We Only Know What We Experience
We start with a belief:
our problem lies in holding on to that belief and ignoring experience.
We need to test beliefs in order to verify them.
We only know what we experience. Anything else is a belief or a theory, and theories are just thoughts. Empirical knowledge is verification by experience, rather than belief or pure logic.
Belief is acceptance that something exists or is true – without proof. Don’t take my word for it! 😀
Anything that we read or hear from others is hearsay; it’s a belief. We can note beliefs, but needn’t accept them as true. In fact, we shouldn’t. We should be sceptical, rather than easily accepting and being convinced.
In order to know, we have to verify for ourselves. Of course, there are things that we cannot personally verify and so take on trust, while keeping an open mind.
When it comes down to the truth, we can only know what we know. This is especially significant when it comes to realisation and enlightenment. Never take anyone’s word for it. Taking others’ word for the truth is the opposite of truth.
“But what about all those things I believe to be true? I know them!” We can recognise them, yes, but knowing isn’t about ideas – it is about that which knows. That which knows is pure consciousness. This pure view is the starting point. Now, when a belief arises and is seen, the belief becomes a tool, in the same way that mindfulness is just a tool.
Are the people in white coats or robes telling us the truth?
How do we know?
The Buddha said “Do not take my word for it; test it for yourself”,
so the Buddha was saying, “Do not believe in me.”
If that is good enough for the Buddha, who are we to disagree?
We first need the clarity of mind to think clearly.
For that, we need to meditate.
Our only reality lies in not believing.
In not believing, we are questioning.