How would life be if your psychological identity and ego didn’t filtrate, project unto and therefore pollute every experience that you were having? A life without the innumerable projections which your agitated and restless mind so often gives birth to.
I would say that life would probably feel immediate, total and fulfilling, and it would also feel much more of a genuine experiencing of yourself and your reality.
Direct experience is simply you being yourself in the immediacy of the present moment. That is, you being yourself without any filtration made by the psychological aspect of your mind. The only “concern” for direct experience is the pure experiencing of reality. Direct experience is life unfiltered, and life is direct experience unhindered. Since life is experience and as it always takes place in the present moment, the present can then be said to be all that one truly knows. An obvious statement you might say, well yes and perhaps even a cliché in modern speech, but within this cliché lays a great truth. This truth unequivocally proclaims that only the here and now exists and you are it. You are being lived by the present moment as you are seemingly living it simultaneously. You cannot separate yourself from the here and now, if you think you can then that is only through the medium of thinking it so
I find this to be a great realization for the mature mind, and in my view a mature mind is nothing other than a mind that is ready to fully receive that naked truth (the essence of the mystical experience) i.e. you can never not be here and never not be in the now.
The purpose of direct experience is to bring you back to your original position and presence, a place where your experiencing of life and existence becomes untouched, unrefined and inseparable from you.
Direct experience could also be said to be an existential “outlook” that is mainly concerned with how reality is and not how and what one thinks about it. It’s simply you and the present moment, untouched, unrefined and inseparable. Direct experience can come about in many different ways. To name a few activities that allow direct experience to happen naturally are for example increased awareness of senses, creative & conscious movement, art, poetry, music, dancing and awareness of breath. However if I would name a few others which I deem to be more “profound” I would say psychedelics, meditation, fasting, prayer, travel are also great paths to direct experience.
That being said, I sense that direct experience, for the most part, remains quite elusive for modern man living in today’s noisy world. A “noise” which consists of three kinds:
- The first being the actual concrete noise of today’s buzzing machinery of a society, the cars, the buildings, gadgets, technology, engines and what have you. This noise is quite palpable for our senses and can sometimes fill us to the brim and drive some of us into a deep existential despair.
- The second noise is the prevalent addiction to thinking and thoughts. Which simply means that one most often is heavily identified with the thinking process that occurs in the brain, which consequently leads to the result that ones projections about life become innumerable and quite frankly unbearable, at least this was the case for me at a certain point in my life.
- Lastly, the third noise is the ever-fluctuating cultural ideologies, which all modern societies more or less are impregnated and operate under. It is some sort of a cultural operative system if you will, an operative system that shapes the individuals into gross masses and most often turn them into blind worker bees and zombies, instead of free, independent spiritually healthy individuals.
All these three mentioned noises can and is incredibly distracting for the human mind. Our original sense of presence and our subjective experience of life is somehow overlooked as a result of being surrounded and fascinated by this noise.
Furthermore I maintain that these distractions bring us out of our direct contact with the immediacy of experience and thus are the mechanisms that are responsible for what I call “indirect experience”. This indirect form of living and navigating through life is quite limited in scope and meagre in existential wisdom.
In my other writings on direct experience, I argue that life becomes watered down and filtrated when one lives in ones own personal projections and/or distractions. Direct experience is the cure for this rather peculiar condition which affects us humans. It is peculiar in the sense that if one really goes to the depths of direct and indirect experience, one arrives at the conclusion that in reality, experience and the direct perceiving of it is all there truly is. In other words all your superfluous ideas about yourself and existence become absorbed by life, and what remains is life itself! Whether your attention is in harmony with it is a different matter, though a matter which I deem to be prime importance for your subjective experience of life and yourself.
You are life so let yourself be totally alive by transcending that which limits you!
In these following chapters, which are all available here on Nirvanic Insights, I’ve attempted to provide genuine ways of aligning yourself i.e. body, mind and attention with your own innate direct experiencing of life. These ways will be both practical and contemplative; hopefully these two modes of approaching the subject in matter will prove to be useful for you.
Now let us leave these nice formalities behind us and get on to the real goodies. Lets look if we can empower your life so you can be more fully immersed in the here and now. The first article/chapter is on how to boost your senses to live more fully and directly, click the image to read it!
Quotes on Direct Experience
What life, I think, is supposed to be about, is the reclamation of the primacy of direct experience. And that means: sex, and psychedelics, and dancing, and conversation, and good eating, and lots of exercise, and travel, and attention to – what Wittgenstein called – the present at hand.
What blinds us, or what makes historical progress very difficult, is our lack of awareness of our ignorance. And [I think] that beliefs should be put aside, and that a psychedelic society would abandon belief systems [in favor of] direct experience and this is, I think much, of the problem of the modern dilemma, is that direct experience has been discounted and in its place all kind of belief systems have been erected… If you believe something, you’re automatically precluded from believing in the opposite, which means that a degree of your human freedom has been forfeited in the act of this belief.
Terence McKenna (Speech at the Psychedelic Society, 1984)
Consequently direct experience can also be viewed upon as being the same as the dissolution of boundaries. The less boundaries that constrict and asphyxiate your consciousness, the more direct will your experience be. The psychological mind is itself a barrier or a filtration that allows some concepts and experiences to pass through while others are denied or even vehemently combatted. The psychological ego is the biggest boundary of them all; it is in truth, the king of all the other boundaries that your consciousness has set up. All your boundaries need a reference point to refer to, and the ego is it. The separate self is the nexus from which all other personal problems normally refers to when navigating through life as a person, but luckily it becomes quite redundant when one moves in to the purer state of presence.
Daniel Seeker (The Door of Direct Experience – Chapter 6, 2017)
Daniel Seeker is a wandering dervish and lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized that he was made of immaculate and timeless consciousness when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland. His writings are mostly a reflection of that realizaton. Daniel currently studies history, philosophy, egyptology and western esotericism at Uppsala Universitet. He’s also currently writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist and Hindu texts were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.