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It's an Experiment

I was recently at an 8-day silent Vipassana retreat. One of the awarenesses that I touched and left with is that life for human beings is an experiment!

Stop and really take a look a this. Look at all the ways in which we KNOW how it's supposed to be.

We know about work and play. We know about relationship. We know about being parents, friends, lovers, spouses. We know about eating. We know about health. We know how we’re supposed to feel. We know what’s wrong with... fill in the blank with your favorite person, place, thing, politician, etc. We know what we like and don’t like. On and on and on and on...

In each instance, that knowing is a constriction of energy. It’s a constriction of possibility, of learning, of expanding... of being.

I truth, we don’t know anything. We’re experimenting... and we forget that the best we can do is say that at this moment I’m pleased with the results of the experiment.

So... how’s it going for you?

How’s your experiment?

I found was that in any area where I was unsatisfied, I’d reached a conclusion about what was happening. I had a logical explanation and understanding that tried to take in all points of view. Turns out it was an elaborate justification for ending the experiment — for the status quo. I’d lost sight of the experimental nature of life. Lost sight of my ability to play with the recipe. To change ingredients or even change the meal.

I found there were areas that I’d never lost that ability to create, to experiment. I thought maybe they could be used to model the kind of thinking and acting that was natural in an experimental domain.

I found that the way to open up a conclusion is to turn it into a question, an inquiry. Reverse the constricting pattern...

For example...

I’ve been on a raw vegan diet off and on for over 30 years. On again for the last 18 months. During this time I’ve tried a number of programs, looking for “the right one”. High fruit. High juice. High sprouts. High gourmet. High fat. Low fat. They all have their proponents. They all have their internal logic. They all seem to work for some people. There are elements of most that work for me. I was feeling quite discouraged. Not exactly sure what to do next. And the direction of my searching was to re-evaluate each program.

I saw that I was looking backward. And I saw that all of it was taking in someone else’s information and experience. What if there wasn’t much information? (...which was true 30 years ago! Today the market is awash with raw food books...) What if I needed to find my own way? What would I look for? What would be the measures that I would use for myself?

I discovered there were a few immediate measures - experimental results I was interested in...

Do I have enough Energy to go through the day?
Am I getting enough Rest?
How’s my Digestion?
How’s my elimination?
What does my body feels like upon waking?
What does my mouth feel like - taste like upon waking?
What does my body feels like when tired?

Now I want to know, “What’s required for me to feel the way I want to feel in each of those circumstances?” I don’t know.

I know alot about what other people have said. I know alot about what hasn’t worked for me in the past.
I don’t know what actions, thoughts, feelings reliably create those results...

That’s how one of my experiments is going...

How about yours?