[Yeah, I know it has been a long time and here I jump right into inside minutia. Well, what do you expect from a blogger? BTW, if you haven't checked out Rethinking Economics in a while, I'm back to blogging there. Also, take a look at Diary of a Disillusioned Voter if you're interested in politics but frustrated with the present political landscape.]
Something mentioned tonight at School of Community triggered me thinking about the role of experience. Don't take the following to be a critique of tonight's School of Community, because it is not. The one merely served as the trigger for the following.
In CL we make a great emphasis on the importance of experience and rightly so. But I think sometimes we slip a bit when it comes to why it is important. We are not looking to verify our experiences. And, in particular, we are not looking to verify our feelings (which certainly is a dimension of experience, but often what we reduce all of an experience down to). We are looking to verify truth. In a very concrete way. We are looking to verify, in our experiences, the truth. What CL is saying is that experience is the place in which this becomes possible. But let's not lose sight that it is truth that we are after. Consider again the wonderful passage from St. John about the encounter of Andrew and John with Christ and how it beautifully opens with the Baptist's claim "Behold the Lamb of God!" and closes with Andrew's words to his brother "We have found the Messiah!" Why was Andrew's experience of the encounter with Christ so vital? Not because it verified his experiences. But because it is in that powerful encounter he was able to verify the truth of the Baptist's claim and that fact took on concreteness for him and his life. The face of Truth became known.
Okay, I'm done rambling. Just felt the need to clarify on this.