Knowing is Boss (of Everything)

Yes, Knowing is the Boss. Knowing means to Know. There is much more to Knowing than this simple definition. If you are a student of Vedanta, you will understand that Knowing is the same as Awareness or Consciousness or Chit. Knowing is the most powerful force in the universe and surprisingly this Knowing is our inner core. Knowing is the nature of the Real Self or I. The main goal of this article is to understand the real meaning of Knowing. Understand the power of Knowing. If you properly understand this, it is the most direct way to discover your real Self.

Let us start our discussion with the following statements, we make every day:

  • I am listening to music
  • I am reading this book
  • I am thinking to travel
  • I am talking on the phone
  • I am seeing a tree

If you analyze these statements, you will notice that each statement has a subject ‘I am’. Each statement has a different object – music, book, travel, phone, and tree respectively. There is a verb which is connecting the subject with the object. More than a verb, there is an inherent power of intelligence which is connecting the subject with the object. This power reveals the object to the subject. How to understand this power of intelligence?

Let us take an example of the power of listening, which is connecting ‘I am’ with the music. If you follow science, it will tell us that the music waveform from the source will hit our eardrums. The job of the eardrum is to convert this into some form of an acoustic signal. This acoustic signal is then transmitted to the brain. What happens in the brain/mind is not known, but we do listen to music. There is an existent power in our mind, which decodes and understands the incoming acoustic signal so that the subject ‘I am’ can listen to the music. This decoding power and understanding within the mind are nothing but the power of listening, which makes the actual ‘act’ of listening possible.  This power of listening is made up of intelligence with sole role of making listening possible.

Let us take another example of seeing. Power of seeing has intelligence, which makes it possible for ‘I am’ to know and see a tree. Without the power of seeing, none of us will see any object. Someone may argue that the eye provides this power. The eye does nothing other than converting the image into an optical signal and bringing the signal to the mind. What is the ability that decodes this optical signal into the understanding that this object is a tree? It is the power of the seeing, which is within Intelligence and which allows us to know that there is a tree. This power of seeing knows that the optical signal is a tree.

The same similarly applies to reading, thinking, or talking. There is a power of reading, power of thinking and power of talking. All these powers encapsulate the crux of intelligence. In fact, you can apply this logic to a much wider range of statements. Any statement which connects the subject with the object is connected by the power of intelligence.

Let us add another dimension by repeating the same statements in the following way. Please just do not read these statements but read this slowly as if you are undertaking these tasks. I agree, we will not talk in the following manner, but the sentence has been constructed in this manner to highlight the knowing part. Normally you would replace ‘I am knowing…..’ with ‘I know……’.

  • I am knowing that I am listening to music
  • I am knowing that I am reading this book
  • I am knowing that I am thinking to travel
  • I am knowing that I am talking on the phone
  • I am knowing that I am seeing a movie

1. There is a tremendous change in these statements as compared to the earlier statements. ‘I am listening to music’, ‘I am reading this book’ etc., is no longer a self-contained sentence, but they are the object in the statement. The ‘I am’, in ‘I am listening…..’ is no longer the subject, but it is part of the object. The ‘I am’ in ‘I am reading……’ is now part of the object. When you said, ‘I am listening to music’, you always felt that ‘I am’ is really my inner core. You had the impression that ‘I am’ referred to your own self.

2. However, the moment you apply the Knowing part to the sentence, everything seems to change. A new ‘I am’ pops up, and the earlier ‘I am’ becomes a part of the object. Can there be two ‘I am’ within you? Obviously not. Vedanta teaches that there is a universal Real Self which is our common inner core. The ‘I am’ in ‘I am knowing…’ is your real Self and the earlier ‘I am’ in ‘I am listening…..’ is really part of the part of an object. If this is understood, this can be a big change in our perspective.

This ‘I am’ in ‘I am listening……’ is really your ego. The ego always thinks it is the real Self. Vedanta teaches that the ego masquerades as the real I, but when you make a proper inquiry, you will find that the ego is like any other object. Ego is just another thought in the mind.

