Saturday, December 8, 2018

Love Is All There Is

We love ourself more than anything and there is nothing else. What's not to love? Everything is allowed. From the limited jiva there may be things we don't like, but in the grand scheme, everything is allowed. Everything is loved.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Experience Is A Pointer

Experience is often a pointer, but without the knowledge revealed and understood, moksha is not possible. I had many experiences that were unitary and blissful, but knowledge is what brought me true freedom. The revelation of the knowledge behind experience is essential. That the intellect is a necessary tool is often left out. Leaving the intellect out of the equation is a travesty. It causes many to miss moksha. It was a godsend to realize that moksha is present whatever experience I am having. That is true freedom.

We could argue all day long about the difference between experience and knowledge. It can be said that experience is a form of knowledge. Often experience comes and then it goes. What do you have when the experience goes? You don't have the experience any more, and that can be experienced as a loss. But if understanding and knowledge can be gleaned from the experience, you have something that is lasting. This extraction of knowledge is the key. This is why Vedanta is knowledge based. It removes ignorance, and the knowledge revealed is the freedom. Whatever experience I am having, I can know, "I am That."

Monday, November 19, 2018

When the Character Rests

Character is a set of attributes that distinguish an individual. It is a set of tendencies which we inhabit, like it or not. The situation tends to make us strive to be better, to somehow enhance the character or purge ourselves of it. As our character matures, we appreciate those who are honest, entertaining, or courageous.

Novels are about character. The author Rachel Cusk has said, "The idea that he, or that anyone, could find a different way of living, by a different way of inquiring and listening — that’s an idea that I have, of not necessarily what my book could do, but what any book could do."

She also said "The speakers suffer from feeling unseen, and in the absence of a reflection they are not real to themselves. The tyranny of conventional stories: the fates and the characters that we inherit."

If this is the case, one becomes dependent on others to be seen and validated. Others become a prison in which we see ourselves. Is there no alternative to this prison of neediness that compels us to depend on others for validation?

It seems to me that the "word mirror," and "means of knowledge" that is Advaita Vedanta answers the author's dilemma. The itch that makes us feel like the character we are is unreal, is based on solid ground. Non duality points this out very clearly. The essence of what we are is not a character, but Being itself.

Cusk asks if there is a different way of seeing and listening. Yes there is, and it has been around for thousands of years. Sadly, there are few takers. Real inquiry confirms the itch is indicating the right direction. We are not the characters we play, and the itch is the pointer. But what else do we know? Can we survive what psychologists like to label depersonalization?

Yes, a different way of inquiry and listening exists. Is it the fact that it is not well known, or is it that it is scary, and the risk implies diving into the unknown? Risking of oneself into the unknown is not without its casualties. We know this. Few take the leap.

“A journalist recently told me that she had been sent to find out who I was,” Cusk said. “There seems to be some problem about my identity. But no one can find it, because it’s not there—I have lost all interest in having a self. Being a person has always meant getting blamed for it.”

Non duality has an answer to not being blamed for one's personality. If one studies non duality, a process is provided. It is a means of knowledge, a means of inquiry into the Self. One does not need to complete the leap in one jump. There are steps, each with an uncovering of a sample of the truth. Take them one at a time. Chew on them and let them sink in. Transformation will happen.

This human ennui that makes our character seem unreal is the doorway. Admitting that ennui, and taking a look is the first step. It is said that a journey starts with a single step. It is that first step not taken that stops the journey. Yet once the first step is taken, the next one is a little easier. Soon the path appears before us. Sign posts appear and the confidence to follow deepens. The end is assured.

When an opening unveils Awareness as our being in itself, a shift occurs that reveals the character for what it is, an appearance only. It does not disappear, but takes its rightful place in the playground. It is now free to play without fear. Your real Self watches without judgment. How nice is that?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Knowing and Bliss

There seems to be a pattern here of first awakening to unity, oneness, bliss, and then that dropping away and experiencing meaninglessness. It’s happened to me over and over again. One thing that helped was that during a short experience of ecstasy years ago, I was given this non verbal knowing: “You are surrounded by absolute beauty, you always been, and you always will be, whether you know it, or not.”

