how I feel physiologically. I really have no control except the cognitive awareness to some degree, so that is a scary fearful place that everything is happening to me and I can’t determine how this vehicle is going to maneuver for the most part. I can make a peanut butter sandwich but I can’t fix my hunger. I can go to the movies but I can’t continually satiate the pleasure of needing the enjoyment of that. That doesn’t last so everything that’s happening within this vehicle is completely out of our control and that drives us to have spiritual knowledge because we want to understand – how do I gain control of what is happening all around me? The whole path this whole mystical path is about learning how to work the mind body vehicle so that we can determine how we perceive make sure that we continually perceive in a more clearer unfiltered way, control the way that we empower thoughts, and take away the reactionary emotions so that we can harness the kinds of emotions we want to perceive in our lives. Hopefully obviously that transcends down and into the speech and actions of our body, and then out into the material world, so everything about the path is learning how to get control so knowledge is just a subset of getting closer to that control mechanism, that’s all.
Deniz: That makes perfect sense Daishi.
And you mentioned body mind in your answer and I wanted to ask you, what is the role of our mind in this process? I mean are we gaining the spiritual knowledge through our minds or are there any other instrument we can utilize as we advance?
Daishi: Typically we talk about two minds although that goes deeper into the study where our particular school goes. We like to see an initial mind which we call ordinary mind and then an extraordinary mind. It’s all terms right, so you could say, well are there really two minds? No, maybe it’s one mind and it just evolves maybe it grows into a bigger set of aggregates or instruments etc, so the terms are not important. It’s a natural and organic process where the mind becomes more full of understanding it goes deeper into the recesses of itself so that the parts of it that are covered from our perception I should say become uncovered from our perception. There’s a bunch of things happening within the mind that we’re not aware of at all it’s sort of like the same way we look at our bodies when I ask somebody, “hey how’s your tummy?” They say, fine. I say, “really? Is there anything in there? What’s going on? You know, how is your liver or kidney? How’s your spleen? Your gallbladder? What’s your upper digestive tract doing right now”, and I have no idea. I don’t know how to get there. I don’t know what’s going on there. I only know when there’s a problem because it gives me pain.
In the same way, the mind is running in the background a million billion bits of information per second are happening and we have no idea that this is going on. We don’t know where our thoughts are coming from most of the time we don’t know where this song playing in our head is coming from or where this radical negative emotion or positive emotion is coming up from or why I feel like crying tomorrow, or have apathy yesterday or tomorrow. I have depression we don’t really know what’s the source of this, so for the majority of our experience a lot of things are happening to us behind the scenes before we have a chance to realize where did that come from. So in that regard we start out with a set of instruments that we can perceive, and they’re the five mental aggregates and we begin to journey down watching them and understanding how they operate through that process and several other processes we begin to move back back back into an area where we have the opportunity to grow or evolve into a bigger set of instruments or just recognize the actualization of a bigger set of instruments. It’s from that bigger mind that bigger M-mind ,or more mature. or fuller, or more revealed mind, that we can then access and utilize tools that weren’t available to us prior, and that’s what gives us the ability to control and move through and determine life in a completely unique and wildly amazing way.
The whole point of any mystical path is to gain the ability to determine how I experience, what I experience, when I experience, and start to control the process like the source does. Source creates and we’re like little sources, and we start to learn to create so rather than having the victim mentality of everything happening to me, when we’re in the little egg we break free from that and learn how to have things happen because of me. We go from being controlled to controlling and that’s the process in every mystical tradition to gain control and it’s a beautiful process but at first there’s so much habit pattern energy that we have to scrub clean and detach or untangle from a lot of the habit energy messes we’ve created first, and we can call that Karma if you want to but it’s just really that dendrite acts on synaptic process that kind of fires away without our will. We don’t have any volition with regard to how the synaptic process works but what we do have is we have the ability to change the plastic brain and we know that’s possible because of science so the mystical tradition is said let’s now create the kind of firing process in the mind that doesn’t create a victimized selfhood that’s being controlled but instead creates a powerful hero type mind that is in control and then can determine how it feels and how it thinks and how it perceives and how it loves and how it connects and how it helps and all these beautiful aspects that are more closely related to light the purest light itself
Deniz: Thank you Daishi.
