Existence, Meet Experience

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I find it fascinating

How something could have been created 50 years ago

But we experience it today, so it’s life begins for us today

So as, if it was created today, it’s life begins for us today.

It’s existence is different to our experience of it.

So what does that make life? Is is about when things are made, or is it about when we experience them? Is it about existence at all, or rather about experience?

Existence gets a lot of airtime – a whole school of Philosophical thought, namely Existentialism, is one of many obvious signs that existence is in question in the Minds of Many. Existence is TANGIBLE, it’s real, it’s binary, something either exists or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t (whether it’s a person, a concept, or a “truth”), then that throws the believer that it doesn’t into the throngs of a “crisis”, if they once thought it did, or think that it should. What does it matter, if a thing, a concept, or a “truth” exists or not..? I am not implying that it doesn’t matter, I am just questioning the matter of matter itself. Is it a matter of fact, or the fact of the matter, and how/why does it matter or not, and any other question that may arise in support of or resistance to any of these ideas or any others?

But what about experience? Where does that come in? Does it not have far more value?

Experience, once acquired, is intangible. Its application may reap tangible results, but it is far more subtle and entirely invisible/hidden until then. Experientialism is apparently the theoretical Philosophy that says that knowledge is learned through experience. This may be the case in many cases, but that is incredibly limiting. And how can one have a theory about experience, is that not counter-intuitive? That, in the very least, needs to be questioned and explored with curiosity, not with intent to prove wrong but with the intent to grow and learn and see something new in an ancient way or something ancient in a new way, perhaps to just remember something that has always been true but just not yet to us, and is thus in its infancy in relation to us, or we to it.

Strange, how we look things up to learn about them. What if we, in wanting to learn about everything, found a way to experience it in some way or another, not in virtual/written form, unless it was about something virtual or in writing. Many things do fall into this category, and I get that, but it is worth inquiring loosely. Soil is healthy when there are enough spaces between the particles for air, water and life forms to move freely through them – if there is not sufficient aeration and space in the Soil, it is considered to be compacted and life doesn’t flourish fractionally as well under those conditions. I believe our minds are the same. And how do we make space for air, water and life itself? With questions and light, curious and open inquiry into most things that cross our path, even if and especially if they are familiar to us. Our brains will form patterns and make habits out of whatever we give them regularly, even not regularly in fact – so mixing things up and questioning things we would usually never question or things that seem obvious or asking old questions in new ways keeps our minds alive.

Experience seems to mean more these days than it has before, in certain areas of society and in certain schools of thought as well as in many individuals. Perhaps we have been moving for a while now, towards more Experiential living than mere Existence. Life has always been experienced, but I am not sure people are consistently aware of what they are experiencing, or taking note of how they respond, or how they would like to, or why they do, or how they could next time. Perhaps in only heightened experiences where there is much pain – why not in everyday situations? Sure it takes more brain power, but we use such a small percentage of our brain capacities anyway, isn’t it time for a Neurological challenge..?

How much of our lives are about Existence/Existing? Just because we do exist, that doesn’t determine very much, except exactly that. For example, having a degree, that Exists, you either have it or you don’t. But Experience… That is an entirely new world. Each person will have a different mix of life Experiences, even though each person Exists. There is much more life and diversity in Experience, infinite combinations and permutations in fact.

So why do we spend so much time worrying about what is or isn’t? Why don’t we spend more time thinking about our Experience of Existence. Perhaps therein lies a worthy station-stopoff on this train of though. Perhaps thinking about Existence is one level of living, and focusing on Experience covers and uncovers many more layers. Perhaps not. Perhaps only for some. A job does or doesn’t Exist – fine. But how is it Experienced, either the presence or absence of it? What can be learned? A friend does or doesn’t Exist – fine. But how is that Experienced, do we learn something about the world, about people, about friendship, about that particular person, and about ourselves?

So Existence and Experience make eye contact across a bar – who buys who a drink, and what happens next..?

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