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What is the Value of Someone Else's Experience?

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posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:23 AM
I see a great deal of posting of videos, articles, book recommendations on how life could be, should be, would be. Are we just wasting our time? I understand the inherent issue with this question is that there is no point in posting if we aren't relating our personal experiences generally speaking, but I mean is there value to an individual in the experience of another? Can one achieve anything by reading a book, watching a movie, listening to dialog, etc? Does it further us along our path? And my question has nothing to do with the exchange of pure knowledge such as how to repair a car, although even this is useless until one actually applies the knowledge and even then there is no guarantee that the same results will be achieved. I'm talking primarily about personal experience. Something I myself am guilty of. Are we just playing ego games?

I think it's a two-way street. On the one hand there is no inherent value in hearing about the experience of another aside from entertainment. On the other hand there is value in that it helps us relate to others who do have similar experiences. But I believe things must be experienced in order to have any value to an individual. That first hand knowledge is the only knowledge we can posses.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:40 AM
reply to post by TravelerintheDark

Other peoples experiences hold value FOR ME. I am always interested in "stories" from others and I think we can learn a lot. My own experiences teach me doubt, but a girlfriend can call and relay an experience and I too learn from her as well. I may not remember it as I would my own experience but I do think it holds value.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:44 AM
I learned and found the Light in my own heart, real and living and for myself, through reading and listening to those whom I felt were genuine mystics and visionaries, those who had found God for themselves and were here to share with us what they know. It took time, but little by little they helped my own self knowing unfold for me---

My favorite teacher was William Samuel --- and here is something he said that I have always loved and like to post for others to read---its just so rich with Truth: (he was writing and saying these long before everyone started getting the ideas based on our real identity being One with the One Divine Mind God and God's Awareness being the Light and Life of us--- anyway, my point is yes, we can learn and Really get it in our own heart, true and real, for ourself---by way of listening and reading 'others'---others are Our Self appearing 'out there'----

"Every teacher, book, writer, practitioner, sage, guru or peanut vendor, by whatever name, title or label they go by, is an aspect of the Awareness (Identity) "we" are. We take the book from the shelf most likely to render a specific service at a given moment. Exactly so, we have appeared to go to the philosophy, teacher, church, friend, stranger or peanut vendor that has unfolded as sufficient for the moment--but that philosophy, teacher, church, friend or stranger is WITHIN the awareness WE are. So is the peanut vendor. We are forever looking at our Self.".....William Samuel

There is a lot of free excerpts from his books on his website (he is no longer with us, but his message is timeless!)

Love, SweetM

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:49 AM
reply to post by TravelerintheDark

The experience of Person A can have a value to Person B, but it cannot be used as a full foundation of their thinking. It can only be used to advise one's own opinions if there is going to be any fully developed and defensible position. Because another may have hallucinated, misinterpreted, or even lied, the value is comparable to circumstantial evidence.

The experiences of another can also be used to advise a foundation of thinking. For example, while I have never seen a UFO, Ghost, Faerie, etc., I do believe that others have at least seen something that could have a "paranormal" explanation. Their experiences are neither without value nor completely "convincing" -- only present and necessary to account.

Tangentially, we have to consider the value of our own experiences; we are subject to so many illusions, confusions, and false memories, that our own experiences cannot be relied on 100%; they lose some value in evaluation, though exactly how much depends on how skeptical you are, hehe. There's a slight solipsistic feedback in this consideration also; because you cannot entirely trust yourself, there's the slight chance that you are even imagining the relation of the experiences of others.

There is also what you mention about them having value about our ability to relate to each other. But I want to take it further; learning the experiences of others can help you to relate to people who have experiences completely dissimilar to your own.

Also, as much as I love him, Robert Anton Wilson is nowhere close to the origin of "The Map is not the territory." That would be Alfred Korzybski.

Wilson did use it plenty of times, though

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:01 AM
There is great value in others experiences, especially in a spiritual context. Without others relating their experiences one would not be able to generate minds of love, compassion, patience etcetera which are the core fundamental states in which spiritual development takes place.

