First-hand experience teaches me again and again…
… that reality is not what so many gate-keepers of “knowledge”, “morality”, and “wisdom”… the preachers, politicians, and other salesmen… would have us all believe.
First-hand experience teaches me again and again that acceptance on authority is the least reliable, and therefore the most dangerous, way to “know” anything.
First-hand experience teaches me again and again that first-hand experience is the only reliable way of knowing… an infallible distinguisher of fact from fiction, with absolute power to vet so many competing claims about anything and everything.
Direct, unmediated contact with the chaos and uncertainty of the real world teaches me again and again…
… that “truth” is not a claim, not a possession, not a wager, not a destination, but an ever-evolving process of discovery.
… that no canon of prescriptions and prohibitions is worthy of addressing the hard problems of existence.
… that we are immersed in a multiverse of objective and subjective truths, large and small, each with extents and limits that sometimes overlap with, but often conflict with each other.
… that big time truth is not broadcast from ivory towers, but is discovered in the life stories of real human beings.
… that complexity is an illusion. When things seem confusing and complicated, a humbling, but empowering, lesson in utter simplicity remains to be learned.
… that the more experience I have, the less “need” I have for mere beliefs and opinions, the less “need” I have for credentials.
… that authentic experience does not merely give me conviction, confidence, credibility, and authority. My experience is my conviction, confidence, credibility, and authority… an unassailable way of knowing that nobody can take away from me.
… that the big secret is that there is no secret. The truth is freely available to anyone who has the humility, courage, and honesty to see what is right before his eyes.