[Buddha-l] What is direct experience?

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Thu Dec 2 04:11:27 MST 2010

Op 1-12-2010 19:03, lemmett at talk21.com schreef:
> I assumed that direct experience would not just be a type of knowledge but involve phenomenal existence in some way or other and I think that this was what lead me to bring up delusional conviction and hallucinations. Is it?
>> In a
>> similar way, the normative 'non-self' can be understood as
>> a instrumental
>> denial of the self as an existential coping mechanism, an
>> idea I losely base
>> on the approach to anatta of Stephen Collins' Selfless
>> Persons.
>> Stefan
> Thanks. Something I've wondered about it whether a realization of anatta leads one to better understanding of the conventional I; though Nishitani does mention the cogito it's not, obvious, in what way he thinks it is clarified. As far as I can remember he just says that there are incompetent ways to deny it. Also, whether one's practice or understanding is not helpful if we think that some kind of self is useful in our existential pursuits... Thank you for the replies and I hope I have not been a bother!
There has been a lot of discussion about this. The problem is that 
direct knowledge is considered to be preconceptual. Now in karate and 
other martial arts you use the 'knowledge' of your body (if you're a 
beginner you just have to run as fast as you can without thinking). 
Using concepts just takes too long.
But how do I know without concepts that I'm in front of a screen or that 
my keyboard is black? My fingers 'know' the keystrokes, but the color of 
my keyboard is something I know and become aware only by using the 
concept 'black'. The difference between the knowledge of my fingers and 
proper knowledge like that of the color of my keyboard is that I can 
tell it to others. How can you call something knowledge if you cannot 
explain what you know? So many use the concept 'knowledge' in a kind of 
loose sort of way and use metaphors without realizing it. This makes the 
discussion very awkward. I guess the goal of Buddhism is not a kind of 
knowledge but an ontological awareness. This does more justice to the 
famous metaphor of the finger and the moon.


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