Image by Gerd Altmann
There is a subtle, but life-altering difference between our experiencing life the way we normally do, through our identities, and experiencing life the way we could, through our Essence. Our reality is determined by what we experience, but what we experience may have very little to do with the truth of what's really going on. We interpret our experience of life through what is commonly referred to as our five senses - seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling.
The range of detection of our senses is narrow compared to the almost infinite spectrum of stimuli. Therefore when we rely on the usual, sensory method of defining reality, we limit ourselves to only a fraction of what comprises the universe. Picking up a brick with our hands, we would say with absolute certainty that the brick is solid, because that is what our sense of touch and our eyes tell us.
But, the science of Quantum Physics has proven that the atoms of the brick are mostly space. If our senses were acute enough to experience its atomic form, we would see a rectangular block of mostly empty space with random flashes of electrons.
What we detect with our physical senses is subjected to another screening process called "beliefs". Suppose we see ourselves (define ourselves) as someone who is rather shy and not too good at making small talk. In addition, we believe that attractive people are hard to approach and usually aren't too interested in us. Sure enough, we will be attracted to someone and find it very difficult to approach that person; the conversations we do have will be awkward.
Our experience will conform to our expectations and beliefs. Whether the other people really weren't interested in us is irrelevant because we will interpret our interactions in a way that validates our beliefs.
Experience vs. Experialization
Actually, we do not "experience" our life; we experience the emotions resulting from our beliefs. Since we are certain that the events and people around us are the cause of our emotions, the real cause - our beliefs - is ignored. We are continuously comparing life to how we believe life should be. What we call our experience of life is just our reaction to the on-going comparison.
In contrast, experialization is a more complete experience of life, because we are not limited to 'just' our five senses. When we choose to experialize, we allow our awareness to include much more than 'just' the information provided by our senses.
Our ability to experience things within the body and even outside the body (called meta-normal experiences) goes far beyond what we usually limit ourselves to. Take, for instance, the experience of knowing who's at the door when the doorbell rings, or knowing who's calling when the phone rings. We can walk in a forest and be suddenly mesmerized by one particular tree. Somehow, we are drawn up into that tree and we "know " something of what it feels like to be that tree.
These kinds of knowing cannot be explained by our senses. In nature we see this process of experialization occurring all the time. Animals, void of identities that limit them, continuously live at their greatest level of awareness. A deer will develop a thicker winter coat than usual before a particularly harsh winter arrives, somehow knowing that the weather is going to be more severe. This is not a conscious decision on its part; it's a knowingness of what it must do.
A Truer Experience
When we experialize, we expand our awareness beyond our physical senses and consequently, we know things about ourselves and the world around us that can be known in no other way.
Get The Latest By Email
Experialization takes into account our five physical senses as well as our "sixth sense", but it is much more than just intuition. Experialization is the process of choosing to put our awareness in direct contact with that which we want to experience. When experializing a tree, for instance, we expand our awareness into the tree and experience the tree as it is, rather than just looking at the tree and forming a sterile image of the tree in our minds.
Experialization is also a "true" experience of life because it is not filtered by our definitions and beliefs. We do not judge a tree. Therefore, our experience of the tree is not limited to an emotional reaction caused by whether or not the tree matches our expectations. We simply "know" it by directly experializing it.
There has never been a computer, nor probably ever will be that can analyze things like our minds can. Our extraordinary ability to think is unmatched, but very little is understood about the process.
We do know one characteristic of our mind's ability to analyze that is both a blessing and a limitation, which is the proverbial good news/bad news. As fast and complex as our ability to analyze is, it still relies on the input of definitions. Our minds require that we define everything we store in its memory banks. In this way, the mind can quickly associate and analyze stored data. But, as much as this is a benefit when we are wanting to employ the scientific method of deduction, it is often a limitation when we simply want to know the truth.
A few years ago, I was working in a large, fluorescent-lit office in the heart of Silicon Valley. Hanging near the window was a plant, the customary decoration for men wanting to demonstrate a more sensitive side. One day, one of the people with whom I worked stopped talking in mid-sentence. I thought that she had been distracted by something outside the building. She quickly walked to the window and stuck her finger into the soil of my plant, and then felt the leaves as if touching an infant. "This plant needs water. Can't you see that?" she admonished.
At the time I thought very little about the incident, merely tolerating her taking the time to water the plant before we got back to business. It wasn't until later that I realized I really hadn't seen the plant that day, or on most other days for that matter. I had defined the plant in my mind and categorized it with a relative importance to the other things I perceived in my life.
Technically, each morning, when I walked into my office, I did see the plant but I did not experience the plant as it was right then, in the moment. What I experienced was simply my mental image or definition of the plant.
The disadvantage of living too much in our minds is that we naturally define ourselves and the people and events in our lives. Once defined, we can no longer experience anything as it is each moment; we tend to experience only our definition, our mental representation.
When President Reagan said, "When you've seen one redwood tree, you've seen them all...", it made perfect sense in his mind. He defined what a redwood tree is I and can experience the definition anytime he wants. However, in truth, his experience of redwood trees is restricted to his mental image of a tree.
Experialization is the process of knowing redwood trees without defining them for the convenience of mental storage. We do not need a well-honed analysis in order to experience a redwood tree, nor does a greater ability to analyze mean that we will have a more complete experience of a tree. The more we analyze an object, the more we experience our thoughts and definitions of that object, rather than the object itself.
Copyright 1992 by Richard Treadgold. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Essence Foundation.
Claiming Your Destiny: The Path of Life Mastery
by Richard Treadgold.
About the Author
Richard Treadgold is the author of "Claiming Your Destiny" and "Karma Covered Candy", and the originator of Heartistry Seminars - The Natural Art of ReCreating Your Life. For information write: Heartistry, P.O. Box 16418, San Francisco, CA 94116.