3. Daily, as you apply the Knowing part to every sentence you say or think you will discover your Real Self within you. The ‘I am’ in ‘I am knowing….’ is your Real Self. Whenever you are doing any activity and watch carefully how the knowing part pops out within you. Repeatedly, say ‘I know this’, ‘I know that and focus on the ‘I know’ part, you will find out that the Knowing part comes out from a spiritual heart.

You could live your entire life saying ‘‘I am listening to music’, ‘I am reading this book’ etc. This way you will never discover your Real Self. The Real Self will remain hidden. The moment you add ‘I am Knowing’ or ‘I know’ to all your activities, the Knowing part pops out from the spiritual heart. The spiritual heart is not your physical heart but is your seed body. This is similar to how the seed of a tree has a potential of the tree within the seed. The tree seed can become a tree only, that to a specific type of tree. A mango tree seed cannot become an apple tree. In the same way, each one of us has a seed body. This seed body plays out the blueprint of our life. This seed body is our spiritual heart. According to Ramana Maharshi, it is two fingers from the center on the right-side rib cage.

4. Knowing is nothing but the intelligence which connects the subject ‘I am’ with different objects. Knowing is the common element which connects the subject with all the different objects in the universe. If you study the statements made earlier, you will realize that Knowing is the ultimate intelligence. Knowing knows listening, Knowing knows reading, Knowing knows thinking, Knowing knows talking and Knowing knows seeing. The power of Knowing includes the power of listening, reading, thinking, talking and seeing. The scope and width of the Power of Knowing is infinite, and it encompasses everything which is to be known in the universe. To put it differently, the power of listening, reading, thinking, talking and seeing etc, all these powers come out from the Power of Knowing. Power of Knowing is the ultimate intelligence.

Someone might say, I am knowing that I cannot speak Chinese. The ego I cannot speak Chinese and Real I knows that fact. That does not mean that the ‘Real I’ does not know Chinese. The knowledge of Chinese is within Knowing. If you now learn Chinese, the ego I will speak Chinese and the Real I will know this fact.

Knowing is indeed the boss of all the knowledge and intelligence in the universe. The question to ask is from where does all the knowledge and intelligence come from?

The simple answer is Awareness. Understand Awareness and you will lean that Knowing is a key ingredient of Awareness.

Understanding Awareness

Awareness is the most powerful force in the universe, and it is the underlying reality of this universe. It has the power to connect with a form present in the mind and create an experience that you are aware of. If you carefully study Awareness, you will conclude that the Awareness is made up of a Subject, Object, and Intelligence with the following functions

  1. There must be a Subject, who is Aware of the experience. This subject is the knower of Awareness.
  2. There must be an Object, which must be experienced. This object is the known part of the Awareness.
  3. There must be Intelligence by which the subject gets to know the object. This is the knowing part of the Awareness

Knower, Known and Knowing are the 3 powers of Awareness. It must be clear that

  • Awareness = Subject + Object + Intelligence
  • Power of Awareness = Power of Knower + Power of Knowing + Power of Known

Wherever there is awareness, the Subject, Object and Intelligence must be present with all the three powers. At this moment you are aware you are reading this article. This awareness has a subject, object and intelligence.

The Power of Knowing is the key power of Awareness. In Awareness, Subject and Object are things and its functions are limited. The power of Knower only witnesses what is available to witness. The power of the Known has the power to become the different objects in the universe. The Power of Knowing is crucial; it decodes the objects and lets the subject witness these objects. This intelligence or the Power of Knowing is the driving force of Awareness and completes any experience in the mind.  

The Knowing/Intelligence within Awareness has an unlimited range of power, in fact, it is infinite. We can comprehend only what experiences our mind can handle. Our mind is full of ignorance and has a limited Power of Knowing. Awareness is not limited by the capacity of our mind. It is much more and has an infinite amount of intelligence; it has an infinite amount of knowledge about everything possible. What is amazing, this unlimited intelligence, this pure intelligence, this Knowing is available within everyone’s mind. Remove the deep-rooted ignorance and unlimited power of Knowing will be available to everyone.