Q: The non-dual teachings mention again and again that we should only explore our "direct experience" to arrive at Truth, and I agree with that. But don't you think that experience can deceive us sometimes? Like when we are seeing a mirage or watching a magic show?
A: The direct experience of a 'mirage' or 'magic show' is that it is happening within Awareness. Then, instead of looking at the labels of what you are perceiving (i.e. 'mirage' or 'magic show'), go beyond, to the Seeing Itself. When you explore Seeing or perception directly, you understand that it is not the body that sees something outside of it, but Awareness experiencing Itself in both of these forms at once - the body and what it perceives, i.e. not-two. Then you can also look at the experience of seeing through the eyes more directly, too, and notice that:
1. Perception happens within the open empty retina of the eye, which effortlessly allows all images to appear within it without judgement & infinitely close to you. The retina of the eye is a 'physical' metaphor of Awareness - that open empty perceiving Presence is who you are;
2. When you close your eyes, the world dissolves - a pointer that it is not really there as we imagine it in the first place. The deeper reality of the world is empty Awareness;
3. Both perceiver and perceived are an expression of, and made of, Awareness Itself.
The combination of these four explorations is the direct experience of Seeing. It lies beyond understanding.
Perceiving without a perceiver
Effect without a cause
Duality without duality
- these are the real magic tricks!