How do you know ANYTHING AT ALL beyond what you were taught or learned?
How do you know what is real or not beyond what you have been taught or learned?
In this article we are going to dissect all of your assumptions and have you begin to question them.
There are many billions of people on earth with deep stress, anxiety, and frustration who are suffering and don’t know their way out.
If you are one of these people, or just want to find true everlasting bliss, joy and serenity, finding the answers to these questions will be the most important thing you can do in your life.
But don’t take my word for it just yet, let’s dive in and then you can decide…
In the movie The Matrix, Morpheus asks NEO
“What is real? If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
But because the brain interprets information differently from one brain to the next, how can you say for certain that your brain has the right interpretation?
This is another way of saying that reality is based on interpretation…
Or is it?
Let’s view it from a different lens.
What if there was a perceivable reality in you that was EXACTLY the same regardless of who you are, where you’re from, your culture, upbringing or heritage?
Well, there is.
And that is formless awareness, or formlessness.
Formless although it cannot be described with words, you can point in the direction of it.
The most obvious one is..
That which cannot nor does not take form.
That which cannot nor does not take shape.
It is not a thing, place, person or object.
Is not a thing or no-thing.
Cannot be defined.
Is indistinct from any object in the entire universe.
Cannot be divided.
Is without borders.
Cannot be separated.
Is unmanifested or comes into reality.
Cannot be achieved or acquired.
Has zero qualities, attributes, or characteristics.
Has no beginning, middle or end.
And is not a thought.
If this is hard to picture, well that’s also because formlessness has no images either.
There is one reference point however that you can be aware of right now and that is…
Space itself checks the box of every one of these…
Bruce Lee says…
“Be formless, shapeless like water.”
And although water does not take shape it does take form, meaning that there is a perceivable substance that you can touch, feel and drink.
Where space does not take neither shape nor form.
Space is NOT
A thing ✅
A place ✅
A person ✅
Or an object ✅
Space Is not a thing ✅
You cannot define space ✅
You cannot distinguish it from any single thing ✅
You cannot divide it because there is nothing to divide ✅
Space has zero borders ✅
And you cannot separate it ✅
Space is not manifested or arises from anywhere ✅
You cannot achieve or acquire space ✅
Space has zero qualities, attributes, or characteristics. ✅
And there is no beginning, middle or end to human knowledge ✅
And most importantly space is not a thought ✅
If there is a thought about space, then it’s not truly space.
The reason that these checkmarks are important is because none of them require beliefs, opinions, perspectives or are dependent on how your brain interprets information.
This means that all of those words used to describe space or rather what space is not, remained prior to your birth, and forever after your death.
And even more so, regardless of your birth as a human being.
So, knowing that you cannot see, taste, touch, smell or hear space how do you know that it exists?
To say ‘it’ is already too objectify what cannot be an object, but because words are objects that can be perceived the English language inherently objectifies.
Which is why Zen Masters say don’t focus on the finger pointing to the moon, the finger in this case (words) but rather what the finger is pointing too.
You were taught that space exists, but how do you know truly that it exists beyond what you were taught and learned?
If I were to ask you to take a picture of space itself and show it to me, you would only be able to take a picture of the objects that appear within it, but not the space itself.
And on the whole opposite spectra it would be impossible not to take a picture of space, even in the midst of objects.
How do you KNOW that space exists without believing that it exists, because you were told, or because you learned it?
Why this question is important is because it’s EXACTLY the same reason I would like you to question…
..how do you know peace exists without believing that it exists, because you were told, or because you learned it?
Or the present moment?
Or The Truth?
Or what is Absolute?
These are all just mere words that when you think about them, it’s no different than thinking about the word water without actually feeling the effects of water without drinking it.
Or thinking about a tree, without actually being able to feel the texture of the bark of the tree? Or even being able to breathe the oxygen that a tree gives off…
You know that blood is flowing through your body, oxygen is pumping, the brain is sending signals through your body and a vast number of things are keeping you alive without you being able to see, taste, touch, smell or hear it happening.
You say that you can feel that love exists, but you have had many feelings that were untrue, why do you believe that this feeling is true?
Not to mention the fact that ALL feelings are fleeting, momentary and transient.
After having known immediately formlessness, I’ll explain BUT REMEMBER the words themselves are not it, it is what they pointing too.
Know that although it will seem like a teaching, it is more of a pointing and that you must question everything moving forward so you CAN distinguish whether you are learning about it or you are coming to KNOW it.
You know that the reason space exists without believing it, beyond everything that you have learned, is because there is more than one object that is appearing within space.
There is not just one object floating within space, there are many different objects which means that unquestionably there must be space, a sense of separation, division, of distinction between each object so that you can differentiate one object from another object.
Without a sense of separation or space between each object, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a single thing.
This is the same reason that you know that the present moment exists even though you cannot see, taste, touch, smell, hear or perceive it with your 5 physical senses.
If there was no present moment, how would you know that you’re here more than you know anything you know at all?
The present moment has to be here, and it has to be right now for you to be able to perceive ANYTHING at all, such as the past or the future. Without the present moment, you would have zero memory and you would be unable to anticipate anything.
