Who am I?
Do you understand yourself intellectually or experientially?
Hi, my name is James Traverse. First you may want to know a little about my background.
I have been actively involved with yoga study, teaching and practice for over 40 years. I have been blessed with connecting to many teachers who have helped me along the way, yet the one person who I call my teacher was a musicologist, medical doctor and sage named Jean Klein. Jean Klein helped me understand the true nondual nature of being via experience. He did this with his Presence and somewhat with his words. I had studied yoga with B K S Iyengar for many years and I had explored the teachings of folks like J. Krishnamurti, Atmananda Krishna Menon, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and many others but only Jean Klein’s approach truly helped me understand all of these teachings.
I created this page so that I could share with you an experiential approach that is another way of knowing that is distinct from the knowing and knowledge gained via science or language. The foundation of this approach is to first clearly understand the problem.
Intellectual vs Experiential Understanding…
This approach to ‘Know Thyself’ is to be clear that self-knowledge is not the knowledge of deriving your identity via the content and activity of the mind, because that is intellectual understanding [and just as the menu is not the meal, the idea of a thing is not the thing itself]. In fact what is realized is that deriving your identity via intellectual understanding veils the understanding of the true nature of your being – that veil blocks the experiential understanding of your true nature.
Thus what is necessary is to see the veiling of your true nature, to discover how that veil is formed and to burn that veil away via the sacred fire of Insight such that the true nature of your being shines forth.
I created a piece that I call:
Know Thyself – Apps for Peace of Mind
I wrapped the contents of this material in a software shell – inside this shell is a file with links that you click on to explore the sections and application exercises in ways that you are already familiar with.
The material uses the metaphor of a whirlpool to represent the Flow of life and the Form called your bodymind. As you explore this metaphor you will see that throughout the material there are over 30 application exercises that help you to make the understanding experiential rather than just intellectual.
The exercises guide you in ways whereby what are called ‘AhA!’ moments flower, yet they do not stop there as you then explore deeper such that you turn your ‘AhA!’ moments into ‘WoW’s!’ by applying the understanding in your life and see that it works!
As you explore you quickly discover that you cannot come to the understanding of your true nature via the activity of your thinking-reasoning mind, yet you also realize that the thinking-reasoning mind can confirm the understanding once it has been understood via experience.
Why does this matter?
Understanding the true nature of your being matters because:
- your actions are governed by your understanding
- fear of things like death and what happens after death fall away with this understanding
- you realize peace of mind
- you discover an ease of being – conflict, struggle, stress and strain end
- when the mind is at peace there is a corresponding benefit to the well-being of your body, which means better health overall
- the ease and relaxation of your mind is an environment wherein you accomplish your goals more readily – instead of chasing your dreams the case is more that ‘things fall into your lap’ when this understanding is established
- this understanding lets you be a better partner and a better friend, which means that you will enjoy better relationships
- the greatest gift that you can give to another is your health and well-being, because then you are a burden to no one and you are better able to help others
- with this understanding you are more than knowledgeable, because you see via Insight, which means that you are wise
- the benefits listed above are just a few of the reasons why the sages of all wisdom traditions direct you to ‘Know Thyself’, but perhaps a most significant reason is that with this understanding you are like Minerva’s Owl that flies at dusk, which means that in addition to the gift of Insight you also have the gift of Hindsight. Hindsight is another means of seeing clearly and that means wisdom
- wisdom means that you are a sage who has the power to see via both Hindsight and Insight and the action that arises with these powers is the one that is appropriate to the moment – that action leaves nothing lacking and no residue – thus every aspect of your being is enhanced!
~ ~ ~
I’ll tell you the introductory price in just a moment but first let me share a brief story that is symbolic of this approach of experiential understanding – don’t worry, it’s affordable.
This story takes place on a very cold winter day and a homeowner is experiencing a serious problem because his heating system, which is a furnace in the basement of his house, is not functioning properly. The homeowner has tried everything he knows to get the furnace working properly but he has failed to get it working at all; he is very concerned because the temperature is below freezing and it is possible that water pipes may break and cause extensive damage to his home.
The homeowner calls a furnace repairman.
The furnace repairman arrives promptly, goes downstairs and returns after just a few minutes and declares that the furnace is fixed. The homeowner puts his hand over one of the heating vents and sure enough he can feel heat there, and he can also hear the sound of the furnace running. He says to the furnace repairman. “Thank You – how much do I owe you?” The furnace repairman says, “That will be $1000.00.”
The homeowner is somewhat surprised at the amount of the bill because the repairman only took a few minutes to fix the furnace; yet he is quite happy that the furnace is now working and that he has avoided more severe problems. He says to the furnace repairmen, “Would you mind giving me an itemized bill?” The furnace repairman says, “No problem – I’ll be back shortly.”
