A thinking and openminded person who makes mistakes and experiences life-altering events in life gains a lot of life-experience which results in great amount of emperical knowledge.
Emperical knowledge is very often gained by a life-long lasting impression that lasts a life-time. Good examples of life-long lasting experiences are: becoming a mother at a very young age, or death in the family, witnessing disasters, the spectrum is filled from very good (positive) to very bad (negative) experiences.
All of them are able to leave an impression that will last a lifetime and when those impressions are analysed, they filter down to their underlying principles, truths and laws and commandments of Creation.
Only the experience of self in life can lead to the truth when one is openminded and honest.
It's said in OM: page 416/ Kanon 49-68
The material life is only the field of action in which provides people with the conditions and purposes, to establish relations with the Spirit and with the greatest of all, the creative (remark translator = Creation) itself."
People with a lot of life-experience can analyse and think about their experiences and find their way to the truth.
Life experience and their impressions often change people in their personality and depending on how they take up on their experience, that can be either good or bad or any way in between, just how that person is and copes with the experiences.
Life-experience does not come automaticly with the passing of time, people can live a long time and experience litte, but there are people who live only for a short time and experience for many years worth of impressions, that is just unique for everybody.
Life experience and theoretical knowledge embrace each other, the theoretical knowledge often provides with a unsurpassed wealth of detail, but the life experience with the connection towards everyday reality.
Like all things in spiritual evolution, both factors need each other and are not opposite but complement each other.
There is no valid reason to think that either one is superior to the other, use both as a blessing, not as a curse.