Category Archives: Musings

Direct Experience Is Not Always The Best Teacher

Direct Experience Is Not Always The Best Teacher

A client was stuck. Frustrated. Life was not going well. I gave her some advice which she refused because she liked to learn the hard way- through experience. Many people tell me they like to learn the hard way, to learn from experience, and that is why they have a difficult time following advice, or even, a course of study. They feel they need to experience something to really lear it. I ask such people if they had to reinvent language to learn how to speak, or reinvent the automobile to learn how to drive a car. I point out that they learned language with the guidance and help of others, even if it was just having a model to copy. By shifting perspective it is easier to see the fallacy of their belief. Not every ounce of wisdom has to be gleaned from direct experience. I don’t need to have AIDS to know I don’t want to catch it. I don’t need to be mangled in a car accident to know I want learn to avoid it.

Time

Time

We know time is relative, in this way it is mailable, but that doesn’t mean we can get it to conform to our will. It is the modern way to try to get more and more done in less and less time.  It’s not time that creates pressure but the attempt to put more into the same space.  Any vessel over filled will either over run or burst.   We are the vessel, the ones over flowing or breaking.  Another way to see it is the faster you go the more the scenery blurs, the more the scenery blurs the less details you notice, the less details you notice the less fulfilling the experience.  Attempting to compress time becomes wasted experience.  By squeezing more into the same measure of time sacrifices savoring the experience.  Its like wolfing down a meal to satisfy hunger rather than being mindful and enjoying the taste of the meal.

Rushing is motivated by the fear of not having enough time, and the sense that we must bend to fit time instead of the other way around.  By not respecting time we lose respect ourselves and each other.  We want more time from others, rather than appreciate the time we have.  We categorize the commodity of time in ways such as quality time, time out, my time, your time, their time, work time, play time, over-time, and wasted time. The hubris of trying to over power time rather than harmonize with time is signified by the sickness of stress.

What if we respected time, respect its boundaries, and thereby respect our capacity to work within time? If we could we would respect ourselves because time is an measure we designed.  Humans created the concept of time just as we created the concept of borders.  Yet many people feel time and borders control us.  If we could respect time it would seem to change, but the reality is it would be us who are transformed.  What if we thought of time as a quality rather than a quantity or commodity?  Instead of work time it would be purpose time, or instead of mommy and daddy time or family time it would be loving time, and then maybe we would see time as a precious.   Maybe we could savior it rather than gorge ourselves like starving animals.

There is a deeper level of called the timeless.  It is the awareness of the relativity of time.  It is the decision not to frame all of life, but instead to liberate it from concept and experience the timeless.   It’s not really new to us.  As infants we had no concept of time.  Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and eons had to be learned.  It is possible to recall not having a sense of time.  Try it.  Try to recall an experience you had before you were taught to measure life.  It will liberate you.  You will no longer be a slave to the measure or comparison of time.