March 26

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Isolation, Story

The isolated condition: We are all isolated in two ways. First, the individual is isolated from actuality, he or she never sees true existence. Most of the first 13,000 or so words of this essay dealt with this. Second, the individual is isolated from other humans, they will never understand his or her own reality. Man is unto his own. His existence is lonely, and all efforts to bridge this loneliness can only partially achieve the goal.

Bridging isolation: Efforts to bridge loneliness are both effective and ineffective, their utility being dual in that they decrease the isolated condition but paradoxically increase it. The first bridge connects actuality to the individual reality through the senses, thought, and feeling. This is only a partial bridge, because sense, thought, and feeling are not omniscient and are likely to commit as many errors as discover truths. As we reach out with our senses we decrease our isolation, conversely all errors we make disconnect us. Reality, which we construct from our connection to actuality, is not actuality, but simply a copy, and a poor one at that. It is error filled, and this isolates us.
Communication is the second way one bridges isolation. Words, gestures etc. are attempts to bridge the gap between our reality and the realities of others through the creation of stories. Again, the means of bridging are flawed. Words are successful in conveying some truth but along with that goes plenty of error – truthful words bridge, untruthful words isolate. Reception is also flawed. The listener never fully comprehends what the speaker implies. One can never be truly understood by another. One can never truly understand another. Through communication we come closer and veer further away from each other.
The third bridge is action. Action connects our reality back to actuality, basically doing the opposite of perception and thinking. No man is omnipotent, actuality never bends precisely to one’s will. By acting on our realities we move away from a state of isolation, yet because our actions are imperfect our realities are never perfectly realized, increasing our isolation.

Stories: By introducing stories I have added a third level of comprehending things. I have progressed from actuality to reality and now to story. Stories are communicated realities. A reality starts out individualized, internal, quiet, peculiar to the person living in actuality. Through communication, the written or spoken word, realities are described, wrapped and bottled, embellished, changed, simplified, recorded, and passed on to another. Stories are not reality, however. They are simply renditions of reality, described as carefully as possible in some cases, and purposefully changed in other cases. Just as reality is a copy of actuality, story is a copy of reality. Reality became important when the first living organism was introduced, story became important when the first was joined by a second and they were forced to interact in some way.

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