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Direct Experience Leads to True Knowledge

by Michael Ketterhagen

Equinox in the Midwest, Tuesday, September 22, 8:30 am CST

Welcome to Fall!

Welcome to the Autumnal equinox and the beginning of our movement toward shorter and shorter days in the northern hemisphere!

As a child, I heard that at the equinox you could get an egg to stand on its end. The scientist in me always wondered if that was true. Well, like the Sri Vidya tradition of Yoga, I needed direct experience of what I learned as a child. I believed those who told me about this happening, but I really didn’t know for sure. I was just believing my teachers.

So, yesterday, on the Autumnal Equinox, I tested that phenomenon that others said was true.

I learned through my own experience, as the picture above shows, that it is true. At the Equinox you can stand an egg on it end! I worked at standing the egg on its end for about 10 minutes. Then, exactly at 8:30 am, Fond du Lac time, it stood up, straight and tall. I was elated! My direct experience gave me a deeper faith in the people, mostly teachers, who had told me this before.

In the Sri Vidya tradition, “true knowledge” is knowledge gained from direct experience, not faith or imagination. And true knowledge of the non-physical world of spirit is not gained through sensory perception either.

In the world of western science, especially the materialistic and the rationalistic world of science, God/Ultimate Reality/Consciousness is just imagination or a hopeful dream. Most people have faith in this Reality because that is what they were taught and they believe their teachers or parents. Faith means having trust in those who tell us something that we have not experienced yet. True knowledge comes from a direct experience of something.

For example, when a child no longer believes in Santa Claus, it is because that child does not have a direct experience of Santa. S/he has experienced only fake Santas, and the material world and the world of reason indicates that there is no such person as Santa Claus.

In the Yoga Tradition, people can experience God through direct experience. People no longer need to believe in God or an Ultimate Reality. Yoga teaches that through certain practices one can move beyond imagination and visualization of the Creative Reality to the “direct knowing” of that Reality.

Just like each of us can truly know that an egg will stand on its end at the equinox, so too each of us can truly know that God, the Transcendent Being of Total Love, Power and Knowledge does exist.

How can this be?

Yoga says, “through meditation and spiritual practices leading up to meditation” (Yoga Sutra 1:36).


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