No sign of existing, or being alive at all.
Speaking of Existence.
Google defines existence as…
“The fact or state of living or having an objective reality.”
Well, the character in a dream doesn’t just believe it’s real, it knows it.
When you’re dreaming at night, and in a deep dream there isn’t a question of whether it’s real or not. Nothing in that dream could make you believe that what is appearing is not real, and you would go to deathbed to prove it.
So then you’re sure that you’re not just simply existing in yet another dream?
It’s not for you to analyze it, interpret it, go down some deep thought rabbit hole, but question how do you know that you exist right here and right now?
Subtract ALL information that you have ever learned, every single last ounce of it.
And the only way to do this, is to notice the gaps between your thoughts, one thought comes poof gap-silence, another thought, poof gap-silence the gap of no-thoughts between thoughts.
You know that you don’t have one single thought from the time you are born until death, and that there are many thoughts which must mean there is a gap of emptiness between each of them, just as there is space for objects to exist.
A thought is an electrical impulse in the brain. Information is being interpreted by the brain, digested, sorted, some discarded and some acted upon.
All of this information is affecting the brain which is affecting the nervous system, every organ, cell and particle in the body is being affected by the information that runs through it.
Which is why the ONLY way to discard ALL external and perceivable information is to empty fully out of all thought, and rather deepen/lengthen the gaps between one thought going and one thought coming.
This is doable by paying attention to your breathing. And speaking of the breath.
Do you know what else is formless?
The breath does not take shape nor form. You cannot see it, taste, touch, smell or hear it. And yet you KNOW that exists, because it’s how you’re alive.
And the attention of THIS breath is how you know that you exist beyond anything else known at all. And same with being alive.
By paying attention to breathing, is how you know you’re alive beyond all facts or learned information.
Breath attention anchors you in present moment awareness.
This is how you know that the present moment IS, because the moment that you perceive the present moment, is the exact moment that you know presence is the SOURCE of perception or the ability to perceive anything at all.
The present moment is formless because you cannot see, taste, touch, smell or hear it.
The present is not a thing ✅
A place because you’re here right now regardless of the situation and locations are random within the universe at large. ✅
A person, it is existence for both you and I and everything else because we are both here right now. ✅
The present moment is not an object or physical. ✅
Present moment Is not a thing. ✅
You cannot define it, but rather use the things that appear within it to say what the present moment is not. ✅ (Buddhists call this Neti-Neti, or not this not this.)
You cannot distinguish the present moment, because it is not a thing, no object can be compared or distinguishable from it. ✅
You cannot divide the present moment because the past is not directly here, nor the future which is not directly here, it’s timeless and thus in divisable. ✅
The present moment has zero borders, because anywhere which seemingly feels like you’re traveling in distance the present moment is without distance from you, thus it cannot have borders. ✅
The present moment is not a thing, object or perceivable that can be separated. ✅
The present moment because it already is, cannot be manifested or come into being. ✅
Because the present moment already is, you cannot acquire or achieve it. ✅
Only things have qualities, attributes, and characteristics and the present moment isn’t a thing, thus it has zero qualities, attributes and characteristics. ✅
The present moment is timeless, or here regardless of what time it is thus presence has no beginning, middle or end and is eternal. ✅
And most importantly the present moment is not a thought, you can think about the present moment, but that is not the present moment itself. Presence is too simple, to be grasped, understood or interpreted by thought itself hence the gap of silence between thoughts. ✅
Which brings us to Yourself
If everything you know about yourself and I mean EVERYTHING you know about yourself is based on the past, on history and memory then how do you know that images, concept or identity is real IF the past is no more, non-existent & gone forever?
The past not being right here and right now is not a belief, no single experience or appearance arising within consciousness has any semblance of reality.
And if you say that who you are is based on memory? Is that dependent upon how good your memory is?
A lot of people, if you asked them what they had from breakfast yesterday, wouldn’t be able to recall?
Memory is only as strong as the amount of information that the brain can handle and store at once.
This shows that in this current present moment experience, we can only perceive a very tiny portion of what is actually happening in the whole cosmos, so you wouldn’t want to then identify with that which is limited.
You would box yourself in, limit yourself through the limitedness of the human brain.
This limit of having an identity not just based on memory, but based on your inability to perceive all that is through the physical senses leads to stress, anxiety, the feeling of lack, incomplete and unfulfilled.
What you really want is to find is your source identity or with that which is boundless, unlimited, vast, full, complete, absolute, Omnipresent, omniscient & omnipotent.
Which are just words used to describe immeasurable formlessness.
Your true self is formless.
Invisible but yet all knowing, known and knowable.
Because when you look at the nature of time, experience it’s all fleeting, transient and temporary you will see that by the nature of what is fleeting is limited.
All forms, people, places, things and objects are fleeting, thus are limited.
What in the world still exists from 1000 years ago? 10,000? 100,000+ years ago?
Nothing, no matter how seemingly strong, firm or stable will last.
But because you are formless, you do not come into being, are timeless, eternal and thus unlimited.
You just as space, just as the present moment cannot be distinguished from anything.