The furnace repairman goes out to his van and quickly returns with the itemized bill. The homeowner double-checks that the furnace is running well and pays the furnace repairman who then leaves.
The homeowner looks at the itemized bill that the furnace repairman gave him – it says:
- Adjusted screw on furnace …………………………………………………………………. $ 1.00
- Knowing which screw to adjust ………………………………………………………….. $ 999.00
- Total ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. $ 1000.00
This approach of experiential understanding is much like the story of the homeowner and the furnace repairman. The material I share with you is a means of experiential self-knowledge, which is akin to ‘knowing which screw to adjust’ as in the story above.
This may not be for you…
One last thing before I share the price with you and that is that although this material can benefit everyone it is not for everyone, because you have to do you part in helping me share self-knowledge with you. This mean that I cannot tell you what the true nature of your being is [I can tell you but it will not have any meaning unless and until you have had the experience] and that means that it is necessary for you to explore the exercises and the rest of the material such that your understanding is experiential. In this way you make the understanding your own and then you will no longer need my guidance. In this light I ask that you only get this material if you are willing to explore it fully – I can assure you that it is not what you think, because its nature is beyond thinking.
The introductory price is just $27.00
Please understand that the price may increase as this is an introductory price that is available as long as you are seeing this page. I reserve the right to adjust the price as situations like hosting costs, bandwidth costs and other expenses deem necessary.
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Peace Now ~ Love Always,
ps – This approach provides information about the nature of being, yet its core is about facilitating Insight via the application exercises. The difference between intellectual understanding and the experiential understanding accessible via this approach is the difference between seeing with the mind [intellectual] and seeing through the mind [experiential].
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pps – Is your understanding of the true nature of being an intellectual understanding or is it experiential understanding? The vast majority of human being understand the true nature of being via intellectual understanding, which means that their understanding is conceptual and since the concept of a thing is not the thing itself, their lives are full of conflict and suffering. On the other hand sages have an experiential understanding of the true nature of being and use intellectual understanding only for functional purposes; thus for sages there is an ease of being – which one are you?
This material is for those who want experiential understanding – Click Here to get your copy now.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Know Thyself?
You cannot make knowledge out of the true nature of being, yet it can be experienced.
In this light the way to Know Thyself is via experiential understanding, and that is a way of knowing that is different than knowing via the content and activity of the mind – because it is the way of Insight.
The approach of ‘Know Thyself – Apps for Peace of Mind’ is to describe the situation and to come to the solution to the question ‘How to Know Thyself’ via Insight that is fostered by exploring the application exercises.
Can you give an example of experiential understanding?
Yes – Consider the question, ‘What is Time?’
Time is an elegant concept that describes experience. The experience is true yet the description, the concept, is not the thing itself.
What is Time?
Time is a concept as the description and measure of motion that is experienced as constant change. An analogy that helps with the understanding of time is a ship traveling at a constant speed in the open ocean. The place where the ship has been, the wake, is called the past, the place where the ship is yet to go is called the future, and the ship’s current position is called now. In this way what is called the past, present and future are descriptions of the ship’s position and motion.
The experience of constant, orderly, change allows us to define units of time as seconds, minutes, hours and days etc. and we use this elegant concept to be able to plan things like the ship’s future position. Thus the concept of time is very useful for functional purposes, yet it is highly significant to understand that this concept is ultimately untrue, because it is a concept and not the thing itself. The thing itself is motion as that is the experience.
Thus the experiential understanding is to see the functional usefulness of the concept of time and yet be very clear that this is never truly experienced other than as the mental description of experience [note that you had to learn to tell time as a child].
The power of experiential understanding is that it is not a belief or some form of wishful thinking. For example it is self-evident that experience as what is described as ‘now’ is never not the case [this applies to current experience as you are reading this; it also applies when you have a psychic experience or a memory as these things are experienced and described as happening ‘now’].
Oscar Wilde said, “Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.” This is true because it is only after the experience that the mind describes the experience and renders it as knowledge.
Can you give another example of experiential understanding?
Yes. Ask the question ‘Are you aware?’ and note how it is answered.
Notice that you understand the question intellectually, which means your mind [head]. The answer comes when you drop out of your head and into your core [heart] and experience that indeed you are aware. Then your mind conceptualizes the experience of being aware and answers the question ‘Yes I am aware’.
In this way the experiential answer comes from the wisdom of the heart and it is rendered as knowledge by the activity of the mind [the head].
Can you give a simple example of the difference between intellectual understanding and experiential understanding?
Yes. Science is intellectual. Art is experiential.
Science is experiential when it is applied. Art is intellectual when it is analyzed.
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