Cognition & Reality

Monday, 22 November 2010

Stories Revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — drtone @ 4:41 pm

A “story” is a narrative that you have created about the past or future or both. An amazing thing about our stories is that we assume that they are true without examining them. The fact is, however, that a story is merely a thought. Thoughts pass one to the other, on and on. Our stories are part of that constant “stream of consciousness.”

No story is true, although some are more plausible than others. It’s likely that when the phone rings that it will be something prosaic. For most of us, it’s unlikely that someone is calling to tell us that an executive jet is waiting at the local airport to take us to the Caribbean. Notice, however, that such a possibility is neither true nor untrue, real nor impossible, until it actually happens or doesn’t. Until events manifest, our stories about them are simply random possibilities selected by the mind in answer to the question, “What’s next?”

Not uncommonly, a story will have vague sections with important material obscured by emotion. So we are vaguely unhappy when we hear the name of city we once lived in. I have found that I feel very uncomfortable when I see the name “Silver City,” because merely seeing it threatens me with re-experiencing the “story” of my most recent marriage and divorce, or some part of it. A feeling of discomfort,often signals the presence of a “story,” as the tip of the iceberg signals the presence of the entire iceberg.

 

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