In my last post, I left you off with a question of how two people can experience the same what (the same experience with what’s happening in time and space), yet the quality of each of their experiences can be so different. How is that?
Consider the nature of all experience. You could say that there is a given, I go to an experience and there’s already something there before I have any thing to say or do about it. Lets just call that the given. And it this case (from the story at the end of my last post), the given was the rain.
Now, Shana experienced the given (the rain) as wonderful. The quality of her experience was wonderful. And Guy experienced the same given, the same what (the rain) and his experience was like, “Fuck, life sucks. It never works out.”
Same what, same place, same time, same location, and basically same given – yet the quality of Guys experience is completely the opposite of Shana’s – so there must be something else at play here, other than the given. There must be something that we each give. The giver. We each are the giver.
Shana had a different quality of that experience than Guy did. This tells me that what I give to an experience has a lot to do with the quality of my experience. So, apparently what Guy gave to the given was very different than what Shana gave to the given. And it produced a different outcome, a different quality of experience.
So, lets say that the giver is the how.
And then that the what plus (+) the how equals (=) the experience.
How I experience what I experience determines its quality.
Now consider this: at the end of my life I look back – and what am I going to look for?
I will probably picture people, places, and things – but how will I know if I’ve had a good life or a bad life, enjoyed it or didn’t, how? Really, I’m going to be giving that answer based on the quality of my experience. And, it seems like the quality of my experience is the thing I give a shit about at the end of each day.
Yet, somehow we all live under the superstition that what determines the quality of our experience/life is the given – the what- the car, the house, the way I should be, the way you should be – if only it would work out, then…then! Then I’ll finally have it. But what is it? It is the quality of experience I (or you) call good.
But, if I keep going for the what (and people do this all the time) then I end up getting the what and find out that the exact same how is still there every time. So people end up with the same experience, and just more prettier what’s – which would be confusing, I imagine.
Lets break this down: we are talking about the skill of getting someone’s world. And in order to do that we are starting to look at how we each create our own world, or our own experience.
Lets see if we can break that down even more. Lets break it down in such a way that we can get the logic of it. It’s got its own logic, and that logic is not linear. If we can get that logic, and make a distinction between certain levels of how we actually create the quality of our experience, then we may gain a skill in how we can understand another person’s world. With this skill we can then relate to them with compassion, wonderment, empathy, and understanding.
If we could understand this, it seems it would make a big difference in our ability to get another’s world. If I can understand exactly how I create the quality of my own experience, or how I create (what I call) my world, if I have these distinctions, then I’ll be able to see things, things which prior to having that distinction I would never have seen.
For me then, its not just the experience of the other person ‘feeling gotten’, but actually its more, its that we (both of us) get the persons world. Both the other person and myself get their world, their experience. When you go, “ahh”, and then I go, “ahh”, it’s really a relational thing. We do it together.
In order to really get someone, I also, at the same time (paradoxally) must also accept and understand that they are fully other. That means I am not assuming anything about them, they are wholly other and I get to discover them – verses coming at someone with some idea I have of them in my head.
These things are key to the art of circling. And circling is really just a way of relating that happens to be transformational.