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In his essay The Loss of the Creature Walker Percy discusses how through preconceptions and the surrender of our sovereignty humans lose the ability to experience life and its elements in fresh and innovative ways He argues that humans have lost the surprise of discovery because of the preconceptions they bring to experience He begins with an example of the visitor who after many years of wanting to see the grand canyon gets there and then measures his experience by the ideas and thoughts of what it should be He later discusses the student in the biology lab who does not have the surprise of discovery because the professor has set the parameters of the students experience I agree with Percys position In his essay he states the sightseer measures his satisfaction by the degree to which the canyon conforms to his preformed complex and the highest point the term of the sightseers satisfaction is not the sovereign discovery of the thing before him it is rather the measuring up of the thing to the criterion of the performed symbolic complex Whenever we approach an experience rather than perceiving it based on its own merits we compare it to what we have already learned about the subject or to what we have previously experienced Take a movie for example was it as exciting as the one we saw before it Or a job do we enjoy it as much as the job we had before Is it worse is it better Does it measure up These are all questions which pervade our minds Percy also writes for him the sightseer there is no present there is only the past of what has been formulated and seen and the future of what has been formulated and not seen The present is surrendered to the past and the future I have never seen the Grand Canyon in person but I do have a
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