How about trying an experiment? For a week resist your need to define and label everything. If instead of seeking comparisons and detailed explanations try to simply experience things for what they are … as original entities that offer something new and unique.
Once we define something we put it in a box in the mind and in doing so we are instantly less open to living the experience from a fresh perspective. Definitions can bridle imagination and stifle our vitality and perhaps even hamper innovation.
It’s easy to understand the need for some modicum of descriptive framework, a need to know generally what one is faced with. It provides us with a point of reference, a comparison of something already experienced. But what if, every now and then, we tried to get by without relying on this nexus of labels.
There are areas of our culture where this pigeon-holing paradigm isn’t expected; for instance, a musician doesn’t hum all the songs of their album for you before you buy it. You just buy it, listen, and see what happens from there.
A composer once said that when he’s asked to explain the meaning behind one of his compositions, he simply plays it again. We urge you to do the same: to experience things directly. Release your need to define, to know in advance. Understand that categorizations restrict your experience. Allow whatever you come across to be everything and its opposite.
Published: February 12th, 2015