Non-conceptual awareness is not direct experience of reality

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The reason this is so is that we can never get completely 'beyond' the embodied nature of our direct experience.

Our direct perceptions are always going to be mediated by the types of creatures we are and how our brains are structured, regardless of whether or not we have moved beyond illusions created by our conceptual system such as subject-object dualism.

To illustrate this, imagine how different direct experience would be for a bat or an insect or an octopus. The Truth being that we can't really imagine it because the nature of our direct experience are inseparable from the types of creatures we are.

Just saying that we're the universe dreaming that it has a physical body strikes me as more of a hand wave than a serious attempt to grapple with this epistemological issue of embodiment. 

Is being mindful of the way our conceptual system creates illusions (that help us to navigate the world but nonetheless don't exist in reality) a less deluded way of living in the world? I'm convinced that it is so, but extrapolating that to the idea that non-conceptual awareness doesn't also have limitations seems like a different (though more subtle) way of deluding ourselves.

Edited by DocWatts

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You are always directly experiencing reality.  The mind says otherwise. 

There is nothing mediating your experience, and what you experience is nothing other than yourself.

An awareness free of concepts and an awareness filled with concepts is the same awareness.  Your concepts and someone else's concepts are different, but the awareness of both is the same.

You are that awareness.

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I still think it's right to call it direct experience. It's true that the content of non-conceptual experience is variable, but the recognition of the "directness" of this experience has more to do with the changeless aspect that underlies all experience (the formless void). This becomes more obvious when you actually experience the void in samadhi where all content or form is removed. 

It's nevertheless true that our experience of form is radically constructed. Experiments on the early development of the visual system demonstrate this pretty well. If you place a newborn kitten in a box with only horizontal lines in it and you let it grow up in that environment, it will not be able to perceive vertical lines, because its visual system has only been trained to perceive horizontal lines.

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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