Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Awareness vs Experience

The word experience comes from the Latin experientia, meaning "to try," whereas the word aware comes from the Greek horan, meaning "to see."

Experience implies participation in an event, whereas awareness implies observation of an event. The two words can normally be substituted in an ordinary conversation without much damage, but they are differently inflected. One gives us the sense of being engaged, whereas the other gives us a sense of being cognizant of that engagement. One denotes reflection while the other denotes the thing being reflected. In fact, awareness can be thought of as a kind of experience of our own experience.

Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness


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