Experienced Perception

Experience

Experience

This piece was inspired by a bit of a documentary I came across.
The documentary was about those who were sentenced to life in prison and how they found meaning within this context, i.e. what programs helped and so on.

I think we all confront life and death in our own way, but many times, we move through our lives with a certain mix of denial and disregard in relation to this. Often times, we tend not to think about it at all.

I wonder what it must be to live in a manner in which you confront this idea all the time.

Anyway, in the documentary a gentleman, who had killed someone, mentioned that he did not understand truly the meaning of his act until his own mother died. ( I think he was quite young when he committed the crime.)

And, I thought to myself- this is what experience does to us.

Perception is one thing. But perceptions can be wrong and they can be distorted.

Experience, though, brings us to KNOWING.

When you KNOW, you are no longer need to perceive. You know it and you know it without distortion.

The chair in the image speaks to the isolation experience may bring us. When we try to explain to those who have not experienced, we are working with their perceptions, not their knowing.

The conversation and sense of community changes when one speaks to those who have expeienced.

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5 thoughts on “Experienced Perception

  1. First off…wow! what an image. It is beautiful and desolate at the same time…and these are things that I have felt at the same time. I love your post…and lately I have been experiencing similar thoughts. What is occurring is I am FEELING the difference of knowing something intellectually vs. knowing it in my cells…really KNOWING! Love that we appear to be vibrating similarly! ❤

  2. “When we try to explain to those who have not experienced, we are working with their perceptions, not their knowing.

    The conversation and sense of community changes when one speaks to those who have expeienced.”

    It seems to me impossible to talk with people that are either not educated enough or refuse to be educated enough. By this I don’t necessarily mean scholastic education but rather the behaviour that admits an appreciation for learning as well as the epistemic humility to recognise where they may be wrong.

    A solid example of this rests in my aunt and uncle, both of whom have PhDs, and were categorically unable to understand why it took me over a year to find an apartment. The fact that my criminal record would prohibit me from getting any number of apartments simply never registered and no matter how clear I made my situation (including financial situation and local sentiment). Through it all they persisted in their belief that (1) my advanced degrees actually mean something to other people, nevermind the fact that people look at violent crime such as simple assault different from non-violent crime and (2) if other criminals can obtain housing so could I, even though many do it through programmes established in prison and I served no prison time.

    “When you KNOW, you are [sic] no longer need to perceive. You know it and you know it without distortion.”

    This is mostly right, the only difference being the nuance of particular versus general experiences. A general experience would relate to systemic issues, such as the ‘diseasecare’ system and the glaring lack of interest doctors take in their patients. A particular experience would relate to a stand-out issue, like a set of parents giving up custody of their child because they know the other set is better suited to the task.

    • Interesting response. I think I was talking about specific experiences. I find when I speak to someone who has specific experience in an event, his or her understanding emerges at a different level. To me, it’s the difference of watching a tragedy unfold on TV (we can all perceive the sadness, etc.) and actually living through (experiencing) the event.

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