Our Common Experience

Dialogue Add comments

Dear Kat,

I want to expand on your post about joint experience.

After making love, we often talk about the experience, and every time, we are in complete agreement on what we have just experienced.  When I talk, you always concur with my descriptions, and furthermore, this is not at all surprising; in fact, the surprise would be if there were any significant differences.  This is true the other way, too;  you describe how it was for you, and I go “Uh-huh, uh-huh” in concurrence.

For events like watching a movie or going to a play, we have also “experienced the same thing”, but in those cases, we often differ in interpretation or meaning; our experience of the event has been mediated by our history and viewpoint.

That’s not what is happening here.  It is as if you and I actually touch, and I don’t just mean physically, but in some other dimensions as well, to use a hackneyed metaphor, and our descriptions of the shape of the surface of contact must necessarily correspond.  (One shape would be the inverse of the other, but that’s a simple mapping.)

That’s rather abstract, mathematical, scientific, but that’s my language, I guess, and as you say, we are engaged in finding a language for this experience.


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