Once we have addressed our imbalance we by engaging with the environment we return once more to ourselves, but we are not quite the same.
We are different: perhaps very slightly, perhaps in a major way.
If we had a drink to satisfy our thirst then the difference may be slight. If we have developed a new relationship or explored a different religion or investigated a new philosophy then the difference may be profound.
The final stage of our experience is some form of integration or assimilation – we are somehow different: we have grown in some way or learned something.
We are different as a result of our experience.
This stage will usually take time. It can take a while for ‘something to sink in’. We may not realise how significant something has been for us. For me, a number of times a stray remark by a friend has ‘hit me between the eyes’ and I’ve needed to sit down and think through what it meant for me.
This means having time in our lives to just sit and be with what has happened in our lives.
To let things settle and just be idle for a while. Needless to say we are encouraged to be just the opposite (busy, productive, striving). This is the wisdom of having a day of rest each week, and times for holidays each year. And ideally a time of quiet each day.
This stage ends when we feel like we have assimilated the new experience and we can rest.
And then the experience cycle starts once more.
The other articles in this series are: