Life is all about experience. Most of us have quite a vast intellectual knowledge of the world. Intellectually we know what’s available to us as human beings and although most people haven’t got everything they want, they at least have an intellectual knowledge of it. They know what exists and they know what is available. There is, however a huge difference between intellectual knowledge and experiential knowledge.
We all long to experience the objects of our desire. Knowing simply isn’t enough. We want to feel and we want to experience that which we know by engaging all our senses and all of our nervous system to fully comprehend that which exists only as impulses in our minds. Until and unless you actually experience something it will remain an idea and a concept that will always leave you wanting more.
Experience is the process by which you turn your intellectual knowledge into a physical experience and when you experience it, it becomes real because you get to feel it in your nervous system. You involve your emotions and, in the process, you get to feel the fullness of a concept turned real and made manifest in reality. You can know yourself to be kind, but until and unless you do something kind, the idea will remain intellectual and weak. Only when you take the idea and act on it will you create the experience. Having the experience of kindness is what you really want.
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Experience then is something we create by taking an idea and putting it to use through action. It is when you use your will to take action when you get to “see” the invisible idea take shape in physical form and through physical experience. We all have a deep seeded need to experience that which we know intellectually and that which we crave to experience through our senses and our emotions. From this point of view we are all constantly striving to experience through our physical bodies and our emotions that which we hold as an idea in our intellect and our minds.
The easiest way to turn your ideas into reality is through action. When you use your will you can take any idea and just do it to have the experience of your knowledge. The real purpose of knowledge is action for what good is knowledge when you can’t use it? The challenge for most people is that they are held back by their own limiting beliefs and fears. Fears and limiting beliefs are actually imaginary for the belief that taking action might lead to a specific “bad” outcome is what actually prevents you from taking action. It is the fear that doing “this” will mean “that” or will lead to “that” even though it has not occurred yet (and will most probably not).
The reality is that all experience in life happens through contrast. We live in a world that is relative. Everything in life exists in relation to something else and everything in life has it’s reciprocal. A wise man once said that someone born blind will never know the meaning of darkness for he’s never seen the light. Neale Donald Walsh explains it beautifully in Conversations with God when he said that in the absence of that which is not, that which is, is not. For us to experience anything we must also experience the opposite. Life can never be just a flat and one dimensional experience. It simply does not exist.
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The challenge is that most people live in the delusion that their lives are in shatters because there are some things they do not like. In reality they are just experiencing the opposite of what they do want. Hot does not exist without cold. There can be no rainbow without the storm. It is in the contrast that we get to truly live life through the experience of both . When you learn to see life experiences as different states of the same thing you can start to really appreciate all of life and truly have the experience of living life. Appreciating and acknowledging that which is not the way you want, will give you a totally different perspective on everything that you do not like in your life, both past and present. Whether you are feeling lonely, depressed, sad or frustrated you can actually start to appreciate these emotions for it’s because of them that you can experience love, vitality, joy and passion.
Regardless of whether you call something good or bad, experience is what will give you fulfilment in life. You have one incredible gift and that is to take your inner desires and experience them. This gift is the gift of action which is your ability to take an impulse of thought and desire and put it to use.
In it’s original latin form the word experience actually means to “test” or to “try”. When you relinquish your attachment to just experiencing pleasure you will start to see the use and even the meaning of pain for the one creates and defines the other. Experience has no, and needs no attachment to specific outcomes. Although it does not guarantee you a specific outcome, it does guarantee you a rich life that is filled with a multitude of contrasting sensations. Every cell in your body has a “memory” and through experience you get to feel and “record” your intellectual knowledge by engaging all of you. This is the true meaning of “knowing” for it comes with a deep sense of certainty that you feel in your whole body. This is when you “know it in your bones” – it is a deeper understanding that can never come from intellectual knowledge alone. Your world cannot be grasped by contemplation and knowledge alone, but only through action.