The way I see it, understanding is always somewhat relative, although sometimes more clear than other times. Understanding takes place in the mind. If the mind is relatively unconditioned, then understanding is clearer. Realty on the other hand always is, whether we understand it or not. Reality does not change or become altered by our perception. The dream sense of reality may change with perception, but not reality itself.Interesting! However, it appears to me that understanding is part of reality as well! Could it be possible?
The word realization works better for me than understanding. Realization seems to come from that place within that is reality, not from the little "i", so it is reality witnessing reality; which always seems more definite, and clear. Of course in the human experience, there is always the possibility of distortion and subjectivity muddying the waters. So there is usually a gradual movement, towards greater realization and clarity of seeing, through surrendering the little "i". In rare cases this realization happens all at once, but from what I have heard from others as well as my own experience, most will experience it gradually.
Yes even the word reality can be abstract or mean different things to people. I like to make the distinction between reality and facts. Facts the way I use the word, are all the things in the world of phenomena and form, anything that can be experienced with the five senses, and it is all subject to change; they are temporal and impermanent. The sun appears to rise, that is a fact. The flowers appear to bloom, that is a fact. There is an appearance of you and me communicating on the internet, and that is a fact; feelings come and go, thoughts come and go, and so on. We could say this is the dream sense of reality, or reality made manifest appearing as temporary forms.
"Of course in the human experience, there is always the possibility of distortion and subjectivity muddying the waters."
Many of our discussions and misunderstandings come from slight differences on how we perceive various words - for example "reality". Things become even more complicated when talk about concepts and theories. Turbidity keeps increasing....
To me, thinking and comprehension arise in the world of forms just as objects arise. We can look at them, feel them, but they continue to be fleeting expression
Reality on the other hand, as I see it, is that which never changes, it always is, it can't be experienced with the five senses, or understood with the mind or thought, It is non negotiable. We don't get to decide what it is. But there is a part of us that is reality, (it is not really a part, it is us, but we have to use some word to describe it); and this reality in us can witness or realize the whole of reality, because it is all unified.
So what does that leave us with???? No-thingness and pure Awareness. We could add a few others such as intelligence, infinity, eternality, love, peace, freedom and joy, but that gets conceptual and open to interpretation and beliefs; so for the sake of discussion, we can just say no-thingness and pure awareness.
Yes! As the saying goes, everything else is a bad translation; because what is silence or stillness but no-thingness, pure Awareness; the reality within us, or the reality that is us.Maybe this is why silence is the best teacher!