There is a well-entrenched belief system in life whether it pertains to worldly or spiritual experiences that experience teaches us. So, we have become people that keep on hunting for experiences in the belief that these will make us wiser. However, experience itself does not teach. It is what you analyse and learn from an experience that makes you wiser.
Let us take the case of someone who has been cheated a couple of times in business. He concludes: Never trust anyone. All business people are cheaters. That is not learning. Like anywhere else in life, you'll find some people are honest while some people cheat. So, unless you learn to keep your bias aside and look at it objectively, there is no way that you're going to come to the right learning just because of the experience. Similarly, a man who has been unlucky in love a couple of times, may conclude that all women will leave him. Or, conversely, some women may believe that all men are jerks. But that is not true. One cannot generalise one’s personal beliefs to every Tom Dick and Harry or Anna, Mary, Jane. That is not learning. It is just getting a false belief system well entrenched.
Therefore, this over-reliance on experience to be wiser, is not healthy. It helps to have a mentor, someone whom we can talk to and ensure that the lessons of life are very learnt. In the spiritual pursuit, this is even more true because a lot of it is unchartered territory. We may have some subjective experiences in meditation or elsewhere, and conclude that we are highly spiritual beings, while it must have been just your mind playing some tricks.
It is all the more necessary to have a guide, a guru who has walked the path before, who can help you navigate these pitfalls and come to the right learning until one realises the truth about once oneself, the world and God. Therefore, don't just rely on your own experiences but learn to keep your bias aside. Analyse, seek mentors and grow.
The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at email@example.com