To balance the argument I guess that if we do not relate to others experiences then there would be no anger, jealousy, greed etcetera. no love, compassion et al, one would experience the world as dead and would be dead to the world.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:04 AM
reply to post by TravelerintheDark

Explanation: S&F!

The base cost and therefor base value the time one takes to imbibe and mull over that other persons experience [claimed] .. That requires a passion to know other people and how the operate and why they operate like that in those times and places.

Empirical evidence has to be constantly monitored for accuracy as regards the kuhnian paradigm one has built in ones OWN headspace. Therefor, even though Im sitting down and nothing appears to be floating away I can't say GRAVITY exists until I test for that in a way that is clearly faslifiable!

For example I now hold out a pen and I make the claim that GRAVITY DOESN'T EXIST and then test for that by releasing the pen and seeing what happens during that one off test. Becuause although a similar method can be used nearly anywhere else a human being can be, its not the same environment or even the same time and therefor nothing can be said SCIENTIFICALLY until that test is performed there and then etc and a clear and unambiguous result [data] has been gained FOR THAT MOMENT ONLY!

Anything else would be a huge case of induction fallacy!

Or in other words... we can't say anything about our existential reality until we are testing accurately! And no matter how many times something happens [say gravity holding me down etc.] we can't be 100% certain thats always going to be the case.

So it takes TIME and EFFORT [aka focused activity] to just get a taste of someone elses concept!

Language helps!

Pictures Help!

Mental gymnastics helps!

Walking a mile in another persons shoes [both figuratively in ones own mindseye and literally by MIMICRY] also goes a long way to understanding the SPECIFICS of that environment!

Ultimately THE Universe provides us with a diverse enough genetic palette... that some like it hot and some like it cold and some like it in the pot 9 days old.

Generalities Versus Specifics! I call that track knowledge ... some guys have a home track they do very well on, and yet they are all hard core race drivers driving hard core race cars around the same track on that same day!

Same with people! Generally anywhere you go there will be food, music, politics, the weather, work issues , family issues , God and churches and the whole rest of the gamut that is general human life and living on this planet!

Specifically things like toiletseat covers and the influx of Muslim and other cultures that don't have a general culture of sitting down on a toilet to have ones ablutions etc but do have a general culture of squating etc.

That SPECIFIC issue has lead to the creation of new toilet seats ... beacase squating on porcelin and small plastic seats that have little or no room for ones feet has lead to disaster results for those unfortunate to have such a SERIOUS accident ..especially when one is in the middle of taking care of a bowel movement!

So yeah ... thats the difference! If OL had never read up on weird stuff about toilets on ATS I would have never known. Seeing the horrendous pictures of the broken toilets and how they cut these poor people open to a truly shocking degree also helped me get a handle on that in my mindeye.

I then went further to find out why these people who squat.. why they squat and why sitting comfortably is just something they don't do and with the specific case of broken toilets and Muslims in the UK [OL is in Australia btw
] it comes down to religous cleansing rituals and practices that go way way back and they work very well for them and their cultures .. because everyone who grows up there has that general knowledge ENGRAINED from birth into them... the rest of us [in the west or wherever] have to learn by magic or luck or through being found wanting when he situation required it and being quikly and possible horrible woken up to it by a local who knows and can afford to enlighten one to the real deal [when in rome]. Others who have a deep and especially held passion for knowing other people and finding out about why other people do what they do etc. go further and actively research that stuff!

The value is usually just at face value when engaged in everyday living as the universe doesn't require knowing to exist as there are many things that get by.. by just being!

Knowing however does make things easier as its like a shortcut to the getting to the DO IT bit!

There are many levels to knowing and not all are scientific! I know I got my backside parked in a chair to type this ... but as thats just a case of my incidental apparent and percieved local reality I can't say gravity exist until I specifically test for another there and then!

Personal Disclosure: Scale is everything! Without it ones sense of the details is lost!