So, my next question is what are the sources of authentic spiritual knowledge and how does one understand that it’s authentic?
Daishi: Well that’s difficult because there’s such a huge body of mystical knowledge. In my opinion all mystical knowledge from all cultures holds an incredibly beautiful underlying message in it that is really all about the same process. It’s all about learning what we are learning what the vehicle is and taking control the vehicle for the betterment of ourselves and each other. We are not going to have any success in this world at all unless we learn how to fix and heal the filters of perception within ourselves and get away from the transient identity which is one of the greatest kind of frauds ever committed on humanity which is the belief that we are a static self we’re not we’re a being-ness, we’re happening-ness, right, so the idea that we are a static self, John Smith the plumber, and we maintain the idea of what John Smith is, it can be helpful, it can be useful, and it can be used but we can’t be entangled with it especially unconsciously, so we have to draw back from that.
Once we do that all inherent cultural and traditional mystical knowledge has always pointed to that first foundation which is to draw back and notice what you’re not. Once you have a good handle on what you’re not then you go the other direction you go from passive to active and then you begin to utilize those tools after you understand them and I have not seen any ancient tradition that hasn’t pointed to that process. They’ve all pointed to it they just have done it in their own unique beautiful ways. So some of them work slowly, you know, they’re more gradual and more made for somebody that wants to just move slowly right like I don’t trust anybody, I don’t trust anything, and I just want to walk this very slow and I really don’t want an avalanche of Pandora’s box karmic unveiling in my life I just want to go one step at a time and then you have the radical other side which is I’ve been here many many times before and I’m ready to just get it done so you’ve got everything in-between of those two places and because of that you have different paths or different practices and processes for each of those kinds of people at least like maybe degrees or stages of them. For some people it is enough to have bhakti or devotional, just to have enough loving compassion or acts of charitable karmic reduction in their lives, and then others want to go straight after the pure pranic energy and literally rip that apart and figure out what’s inside of it.
So the traditions just tried to approach different people depending on their stage of spiritual maturation and so you have very advanced practices and really radical practices and processes and methods and then you have very simple ones that are just “I am” you know kind of be present and focus on the now that kind of thing very beautiful wonderful and amazing kinds of mindfulness that are really helpful to remind us in each moment to just let go and relax a little bit it’s not that bad so you have everything in between and because somebody approaches the path without understanding how those degrees are formed can look at all these different traditions and cultures, and different ways of approaching the path and say which one’s right, which one’s wrong which one’s flawed, which one’s not, and that’s where the teacher comes into play, right. They look at the practitioner and say you kind of are leaning toward this take a look at this let’s talk about this let’s go toward this and see if this has affinity with you and then the teacher helps them go through that process, because they’re headed toward a place they’ve never been before and they’re entangled within it so badly they don’t know we’re up and down is. So, traditionally that’s why we see the two most important things well they’re three actually they the group itself, the other members that are together going through this journey, the teachings themselves which are hyper important (obviously without them you don’t know how to keep stepping forward) and then the teacher. It’s the teacher, the teachings, and the group, and that was why in the Buddhist philosophy they made such a big deal about that those three jewels, right.
Deniz: Yeah they did and we also talk a lot about that in our group. So a lot of our listeners know that there’s a new website coming any news on that?
Daishi: We were actually just going through it yesterday and it is so beautiful and they’ve done
such an amazing job on it, the guys that are putting it together and it’s just about ready to go. Everyone’s kind of waiting on me at this point and you know better than anybody my schedule is a little crazy so I’m trying to get with them this week to launch it and get it off the ground and open it up for the people who are waiting to jump inside and be part of the already-existing family so I think we’ll have an announcement on Thursday or something like that, or Friday, of when the actual date is but we’re getting really close at this point. I’m very excited about that for everybody’s benefit
Deniz: Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us today Daishi. If you have any questions or comments about the show please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org d-r-u-k-a-m-a . com. Thanks for joining us for today’s show. We look forward to seeing you on the next episode.