Metta used the phrase “greed of knowing” yesterday in a comment, and it triggered a long reply from me. When I finished writing, I realized I had produced a summary of Ramana’s method. Because there is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation about Ramana’s method on the Internet, I’ve decided to publish my reply as a post on this page.
I think the “greed of knowing,” as you put it, is an extremely useful thing to examine.
Let’s suppose you get this knowledge that you’re greedy for.
Who or what exactly will get it?
When you know something, who or what exactly knows it?
My suggestion is, “Put your attention on that who or what.”
That who or what is you — or seems to be you.
That who or what is not an object so the attention must be used in a different way from usual in order to accomplish this.
The knowledge that results from that use of the attention, is the goal.
You wrote, “The knowing is really in not-knowing.” I would put that a little differently. I’d say, “Our goal is reached by not knowing objects (i.e., not paying attention to objects).” More exactly, by willingly turning our attention away from that which it loves most, experience. (I define “experience” as knowledge of objects, and I use the word “knowledge” in a very broad sense.) To do this willingly and contentedly is vairagya, renunciation and surrender (renunciation of experience, surrender to the Self). But it is not sufficient to turn the attention away from objects. We must turn it toward something else: to me, to that which is paying attention and seeking and hoping to accomplish something. To that which has experience. To that which knows.
That’s the first half of Ramana’s method in a nutshell.
But I’ve made this too complicated. Let’s go back to wanting to know. If you get the knowledge that you want, who or what will know it?
No need to imagine what that event would be like — you’re knowing something right now. Right this instant, you know what these words mean. Who knows it?
That who has or is the power of knowing. What is that power when it’s not knowing an object, i.e., when it’s knowing only itself?
Find that and you’ve found the gate and the goal.
That gate cannot be in anything you learn because it’s the knower of what you learn. The gate is you.
slowly i saw/am seeing
The I who saw and is seeing — regardless of what it has seen and learned and experienced and known, hasn’t it always been the same I? Let’s call it the seer. A suggestion: Forget the seeing and the things seen. Forget the things you’re learned and experienced and known. Disregard experience completely. Catch hold of the seer, of that which learned, of that which has experiences, of that which knows. Catch hold of yourself.