As you know, in awakenings, non verbal communication comes like a download of knowing. It is direct and without words, yet the understanding is there. These downloads are so profound and come with so much authority that there is no questioning of it possible. I recall thinking after one of these downloads, "No scientist, no psychiatrist, no friend, could disabuse me of what I now know." Too much authority came with this for any worldly challenge.

The absolute knowingness of these downloads always surprised me. It was not the knowing that surprised me, but the absolute unquestioning authority with which they came. The authority of this type of download astounded my intellect. Put it  in its place. The sense of authority, the unquestionable absolute certainty of this type of knowing is surprising. Not the message that astounds, but the authority of giver.

After the bliss, unity, and oneness passes, what do you do with the meaningless that follows? I suggest that it is relative. In other words, when the bliss is so full, so overwhelmingly beautiful and lovely, when it passes, what’s left in comparison, seems like nothing. Prior to the ecstasy there was nothing to compare it with.

When an ecstatic experience passes, the return to the previous norm is a shock. It feels like a loss. The mundane feels like a meaningless void. But this is relative. The meaning and bliss experienced in ecstasy, flatlines when it falls away. The deflation is relative, but it can feel like depression. The comparison didn't exist before.

It seems that enlightenment is a process that continues, even if the initial realization was sudden. The best advice I can give is that one must take it in stride. Time lessens the relative comparison. I am 69 years old and this has been going on for years. There is little personal self identity, but a body is still here, hanging around. It wants to eat and have shelter, so I still do what I need to do.

Perhaps it is wise to see that realization may not be permanent bliss, but a knowing of unity, of peace, of oneness. There is peace in just being, without the demand that it be blissful and ecstatic 24/7. Although there is an experiential side to realization, there is also a knowing, and that knowing remains whatever experience one is having.


There is this myth that seeking is the problem. But, where does the seeking come from? None other than That. The inefable is all there is, any seeking is That seeking itself. My seeking was never to avoid anything. During my many years of seeking, I may have not been able to see or accept the deep impersonal implications of the Absolute, but my seeking was not in the way. Whatever detours I took were necessary or they would not have happened. Could not have been otherwise. Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find." It works. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Joy of Emptiness

Many people and traditions speak of experiencing nothingness, emptiness, or void.
It is not an appealing prospect to the average person. It is also true that something experiences that nothingness, emptiness, or void. So, although the nothingness may not sound appealing, it is the closest one can get to pure being, often called pure consciousness, or awareness.

I think we could say then, that people who express gratitude and joy at experiencing emptiness, are actually experiencing a sense of fullness which comes from being close to the ground of being. This is consciousness at its core, prior to any expression of form, other than emptiness.

As we know, form creates limitation, and it is the escape from limitation that we are all wanting. In feeling that emptiness, we are also experiencing the lack of limitation, the bliss of letting go of form. This is the boundlessness, the freedom prior to form. This is the joy, the bliss of emptiness.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Thought Experiments

One of the greatest scientific minds was Albert Einstein. He did not have a laboratory, a physical place in which to conduct experiments. However, he did have the greatest laboratory of all, his mind. His method was creating "Thought Experiments." He would set up the thought experiment and then contemplate on it until he could come to a precises logical conclusion. The results of his thought experiments have proven to be true in many cases. We need not go into all the real world applications his thought experiments made possible. The point here is how valid thought experiments are.

Since Einstein didn't have a lab, he read scientific papers, contemplated the various implications, and created thought experiments to explain and reveal the results. Without a physical lab, he used thought experiments to develop theories and conclusions far beyond what physical science could prove at that time.

A thought experiment considers some question or hypothesis, and then through contemplation using the mind alone, proceeds to arrive at the most probable conclusion, proving or disproving the hypothesis. It is a an intentional, structured process designed to reach potential conclusions.

So, what is the point of this in a blog about non dual reality? I would like to point out that thousands of years ago, the rishis of India conducted thought experiments just as Einstein did. The difference was that their thought experiments were not directed outward toward the physical world, but inward, towards the subjective world. The method is exactly the same. Advaita Vedanta calls their method a "word mirror" that reflects the true Self.

It's been in vogue for Western science to negate the subjective discoveries of the East as non-objective and unscientific. However, if we consider the contribution to Western science provided by Einstein's thought experiments, perhaps Western science might see that some humility is in order. The subjective science of the rishis is on just as solid ground as so called "objective science."