P.S. Anybody who St*rs this post will have in some small way Valued OL's experience! Thanks

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:04 PM
While I hold that experiential knowledge is the only real knowledge and so valuable above anecdotal evidence, I do value every response thus far. They are entertaining and informative but at the same time I still have no knowledge of any of you, only how I can or can't relate to your experiences. As an example using the well worn concept of enlightenment or spiritual knowledge, if relating the experience was truly valuable in the sense of being truly the transmission of knowledge, wouldn't we have billions of enlightened individuals roaming the earth right now considering the teachings of Buddha, Jesus, or any one of dozens of spiritual teachers who have related not only their experience of attainment but how to attain it for ourselves? Instead we still struggle day to day to gain inches. That's why I said that you can read about how to fix a car but until you do it the information is meaningless.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:06 PM
Read the Bible and the story of Jesus Christ and ask yourself if it has any value to you.

I believe that's about as good of an example as you will find.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:10 PM
I like to try everything for myself but there are times when you have to think, why did so-and-so keep saying not to do this, or that - maybe I shouldn't try it. It would be foolish not to listen to advice, and not to give it when it's handy information. Yes you do have to listen to others, then work out for yourself if you're gonna do it, whatever IT is.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:21 PM
It's also important to remeber that other people's experiences can hold a source of inspiration for others prompting them to do or attempt things they may have never tried before leading them to a whole new way of life.

So in a way other peoples experiences can have life changing effects. Suppose a young college student reads the Patrick Henry speech and becomes so moved he goes out and changes the political landscape with his newfound passion for freedom.

Often times when i'm having a bad day I will say to myself, "you know there is a young kid right now who just got in a car accident and has become paralyzed forever. Is my current problem really that bad?" and things other people are experiencing help me deal with my issues at times.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:23 PM
reply to post by kro32

It only has value insofar as I live or attempt to live the life it proposes. Otherwise it's just a book.

Your second post illustrates my point. The true value is in the living the experience. A related experience may be a catalyst but as such is only valuable if it inspires action. Like I said in my OP, there is value in the relating our experiences, but it's limited compared to the action it may inspire.
edit on 4/8/11 by TravelerintheDark because: Because

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:27 PM
Well in your original post you asked if there was value for someone in other peoples experiences and not just your own and I believe the Bible shows that there are alot of people that find value in other people's experiences.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:45 PM
You are setting up yourself for a very narrow view and ignorant life if you do not take into account other's experiences.

Think of it like this.

When a person puts out a book or video, it is the sum creation of their time and experiences. You are in essence, saving time by absorbing what they have learned, you are living through them. The knowledge which they leave to you, is yours for the taking, they are giving a part of themselves to you. The knowledge which they so much dug and researched to learn, that which they dedicated their lives to learning, they are offering it to you.

And the more you read and research you will be able to, with your intellect, decipher truth from lies. The more you read and study, the more you will be able to see the big picture of existence. It is a quest we were all meant to undertake, only many of us don't even know the quest exists. Then there are some, like I see on this board, which that very same secret quest consumes. They try to find the truth from the time they wake up, till the time they sleep. The truth has become their addiction. It is a very seductive thing, the truth. That is because it means freedom and knowing yourself and what you really are.

So yes, you should consider other's experiences. They have experienced the same world and confines that you have. Their opinions are just as important as your own. Someday if you choose to wrote a book, wouldn't you hope that people would read it and experience what you have, and learn from you?

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 03:05 PM
reply to post by TravelerintheDark

Explanation: Your talking about the difference between DATA and INFORMATION!

Data .. just is!

Information ... is data put to work!

Personal Disclosure: And its how it is put to work thats the magic trick!

Data is all important becuase without that starting point you REALLY do have nothing to work with!

If one has a data set to work with it can be manipulated with other algorythyms and mathematical equations that let one work out a usable structure to formulate the random data in to so that it can be used in a more handy fashion than just the raw data!

