How do we define knowledge? Knowledge is knowing what is “behind”. It is the context. It is access to the non-obvious for our own consciousness. The roots of the German word for knowledge (“Wissen”) derive from the Latin and, before that, from Sanskrit, an Indo-Germanic language. “Wissen” developed out of the Latin word “videre” = to see and, before that, from the Sanskrit word “Veda”. The Vedas are the ancient Indian knowledge texts that describe the spiritual and occult relationships of the Universe; they are the most profound delineation of the Non-Evident available to us today.
Knowledge of or an insight into what lies behind the visible surface is one of the most fascinating phenomena of ourselves and our creation. The general belief about the mechanism of the phenomenon of knowledge, specifically that our spirit “produces” knowledge by thinking, certainly does not apply. Animals have knowledge, but they haven’t achieved it by thinking. An orang-utan has an absolutely precise knowledge of the position of some 50,000 individual trees within its territory, but its spirit did not produce this knowledge, nor did it achieve it by reflection. It is clear that, at the very least, memory also works without thoughts. According to the fable, elephants have very long memories, but again we assume that elephants don’t actually think.
This does not only apply to remembering; the understanding of relationships also appears to function without thoughts. The coordinated hunting activities of marine mammals such as dolphins and orcas often requires a very detailed and clear understanding of relationships, but once again we do not imagine that these animals gained this knowledge by reflection. They clearly have a mechanism that allows their consciousness to achieve a level of knowledge without thought. Even in people, thinking is not always the most important tool in the process of acquiring knowledge. In an unthinking state in which we are able to push aside all our thoughts, we can achieve a level of cognitive clarity much more easily than when fettered and held down by our thoughts. Thoughts can only ever comment upon or assign knowledge; they actually have nothing to do with the process of knowledge acquisition. Indeed they can be a hindrance in this respect. True insight is the direct appreciation by the consciousness of a relationship that is behind the surface. It probably works in exactly the same way as the understanding of relationships in the visible world. When an orang-utan sees a tree and stores the insight about its position, the process of storing this insight is certainly the same as when scientist achieves an insight or when an Indian Rishi gains an insight into an occult relationship in this Universe. Both the remembering and the storing of knowledge are supraphysical processes that simply take place with the aid of a certain mechanism. Of course, we can argue whether the electrochemical processes in our brain cells are the main organisers of this process or whether they are simply a physical epiphenomenon and manifestation of an essentially non-physical mechanism. But this discussion is very unrewarding. Ultimately it is entirely secondary for the actual state of our knowledge how we store our current insights and how our memory works, provided that it does indeed still work well. The decisive factor is the process of acquiring knowledge.
So how does consciousness gain an insight? This is the significant question. It is likely that the storing of knowledge by the consciousness and the process of acquiring knowledge are the same in the orang-utan and in the scientist who suddenly discovers a relationship and “understands”. Or in a sage who discovers and “understands” a profound relationship while meditating. In all three cases, the consciousness identifies something and absorbs it in itself. For the orang-utan, this identification takes place via the sensory organs. For the meditating sage, it takes place via an “inner seeing” which certainly occurs without thinking, just as in the orang-utan. For the scientist, the insight is probably gained in exactly the same way as a direct, unthinking “seeing”. However the scientist is probably trapped in his intellect which demands classification and order to such an extent that his thinking immediately takes up the process, comments on it and assigns other insights to it. This is why the scientist doesn’t really see the actual process of identification; he only sees the thoughts which, more or less simultaneously, wrap the insight in mental gift paper and sell it as a product of the intellect. The actual process of insight, however, is not a thought process. It is perhaps more the direct seeing of a hidden inner essential unity that we have with everything that exists.
And this is where it becomes really interesting. The attempt to get beneath the surface and identify relationships that are not obvious using “supraphysical” sensory organs is certainly one of the most exciting things that we can do. The ancient Indian sages of the time of the Vedas and Upanishads had a developed a path to insight, almost a science of knowledge, the main goal of which was to acquire knowledge or insight. This inner science was or is called Jnana yoga. The technique behind this science was first to free the mind of all thoughts and create a thought-free state of inner seeing. If we had achieved this state, we would have been able identify our own “self” which is normally masked by our thoughts. If we had achieved clear, conscious access to our own self, and so had advanced to such an extent with our consciousness that the self ( which perceives the consciousness) and the consciousness (which is perceived by the self) had melded into unity, then we automatically had access both to the Self and to all Others. According to the knowledge of the ancient Vedas and Upanishads, the Self is just a “divine spark”, a part of the divine Whole, a part of an underlying unity of God and Creation.
In Chinese mythology, the same process of the conscious recognition of the underlying unity is beautifully demonstrated by the concept of the Tao in which Lao Tzu and his successors succeeded in keeping the mental clarifications and constructs which launch immediately into commenting upon every insight much more at bay than their Indian colleagues were able to do. The Indian Vedas, Upanishads and the Samkhya philosophy are probably the profoundest knowledge texts available to us today. But the ancient Chinese texts of Lao Tzu present the insight of the underlying Whole without commentary, clarification or embedding in context. Lao Tzu’s message ultimately consists of just three aspects: There is an all-encompassing Oneness (the Tao) – We can consciously understand this all-encompassing Oneness (Tao) – The state of conscious understanding of the Tao is the most valuable state there is.
The methods or technique of Jnana yoga, the science of knowledge, the sharpening of the supraphysical sensory organs which can understand that which is beyond our sensory perception, this is the ultimate art of self-discovery which incorporates the finding of all Others, regardless of whether these Others are on this side or the other of our current limits of consciousness.
Connaissance is thus the last model in the range of five watches of the Niveau élevé brand. It is the symbol of knowledge, specifically for any knowledge that extends beyond our thought cycles without limit, without warning that we are diving too deeply into the unfathomableness of this world, which is indeed merely the surface of the other side.
From Lucidity we reach Introsistence, move on to Determination, through to Realization, finally reaching Connaissance. The goal of the path of the five watches would then be the state of the “Niveau élevé”, the “raised consciousness”, which in the full insight of the Self is above time.
The Connaissance is only available with a self-winding movement and with a sapphire crystal on the case back, allowing insight into the watch’s mechanism. The case combines straight and curved side edges, representing both the square and the circle. And the combination of these two perfect but contrasting forms symbolises the insight or complete knowledge. Invisible to the observer, a phrase in Indo-Germanic text (Sanskrit) is engraved on the inside of the bottom of the case. This translates as, “The knowledge that reaches us from the other worlds”.