You are NOT a thing that can be divided, separated and cannot have borders.
You do not come into being, are unborn, and unmanifested.
You cannot be acquired, nor achieved since you already are…
Only things that are limited have qualities, attributes, or characteristics, but you are not a thing, thus have none of these and cannot be defined thus are unlimited.
You have no beginning, middle or end, and thus are timeless and eternal.
And most importantly, you are not a thought. A single thought is limited because it is not constant.
Thoughts are things, and thus are limited, but because you’re unlimited you must not be a thought.
Everything being pointed out here, is not something you should believe, nor is it a realization that you can acquire, it is a discover of what already is.
Similarly to the fact that the Sky may already be out, but cannot be seen because it’s too cloudy out, but as the clouds move away which they ultimately will the Sky can be discovered that it is always here.
You just simply discover that your true self is already infinite, already boundless and unlimited just as you are.
Which also brings me to the fact that knowing who you are, knowing that you’re present and knowing that you’re formless is the EXACT reason that you know that Love is the absolute, the supreme and the complete.
Dzogchen refers to this as
“The Great Perfection.”
You are Love, thus immaculate, stainless, unblemished, clear, pure and divine.
You’re one with the present, with existence, with reality, with Love, with the Supreme, with the Absolute which are all words used to describe…
The unmanifested, undivided, unseparated, borderless, timeless, eternal, Omnipresent formlessness.
It is the source of all that is. (And you don’t even believe this)
How does one come to know this sense formless on a first hand and direct experience?
There have been countless books on religious traditions in Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen, Dzogchen and other traditions that point you in the direction of knowing this stateless state.
The most basic ways are grounded deeply in thoughtlessness, emptiness, silence and stillness.
All words that mean thoughtless observation or thoughtless awareness.
Thoughts are what perceives all forms by naming, objectifying, labeling and so fourth…
…so thoughtless observation or thoughtless awareness is really formless observation or formless awareness.
Breath Attention – by being aware of the breath without any thoughts you’re being aware of what it does not take shape nor form, so it is the quickest and most direct path into the formless dimension that already is…
Allowing the attention from your mind to sink into and throughout the body the practice of knowing what is formless already…
When there is direct attention isolated into for example your left hand, left shoulder, left knee or left foot that attention doesn’t take form or shape.
It’s directly obvious, directly apparent and immediately direct without comprehension, objectification, analyzation or any-thing.
Innerbody Awareness and breath attention both anchor you into the present moment (formless isness, thusness & suchness)
Tracing your thoughts to their source as Ramana Maharshi deemed Self-Inquiry. And when you notice where your thoughts come from, you will see that they arise from nowhere and no-thing.
And what is not a thing, and is not locatable as in nowhere is formless.
Formless has to be unlocatable, and in no particular place for it to be borderless and without separation. The moment that a place has a location is the moment that it’s a form, a thing or an object.
Emptiness of mind is formless because what is empty has nothing in it.
Stillness of mind is formless because what doesn’t move (mind), goes nowhere because there is nowhere to go, and again formlessness is distanceless.
Silence of mind is formless because when there are no thoughts, there is no ideas of you, no universe, no galaxy, no earth, nor cosmos, no-body, no-thing and thus no form.
The deeper you allow yourself to notice the gaps between thoughts…
The deeper into silence, stillness and emptiness you move into…
The deeper you move into the body, while knowing that there is no body…
The deeper you move into the breath….
And utilizing the Tao to move effortlessly between silence, breath attention, inner body awareness, self-inquiry the more that Formless Awareness will be immediately and directly obvious.
Not only will formless awareness be immediately and directly obvious it will be more obvious, be more transparent, in plain sight and evident than ANYTHING you have ever known, will ever know and CAN ever know.
Upon its discovery it will be
“The deepest sense of existing.” – Bentinho Massaro
And it will be here that you will come to realize that space never separated anything.
It was itself everything.
Why the Buddhist say
“Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.”
The objects that appear to be divided by space, are space itself.
Coming to know formlessness you won’t be able to tell the difference between any single object, it will be impossible to see separation or division.
You won’t be able to tell yourself apart from what is observed.
The observer, observing and observed are all one.
And when the deeper your conscious is absorbed away from thinking, feeling isolated, divided and separated into the vast unlimited space consciousness…
And at the very deepest you will have realized Nirvana or Moksha the entire end of suffering.
The deeper that every object will begin to sparkle, glimmer, shine, glow and radiate pure light brighter than an infinite suns.
Biologically every last cell and particle in the body will vibrate, pulsate with pure total unwavering aliveness.
The brain will release WAVES, a TSUNAMI of stress chemicals beyond your wildest imagination.
It won’t be a question to you anymore that Love exists, is existence and reality itself.
You will see that although you can’t see, taste, touch, smell or hear it, the present moment is undeniable, irrefutable, unquestionable and indisputable.
You will be able to see that peace isn’t just real, it’s all that you can rely on when everything else is fleeting, transitory and temporary.
So back to the original question…
How do you know anything at all beyond what you were taught and learned?
Well, you have to come back to what you as a New Born Baby were experiencing?
Nothing but total and absolute formlessness.