Experience is the best teacher. Learning is the activity that should
immediately follow the phenomenon of experience, while remembering
transcends time and space (i.e., it "is" despite the presence or absence
of a physical vessel within which to reside). In addition, it matters not
the form, because the memories are constantly present. This is what is
humbly offered as the "Trinity of Life."
Life, as defined in Merriam Webster's Dictionary, is "spiritual
existence transcending physical death."
If we accept the proposition that "Life" is more than a physical finite
manifestation, then the "Trinity of Life" concept is applicable to our
When we experience something, it is just that, an experience. It
should not be looked upon as either "good" or "bad" for they are neither
and both simultaneously. The terms are mere "extremes" on the same
continuum of "Experience." (examine the principle of polarity.)
In addition, "learning" is the cognitive portion that allows one to not
only be aware of the process, but to comprehend it accordingly. Thereby
providing the framework for remembering.
The ability to "remember" is one of great importance, in that if one
cannot recall what has been learned through experience, they then fall
into the abyss of repetition, which is devoid of the opportunity to
experience and learn new lessons.
For instance, in the case of the caterpillar who becomes a beautiful
pink and yellow butterfly, does it not remember when it could not fly? In
the case of the trees that bloom in spring, do their leaves not remember
to exist as green foliage as a result of the chlorophyll contained
therein? Even simpler, do you not remember to. . .you get the
In the big scheme of things, we are physically present for but a short
time. Given this, should we not examine our experiences to learn from
them, so that we may be able to remember them when we need the lessons the
most? After all, isn't this an opportunity to experience, learn, and
As one immerses oneself in the "Trinity of Life," it matters not what
happens to you, but what matters is how you react to that which happens to
you. Remember, everything that happens is not just, but nothing just
Example: A young girl accuses a monk of impregnating her. The young
girl's parents confront the monk and require him to raise their daughter's
child. Although he is not the child's father, the monk agrees without
question. Years later, the parents return to the monk after having learned
that the monk was not the father of the child he had raised these many
years. They request that their grandchild be returned to them. Again, the
monk complies without question.
Question: If you were faced with this dilemma, are you spiritually
cultivated enough to recognize the importance of the child*s well-being,
as opposed to the other possible responses? This is not a rhetorical
Understanding that there are those who are indeed cultivated
sufficiently enough to assist in leading the way, the responsibility rests
with them to observe, and serve as a source of information. In the case
of the monk, he recognized that, although he was not the father, he served
as the child's only hope of maturing into an adult; so he accepted the
responsibility of rearing the child.
Ayi Kwei Armah, author of Two Thousand Seasons, states "You who yearn
to be hearers, you who would see, you the utterers of the future, this is
not the season for contempt. Look upon those in whose nature is to wait
upon death to create in them a need to know life. Look upon them. . . "
In looking upon those who "wait upon death to create a need to know life,"
you, the hearers, seers and utterers--as in the case of the monk-- should
assist in their search to understand the larger picture as it pertains to
experiencing, learning, and remembering phenomena.
Such a position should not be taken lightly. For once you accept the
responsibility granted, you should see it through to its conclusion -
whatever that may be. Nature is organized in both an ordered and orderly
fashion. Just as the caterpillar evolved into a beautiful pink and yellow
butterfly with the memories of its existence as a caterpillar, so too does
and will humankind evolve into various forms and images with the ability
to experience, learn, and yes--even in the new form, remember.
Consider this: If you experience, learn, and remember all that you
encounter, in to what will you evolve? Perhaps, a loving, caring, and
more intuitive being. One can only hope. Peace.
Column originally published in Signal (Georgia State University's student newspaper) 18 February 1997