Examaple: Data set: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21

Data on that data set string [ie the differences between the numbers in their order] : 0,1,2,2,3,5,8

Now what can be gleamed from the raw data and the data I MANUFACTURED about that raw data set?

1] Its a number sequence that increases with each new data variable!

2] The data on the data set ... starts to look very similar [and if it was extended infinitely the commonalities would become very apparent] as the 3,5,8 bit is the same as the other 3,5,8 bit excepts its transposed further down the data string [this is like comparing atgc DNA with other atgc DNA sequences for similarities and or exact copies]

3] Putting 1] & 2] together and racking my brain memory and or bugging google about it ... would quickly lead one to find the FIBONACCI series and thats NOW INFORMATION!

So data set 1 with a 2nd data set manufactured from the bare bones basics of the 1st data set ... started OL on a course of investigation that leads somewhere for some purpose. I could have compared alphabetical based strings and or even alphanumeric strings [although I wouldn't recommend comparing non like with non like strings of data .. that would be very confusing! ]

This mindgame was of course set up to be WINNING and unfortunately lifes not always like that!

Personal Disclosure: Spiritual knowledge doesn't help much as the result of all that is the following data set provided by the BUDDAH ... LIFE IS SUFFERING! And that data set doesn't show what its trying to portray accurately enuff as 'suffering' for us in the west generally means gotta put up with bad stuff and thats exactly what the BUDDAH did imply .. but it can be turned on its head and ONE can suffer all the good things as well as the technical semantic term known as 'suffer' basically means to endure or be at the affect of whethr it be good and or bad.

What its doesn't show us is the way out! Although it may certainly motivate one to find that lacking bit of data!

P.S. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, +, -, x , / , = [this is raw data]


1 + 3 = 4 [this is data at work (yes its still data) and is called information.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 05:56 PM

On the one hand there is no inherent value in hearing about the experience of another aside from entertainment. On the other hand there is value in that it helps us relate to others who do have similar experiences. But I believe things must be experienced in order to have any value to an individual. That first hand knowledge is the only knowledge we can posses.

I believe in my heart that we are all both Teacher and Student - and it is through the sharing of personal experience that much wisdom can blossom. I believe it is when we try to separate others' personal experiences into our own view of "correct and incorrect," "truth and falsehood," etc. that we falter; even more so when we view our own experience as "better, truer or ruling out" the validity of another's experience.

For me personally, I have experienced some of the most profound personal growth when relating to others who have dissimilar (versus similar) experiences. But interestingly, I completely agree with the conclusion you draw, that first hand knowledge is king. I have experienced tremendous changes in awareness over the last couple of years, as a decade or so of intellectual learning has blossomed into what I call "experiential awareness" - or the experience of a truth as being very different than the mere intellectual belief and grasp of a concept.

Thank you for a thought provoking thread. S&F

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 06:29 PM
Yes there is some value in other people long as this experience was received as such .
Once someone tolled me about a silence experience, and then he reply vigorously that he didn't experience it .... He was the silence...wowwww
I thought what a lot of BS, how can you come so close to truthness and then flush every thing in to the ego trip.
And then many people just follow some western guru and because they go and see them, they think they know every thing about life , infinity, god, and so on.
The greatest achievement in enlightenment is have any idea what this word mean...I suggest you reflect on it.
The people that think they have achieve some kind of enlightenment have only they ego to pursuit.
Like I said in other thread : if you reach a higher awareness then you understand what humility and let live.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 07:08 PM
Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes. ~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windemere's Fan, 1896

All experience can lead to wisdom, but it doesn't have to all be personally experienced. In fact, some of the most valuable "experience" I ever had was when others died, and I lived. You couldn't do that too many times yourself.

Considering we have such a short go of it here in life, I think we have to take advantage of the experience of others as best we can.


posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 07:13 PM
reply to post by TravelerintheDark

The only thing you learn from experiences is that you learn nothing from them.

Knowledge,even that found in a book, can change your reality.

Life is simply seeking. Enlightenment is simply no seeking. I read that
in a book and it changed my consciousness.

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