“Buddhist philosophy, therefore is the philosophy of Suchness, or philosophy of Emptiness, or philosophy of Self-identity. It starts from the absolute presence in which there is no differentiation of subject and object, and yet which is not a state of sheer nothingness. … This Suchness defies all characterization or denotation. No words can express what it is, but as words are the only instrument given to humna beings to communicate our thought, we have to use words, with this caution: Nothing is available for our purpose to say ‘not available, (anupalabda in Sanskrit and pu k’u te in Chinese) is not to the point either. Nothing is acceptable. To say it is already negating itself. Suchness transcends everything. It has mo moorings. No concepts can reach it, no understanding can grasp it. Therefore, it is called pure experience.
“ In pure experience there is no division between ‘ought’ and ‘is,” between form and matter or content, and therefore there is no judgment in it. …
“The Buddhist philosophy of Suchness thus starts with what is most primarily given to our consciousness which I have called pure experience. But, in point of fact, to say ‘pure experience’ is to commit oneself to something already posited somewhere, and thus it ceases to be pure. The Dhammapada reflects this thought when it designates the starting point of Buddhist philosophy as trackless, unboundable, … formless.” ~Daisetz Teitaro Suziki
Pure Experience is Truth
Here is something that a lot of people have not yet grasped, even spiritual ones: you can never be sure that what you read in a book, or what you are told, or see on YouTube, is absolute truth. You have to accept that it is almost certainly someone’s opinion. Worse yet, it is often the understanding of one person reading the opinions of another person, who studied the writings of someone like Buddha who had actual spiritual pure experience.
I hear people in various spiritual groups on social media say that spirituality is about having your own experience. Yet when one of them posts a meme, one hundred others will re-post it as if it is a known and absolute truth. As the above quote says, anything put into words can never be absolute truth. At best, it can only hint at the truth. In any case, reading what someone else wrote is not having your own experience.
Every day I see someone in one of these spiritual groups asking other members to recommend books or movies that will help them awaken. These things can only point you in the right direction. Only experience of your own can truly awaken and enlighten. Once you have awakened your spiritual faculties, they can connect with higher dimensions of reality. The experience of those dimensions, the knowledge found within them, is the pure experience Buddha was talking about. It’s a spiritual thing, not a mental one. Continue reading “Pure Experience of Sublime Reality”