I believe in the power of direct experience

Max - Gahanna, Ohio
Entered on February 17, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Just like how real eyeballs have ‘floaters’, the little squiggly lines that disrupt your sight, your mind’s eye is disrupted by floaters in the form of conventional thoughts. Your mind’s floaters do not allow it to directly experience the world, that is seeing it in its simple and pure form. Consequently, when you mind is floater-free you can have any number of feelings ranging from those all to embarrassing “O I get it now” moments to moments similar to your care-free childhood memories in the summer sun.

One of my moments came in the form of golf. With no one in my family to educate me, I had to learn the game from books, articles, and video lessons that were constructed by other people’s thoughts and beliefs. As a result, I subconsciously was creating a creepy floater on my mind’s eye. I remember stepping up to my first official tee and trying to recall every tip I had learned in the last month. With my mind polluted, I hit one of the ugliest shots of my golf career. Nothing changed as time went on and, in hopes of retaining some dignity, I decided to destroy the floater by essentially forgetting every thing I had learned. I allowed my mind to define the purpose for what it was: get the ball in the hole in the fewest number of strokes. Simple and pure.

My mind began to directly experience golf by itself. This does not mean I improved significantly. Rather, armed with a clear mind, I began trying new stances and shots and permitted my mind to do the thinking not other people’s. In this instance, direct experience helped me enjoy golf, but directly experience anything, whether it be a tree, movie, or the logical mechanics involved in a opening a door, shows the mind the simple principles on which the world is built.

The real importance of pure experience lies in the connection created by your mind seeing reality to your deep emotions. When this connection is unpolluted your mind displays the deep emotional basis of your own character.

For example, my best childhood moment was driving back into the suburbs from the countryside woods. It was a clear, mild, and sunny Sunday afternoon. I laid in the fully tilted back passenger’s seat so that I stared into the deep blue sky through the car’s sunroof. All at once, a grin burst onto my face as I felt the perfect warmth of the sun dancing on my skin, the wind skipping through my hair, and the weightlessness of a relaxed mind. Not only was my mind directly seeing the beauty of that day but, for a few moments, I felt like I understood who I was. Warm, unadulterated, and free.

These moments show us our deepest emotions and, as long as we listen, they present to us how to live a happy and authentic life. In a society where mirroring successful and beautiful people is normal, the insight that direct experience provides can show people how to live for themselves and how not to become the product of someone else’s dogmas.

Because of the logic of a conventional-free mind and the beauty of the individual, I believe in the introspective and free-thinking power of direct experience.