' Knower and Known; and Dzogchen '...
In Buddhist teachings especially, the notion of non-duality is a major axiom.
That means a subject who is viewing an object, as an act concerning two separate parts as a viewer viewing something viewed, is an illusion produced by the dichotomizing mind.
We know in our most advanced, and to date, most accurate physics, known as quantum field theory, that any notion of substantive forms separate and apart from each other, is impossible. And that holds true on the macro as well as the micro levels of phenomena. All there are, are force fields with no separation amongst the fields. Therefore to see two unconnected parts standing freely apart from one another, could only be a mistaken perception.
That means a separate subject apart from its viewed object is impossible. That means there is no separation between a knower and what's known. They are a single, non-dual phenomena.
Dzogchen can help us out here: In Dzogchen teachings all phenomena of every kind are of three inherent qualities: emptiness, knowing clarity and energetic formation. These qualities exist simultaneously for all phenomena whether as thoughts or as more substantial energetic formations.
So the "knower" would be the first two as empty/knowing-clarity and the known would be the energetic formation as the "known". But knower/known are this single phenomena.
The "knower" manifests itself as the "known". The manifest or (energetic formation) aspect of the knower, is what's known. The dualistic conceptualizing mind tries to isolate the knower from its self-manifest aspect by calling it the "the known".
To prove this non-duality, observe to see how much distance exists between that which knows and that which is being known in the moment of knowing it. Sounds are a good place to start, with the eyes closed. Then try thoughts. Then try the rest of the perceptions, saving sight for last.
Even with sight, the moment of knowing an object of sight can't be separated from the knowing. It's only the fact that our eyes can't see that there is no empty space between the object and our eyes; there is instead an inseparable energy field in which your eyes and the object seen are one field, one fully connected piece. There are no two parts there. Cause and effect also disappear.
Going further, Dzogchen teaches all energetic formations are "extensions" (tsal) of rigpa itself and are not independent free standing objects. If rigpa was the sun, then all phenomena as energetic formations would be sun beams or rays. The sun's rays are never not an extension of the sun.
Likewise, the "known" is an extension of the knower, in the same way. Just like the sun can't see its rays as apart and separate, neither can the knower see the known as apart and separate, except as an illusion of spatial separation. The "known" when known, only occurs within the knower, because it IS the knower manifesting itself as the known.
Therefore according to Longchenpa, when seemingly burdened by some oppressive energetic mental formation, just notice the "knower" of that which is known, and the energetic formation will collapse back into the empty nature of the knower. All manifest energies are the "knower" at root.
The empty nature of the "knower" is the empty nature of the known. The "known" is simply the manifest nature of the empty knower.
In Dzogchen the universe is simply an extension of "you" as the "empty knower" expressing its infinite potentials and wisdoms. Notice the universe and beings "you" are extending around you at all times, like colored brush strokes on a blank, spherical canvas.
The self or self identity that you believe yourself to be is just such an extension of the"knower", an empty energetic formation, but is not the "empty knower". Know the "empty knower" within that sense of identity and self, and they will dissolve.
There is a Single Knower, looking through a Single Eye, extending Itself infinitely outwards from a dimensionless Point (thigle nyagchik) while always residing in Pure Emptiness.
We are all that Single Eye in full manifest extension; appearing as knower and known, but not always knowing "knower and known" are always one and the same...
Posted by thomas meehan