The Status of Knowledge

March 1, 2017

After Shunyamurti’s interview with Rick Archer on Buddha at the Gas Pump, in January 2017, the two continued a correspondence via email. Their conversation was far reaching and included a profound question from Rick: 


“Can we know anything with certainty?” 


This question inspired Shunya to write a multi-faceted, serious, subtle, and thought provoking essay in response. What is the Status of Knowledge? Find out below:



From Rick Archer:


Hi Shunya,


One thing I often ask myself and others in conversations like this is the Byron Katie-ish question, “Can you absolutely know this is true?”, or the variation, “Do you really know this to be true, or is it something that jibes with and buttresses your world view, but may actually just be a belief?” Over the course of my life, I’ve constructed a worldview that includes such things as reincarnation, ET’s, subtle realms, cycles of yugas, etc. I can’t say with certainty that any of these things are true. I think there is evidence for them. Friends have told me they have experienced or do experience most of them. Scriptures and teachers I respect talk about them. Etc. But of course, there are billions of people in the world who hold different beliefs and would disagree with all of mine. My natural inclination is to assume that I know better than they do, but I can’t be absolutely sure about that without being arrogant.