Do you have to experience something to know it?
Experience is your strongest form of knowing but it can also provide false evidence for you.
When you experience something you assign meaning to it, and many times that meaning is incorrect or out of context.
In your search for understanding you end up grasping at straws to make sense and explain why your world is the way it is.
The unfortunate part is that when you assign meaning through an experience you have made a very strong impression that is difficult to undo.
Not so bad if your meaning is correct but not so good if the meaning you assigned was not correct, there was a more accurate explanation.
Undoing that inaccuracy can take a very, very long time.
There is so much in the world that works this way. Look how many generations some of your ideas have taken to change, or how far spread an idea can go.
Undoing what has been imprinted with an emotion is not as easy as you think.
This is why having many experiences is important, so you can see differently.
And that is why being able to step back and observe is important too – give yourself the space to shift and open to the possibility of something different.
But what if your experience produces the same thought over and over, if those experiences reinforce what you have come to know but it is incorrect?
That is a rather sticky situation, isn’t it.
Observation can be your greatest ally in this case.
Do you see what is happening to you happening to others?
If everyone who puts their hand on a hot stove experiences great pain then chances are good your experience is correct, or rather your interpretation of your experience is correct.
If you look around you and see others do not attach the same meaning or do not have the same experiences, then use that as an opportunity to step back and examine what is really going on.
If it is not happening to all others does it really have to happen to you?
Even then you must be careful because as humans you can tend to think in the same patterns and make it appear as if all is the same.
All it takes is one to think differently, to see another meaning or explanation for the door to open for all.
You also know there is no need for you to experience in order to know.
This is where your ability to empathize with another comes in. This is your inner sense of knowing you are all one in the same.
A part of you is a part of everyone and everything else.
When you see another place their hand on a hot stove, do you need to do the same in order to know what you will experience?
Do you need to be stoned in order to know how you feel about the entire situation? Or if you see an animal abused or a forest vandalized and destroyed.
You use each other to experience and learn about yourself and the world.
And you have the ability to extend beyond this world too. The universe is truly your playground if you choose.
You have many more knowings you have brought here to share.
Be with each other. Learn with each other. Love with each other.
Take the time to reflect on what experiences you are bringing to the whole for all to share.