Oftentimes it takes an actual felt experience, a touching of the Divine Consciousness, that changes our belief into inner knowing.
Many practices and techniques are mind driven, rather than experience driven. In the West we’ve given our mind so much merit that we are apt to doubt someone’s experience if our mind tells us it’s not possible, even though that person has had an actual experience. Although science is continually amending itself to catch up with ancient knowledge, there are those who are adamant that if you can’t prove it scientifically, then it is not true.
One issue is that we’ve given up on the idea of mysticism and mystery in order to have certainty and data. The mind can’t understand what it hasn’t created. “Knowing” comes from a place beyond the mind, thus it grapples with even its own experiences that don’t “make sense.” Eventually, if one keeps an open and flexible mind, the experiences overpower the mind and we have to surrender to the unknown. This is the scary part, and why ego fights so hard to “understand” everything. If it didn’t create this experience, then it is unknown and out of its control — and it (ego) might be put into the passenger seat where it belongs, or worse yet, it fears its own death.
Sometimes we feel we “know” something because we have read so much about it. It’s an intellectual understanding. It’s only when you actually have a full-felt experience that you understand you didn’t really “know” beyond words. When we have a full-felt experience in our body then we cannot doubt ourselves, although the ego will attempt to do so many times.
A full-felt experience happens throughout every cell in our body. It’s not just in the mind. Every cell has connected consciousness and therefore vibrates in resonance when it is in alignment with truth. And then we know. The saying often is “I feel it in my bones.” This can’t be forced; it naturally happens. Often, we get frustrated along our path because we intellectually “get it” but don’t feel it in our bodies. Stay aware, stay awake. It will happen.
If you intellectually know something, then you are always fighting to keep this in control in your mind — and it takes energy to always check yourself. When you have an experiential knowing, it integrates into your being. It doesn’t take effort to keep it there. Like mindfulness, instead of a practice it becomes a way of being. One of my favorite quotes, a Tibetan proverb, sums this up is: “Do not mistake understanding for realization. Do not mistake realization for liberation.”
Another way to understand when a belief has become a knowing is when the questioning ends. The mind questions, consciousness doesn’t. Questioning isn’t wrong or bad, in fact it’s a good thing to question at first, to get clear for yourself. The mind is very strong and smart. It’s important to go through this phase of questioning in order to soften the mind. If there is doubt, then you will always be blocked. If there is no doubt, then there is clarity.
In a somewhat related sense, this can lead to the common question of, “How do I know if it is my ego or intuition?” By applying the above idea, you would know the answer immediately — ego, because there is a question.
But to take it a bit further, my experience is that my ego is demanding. It’s insistent that I take action quickly. Oftentimes there is some sort of fear behind it — conscious or not — or strong emotion. Ego feeds off fear, anxiety, judgment, resistance, sense of lack. My intuition is patient, steady, persistent but not pleading. It can be quiet and calm, a background undercurrent. Intuition is pure without going through the emotional filters. The call for action comes from inspiration, not urgency.
When more people open up to the idea that we are not three-dimensional beings, but multi-dimensional, then perhaps there will be more acceptance of our inner knowing and wisdom that does not come from books. We gain experience and the resulting “knowing” through our senses — and there are more than five of those senses.