Thursday, April 9, 2015

How to Come Out Smelling Like a Rose

This inquiry seems fresh every time I work with it.  That's because when I really GROK this one, it becomes pretty evident that the story happening in my head is somehow able to completely override or REPLACE reality as-it-is. 
How?   Well, let me see whether I can write this out in clear terms...
The panel on the left always seems to reflect the truth of what happens when I smell a flower.  It's a great depiction except for one major flaw!  If I run outside right now to smell the about-to-bloom magnolias on the scrawny and newly planted tree in my front yard, the reality is that the event is actually going to be experienced as the panel on the right.
When I tell you the story of how things happened when picking up the magnolia and taking a good strong whiff, the panel on the left is truer to the story.  It IS the story.
And therein lies all the difference.
That left-hand panel is the MAP of experience while the one on the right IS the experience.  (Well, as close as I can get when trying to communicate this concept with concepts, but that's another post.) 
When I look at the truth of reality-as-it-happens, my experience is immediate, fleeting, unstructured, uninhibited, and unplanned.   On the other hand the story of my experience is:
  • Long (it takes longer to tell it than the time it took for it to happen)
  • Structured (the story, whether told in thought or aloud, has a linear movement)
  • Inhibited (I could never tell the entire story or I'd never get to the point)
  • Planned (The words are formed in thought and sentences are structured according to rules)
The contrast between the panels becomes clear but the results leave me with a strange dilemma... the left tells a fictitious story that was never my experience at all while the right, even when truer, just doesn't work in the way we usually communicate. 

Ok, so now I understand what a doodle is supposed to do... tell a story.  No wonder they're always drawn like the one on the left.  They're not really accurate at all, though!

Care to go down a rabbit hole with me on this one?   After more inquiry, I found that both panels can only ever represent thought, and it's thought twice-removed.  That's because there is the scent happening, and there is sight, but only thought has said those are the experience of a rose.  Only thought says there is a thing called scent and only thought says there is a sight called "red", "flower".......  All I ever really experience is... !!!

I'll let you know whether I make it back from this one.

Working Questions for Your Own Inquiry

Questions for Investigation:

Which of the two panels is the image that usually comes to mind when thinking about the experience of "I smell a flower"? Is the panel on the left a true representation of what the experience of SMELLING, ITSELF looks like from your point of view, or is the panel on the right more accurate? How does understanding the difference between the two feel? How does seeing the difference feel?

Tools for Ongoing Inquiry:

Notice all of the differences between the story we tell ourselves about an action, and the action itself. When looking out at the view, do eyes see an image of you looking at the view, or is there just the view? Where do "you" live... on the panel on the left or the one on the right?