Shared Experience

The apprehension of knowledge and the accumulation of experience, when it is applied to some fruitful goal can be a labor of love which produces beneficial results and extraordinary achievements. New experience is an essential component of progress and in spite of being potentially fraught with unanticipated consequences and unforeseen dangers may uncover key elements in our search for knowledge and result in completely unexpected experiences as we seek to accomplish our goals.

The level of anxiety possible when facing up to new experiences cannot be fully appreciated by others, nor can it be fully experienced by others in exacting measure, since WE are the only ones who have ever been the precise person that our individual lives produced. Commonalities and shared experiences are common enough in that they resemble each other in a general way, but I suspect that we may assume too much with regard to just HOW similar our experiences actually end up being.

Ask anyone who has deliberately jumped out of an airplane, while it was still flying perfectly well, what that experience was like, and their report of the experience will very likely resonate fairly well with others who have taken similar steps in similar fashion, and while each intrepid paratrooper brings a singular collection of individual personal experiences to that moment right before the jump, any human being standing at the open door of an airplane, parachute strapped to their body, looking out at the earth however many thousands of feet away, as they take that first step off into the unknown, is united at that moment with every other human being who found themselves in that same place.

Our subjective experience of every waking moment of our conscious existence–clearly unrepeatable in precise terms as individuals–alters every subsequent experience in mostly subtle ways, but occasionally in dramatic ways, and as consciously aware human beings, with brains and central nervous systems that function in remarkably similar fashion, across generations of human existence, we actually SHARE a fair amount of experiential sameness in the quality and character of human activity that can result in a very particular degree of resonance.

My maternal grandmother, as a young woman around 1908, won a piano competition by her performance of Mozart’s “Fantasia for Piano in D minor,” and her daughter, my mother, played the piano as a young girl, and her daughter, my sister, was given the music for Mozart’s work by my grandmother. When she had learned it and performed it for her teacher and my grandmother, she was described as “needing more challenging music to learn.” Several other members of our extended family are equally talented musically, and now, more than one hundred years later, we watch as the newest generations within our extended family embrace music in much the same spirit as our dear grandmother.

Resonating through the eons of time, all varieties of human experience frequently influence the subsequent character and quality of the experience of future generations. Some of this influence is the direct result of witnessing first-hand, specific events or the consequences of those events, but in order to account for the profound influence which echoes across generations, we must take into account the very nature of humanity itself, and how the experiences that span the innumerable generations of modern humans, contribute in a very real way to the oneness of spirit embodied in such commonalities.

more to come……

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