Sri Aurobindo clarifies that the action of the knowledge by direct contact is not generally available to us living in the normal surface mind/life/body, which has an action based on separative knowledge only. He does indicate that this higher action is available once we gain access to the subliminal consciousness which is itself in contact with the higher levels of awareness where this type of knowledge by direct contact is operative:
“TThe complete intrinsic awareness of identity and the act of knowledge by identity belong to the higher hemisphere of existence: this knowledge by direct contact is the main character of the highest supraphysical mental planes of consciousness, those to which our surface being is closed in by a wall of ignorance; in a diminished and more separative form it is a property of the lesser supraphysical planes of mind; it is or can be an element in all that is supraphysical. It is the main instrumentation of our subliminal self, its central means of awareness; for the subliminal self or inner being is a projection from these higher planes to meet the subconscience and it inherits the character of consciousness of its planes of origin with which it is intimately associated and in touch by kinship. In our outer being we are children of the Inconscience; our inner being makes us inheritors of the higher heights of mind and life and spirit: the more we open inwards, go inwards, live inwards, receive from within, the more we draw away from subjection to our inconscient origin and move towards all which is now superconscient to our ignorance.”
We see then a progression of steps from complete knowledge by identity at the highest, most transcendent levels of awareness, to a knowledge by direct contact in the higher supraphysical planes, eventually losing the awareness of the oneness and direct contact as it descends into our common levels of mentality to become a separative knowledge which feels isolated and apart from the oneness to which it really belongs.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 10, Knowledge by Identity and Separative Knowledge, pp. 548-549