What we know is based on what we believe. Any system of knowledge must be founded on what are perceived as self-evident truths. These are unprovable assumptions that form the basis of a logical system of understanding. “Matter and energy exist in a universe of space-time” is one such assumption. These core beliefs are so deeply rooted in our thinking that we seldom realize that we are taking them for granted. We simply assume they are true because we learned them at a young age and everyone else seems to believe them, so they must be unquestionable.
But there are many ways to look at the experience we call “life” and the way we see things affects how we act and what we achieve. Have you ever had a friend who creates so many problems for him or herself and you can see so clearly that there are patterns of thought preventing them from living a better life? You can tell that that person’s core belief structure just doesn’t quite include everything needed to live a happy life.
If you have read my discussion of the seven states of consciousness, then you know that there are some vastly different perspectives available to human awareness. Associated with each shift in consciousness, the understanding of the nature of experience changes. From the (unenlightened) waking state perspective, we are material beings limited in space and time, living in a random universe full of uncertainty and injustice. From the perspective of Transcendental Consciousness we are nothing but silent, unmanifested awarerness. From the awakened states, we are unmanifested awareness flowing as if in manifestation.
I’m sure you can see how these vastly different perspectives would lead to a very different approach to living. For millenia philosophers have argued about the true nature of experience. Some agree with each other, some cannot even begin to accept the other’s viewpoint. What the title of this article suggests is that, whatever your truth is from your current state of consciousness, that is true for you. It is not better or worse than another’s truth, it is just your truth. What I wish to convey is that someone else may be living a very different truth, and though you cannot comprehend their truth at this time, it does not mean that they are wrong.
When I was a student at Maharishi International University (now called Maharishi University of Management) in Iowa I was taught this phrase, “Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.” Though on the surface it seems like an obvious statement, it holds within it much wisdom. It allows us to accept the our own perception of truth as a valid truth for us at this time. We do not have to believe what someone else wants us to believe unless we want to believe it. It also allows us to accept the differing views of others as equally valid as our own.
Another really useful implication of this statement is that it helps us to understand that no matter how sure we are that our belief structure is true, it can change and will change. We must remain open to new vistas that may be approaching. We cannot cling to our worldview and push all others away. We can seek for a freer and more inclusive philosophy, a less restrictive and more awakened way of seeing things.
Life is Open to Interpretation
So “Knowledge in different in different states of consciousness” means that we are all growing, changing and flowing toward wider perspectives on life. It means we will never be done, that life will always be shifting and growing and that what-we-are will always be open to a fresh interpretation.