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Davis Journal

The magic of experience

Sep 07, 2023 03:27PM ● By John Waterbury

A modern-day philosopher has written:

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.

Others stay for a while, and touch our hearts,

and we are never, ever, the same.” 

This is the essence of life.

This is the essence of our experience in this world.

When insight, understanding, and wisdom combine forces, the blinders are removed from our vision and we see the world from a different point of view.

Our past experiences take on new meaning, patterns emerge that were previously unrecognized, and a clarity develops that makes it possible to see the congruity between the past, the present, and the future.

Experience is like a guided tour through our comfort zones; comfort zones that, all too often, were the result of taking the path of least resistance; comfort zones that developed, simply because they were within our grasp.

Experience teaches that when we are willing to settle 

for what is within our grasp, then we sabotage our personal growth. 

And to paraphrase a quote by the poet Browning, “Our reach should exceed our grasp.”

In our attempt to endure to the end, we often, mistakenly, attempt to avoid anything that may produce pain, or anxiety, or uncertainty.

But this is a mistake.

Seldom is anything of any consequence 

ever achieved without pain. For without pain, there is no change. Without change, there is no growth.

And without growth, there is no insight.

As a result of our experience, we begin to understand

five of the basic subtleties of life: we tend to ask for all things that we may enjoy life, but we are wisely given life that we may enjoy all things; that the only difference between stepping stones and stumbling blocks is the way we use them; that there is a significant difference between doing things right and doing the right things; and last but not least, that nothing changes if nothing changes.

In this manner, when life is managed successfully, we begin to understand the importance of the application of correct principles. Only then can we begin to see things more accurately. We finally stop trying to change the world and begin taking responsibility to make new choices.

The magic of experience is that as we make new choices, changes occur within ourselves, and the world changes automatically.