Joy of Creating Original Experiences
Always Something New to See
The entire field of human nature is sprinkled with question marks, and oftentimes when we think that we have removed some of them by giving a topic a decent treatment - some new angle of seeing the same thing pops up in the mind.
That's exactly what I realized after reviewing my earlier article titled "Magic of Deliberate Experiencing". While it can certainly stand by itself with that bunch of potentially useful information, the following are the additional thoughts on that same theme, inspired by a sudden insight in the very texture of such a mental undertaking.
Namely, as we are urged to deliberately change the way of our processing the factual reality, it may come handy to learn a bit about our natural ability to create "original" patterns of experiencing. Thus both articles are actually adding to each other a little different angle of seeing the same thing.
Still Mentally Chewing on that Gum of the Last Year
Mostly everything of what we are daily experiencing are the repetitions of same or similar patterns consisting of impressions, thoughts, and learned emotional reactions attached to them. Now, if you could rewind all those repetitions and trace them back to their very first appearance in your mind, you would have come to a point where that experience had no reference to be derived from.
You would find yourself at the moment when you created that experience out of thin air. So that's what I am calling "original experience". We kept creating them all along our life journey, probably never realizing how we could consciously use that natural ability.
Instead, we programmed a qualitative pattern of experiencing into our memory bank and then repeated it over and over again, just waiting for some outside animation that would prompt us to replace it with a fresh, original experience.
Every morning when you wake up, your mind is serving you that same "taste of your life" which is a sort of sum total of all those repetitions - which you took seriously as definition of your intimate reality, calling it "your life".
Now, you may be asking if it's good or bad that we are turning in these circles of experiencing, or grooves, if you will. It can't be bad if you are happy by spending your life in predictable certainties which spell your comfort zone.
But then on the other hand, sameness could mean life stagnation - no matter how pleasant and secure it may feel. Eat the same food over and over for years, and regardless of how nutritious it may be, at one point your body is bound to start rebelling in a way.
Something similar happens to our brain which may be starved for variety - not happy with just variations of the same thing. I mean, by changing the fast food store where you were frequently buying your hamburgers and French fries - you did not introduce a novelty into your life. Quitting fast food altogether would be more like it.
We Only See What We Think Is There
We could start seeing this ability to create original experiences as a true gem in our conscious tool-box. Think about it. Neuroscientists are telling us that our eyes are not the ones that do the "seeing" - but it's our brain that does it.
Our eyes are only passing the image to the brain which - according to our memory bank of experiences - gives a suchness to what we see. So, when you look around now, things look the same as the last time you looked at them - only because your brain is still processing them by repeating that same pattern.
Your spouse, your home, your kids, every item that you see used to look so much more interesting when you first saw them. Then the process of repetition and habituation dulled that experience into what you see today. It all depreciated a sort of. Why not re-create that first experience, or an original one altogether?
Knowing that We Can Does It
You would not believe how empowering it is to realize that you CAN!; that you have done it untold number of times, not even being aware of it. You still don't believe it? Then how come that you are not stuck with your teenage view of life?
By what process did you shift it to something else that just made more sense to you? Yes, you created an original experience back there, and then it made the whole difference. All you need now is to get used to this notion that nothing is really irreplaceable in your mind.
And you don't have to wait for some outside incentive to see your life and everything in it differently. You can decide right here and now to practice this "experiencing for the first time". Really, who says that things "have to be" as they appear to be now?
We are not imprisoned in a script that has to be followed with every thought, every emotion, every act. This same routine of life can be different - as soon as we consciously create an original, more appealing experience of it.
It's All about How We Choose to See It
To use some extreme examples, let's first remind ourselves how in some societies it's a joyful experience when one of their family members passes away. There is no mourning, no prolonged depression, no sudden emptiness - but rejoicing because they believe that the person is now "at the better place" and they are happy for them.
Think about it - exactly the same factual event experienced in a totally opposite way from the one that we, westerners are accustomed to. Or, take the ancient Spartan mothers who gladly disposed of their new born if the baby didn't look "promising" to contribute to the military-oriented society.
Even these days, there are mothers of fallen soldiers displaying pride for their son "having died for his country". Change mother's philosophy about that war as nothing but a venture of the current administration (not necessarily approved by the opposition) - and all that pride vanishes, replaced by a genuine grief and bitterness. Yes, creating an original experience is all about perception.
That Sweet Pain in the Butt
Switching to some less dramatic examples, look at your kids when they are really flying off the handle and reminding of that commercial for the Tylenol. Now imagine them having spent some time camping, and you are waiting for their bus to arrive.
Why are you there good half hour too early, walking back and forth impatiently and glancing at the direction from which the bus is to come? Are you sure those are the same kids from that commercial giving you headache that you are so eager to see again?
What did you do in your mind to become so impatient? You created an original experience, one in which they are not a pain in the butt. You can do it again in just about any other situation, because the script for experiencing is not carved in stone, everything is fluid and changeable in the mind.
I just Did It without Having a Name for It
I have been retired for a number of years now, and every time I drive by some of those companies that used to be an unpleasant experience at the time, by some crazy new attitude I get nostalgic feelings.
Yes, that SAME place that I was dreading to face day-in-day-out for years, now gets converted in my mind into some nice memories. I could not get it in the beginning, before I was finally able to recognize that inner shift as creating an original experience.
Again, it meant that my mind allowed me to see those places "for the first time", bypassing all ugliness of those memories. Why did I almost romanticize those companies like an adventure or something?
Only much later I understood what my mind had been doing. Well, there are a few of those little tricks and some of them are in my articles - that I didn't have a name for at the time when I intuitively practiced them.
Because You CAN!
The usual obstacle that we are bound to throw at our attempts to create original experiences - is our somewhat silly notion that our up-till-now "taste of life" is "genuine, and true, and thus irreplaceable".
Please don't trust every trick that your mind may play on you. I don't anymore for quite a while. If your experience of life is "true", then why did you keep changing it from decade to decade of your life?
So now, one more time, blow the kiss of magic from your palm to your reality and see it differently. YOU choose what you want to see a new way - while knowing that you are not changing the factual reality, just your experience of it - which is all that really matters.
Whatever is - is, but you choose to experience it in a brand new way. Have the nerve to do it! Have the courage, and audacity, and spitefulness to find that aspect of goodness in your life, when nothing really seems to suggest that possibility. Don't habitually search for a reference in your mind, something to "repeat".
Remember, an original experience doesn't have a reference to rely on - otherwise it wouldn't be "original". So, just think in terms of "experiencing for the first time". How would you like to feel about your life right now - if you could? Then just nonchalantly make that shift happen - because you CAN! It's a pure delight adding this new toy to your playful soul allowing it to create an entirely new dimension to conscious living.