July 1, 2017: The Relationships of Our Experience

Although you might really enjoy your favorite fruit, the experience might not always be satisfying. The fruit might be over or under ripe, contain pesticides, insects, or worms, been bruised, or become too warm or too cold. Someone might tell you a sweet or horrible story about your favorite fruit. Or, you may not have the desired utensils or ingredients for preparing, eating, and disposing of the remains of your favorite fruit. Thus, many factors may exist for allowing the maximum enjoyment of ingesting and digesting your favorite fruit.

But this is the case with all our experiences of life. We might have experiences that we really enjoy but they don’t exist solely on their own. They exist and are formed in some way by other surrounding circumstances and relationships.

Beyond the peak experience of enjoying our favorite fruit, many associated experiences or levels of enjoyment will be available. How we relate and view these associations is critical to our enjoyment of them.

Organic Raspberries by Beatrice Murch under CC BY-SA 2.0

For instance, does the presence of a worm disgust you? Do you need to cut it out? Are you willing to see the worm as a harmless entity that is digestible and perhaps full of protein? Have you ever experienced eating a worm within fruit? Perhaps you are worried about harming the worm? Does the size of the worm matter? In what ways does the worm presence change your experience of eating your favorite fruit?

To be truthful of my own experience, I would not want to eat the worm. I would likely choose another piece of fruit or cut the worm out. However, I have never tried the experience and the fear of what the experience might be like, my imagined experience keeps me from trying it. On the other hand, I may have unknowingly had the experience already, without any severe repercussions.

But, consider the occurrence of consciously deciding to have the experience of eating fruit with a worm. At first, even the idea of it might feel overwhelming, as you fear experiencing something unknown to you. In trying it out, however, you might end up finding it to be a terrible, pleasurable, or just mediocre experience.

Now, also consider how your perspective of eating fruit with a worm has on your experience of it. Does viewing it as nasty or pleasant have an effect on your potential experience? How open can you be with your experience such that it does not become blurred by other preexisting influences, ideas, or imaginings?

Bringing this back around to our experiences of life, how might we open our perspectives and relate to the surrounding experiences of the cultural activities we enjoy? Can we move past our imagined fears to try new kinds of relationships and experiences? Can we enjoy the fullness of the experience without preconceptions? Can our fully informed experiences then begin to overwrite what we have imagined them to be?

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