In Experience, Pain is the Noblest Teacher

As the we progress in learning in the school, we come to realize, whether it is active, dynamic or happens very fast; whether or not is passive, untimely, or punitive; whether in pain in sorrow or in joy, and in all the hues of our human understanding, feeling and willing, despite of the myriads of the things that we do, the decision that we make, the people that we meet, and the events that may have happen to us all these fall into one category that makes us totally human – our Human Experience, it is the one unique reality that make us have the sense of time, and so make us also choose to be in the state of Now.

Despite of all the mood, thoughts, situations, and the color of the spectrum of the human consciousness, there will always a brighter side, that at the end of the day, and in the bottom-line, our human experience will always our teacher who will bring us golden lesson and wisdom. But honestly do we really know about human experience?

Human Experience is a unique and personally owned understanding of the entire multistranded facets or aspect of the human nature, the human psyche, with the phenomenological consciousness seamlessly blend together forming one courses of progression that leads to embodiment of a suppositum. A profound trajectory of human intersubjectivity, consciousness, knowledge, competencies, biology, freedom, teleological pursuit for meaning and purpose; even our dreams and the quest for happiness is closely tied into it. No wonder it is has become a teacher, in fact the best teacher we acclaim it to be. The blending of the human trajectory in life’s experience are as follows:

1. "I Can Sense"

You might wonder, how in the world, the senses have been part of the tenets of human experience. In fact, it is the most significant part of the empirical knowledge and of the scientific method in general – observation. Yes, very truly, the five senses with inference or common sense are but the primary agents of experienced. There will be no consciousness of something or of the self, if there are no senses that sensed the outward natures, or the world, and the inward nature, or the self. With all certainty, the senses give us all the data, and data treatment of the knowing, willing, feeling and doing sill be laid in waste without data, gathered and send by the senses to the inward knowing consciousness.

2. "I Can Know"

This is the first and the most indisputable aspect, all sound minded human beings can do that can refute “I doubt” from the most obvious reason that I exist (cf., R. Descartes, Cogito). Whether I will be conscious or not, I have to know. That capacity of knowing leads us the epistemological nature of our human reason. We are led to learn how to know our very own knowing. We spontaneously and naturally know how we do now that we now, even if not in a pound of a second, not an inch in this lifetime we ask this question. The sense of wonder and curiosity, the desire to know even our capacity of knowing and being naturally ordained towards the truth is perennial to our human existence. Experience primarily has it as a teacher.

3. "I Can Feel"

Though feelings might not be as intelligible as the epistemic or consciously understanding intelligible mind, it will always have the guts, a nudge or an intuitive feeling that is undisputedly truthful. The emotions that are felt during the knowing or the free choosing and in the doing phase of human experience might have been fleeting it come and go swiftly without a trace, but the feeling are proportionately equal to the level of consciousness or the sense of being there we apply to any circumstance or event. It is transparently authentic in all human experiences that we have.

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Source: Pexels

4. "I Can Will"

The freedom and the intentional willful choosing or making decision to do to set a goal, to make steps, procedures, and plan of action and even to execute actions are but the second and the more concrete manifestation of human experience. Freedom is the power of the will to seek always the better, the most favorable we refer to as good, this is the existential nature of man that makes us truly human, without us choosing or liking, we are all condemned to be free (Jean Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 1943). Though personally and subjectively affirmed and understood, it is still the conscious good surmounts the conscious personal human experience man is undertakes in this lifetime of learning. Freedom might be subjective, but it is a human experience that give success or failure. If we win, we can be happy, but if we fail, we are made wise.

5. "I Can Do"​​

The mind can be intelligible, but it is a paralytic, it cannot move or bring us into action, on the other hand, the freewill is capable of motion purposive action, but it is blind, they have to work together to assimilate this third facet of human experience, human action. This is the power of reason and will than spurs all able human beings to act all types of human acts and is personally held liable and responsible of such actions. From epistemological or clinically cerebral powers of knowing and the existential or clinically psychological grip of freedom leads our learning process through the axiological powers of awareness of the ideals, necessities, values, and responsibilities deeply attached in all of our conscious and intentionally willed human actions. And lastly,

6. "I Can Be"

The beauty of being human is that in all the three facets combined, though we can be held for rewards or punishment to any results of our thinking, willing and acting, we are not the consequential product of our past, or of those things we have mention that truly part of our experience. We are not we think and say what we do, we are what we do only if we choose to become. Truly we are what we choose we can be. And to restart our quest to the search of the fine pearls deep within and to savor the meaning of life will never be too late at any given moment.

