Your experience leads to your philosophy—not the other way around

Some people think their philosophy leads to their experience in life. That because they're republican or a non-drinker they have become rich in life—that the philosophy of being republican or capitalist or reading Atlas Shrugged has lead to their experience in life (of being rich or well connected)—Or that their philosophy of Buddhism has lead to their experience of being centered in the moment

This is not essentially how it works—it works the other way around. Your experience in life leads to your philosophy. Your philosophy does not create your experience

My ex-boss thinks because he read How to Win Friends and Influence People that he has become rich—that his lifelong belief in right-wing American politics and conservatism is why he is a small-time millionaire. This is not the case. He is most essentially a money hoarder, and he justifies his money hoarding by spouting pro-money philosophy. His experience in life lead to his philosophy

Consider me. My philosophy has been modified by living around non-vaccinated people. That is my experience. Before I had that experience, I had a certain philosophy of viruses and vaccines—that in the case of a pandemic, everyone would want to get vaccinated because that would be the only way that everyone would live. That was my philosophy, based on limited experience. Now my close people have decided not to get vaccinated—(my experience changed)—so my philosophy changes. It expands. My previous experience of masks and vaccines was based on movies. My current experience is based on life in a pandemic. When my experience changed, my philosophy changed—it had to. If it hadn't changed, my philosophy would be too small—it would constrict my head—I would be thinking everyone wears a mask in a pandemic while experiencing not everyone wears a mask in a pandemic. Dissonance. So I change my philosophy to match my experience. Why? Because it's easier than changing my experience to match my philosophy. The latter is almost impossible. The former?—a snap!

This is reason to relax our hold on philosophies. They're more of a support system than a guiding one