I do my best to stretch you in these posts. I’m trying to describe life and the human condition in a way that might be new and different for you, hopefully expanding your perspective. Unfortunately, people use much of what they read or hear to reinforce what they already believe, cherry-picking the parts that confirm what they already think and ignoring or misunderstanding the parts that don’t fit their current view.
Some of what I share isn’t easy to express, or get, using the written word. I try to write in a way that might in some small way help you have an experience of what I’m talking about, or lead you to do something on your own that helps you have the experience. This isn’t always possible, though.
What I write about almost always comes from my personal experience. A full understanding requires a similar experience, in the same way that a full understanding of Mexico comes from having been there. Just hearing about it might be informative, but incomplete. Since I’m talking about some rather rare and esoteric experiences, with no foolproof recipe for making sure you have the experience (much less fully embody it) writing in a way that gives you the experience is difficult. In that case, the value comes in at least having some context for understanding the experience if you ever do have it.
Sometimes merely knowing about something is almost useless. If I tell you about my experience of emptiness you end up wondering what the hell I’m talking about because no written or verbal description can adequately describe it, any more than you could adequately describing to a child what it’s like to have sex (not that you should do that), or describing to a child what it’s like to be an adult.
Whether the experience is profound or mundane, you have to experience it for yourself in order to really know about it. Understanding this, for most people, is an entirely new way to look at life. Almost all people decide what is true and real based on what someone else tells them or on something they read. Though you’re reading something I’ve written, I don’t want you to use it as a source of information that you just swallow whole, but rather as an impetus to find out for yourself by sitting with it, and by trying on the perspective I suggest. (more…)