Is the fundamental inquiry “what is experience?”

The fundamental inquiry may be “what is experience?”

published on August 26, 2009

By the way, “who am I?” may not be fundamental, for, that inquiry presumes the existing or being of a self-object that is isolated and concrete as an individuality or even personality. Personal experience is, clearly, a subcategory of subjective experience– not an objective, material fact. Distinct body organisms- like distinct fingers on a hand- are certainly distinct, but what about the distinct linguistic expression “I?” It is only a distinct linguistic expression, referencing a particular subcategory of subjective experience called “personal” experience- just one linguistic cateogry of experience! Any particular individuality is not a discrete, unquestionable, universal, material, objective absolute. Personal individuality is fundamentally a linguistic reference, a mere description- entirely valid- but

Linguistic Inquiry

Image via Wikipedia

certainly not the only valid descriptive framework. For instance, one can also recognize the (temporary!) particular individuality of a hurricane or tornado or whirlpool or tidal wave or wildfire, or of a country or school or religious tradition or area or building or room or furnishing or color or pattern or emotion, of a biological organ, of a cell or particle or molecule or atom or quark, of a planet or star, of a constellation or season or lunar phase, or, finally, of a bodily organism, such as a dog or tree or human. These are all things one could individually name (label with a distinct linguistic unit). Naming something linguistically does not make that something an independent, objective absolute. Consider even that there may not be an independent, objective absolute. Language may only reference relationships. Naming something merely establishes a categorical linguistic reference which may be functionally distinct from other similar linguistic categories; Asia is not Africa, carbon is not hydrogen which is not oxygen, and dad is not mom.

Again, the fundamental inquiry may be “what is experience?” So, what is experience?
A logical answer would begin with a reference to language, which is the realm of this inquiry. What is the relationship between experience and language?
Language informs experience. More specifically, language is a type of expression. All expression, inclduing language, directs focus. Within the context of a certain focus, experience is the structure pattern of attention.
Any variation of the structure pattern of attention is a variation of experience. Attention expressing through language is one way to inform experience, which is the structure pattern of attention.
–JR************We do not have to sail in the direction of the wind, but if we ever sail off course, is it easier to change the direction of the wind or the direction of the sail?

One Response to “Is the fundamental inquiry “what is experience?””

  1. jrfibonacci Says:

    Over a month ago, I asked the question of this blog entry: is the fundamental question ‘what is experience?’ Well, as of now, one might answer: “perhaps not.” Clearly the fundamental question would either be “what is language?” or “What is?” Language of course might be the only logically consistent answer possible to the question “what is?” (Of course, none of this is not clearly implied in the original post).

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