Chapter 10 - The two layers of experience

Amongst the many things that I learned in the past few months, one was the understanding of the two layers of experience that humans encounter. The first layer is the one that is associated with the experience itself and the other layer is the one derived from sharing the experience with someone else.

To put this across in simple language, say I watched a movie that I liked a lot and I recommended that movie to a friend. My friend called me and thanked me for recommending the movie. The first layer of happiness over here is the fact that I loved the movie and the second layer of happiness is the one derived from receiving a positive response from my friend.

Now in another scenario, if my friend had called to say that they didn't like the movie or it didn't turn out to be as great as I had described, it would automatically impact the original experience that I had gotten from watching the movie itself. It's imperative that we see that these are two different layers and observing that they stay separate is the key to preserve the feeling obtained from the original experience.

These two layers are so close to each other that it is hard to find the thin line that separates the two. The more I observed my emotions, the more it became clear to me that I was more inclined toward the 2nd layer which I had no control over rather than the first layer which was the most unadulterated and purest form of emotion.

Some data for reference:

1. Writing blogs -

1st LAYER: Wow! This will definitely help at least one soul

2nd LAYER: Someone shared my post, someone just commented with appreciation, etc

2. Cutting my hair short -

1st LAYER: I love this hairstyle!

2nd LAYER: Someone commented, "you looked good in long hair"

3. Spotting a beautiful bird -

1st LAYER: Hidden miracles of nature

2nd LAYER: Gosh! I don't have my camera to click a picture

This doesn't mean that I don't like being complimented, or that I don't take criticisms from others, it simply means that I now accept that just like each one of us is born with a unique fingerprint, we also have a different viewpoint. I respect their opinion, accept it without judgment or the urge to debate. I just maintain two separate drawers for both the layers (:

~ Anila Andezhath

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