12 Paths to Direct Experience
This was written for you, the individual who’s wise enough to see that life is more than mere overthinking and planning for the future or by constant reminiscing of the past. There is a quality and state of mind that is much more genuine when it comes to living life, I call this quality direct experience!
What exactly is direct experience and what’s so great about it?
Direct experience is simply you being yourself in the immediacy of the present moment. That is, you being yourself without any filtration made by the psychological aspect of your mind. Since life is experience and as it always takes place in the present moment, the present can then be said to be all that one truly knows. An obvious statement you might say, well yes and perhaps even a cliché in modern speech, but within this cliché lays a great truth. This truth unequivocally proclaims that only the here and now exists and you are it. You are being lived by the present moment as you are seemingly living it simultaneously. You cannot separate yourself from the here and now, if you think you can then that is only through the medium of thinking it so. [The Door of Direct Experience]
Now feel free to explore this spiritual nourishing overview of 12 pathways that lead you to life unfiltered and direct experience.
What a jump! From music and the arts to fear and pain! Initially I hadn’t planned mentioning fear and pain as a means of direct experience, and in reality perhaps you are just as surprised as me by the title of this sixth path of direct experience. However that being...
Music, poetry and the arts are all inextricably linked, but what is meant by art in this fifth path towards direct experience is the art of all creative endeavour. Sculpting a sculpture, writing and reciting a poem, telling a good joke, building an aesthetically...
As a lover and vessel for music, I find it to be one of the most soul soothing activities one can undertake. Melodies and harmonies always bring you to the immediate moment. You can be walking in a crowded street and suddenly hear some melodious sounds in the noise of...
Just as with movement, breathing is a key feature and characteristic of biological life. Breath is also fascinating in that it is a process that functions naturally and a process that we can somehow manipulate with our own sense of will. It is indeed one of the few...
Life is characterized by movement, and if you want to be fully immersed in life, it is key to move around more. This can be relatively simple movement as taking a walk or it could be more complex patterns of movement like for example dancing or other artistic movement...
This first path of direct experience and living more directly is about the heightening of your sensitivity. Our senses are windows into reality, and if these windows are clogged by too many mental projections about life and what it is, should be or was, the end result...
12 Paths to Direct Experience
Click to learn more about each path!
This first path of direct experience and living more directly is about the heightening of your sensitivity. Our senses are windows into reality, and if these windows are clogged by too many mental projections about life and what it is, should be or was, the end result is a life that doesn’t fulfill you.
Life is characterized by movement, and if you want to be fully immersed in life, it is key to move around more. This can be relatively simple movement as taking a walk or it could be more complex patterns of movement like for example dancing or other artistic movement based disciplines.
Just as with movement, breathing is a key feature and characteristic of biological life. Breath is also fascinating in that it is a process that functions naturally and a process that we can somehow manipulate with our own sense of will.
Music in its highest form compels one to feel and go deeper into ones own existential situation. Its beauty isn’t merely for the ears but also the spirit. Life becomes direct because our thoughts and mental projections become less prominent and compelling when compared to the beauty of the immediate moment, which the music is inevitably played out in.
Music, poetry and the arts are all inextricably linked, but what is meant by art in this fifth path towards direct experience is the art of all creative endeavour. Sculpting a sculpture, writing and reciting a poem, telling a good joke, building an aesthetically pleasing structure, writing a novel, etc.
Fear and Pain
What a jump! From music and the arts to fear and pain!
The immediacy of fear and pain compels one to be present in the moment, one cannot so easily be distracted by everyday thoughts that one typically walks around with when something pressing seizes your attention.
Relationships between human beings, animals or even plants can be a powerful way of becoming immersed in your experience.
It is indeed one of the most natural ways of feeling in tune with ones surrounding and it also happens to be an important element when it comes to cultivating ones well-being.
Psychedelics are incredibly powerful tools that can function as a sober wake up call for the human mind locked in its own self-reflective egoic bubble.
They have the power to be exceptionally healing and constructive for a human beings well-being but they can also be quite ruthless in their exposing of hidden tendencies, energies and tensions in the human mind.
Through meditation you become a witness of all things that happens to you, within and without. You become a witness to your body, thoughts, emotions and also the seemingly external world.
Through this witnessing you are naturally detached, or as I previously used the term “defocused”, to a certain degree from those phenomena appearing before you.
You may have noticed that I’m a fan of combining and mixing techniques to see what works the best, and just like I recommended the combination of sensitivity and movement, so too I will advise the way of meditation and intellectual contemplation’s on the nature of reality. Combining these two can be a strong and healthy duo when it comes to gaining insights into the nature of reality, and of course as a means of accessing ones own direct experience.
Prayer takes one deeper into ones souls abode, through true prayer one becomes conscious of the deepest existential yearnings and desires of ones own being. I say true prayer, because prayer has in many ways become dishonoured within most religions, as in many cases it has become an instrument to somewhat bargain or extract personal favours from life/God/universe.
I call this last path, though it’s not really a path, I call it sanctity. I decided to use the word sanctity as an homage and allusion to Meister Eckharts luminous sermons , but in truth sanctity can also be seen to be synonymous with enlightenment, self-realization, nirvana, moksha, silence, stillness or what ever floats your existential boat.
Direct experience is life unreserved and unfiltered
Live directly and come to see with your own eyes what I mean. You can never come to the end of direct experience, which means that you can never come to the end of the potential expressions of life…
When we are living fully and directly, we are happy. Our personal projections about life become mist-like while our immediate existence becomes our life.
This happiness which is derived from living fully in each moment is innate to your consciousness, only if you have the wisdom to allow it. It is in fact the joy of all life, the joy to experience and taste.
If you rather go more with your ideas about life, something incredibly subtle will try and succeed in hijacking your consciousness to its own capricious nature.
This sense of “separate-self” is the mental process that is responsible for indirect experience, i.e. unfulfilled living.
Transcend this by living directly and ultimately achieving this state of sanctity within the confines of your own soul.
Here is your salvation, whether you be a Christian or a Hindu, a Muslim or an atheist, a philosopher or a poet, an apple or an orange, a wife or a whore, a pauper or a king, a lover or a loved.
Here is for life, here is for you!
Written & Created by
Daniel Seeker is a wandering dervish and lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized that he was made of immaculate and timeless consciousness when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland, Sweden. His writings are mostly a reflection of that realizaton. Daniel currently studies history, philosophy, egyptology and western esotericism at Uppsala Universitet. He’s also currently writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist and Hindu texts and ideas were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.