Experience is the active participation in events or activities, which leads to the accumulation of knowledge. All we do in life is experience experience, and each experience is our point of departure for our next experience. Life is the process of experiencing our self, experience our self, one another, and things in the Universe around us, and things in the Universe within us. The outer Universe, the world, our nation, state, city, neighborhood, and our home are all repositories of perception where we can experience our self experiencing our self in differing levels of inner comfort. How can it be otherwise?
Consider, for example, what I purchase when I buy a pencil, just an ordinary wooden pencil. I'm purchasing the experience of the "lead," which is really graphite formed over the eons, which someone mined somewhere in the world as a job to feed his/her family. I'm purchasing the experience of the wood that grew over the centuries in a forest, which someone cut as a job to feed his/her family. I'm purchasing the experience of the truck driver who transported the wood from the forest to the mill and of the mill worker who cut the wood for the pencil factory, both of whom performed their services as jobs to feed their families. I'm purchasing the experience of the paint and all its ingredients and the labor, from that of the chemist in the laboratory who formulated the paint to that of the worker in the factory who used the paint, both of who performed their services as a job to feed their families. I'm purchasing the metal that holds the eraser fast to the wood, which someone mined somewhere in the world as a job to feed his/her family, and I'm purchasing the design, machinery, packaging, labor, advertising, marketing, transportation, and my experience of the person who sold me the pencil. If my pencil cost 25 cents, I'm also experiencing the metal that was mined, the design, the labor, the armored vehicle, which transported the money from the mint to the bank, and whoever used the money before it came into my possession.
I'm purchasing an item that embodies human experiences—birth, death, suffering, struggle, despair, hate, love, defeat, and victory—and stimulating commerce around the world while adding my own experience of their experiences. I've touched and am experiencing humanity, unbroken chains of ancestry and experiences from around the world, all stretching back into the dimly lit past, to the first human beings and before.
Without another person with whom to share our experience of relationship nothing has value to us. I think this is one of the reasons humanity is far more interested in, is far more captivated by, its sense of history than by its sense of destiny. In history, we feel as though we can relate to the physical evidence of what we perceive to have taken place, but there is no such evidence in the future of what will be.
We can experience those who have gone before us by the physical evidence of what they did and how they cared for the land on which we must now live. We, in turn, leave our experience of ourselves embodied in our decisions of today, decisions that will become physical evidence for those who follow not only by what we did but also by how we cared for the land on which they must live. Thus, the peoples of the past chose our experience of them, even as we are choosing the future's experience of us by the evidence we leave to mark the passage of our time.
Experience is life, and life is experience, which is all the time changing. That's all there is. If you don't get it now—you won't get it!
©chris maser 2006. All rights reserved.