Experience

A hundred thousand lifetimes have come before, yet we get no better at living.
Each of us has to figure it out for ourselves.

We have no way to pass on the information but crude language, either scrawled with a hand on paper, or pushed from the lungs and shaped by the tongue, teeth, and lips. Ham-fisted, barbaric, we try to draw out the internal and catapult it to others, only to have it look nothing like it did inside now that it has seen the light of day.

We can pass on procedure and meter and rhyme. We can pass on ideas, though less effectively so. Down through the ages we build on broken brick, on the splintered timber of the houses of thought that were erected in the minds of our ancestors.

But experience is something we must each earn for ourselves, and it is not a kind teacher. It does not hold the hand and guide the stance. It slaps the face and burns the field.

Then, the day we perish is the day we have gained as much experience as possible. The minute before death, we are as experienced as we will ever be, save for knowing the experience of death itself, which is impossible to relate.

If only one could live forever, constantly accumulating experience; knowing all that could be known and able to endlessly cross-reference the ocean with the sky.

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