[Buddha-l] What is direct experience?

Margaret Gouin gouin.me at gmail.com
Wed Dec 1 05:01:25 MST 2010

A friend who used to race sailing boats told me recently of an event many
years ago, when he was in a race and suddenly told his crew, Do this!
knowing that it would win the race... which it did. When he was asked,
afterwards, to say why he did what he did (which was apparently a quite
unusual manoeuvre), it took about half an hour of explanation to account for
all the variables that went into his instantaneous decision. He explains the
moment of decision during the race to a moment of direct experience of all
the things that were happening at that moment--wind, water, set of sails,
degree of heel, etc., etc., etc.--that completely bypassed any intellectual
thought. It certainly didn't involve either seeing things that weren't
there, or delusional convictions.

> I hope it's not too feeble to ask - what is direct experience, knowing
> > something without the intellect? I think I am used to altered states
> > of consciousness like seeing things that aren't there or delusional
> > conviction but I don't know that I can find room for much more.

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