VBT – Meditation 8.1
Knower and Known
Perceive One Being as Knower and Known
Each thing is perceived through knowing.
The Self shines in space through knowing.
Perceive One Being as knower and known.
Whenever you know something, it is known through knowing. The object comes to your mind through the faculty of knowledge. You look at a flower. You know this is a rose flower. The rose flower is there and you are inside. Something from you comes to the rose flower; something from you is projected on the rose flower. Some energy moves from you, comes to the rose, takes its form, color and smell, and comes back and informs you that this is a rose flower.
All knowledge, whatsoever you know, is revealed through the faculty of knowing. Knowing is your faculty. Knowledge is gathered through this faculty. But knowing reveals two things: the known and the knower. Whenever you are knowing a rose flower, your knowledge is half if you forget the knower who is knowing it. So while knowing a rose flower there are three things: the rose flower – the known; and the knower – you; and the relationship between the two – knowledge.
So knowledge can be divided into three points: knower, known and knowing. Knowing is just like a bridge between two points – the subject and the object. Ordinarily your knowledge reveals only the known; the knower remains unrevealed. Ordinarily your knowledge is one-arrowed: it points to the rose but it never points to you. Unless it starts pointing to you, that knowledge will allow you to know about the world, but it will not allow you to know about yourself.
All the techniques of meditation are to reveal the knower. George Gurdjieff used a particular technique just like this. He called it self-remembering. He said that whenever you are knowing something, always remember the knower. Don’t forget it in the object. Remember the subject. Just now you are listening to me. When you are listening to me, you can listen in two ways. One: your mind can be focused towards me – then you forget the listener. Then the speaker is known but the listener is forgotten.
Gurdjieff said that while listening, know the speaker and also know the listener. Your knowledge must be double-arrowed, pointing to two points – the knower and the known. It must not only flow in one direction towards the object. It must flow simultaneously towards two directions – the known and the knower. This he called self-remembering.
Looking at a flower, also remember the one who is looking. Difficult, because if you do try it, if you try to be aware of the knower, you will forget the rose. You have become so fixed to one direction that it will take time. If you become aware of the knower, then the known will be forgotten. If you become aware of the known, then the knower will be forgotten.
But a little effort, and by and by you can be aware of both simultaneously. And when you become capable of being aware of both, this Gurdjieff calls self-remembering. This is one of the oldest techniques that Buddha used, and Gurdjieff again introduced it to the western world.