In my previous article I mainly discussed the use of knowledge as to how we relate with the world and ultimately with who we are. But I felt that I did not speak enough about the relationship between experience and who we are. Allow me the 'obsession for the detail', but I consider this a very important matter conceptually because to a certain extent it describes the 'lens' or the method through which everyone gets to know and experiences oneself and consequently the world.
If we accept my hypothesis, the knowledge that we have about the world and about ourselves derives from all the information and experiences we have about them and relate mainly to the past. We are waiting for specific things to happen and anticipate how we should feel and act in certain circumstances. To a large extent it is a cerebral process that defines what we are and what we are not, what we like and what we do not like, what is good for us and what is not, what should be done and what not.
In this light the significance of the experience lies in the surprise (sur + prise), that is, which takes us out of boredom and the expected. When we expect to have a specific feeling, to do something in a certain way, something specific to happen as it has been in the past, the occurrence of something different surprises us, it moves us and invites us to see things differently and effectively allow ourselves to experience something new.
Of course, when something new happens or happens as we do not expect it, we feel insecure, our world a little shaken and the feel we have for ourselves a bit unsettling. What was familiar and part of our daily routine has now been moved, like the house where we live suddenly from white turns into green and we want time and energy to understand the change, manage it and incorporate the findings to a new set and to a new self.
A typical example is when fall in love where we do and say things that are not exactly in our "character", we are in a constant vigilance and excitement and we live it all in the superlatives, we find ourselves to be different, 'greater' and having different abilities than we already know. I have intention to analyse the situation and the imaginary of love here, but I wanted to bring him as an example of how the experiences of different emotional situations, leads to new paths of existence and understanding of ourselves and of the world.
If we expose ourselves to truly unknown situations that attract us and feel the emotions (whatever they are, fear, agony, longing, emptiness, completeness, etc.) that are created, then we may come to a shocking conclusion, that we are not who we thought we were. And by extension, that we do not know everything about ourselves, that we do not know much about others and about the world, that what we consider ourselves is much more fluid and flexible than we think.
It is one thing to understand such truths with the mind and another to understand them with the heart. Without giving precedence to either one, a truth is assimilated throughout when assimilated by the entire organism. I have felt deeply the agony of experiencing oneself once as strong and specific and once as faint and vague that diminishes and extends in moments.
For me this is one of the greatest and most beautiful challenges of life, that the absolute stability we seek in order to feel complete and whole is a utopia, is essentially the incentive to continue to evolve and to grow. In order for this to happen we need a 'vehicle', a self that is much more subtle and flexible than a specific set of rules and aspirations for how one should be, how others and life should also be.
Converse frankly with people who have lost someone in their early life or who are long term sick or who have had very painful experiences. For any such experience you need to break a full circle, a familiar figure that a man used to have in his life in order to incorporate the new information into a new reality and self.
The denial, the pain, the egoism of 'Why me?' and at the same time the awe, gratitude, enthusiasm, humility, and union are only a few stages of acceptance of every change.
These are not easy lessons, but yes we have the ability to take them as long as we surrender to what is greater than us and through us expresses and is being expressed, exists and creates.