The greatest piece of laboratory equipment in any lab is the human mind. Whereas the physical lab has a variety of equipment to measure and quantify, thought experiments typically do not. However, in recent times, the ability to measure thought waves is bringing some measuring capability to the effects of meditation on the brain and body of meditators.

It seems to me that the hard problem of consciousness will be resolved as further developments in quantum physics begin to concur with the ancient rishis who discovered that consciousness is primary. It will only be a matter of time. There is only one reality and it is a coherence. I suggest that in the end that coherence will be that consciousness is fundamental, that the physical world is nothing but an appearance in it. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Realization Has a Downside

Realization may be great for the relief of the great existential questions and internal stress, but it may not relieve the issues you have with other people, especially those close to you that depend on you. Although  realization changes your perspective, it does not change theirs. This fact alone may create issues, especially with ones closest to you.

When the great "Who am I" question is answered, much of relative life and its pursuits lose their meaning. Motivation regarding such goals drop like extra baggage. They are no longer required for your happiness, but those around you, not experiencing the great relief, may find your lack of motivation to be a disaster, a loss of what it takes to make life worth living: chasing experience, getting things done, getting things, the pursuit of happiness. 

When you have a sense of completeness, of wholeness, and any moment is as good as the next, where is the motivation for the pursuit of anything? You are no longer looking for "new and different." Now is good enough. The moment you are having is perfect as it is. You don't ask "What's next?" 

While this is wonderful for you, those who have depended on you to share their pursuits will find you lacking, may find you lazy, no fun anymore. When you have lost the wanting of more things, a bigger house, a newer car, more money, you are no longer on their team. They may turn on you, not understanding where their partner in pursuit of things got lost. 

How do you explain to someone you are already complete? That there is nothing more you need to do to feel okay? This perspective is yours, not theirs, and unless they realize, they will not understand. You may be told you are no longer helpful, understanding, or living in the real world. Try telling them the world they are in is a zero sum game and you're not in it. It doesn't go over well. 

Others will not understand what happened to you. They will feel they have lost you. They have, but how do you tell them that you also lost yourself? How do you tell them you are no longer the personal so and so, but are the impersonal Self? 

There is a moral hazard to realization. You may have found peace, but those around you may find you frustrating, indifferent, unattached. And you are. 

Friday, October 12, 2018


The world cannot be other than perfect.

From our human construct we may disagree. That is to be expected. We appear to be a body that has needs and desires and a wrong move may cause pain or even death.

But from the perspective of Self, nothing could possibly be wrong. From the source which we can know as Awareness itself, manifestation arises. The universe, and beings of infinite variety appear, provide experience, and disappear. But nothing arises other than That. Existence itself is nothing but That.

Being that Awareness/Consciousness is all there is, the essence of everything is That, doing as it will, as every particle and every sentient being. There is no second Self to judge, or compare, or determine that anything less than perfection exists. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018


The intuition I had from childhood created a continual neti neti process that I was not conscious of. The intuition was that there was a truth that I needed to know or understand. The intuition insisted I had to find that something which when found I would know. This intuition was powerful and unyielding and drove me to examine everything.

The paradox was that the intuition did not directly point to what it was that I had to know. This resulted in all experiences, beliefs, and concepts, being subjected to examination in the light of the intuition. The intuition could not directly give me the understanding, but it was without failure in saying, "No, not this. No, not this."

This process went on for years. When I finally realized, "I am That," the intuition that was the driving force of my seeking, relaxed, and felt satisfied.

It is interesting now to know that one of the Vedic principals is "Neti Neti," Not this, not that. There is the admonition that what you see, or feel, or think is not it. The directive is designed to force you back out of experience into the subject of all experience, the Self.

I did not have that directive because I didn't know the Vedic tradition, but I did have the intuition that created that same process. Intuition was the directive for me, but it could not point directly, so I spent many years exploring, only to continually discover, not this, not this.

In the end, it did know what it wanted me to realize, and it did prove to be true. It was the strongest  tool I had. Although it could not me give me direction, it recognized the goal when it was found.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Silent Potential

Awareness is the potential. That is why it is called silent. It is still, available, ready to accept whatever appears. It is a void, open to whatever comes into existence.

