For imagination to go, mind must go; and for Knowledge to come, consciousness must remain. Only when the mind disappears, does consciousness get freed of all imaginary “this and that" and "I and you." The moment consciousness is freed from all imagination, this "consciousness of nothing" is all at once transformed into the "Knowledge of Everything" i.e., Dnyan or Marefat.
Even Vedanta and Sufism cannot reach or explain Knowledge. One may try to imagine a shoreless ocean with numberless drops, and think out in various terms of comparison and contrast; but just as “no beginning—no end" would always remain "no beginning—no end," so, Knowledge can never be imagined. If that be so, and if I were a listener amongst you, I would have asked "Then why all this headache over explaining a thing which can neither be explained nor grasped?"
Ordinary Swayambhu-Knowledge or the ordinary self-knowledge does not depend upon any process of reasoning or imagination. A man, woman or child neither acquires nor has any need to acquire the knowledge of one's individual existence from sources outside existence itself. A woman knows that she is a woman. This knowledge is not received. It is self-knowledge of womanhood; and the same is the case with the self-knowledge of manhood and childhood for a man and a child.
Similarly, Divine Swayambhu-Knowledge is Divine Knowledge of Power, Beauty and Bliss. When one gets such Dnyan or Irfan, one not only feels oneself in every one and in every thing, but one then actually lives the free life of God. This Knowledge can come even at a moment when one is attending to a call of nature, as has actually happened in certain cases, including that of Upasni Maharaj. That is because a Master can give knowledge any moment instantaneously, provided there is sufficiently deep and strong connection with him, or there is complete surrender to his Will. The only other way is complete annihilation of "imagination;" like the attempt to prove that "nothing" is really "nothing," which amounts to the annihilation of a mind by itself and as such, it is next to impossible.
Granting that as a very, very rare case, a man succeeds in breaking through his imagination by himself and achieves union with the Truth, still, such a one cannot make any use of the knowledge and so he can not become a Dnyani or A'riff. That is why Masters like Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar, Hafiz and Rumi, all say that there is no way out of imagination or ignorance, except with the help and by the Grace of a Perfect Master.
The fact is that God alone is real, and every thing is in God. We all are one with Him, but owing to our ignorance, we feel ourselves separate from God. We always were. What was before us? We. Before "we?" We! We! We!