On Experience and Meaning

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What are the boundaries of experience?”

“We can make a distinction between macro-experience and micro-experience.

An event, such as going to the cinema, is a macro-experience. The boundaries of the experience are the boundaries of the event.
Micro-experience is the moment-to-moment experience, whatever’s happening now

Any macro-experience is a string of micro-experiences.

When you say ‘experience’ I’m guessing you’re referring to micro-experience.”

“Yes.”

“One boundary of experience is what we can perceive, using all our senses:

Visual
Auditory
Kinaesthetic
Olfactory
Gustatory

We might call this the perceptual-range.

Another boundary of experience is what we do perceive, what we’re actually aware of in any given moment. This is influenced by two things: attention and meaning.

We are aware of what we attend to.
We attend to what we consider meaningful.”

“How can I improve the quality of experience?”

“Slow down. You thus create space for savoring the experience.

Use all senses. The more you use, the richer the experience.

Improve the quality of your attention. By that I mean the capacity to maintain attention on one thing. This can be trained through meditation.

Intentionally look at life through a filter of meaning. The key here is intentionality. We do look at life through a filter of meaning by default. It’s important to take control of this process. One way to do this is by deliberately using linguistic lenses [<link; medium length] – or, as I like to call them, ‘reality-filters‘. By thinking of them, you prime yourself for their use.”

“I think it’s useful to distinguish between lenses and filters.

Filters are a subtractive process. A narrowing down of possibilities in the field of experience.
Lenses are an additive process. Like an overlay to the experience itself.”

“I like the distinction.”

“What is the most powerful lens you know?”

“The Lens of the Sacred.”

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About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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