In the conglomeration of all these facets coming as one conscious and willful human experience, they altogether come as an ordeal or a test, that naturally held us off-guard or unprepared. And in our unpreparedness, we might pass or win a little, but on the contextual and existential experience, we flung and fail a lot, as in really a lot more. That is the beauty of it, that takes us into a deeper realization as we learn, and eventually call experience, technically it should be human, is the best teacher.

Going deeper into the thought we frequently, hear people say that experience is the best teacher, but more the best experiential learning learned through it, it is rather looking at life in the brighter side, and the courage to rise from the most painful and traumatic experiences is the noblest of all the best! They just ought to pave the noblest path to a lifelong learning! Life is not just about pain and knowing our worth in the enduring of it.

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Source: Pexels

In all life’s heroic rising from all the struggles and crushing defeat, there is an ever-concurring quest – which is nothing more than our ultimate life goal! It is the fundamental and existential query about life, about our constant drowning in pain, it is a quest not only to give us justification from life’s distress, but it also gives us certain answers and these in turn give us the edge to look for life’s meaning and ultimately, our very own purposefulness: “What is really the purpose of my coming into this world?” or “What am I here for?” For this, the essence or “meaning-of-being-me” is formed within the recesses of our being. This quest is no other than our life-long search for happiness!

Thus, in all our failing and thriving to rise with high hopes of soaring triumphantly, there seems a constant and recurring goal to be happy, as if we are happy to be happy all the time! Though we have tackled this in the segment 1.1 in intellectual, philosophical, and a prudently normative structure as a format for life’s educative journey. In this segment, tackle these perennial questions in a more affective, emotional, and psychological perspective (see also chapter 3, 3.2). Let us all together examine the beauty of human life through the nudges that prompts deep within our hearts:

A. Learn to Identify the Reason or Reasons to be Happy

In this life, we are even called to pray and to have a discerning heart to be cleansed and be purified like the innocence of a child. We are all called to be more childlike. By being so, we can all count it pure joy (cf., James 1:2-4) our life and experiences and give more generously more than we desire for success, gain and achievements, for happiness is wealth build in cheerful giving. The first step to making yourself happy is to figure out what things in life bring you joy and content. This means assessing the things that actually bring you joy and not what societal expectations tell you about joy (See: E. Scott, How to Make Yourself Happy, 2021)

B. Learn the Power of Laughter

Laughter is not just about being humorous or being ridiculously funny or keeping laughter for no reason might be absurd. Rather, it is a powerful positive vibe that invigorates us to keep a cheerful heart in us. In the sale wat that is relevantly beneficial and good that laughter works the body’s muscles, not just facial muscles but also that of the heart and lungs, just like any exercise. In addition to working the body it also reduces the level of stress inducing hormones that are harmful to the heart. Laughter might not be the best medicine, but it works pretty well (See: Happiness, and the Heart – Why it’s so Good to Feel Good, 2016). But more than this scientific finding, laughter should lead us to a positive lifestyle, for it only takes a smile to make a day better; we must find the reason that makes our hearts smiles (cf., P. Coelho, 2013). And last but not the least,

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Source: Pexels

C. Finding Balance

Balance is not about avoiding the extremes of lack or extravagance. It is about the engagement in a pursuit and meeting of challenges rather than dodging or running away from them. Often, the worse response, we can make in a situation like this is to do nothing. (See D. Durand, Perpetual Motivation, 2006). Moreover, a balance life in a practical sense, is achieved though building as positive outlook healthy and good self-esteem. Also expressed in the symbiotic giving and receiving from the cycles of breathing to letting the world and nature take the lead in mutual cohabitation ideally with all life forms harmoniously. It is also found in our clarity of purpose and in figuring out priorities and be responsible to the need of others.

It is the spirit of coping up difficulties and the cheerfully accepts to adopt to changes for the world and this life is impermanent and is always susceptible to change. Truly, health and happiness strike in a balance that is not too much and is not too little, just right! It means neither lack nor extreme, nor being in the middle ground. Rather, it is simply living fully and without impartiality, in wholeness and beauty of life.

Truly, in the finitude of teleological quest for purposefulness draw us to an intimate communion with God alone, for without God, life has no purpose, and without a purpose, life has no meaning. And without meaning, human life even in its longitudinal existence, will never have any significant hope (cf., R. Warren, Purpose Driven Life, 2002).

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Joven Manlapaz

Author's Corner

Joven, a former seminarian, was a former public School Teacher a fellow academe who advocates meditative journal, a reflective recording of prayers, meditation and reading. He also enjoys sharing his philosophical, scientific and spiritual insights and pedagogical tips on familiar online platforms that carries his drafts and the aphorisms that inspired his learners and audiences in all walks of life. By sharing his profound aphorisms and excerpts in his journals he stirs and inspires his readers to view life philosophically in a broader perspective.

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