Experience is beyond concepts (#172)

Automatically, we associate experience with some concept. “This is good”, “This feels bad”, “I’m happy”, “I love doing this”.

However specific our words might be and whatever feeling we get about so-and-so being the perfect word or concept for what we feel, ultimately experience seems to be beyond concepts. You need to feel it.

An experience in the past is just a memory. And memories never fully capture experience. Nor does the concept of experience while you’re experiencing it. Experience is moment-by-moment. By the time you look for a concept for the ongoing experience, it fades and becomes just like the erred conception of a memory.

All about experience is in the experience itself. Not in what we associate about them.

But without concepts or some form of theory, understanding of experience is impossible. To understand is to conceptualize. To experience is to simply feel.

I’ve been exploring a course on Sam Harris’s Waking Up app by John Astin called Beyond Concepts. It lures the listener into experiencing the indefinability of experience.

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