Awareness is whole, non judgmental, undisturbable, blank. It is inviting. It is being itself, the ground of infinite potential. Everything in existence appears in it.

Consciousness is whatever appears in awareness, be it a thought, an emotion, a view, a touch, a sound. Any movement in the field becomes a conscious experience to awareness. Anything may appear. All is allowed. Therefore we call it love.

Enlightenment is the consciousness of that silent blank field. It is the knowing of the silence. The knowing of the eternal ground from which all things arise. It is the knowing of "I am that."

Sunday, September 30, 2018


My freedom does not exist as a separate self. As a human individual, I cannot maintain freedom because I am limited. As a limited separate individual I can desire much, yet not attain, fear much, yet have little power to assuage. No matter how much motivation I have, drive, determination and stamina, the limitation remains. Where is there freedom in this? On what basis can I claim free will?

As an apparent limited self, I easily admit that I have no free will. This is so, even though I may appear to make choices. The struggle with choices is just the tug and pull of preferences. I have no sense as an individual that I have any free will at all. I am subject to the setup of this creation, like it or not.

But I do have freedom. It is the freedom that belongs to the Self of being. The freedom that comes with  knowing "I am That." That freedom is not limited, it is not contained. It is not a separate self, and it has no other to compare. There is no definition to confine that Self, and no desire that could arise, as it is all that is. Nothing is needed to complete it.

In knowing I am the Self, the Absolute, the creator and sustainer of this universe, I know that I am beyond even freedom. With no other to compare, neither bondage nor freedom apply. In knowing that, this apparent individual knows that despite appearances, I am That. I am free. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Suffering Cannot be the Natural State

What is the pain that causes suffering? We're not talking about the pain of a broken leg or stomach ache. We're talking about the mental anguish of beliefs and conditioning challenged by the direct experience of reality.

I arrived at college with a set of beliefs and conditioning that included a lot guilt. There was foremost the guilt of being human, carrying the burden of original sin. Tied to that was all the joys of the flesh that were considered evil. I was not taught that suffering was a part of life, but that suffering was to be glorified. To suffer was a sacrifice made to the glory of God. Tell me how this kind of conditioning was suitable to get any joy whatsoever out of life?

I would stare out the college dorm window at the young men and women playing frisbee, or just tossing a ball without a care in the world. I could only imagine what freedom they had compared to me, who felt guilty about having any good feelings at all, let alone joy. I could only stare and wonder what was wrong with me.

A conundrum was very present in my mind. I thought about the life force cruising through me, wanting to run, to play, to be free. I compared this to my mental state of repression, fear, guilt and self loathing. There was no way I could justify my mental suffering in the face of the simple joy of living I saw in animals, insects, and other students. My only conclusion was that there was something wrong with me. I tried telling the few friends I had that I was not normal, but they brushed it aside. They had no idea of the seriousness of my suffering.

At least, placing the issue of suffering in myself was correct. It was I that had the problem. I just didn't know the cause. How was I to know that my conditioning was in conflict with reality? How was I to know that what I had been taught was false? That my conditioning was based on beliefs and attitudes designed to hide the truth? How was I to know that I couldn't hide and so was unlike those who brought me up?

Somehow, in my suffering, I knew that it was not a "natural state." I could see that life could not have the drive to continue if suffering was its daily bread. There had to be some joy, some satisfaction of desire to make life want to continue. What were all these desires for, if not to produce some direction for satisfaction, for peace, for contentment?

This was the start of my journey. It was the only direction I could see that held any truth. The natural state had to be one of contentment, of peace, of joy in living. The life force driving everything had to have some reward, some pleasure, some how, some way. My suffering had to be a mistake. I was living the mistake and the answer needed to be found. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Chasing Experience

