Knowledge| An Experience and a Conscious Mind
How much do you know? If someone asked you to spew out everything you know (based on how long you’ve lived of course) you would never be able to do pinpoint each and every moment of your life when a singular experience planted a seed of rational thought evoked through your senses —and even if you could remember every single event in your life, how would you remember each sense being stimulated to unify a conscious experience? Before jumping to conclusions (and propositions for that matter) my stance on knowledge is one that focuses on the importance and meaning of acquiring knowledge where consciousness of the mind evokes ‘hunger’ for knowledge acquisition; all through a diverse range of experiences. My point being: If one seeks to unify rational thoughts through the empirical world— and therefore gather knowledge— then the world itself has more potential to be full of meaning, and therefore so do you.
To break down and simplify my argument, a logical perspective (syllogism) is necessary to lay out my point of view on the importance of ‘knowing more’ when:
- Knowledge is the accumulated synthesis of conscious experiences that contribute to the on-going enrichment of humanity.
Premise 1: If knowledge emerges from a unity of consciousness (where experiences in the empirical world and rational thought intermingle), and…
Premise 2: …Conscious minds create new potentials and ideals for humanity, then…
Conclusion: …Knowledge is the accumulated synthesis of conscious experiences that contribute to the on-going enrichment of humanity.
Knowledge emerges from a unity of consciousness (experiential theories):
Since the time of Immanuel Kant (1700s) the notion of unifying experiences has challenged how the rational and empirical world co-exist with one another and whether objects in themselves corroborate with space or time or are simply mere representations of what our minds perceive, emerging from knowledge of prior experiences. Why is this important, one may ask, well, the human mind shares similar process of breaking down experiences in themselves through a series of stimulated senses that take place in space and time. There is something called ‘the experiential theories’ composed of the experiential parts theory (EP), which suggests that experiences are composed of separate singular experiences, and the non-experiential parts theory (NEP). I for one support the theory of non-experiential parts that suggests that multiple (singular) experiences contribute to one whole experience; therefore, I’d argue that an experience does not have parts because that is not how one remembers it and any form of knowledge gained from that experience emerges from an accumulative synthesis of multiple stimulated senses. To clarify this statement I’d like to give an example of a personal experience.
- I was two years old, rocking back and forth on my chair in my kitchen asking for a fish-fillet (for some reason). Suddenly I fall on the ground. The sight of the ground nearing my literal downfall, the taste of blood in my mouth, the sound of my own crying while the smell of the fish fillet being cooked met the agonizing feeling of pain as my face hit the ground effortlessly. Although an advocate of experiential parts may argue that each stimulated sense was an experience in itself I rationalize and therefore unify multiple experiences recognizing them as one, simply because that is how my consciousness makes sense of it— it is how I remember the one experience and is virtually how I acquired a direct form of knowledge from this. I was conscious of each of my senses together, as aspects of a single conscious experience. In turn, I gain ‘useful’ knowledge from this, learning to never rock back and forth on a chair, for I would forgo another unpleasant experience.
Conscious minds create new potentials and ideals for humanity:
When one is conscious of their own unified experiences one is able to reflect and therefore conceptualize a new idea gained from that experience. This could be one way of defining knowledge, but as the present-day philosopher, David Kolb states, this process of reflecting on a previous experience prompting the emergence of another experience is known as something we all know— learning. Each unexplored opportunity to learn is often what enriches the human experience in reality as a person becomes more knowledgeable. The unlimited boundaries that knowledge offers is quintessential to becoming the best version of oneself which is why conscious minds create new potentials and ideals for humanity. Knowledge arises from a learning process where each experience acts as a mere building block on a pyramid of prior knowledge. Down below is a flow chart (and explanation) of David Kolb’s cycle of learning which thereby unifies experiences, ideas and actions to give knowledge an applied purpose.
1.Concrete Experience – (a new experience of situation is encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience).
2.Reflective Observation (of the new experience. Of particular importance are any inconsistencies between experience and understanding).
3.Abstract Conceptualization (Reflection gives rise to a new idea, or a modification of an existing abstract concept).
4.Active Experimentation (the learner applies them to the world around them to see what results).
In essence, when a person is conscious of their on-going experiences in life, and actively takes part in this learning-cycle (stated above) then there is a pool of opportunity to grow simply because someone is more knowledgeable. By a ‘conscious mind’ I am directly addressing those who follow a cycle, causing them to pursue more forms of new knowledge; whether this is indirect or direct. In other words, you could take a history class and have someone spoon-feed you information where you would see the effect of historical events (inferring the cause but never witnessing it), or you could physically experience what it is like to be within a historical setting and therefore gain knowledge from immediate acquaintance of the place you are standing in. Anyways, that gets more complicated so lets not dive into that.
Knowledge is the accumulated synthesis of conscious experiences that contribute to the on-going enrichment of humanity:
Given the stances of the unification of experience on behalf of Immanuel Kant, myself and David Kolb’s cycle of learning, I believe that synthesizing experiences and gaining knowledge from them is essential to enrich a persons life. What I just wrote (as my blog) was one way of communicating my knowledge acquired through this learning process. Although this written process was not all that enjoyable (as it was very time consuming) I was still conscious of this experience and it did not fail to enrich my knowledge. So as my proposition states, knowledge is the accumulation of experiences that together prompts the emergence of an individual who can live a life at their peak of potential.
One thing I’d like you to take away from this is (although it may sound rude): instead of living under a rock and partaking in the blissful ignorance that society already offers in such great quantities, why not read a book, watch some TedX talks, travel more, learn about a culture, learn a language, cook, do anything that activates your conscious mind to unify (and gain knowledge) from meaningful experience.
McLeod, S. (2010). Kolb-Learning Styles. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html
Brook, A. (2001, March 27). The Unity of Consciousness. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-unity/
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development (Vol. 1). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.