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A Few Thoughts on Experience

Jan 30, 1995 08:48 AM
by Jerry Schueler

Eldon: "One area of discussion that appears in many recent
postings regards the nature of experience and how it relates to
what is truly real ...  We must ask: What is experience? And what
experience comes from the deep study of the Teachings? ...  There
is much that happens *inside us*, that constitutes real
experiences, without unique outward events in life to distinguish

Eldon's posting on experience contains much food for thought.
What is experience, after all? Buddhism, for example, says that
we should doubt all teachings and teachers, even Buddha, and rely
only on our personal experiences as our guide incorporating only
those teachings that fit in with those experiences.

I have come to believe that experience is not all that it is
cracked up to be, but on the other hand it is really about all we
have.  Using the idea that we each have our own unique worldview,
or way of looking at ourselves and our world, I believe that our
experiences, in general, always tend to support our worldview.
This seems to be a kind of law.  Predjudice people tend to
experience things that perpetuate and explain their predjudices.
Good people tend to see the world as good, nasty people tend to
see the world as an evil place.  Perhaps the psychological
phenomenon of projection will explain a lot of this, but I think
that it goes even deeper than that.  I am not sure that a single
objective "real" world exists anywhere in space or time.  The
psychologist (and a lot of other folks) would say that an
external world exists which we all tend to see (experience) a bit
differently.  I am rather of the opinion that we each, as monads,
have our own world that is separate and somewhat distinct from
that of everyone else.

Consider this scenario: When our divine monad left its home plane
and began expressing itself, it split into a syzygy or duality in
which was contained a subjective self and an objective world.
These two polar counterparts were held together by a force of
attraction that we can call Fohat, for lack of a better name.  As
this monad, with a sense of self and a corresponding sense of
world, sunk into space and time - our spacetime contiuum - it
began to become better self-defined.  It began to see itself as
opposed to or separate from its world.  In time, because it
shared its world definition with some other monads, those whose
self-world-definitions were similar began to communicate, and to
define collectively rather than separately.  They became a
life-wave, and they slowly self-manifested into spacetime
together until they arrived at our physical "world" which is
really a crystallized shared worldview, or system of overlapping
worlds that each experiences as one and the same world.  Thus our
physical world has an overlapping nature in which we can all
agree, while it also has areas that are unique to each monad.

Although this scenario probably seems bazzar at first, the more I
ponder it, the more it seems to explain a lot of things.  Could
we each bring our own world with us at birth? Do we each take our
world with us when we die? Clearly, our experiences change as we
grow, and thus our experiences are limited in how they can help
us.  Because, as long as we sit happily and think about how we
know Truth because we can experience it, our growth will
stagnate.  We have two choices: we can deliberately consciously
allow ourselves to grow, or we can let our growth come about on
its own, unconsciously.  The latter occurs whenever we experience
something that cannot be supported or explained within our
worldview.  Such an event will either cause a mental or physical
breakdown, or will force us to revise our worldview.  One
interesting phenomenon seems to be that each time we do revise
our worldview, we fall into complacency once again.  Jung would
explain our unexplainable experiences in terms of the archetypes,
those dynamic complexes of the unconcious, which rise up into our
conscious in various forms and demand our attention.  But there
are other ways of viewing this, as Eldon has pointed out.  We
have theosophy, and as we grow, we see more and more in its

          Jerry S.

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