One of the results of realization is that that one does not chase experience. I can recall riding on the bus to work every day and listening to the other riders. One finds oneself listening to others' stories, hopes, and dreams. I was fascinated by what they thought they needed. They revealed the pursuit of new and different experiences. They needed to purchase a second home on the lake, a boat, the latest car, or attend a major musical concert. Sports was also a major topic of conversation. I could not listen to this without experiencing my own lack of interest in these things. More than that, I felt that such pursuit would distract from my own constant state of peace and contentment. I never felt these distractions would add anything to my sense of satisfaction. In fact, they would take me away from my present okayness, my sense of satisfaction already present. I didn't need these extra experiences to be happy or content. The pursuit of them would be a lessening of my current experience which was already OK. It was obvious they did not have a sense that the present was already satisfactory. An escape was needed. It seemed they lacked discernment between needs and wants. My needs seemed few, while theirs many. Nisargadatta said, "Want what you have, and don't want what you don't." This makes sense to me. The effort needed to gain these new experiences did not appeal to me. The feeling of effortlessness was much more attractive to me. To allow what came naturally seemed much more inviting, and what was allowed was always effortless compared to having a goal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

From Seeking to Allowing

Initially there is seeking. There is the intuitive sense of something missing, something in the periphery that wants to be found. When that which is being sought is found, this phase ends. It is the knowing that I am That. I am what I was seeking. Once this realization is in place, another stage opens which does not have the urgency of the first.

This second phase is not so much driven as allowed. In this phase the personal will has faded into the background and open awareness is allowed to reveal. It is a phase of openness to guidance, to following what opens up naturally. There may not be a goal. One simply takes the next right step.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Putting a Teacher on a Pedestal

I always followed what resonated with me. It is as though I had an inner string that would vibrate when a teaching or teacher struck a chord. Even though I couldn't name the note or chord, I could feel the resonance.

I never took any teacher as my sole guide. To me they were all provisional. As long as they resonated, I was in for the ride. The second I felt the resonance stop, I moved on. You could say I was unfaithful to the teacher, but I was never unfaithful to myself.

I recall when I was in therapy that I was the one who chose the therapist. It was I who did the work. I worked because there was resonance, truth that played to my own heart. However, I also knew that as I progressed, and truth was clearer to me, I might move on to find deeper truth. 

We are responsible for the teacher we follow. Who we follow says as much about us as it does about the teacher. If we are growing, if we are owning our own truth, we may find that moving to a new teacher is the truest honoring of our self.

At some point, if we have done the work and imbibed the teachings, we come to stand with the teachers. Our own true Self stands as One with all who have gone before, having discovered the teaching in our own heart. We have realized that what we were seeking was here all along and the teachers were only pointing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Intuition That Something Is Missing

I never wanted to be saintly. I never wanted to be good. I didn't want to be perfect. I just wanted to know the truth. From early childhood I felt out of place, in the wrong place, not able to accept what other people accepted. I was introverted and highly intuitive. I was aware that something was missing. There was a drive to know what was missing. To know what was missing I needed to find the truth.

I was in a boarding school in the DRC. I recall a period of time when I was about 9 or 10, that I would wake up in the middle of the night and go to my hostel mother and tell her I was cold and dying. It was an overwhelming feeling of death, of emptiness. She would come to me and stay with me till I was able to go back to sleep.

The feelings of emptiness, of something missing, of oblivion,  were constantly with me. Nothing I heard in school helped. No adult could dissuade the emptiness. I was acutely aware that what satisfied the other children and adults in my environment could not satisfy me.

In high school, I was introduced to the existentialists. I took to this area of literature with recognition and a deep connection. The sense of isolation, of a boundless emptiness without comfort, I recognized. That others had seen this, had felt this, was at least a ray of hope. But this did not give an answer.

In my first year of college, with complete loss of my faith, with no ground to stand on, I aped the the other students, as there was no other basis for appearing normal. There was no security, no sense of ease or trust, just the void of unanswered questions. If not for the intuition that something was missing, and the drive to find it, I would have died.

There followed years of anger, of atheism. Over time the search in books was an anchor, a possibility of finding the answer. Years of therapy produced a return to a personal base of feeling, a connection to embodiment. This moved me to a more open minded agnosticism, which at least considered the return of spirit. The first time I heard the term enlightenment, there was an excitement to know that.

I had been through the loss of hope and oblivion. Those who have experienced this level of hopelessness know that it feels eternal. This eternal aspect of despair makes it unbearable, and to survive it seems impossible. Yet, the tiniest bit of intuition that feebly whispers "There is an answer," allows one to continue.

When the search turned up mysticism and references to the "dark night of the soul," I knew there must be a way out. In time, hope returned, and mystical experiences followed. States of bliss came and went. These convinced me that a final experience would be so complete that I would obtain enlightenment. But that was a mistake.

