I am a man caught between two different worlds—a world driven by knowledge and one driven by experience.
In the world of knowledge I yearn to know the truth. Not my individual truth formed by my beliefs and emotions but the one unequivocal truth that may or may not be revealed when my human experience comes to an end. I’m drawn to countless belief systems hoping to find something that resonates so strongly within me that I can dedicate time digging deeper.
A part of me wants to learn additional languages simply because I’m limited to what I can discover in English. Translation is often interpretation of core ideas where exact word comparisons do not exist. My knowledge is limited simply because I am only able to think, speak, and write in one form.
On the flip side the drive for experience is controlled by emotion. Emotion is the reaction to experience. Emotion in itself is a kind of universal language. Two people unable to communicate with words can have a life-altering experience through action or a shared response of fear, joy, passion, or even love.
I recall a couple of times in my past where friendships were formed with individuals who spoke very little English and my knowledge of Spanish and Japanese were limited in the first and non-existent in the second. In those situations we were able to enjoy experience through finding alternate ways to communicate. The communication was used to foster emotion such as joy in discovering alternative ways to communicate and the sheer fun in escaping our comfort zones.
Those two friendships I recalled were very short lived, but they have maintained a home in my memories simply because of how they made me feel in the moment.
I have come to realize something I never intended when I sat down to write this blog post. It relates to my struggle with both depression and anxiety.
My desire for knowledge feeds anxiety and my need to either know or control the future. The problem there lies in the fact the future does not exist. It is a thought form. My idea of the future is completely different than your idea of the future. It is a concept formed in our own minds.
My desire of experience feeds depression and my need to create memories. Memories enable me to escape the present moment and dwell on those emotions, be they positive or negative. I can look back on a romantic encounter just as easily as a time my feelings were hurt. I continue to dwell on an experience in my recent past where I felt wholeheartedly wronged and misunderstood even though the actions stemmed from it was the best thing that could have happened to move me forward. It is the negative emotion, however, that I am clinging to. I either haven’t found a way or still subconsciously refuse to release it.
For someone like me, I need to find a balance between the two. I tend to think, feel, and believe in a more intense manner than average. This too creates inner conflict, and is something I am trying to learn to manage.