When I was a kid I remember standing out in the rain in our driveway. My mom came out of the house and yelled at me, “What are you doing in the rain?! Get in the house right now!” I didn’t know why I was out there getting wet. I was just doing it. It was exciting looking up at the dark sky and seeing the rain fall towards me. I enjoyed the feeling of the drops on my skin. I loved being in the midst of elemental nature. But the why was never on my mind.
Whys have never been part of my character. I’ve always liked the pure experience of what’s happening. Even if that meant it sometimes took a toll on me. I ended up getting a cold after standing in the rain. My mom got more upset at me as a result, and said I should never have been out there in the storm. But I didn’t regret what I did.
There’s something primally alluring for me about experiencing. I feel very alive when I skip past the intellect and take in what’s happening.
I remember a ways back when I was living in Los Angeles and driving on the 101 Freeway. Suddenly my car started losing speed and smoke started pouring out of the engine. I was just able to pull off the side of the freeway. I opened the hood of the car and saw that the engine had cracked and was leaking oil like crazy. Cars were whizzing past, within inches of me. I remember feeling the wind of the cars as they zipped by. It was a sense of being playfully pushed and pulled back and forth quickly by the air. Like I was a ping pong ball in a game being played by the wind.
Even now as I’m writing to you, I’m enjoying the feeling of my fingertips tapping on the keys. I like noticing the words appearing out of nothing. It feels good to sense the air strongly coming in and out of my nose as I’m excited about this process.
I’m not saying that pure experience is the way to go. It happens to be my nature, so I’m enthralled with it. If it’s your nature to play with whys and your intellect, then that’s the way to go for you. Or maybe you love philosophy. Or maybe numbers ring your bell. I think it helps to have a sense of your nature, and then do things that support it.