It took a good many years of reading and contemplation to realize that enlightenment was not just an experience. It also required knowledge, and understanding, and the removal of doubts. For me, all these aspects were required to arrive at the knowing that I understood, and I knew that I understood. There was a final knowing that I was That which was everything, that I couldn't be anything but that, and there was no doubt. That knowing stopped the search, and the intuition I had carried for thirty years was satisfied.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Realization and Further Refinement

If you take the position that souls move through various lifetimes, learning lessons and evolving in consciousness, then the idea of levels of consciousness has validity. We all know the expression, "She's an old soul." That this is a common expression is more cultural evidence of this evolution in consciousness.

The question then becomes, "What are the levels?" Various teachers express this in different ways. Some talk about "higher vibration," some talk about levels related to "states of experience." These are all models. Some may be better models than others. However, they are all pointing to the fact that people are at different levels of consciousness.

Other pointers to this phenomena are sayings such as "Birds of a feather flock together." The Urban Dictionary describes this phrase as: "When people that act the same, hang out together," and "People that have the same morals often tend to group." This can be easily interpreted as people at the same level of consciousness flock together.

Another phrase is, "If you want to know who you are, look at your friends." An example where this is applied is when someone points out that "All your friends are alcoholics." If this is so, it is quite likely that you are an alcoholic as well. A primary attractor field of alcoholics is denial, a common denominator at this level of consciousness.

Since cultures all appear to acknowledge levels of consciousness and spiritual groups have models describing levels of consciousness, it must have some factual basis. With science now measuring brain states, such as the effects of meditation on the brain, we may come up with more measurable models.

When it comes to realization we can say that it is an indicator of a certain level of consciousness. Tradition informs us that this is just the beginning and that further refinement may occur. In some traditions, one is obliged to refrain from teaching for at least ten years. Again, this implies further development which implies that after ten years the level will have settled in and perhaps risen further to a higher level.

To claim that upon realization one is finished, a cooked goose, is to ignore a process that is evolutionary and progressive. It appears safe to say that after realization, further refinement and embodiment continue. To say one has the complete knowledge and is finished upon realization seems counter intuitive and possibly arrogant.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Problem of Free Will

I recall being at lunch with some friends from work. We were having a lively discussions and the subject of 'free will' came up. I explained that I did not think we had free will. This horrified them! One of my friends said, "If I thought I didn't have free will I would kill myself." My response was that having no free will didn't bother me at all. This position was almost unfathomable to my friends. I explained that I was determined to live with Truth, whatever understanding it brought me.

My position on free will was brought about by self inquiry. First of all, I as a body did not create myself. The body appeared here one fine day. Secondly, I never felt I had control over my thoughts. The only response I seemed to have control over was whether or not I acted on my thoughts. I explained that I didn't create my mind, or my thoughts, they just appeared to me. It made little difference to me that I felt like I had choices, as that was just a feeling. What created the choice was just conflicts of interest, tendencies, etc. I knew the feeling of choice did not make free will a fact. It was just the appearance of the feeling of choice.

That conversation was many years ago. The fruition of my stance on personal free will has now come to fruition. The non dual perspective answers the question of free will very well. Knowing that I am the Absolute, and could be nothing other than the Absolute, were is there any lack of free will? The bodymind is simply a focal point of the Infinite. The infinite is playing the game of Lila with every creature in the universe. It is free to do whatever it wants with any of them. Knowing I am That, playing with this bodymind, where is my lack of freedom? 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Understanding Versus Belief

The Security of Understanding is much more profound than the security of belief. To make this starkly evident, understanding that 2 + 2 = 4 is inherently more secure than the belief that 2 + 2 = 3.

The belief that 2 +2 = 3 may give you a sense of security because you were brought up to think so, but you will have to defend it by rationalization, denial, and fanaticism because it doesn't have inherent support.

Understanding that 2 + 2 =4 leaves one open to changing one's mind if a deeper understanding occurs. Understanding this isn't a belief, but a knowing that is foundational in the realm of mathematical truth.

Understanding is a security based on thorough openness to what truth points to. This position is secure because it is based on the best investigation one can make. Belief on the other hand is held firm without question or openness. This is why beliefs are hard to change, but understanding deepens.