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We All Have our Story

Published on 11/04/18
by randy

R.D. Laing has extensively written about the uniqueness of our experiences and the truth that we’ll never have another’s exact experience.  He writes:

“I see you, and you see me.  I experience you, and you experience me.  I see your behavior.  You see my behavior.  But I do not and never have and never will see your experience of me.  Just as you cannot “see” my experience of you.  My experience of you is not “inside” me.  It is simply you, as I experience you.  And I do not experience you as inside me.  Similarly, I take it that you do not experience me inside you.” (from The Politics of Experience).

This doesn’t mean that we can’t try to understand others.  Yet, it humbles us to mistakes made when we try to take our unique experiences and draw certain ‘truths’ which we think can be imposed on others.   The series Fargo beautifully captures this in the video below.  Here, a brother is confessing to accidentally killing his brother.  He’s asking for validation from the sheriff to his story, sincerely questioning whether or not something is ‘true’ because we believe it.  The sheriff calls it out and says, “It’s not my story”.  This clearly illustrates the nature of Laing’s commentary.  Meaning is in the person!


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