All Posts Tagged ‘Experience


On the Nature of Experience…


There is, it seems to us,
At best, only a limited value
In the knowledge derived from experience. — T.S.Eliot

It is good to experience things in life often. For instance, one needs experience in order to function properly and in ways that do not end up being detrimental to one. Additionally, it is very wise to experience nature often. Nature contains a lot of profound beauty, order, and magical dynamics… consisting of occurrences that are real treasures to take in. However, it is also prudent to often go beyond experience… to dwell where experience has no place. Exclusively clinging to experience is what most people do (and such an existence may be very limited, very confined, and partial). Such a partial life is of sorrow. Most people exclusively crave more and more experiences, greater and greater experiences. Someone, to them, suggesting going beyond experience, must seem odd. Many would laugh at such a person.

When we experience, we usually do so in terms of what we have already mentally accumulated. We recognize things and classify things according to what we’ve already been taught (in and “as” the past) and according to what we already have stored in our brains. It can be a rather robotic (re-cognition), mundane process. And exclusively partaking in it may, in fact, be rather childish and mechanical. We recognize with (and “as”) the past and, in a sense, we keep living in the past.

A mind that sometimes perceives or exists without accumulating, labeling, or comparing patterns, however, may be atypical… and may be beyond normative experiencing. Such a mind may see (or be) holistically at times, in a way (or unway) that does not merely classify, label, recognize, pigeonhole, compare, or evaluate. Such a mind does not merely always cling to the apron strings of experience. (Do remember this… Going beyond limitation, the status quo, and confinement is not a terrible thing.)

The Experience of Nature … Photo by Thomas Peace c.2023

on Experience




Experience… what is it, and why do we exclusively depend upon it?  A lot of people say, “I’ve learned from experience”; or they say, “I will learn from my experiences.”  Many people go on expensive and lengthy vacations to far distant places to get “exotic experiences.”

Experiencing has its place.  However, it is very limited.  Many crave “new” experiences… but are such experiences — all based on patterns of recognition — really all that “new”?  I am suggesting that fundamentally, intrinsically, they are all very much the same and are not really so “new”; they all depend on — and add to — patterns within the field of the mundane known.  (That is why many of us retain a deep, inherent sadness, even though we travel to places that should seem new and exciting.  Merely existing as a brain that is based primarily on patterns and the recognition of patterns… is sorrow.  But that is what most of us were trained to exist as.)  Most of us were brainwashed to crave various “wonderful” experiences (i.e., more and more experiences)… through commercials, magazines, examples in books, and by what friends and relatives say and do.  (Experiences are never enough, though, because they are essentially limited.  But nobody tells you that.)

Evading experience (on the other hand) can be a very childish thing, wherein one endlessly sits cross-legged, for example, thinking that one is accomplishing something special.  (You know… all that phony so-called meditation stuff, which is really a glorified form of self-hypnosis.)

Is the experiencer all so separate from what the experience is?  If one examines intelligently, the answer is rather obvious: “No.”  We look with (and “as”) accumulated patterns and labels at things, pigeonhole them in the rather musty memory bank system and call the experience “new.”  To really see something new, perception itself must be dynamically new, fundamentally different, and not based on old, stale systems (and patterns) of observation.  Most people are incapable of that, and you don’t get it by sitting in a corner with your legs crossed.  Additionally, you don’t get it by reading traditional so-called “religious” books that have been severely distorted over time.  

There is a deep, orderly intelligence that is a true spiritual blossoming that is beyond the thoughts and fabrications of man… beyond all of the rituals, stone temples, and concocted patterns.  (Those fabrications are all old, and the timeless, miraculous new does not dwell as them.)  Deep intelligence is a dynamic harmony, a deep order that effortlessly flows between experiencing and going beyond experiencing.  (Constant experiencing and “accumulating” only builds up the illusion of the self.)  The “going beyond experiencing” factor (or dimension) is never planned or mentally arranged for.  Deep, spontaneous newness and dynamic creativity are never part of a plan or contrived methodology.



Wildflower Pods … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019


The Limitation of Experience



Many of us go through existence presupposing things and assuming so many things because of the way we were taught (i.e., because of the way we absorbed patterns from others).  We need to question more.  We need to question things deeply, wisely, and passionately.  There is a real art to questioning.  One can easily fabricate superficial questions that are not of great meaning and depth.  However, asking essential (fundamental) questions concerning the very essence of life and existence…. is not what a lot of people engage in.  Many are caught in a rut, and their lack of significant questions keeps them in that rut.  Often, when such people ask questions, the questions are a mere reflection of the limitation that they exist in (and “as”).  To be trapped in a morass and just remain there — without ever realizing that one is trapped — is a sad thing; such may be the lot of many.

We take for granted that experience and knowledge — which is the accumulation of patterns over sequential time — is the one and only modus operandi that all of us must function in (and “as”) in order to succeed and prosper.  Few of us ever really question as to whether there is an additional alternative.  Many who evolved to realize that there is value in quietness and silence have (for the most part, unfortunatly) made this so-called silence into another form of “experience.”  Along these lines, people (for the most part) practice methodologies — given to them by others — to attain so-called quietness or silence.  However, it may be that any methodology or practice devised to achieve silence — via following procedures — is erroneous, if sequential patterns (no matter what they are) cannot, when practiced, produce what is truly beyond time and sequential paradigms.  It may be that calculated causes and effects cannot produce what is beyond mere “cause and effect.”

Experiencing things often is a good, prudent thing.  The truly wise mind, however, also goes beyond mere experience, doing so without any effort or methodology.  (Engaging in experiencing is largely habitual, and one does not always have to depend upon habits.  Deep intelligence doesn’t always merely remain as habits.)  Experiencing things (in the ordinary way) involves recognition, reaction, labeling, interpretation, categorization, and (often) opinion-making.  Experiencing, for so many, involves the repetitive recognition of patterns via stored (old) memory.  If this takes place (ceaselessly), as it does in so many, then the “old,” the “past,” dictates current consciousness; there can be no renewal nor alive freshness in a mind merely bound to the old past in such a way.  Often, on the other hand, the wise mind newly (i.e., without dependence on the “old”) perceives (without psychological space between an observer and what is seen).  Oftentimes, one can sagaciously look without mere separation, recognition, labeling, and reaction.  Oftentimes, for example, one can joyfully walk where there are beautiful flowers, being fully aware of them just by simply (effortlessly) looking (and deeply seeing their shape and color), but one need not necessarily label them as being beautiful, need not codify them as being flowers, need not see them from a “center” that is separate, nor classify them as being of a certain species.  

The intelligent mind that questions fundamentally and prudently often functions as “experiencing” and “labeling” precisely, accurately, and compassionately; such a mind also often effortlessly goes beyond mere experiencing.  Sequential, fragmentary patterns, for such a mind, fade into the background and there is a wholeness beyond the fabrications of man, beyond mere acquisition, and beyond mere causality.  (This may sound esoteric or exotic, but it is really very simple, involving real integrity.)  There is real bliss when psychological fragmentation and piecemeal acquisition ends; ironically, those stuck only in the sequential patterns of experience remain there to often contend with inevitable monotony and boredom.  One can try to escape the superficial in so many ways, by so many different experiences.  However, one cannot escape the superficial via endlessly more of the superficial.  


[Note:  The photo is of a Softshell Turtle.  Their shells are soft and rubbery; they are very aquatic; they have pointed heads, are quite flat, and they are very elusive.]

Softshell Turtle. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Softshell Turtle. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016