I disagree with all your arguments. Thank you for considering them. I agree with much of what you say. In a couple of cases, I will explain my meaning. (If my piece had been written better, no explanation would be necessary.)
You say you like fireworks. You say they are "thrilling without reflection." Yet they prompt three reflective questions, which you dismiss as "political." I wasn't dismissing the questions as political. I was trying to give an example of different ways one can look at fireworks: One can be thrilled by them and just take in the light and colour, or one can look at fireworks and consider them in other ways, rather than just as lights in the sky. I did not make that point clearly.
You punctuate your statement with a stock image (captured via a camera) of a professional show put on by people you've never met. As someone who puts on those shows, and who has experienced a long line of close encounters with high-velocity burning metal, I wish to assure you that you are experiencing plenty of "reflection" through "mediated experience". If you are saying here that the observer of the fireworks is experiencing another person's thoughtful designed and constructed work, I agree 100%. Examining the construction and design provides yet another way one can look at fireworks. (I do tend to use pretty lame pictures.)
My point was that when I observe fireworks (although perhaps the Grand Canyon is a better example) -- I experience it as directly as possible through my senses.
I was also trying to say that most of the time I "mediate" experiences by examining their impact or meaning.
You've also drawn this arbitrary line between "doing something" and "thinking about something" that is not only false, it's harmful. Good point. I am also inclined to doubt anything that is presented in a binary way.
It is contrary to psychology. It creates a barrier between the action of something and the enjoyment of something. Further, by placing our experiential constellation out of bounds you are hamstringing both. I'm not sure I was creating a barrier between the action and the enjoyment. I was, rather, exploring different ways of enjoying. I am surrounded by people who do not seem to me to reflect on their experiences. They move from experience to experience without pausing to look for patterns or to examine the effectiveness of actions or to examine whether the road they are on is taking them where they want to go. Perhaps you are lucky enough not to cross paths with non-reflective people. In the case of art, after an art event of some sort, they have nothing to say. They experienced it and enjoyed it, it seems, and that's enough. I far prefer to examine my enjoyment of it and ask why and how did certain parts speak to me. And then listen to the favourite parts that others mention, and so on.
The thing is kb, I'm in complete agreement with you about remembering (enjoying?) the examined experience more (the eclipse you filmed).
Robert McKee argued that a good storyteller can enchant his coworkers with the odyssey of his commute, while a bad storyteller can bore his coworkers with the death of her child. That's "reflection" and it's a fundamental part of experience, not a yang to its yin. I am not suggesting, though, that reflection is a yang to the yin of experience.
For some of us, reflection and experience are the same thing -- so intricately mixed together that there's no separating them. That's why the notion that one can have 70% experience and 30% reflection is nonsense to some extent (as you pointed out).
That was my argument to my step-father, that reflection is also experience.
My meditation on experience and reflection needs more care and attention. One problem is likely with our understanding of the words "reflection" and "unmediated experience."
Some people are unable to separate the two. Other people's experience of their lives makes it possible to actually say 70% experience/30% reflection. Outlander responded by noticing that more reflection might be warranted.
Or maybe I don't get your point. Either way, know that your arguments made me angry. I appreciate your comments and would like to #writebetterdammit