Everthing that I know looks through me at the world, every experience, every book I have read, every interaction I have had, every person I have loved.
Aristotle, “The soul is in a way phenomena.”
My experiences in the world, of the world, look back at the world. What I know of the world turns again on the world and scrutinizes it.
God be thanked for books; they are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.Channing, William Ellery
Every time you touch the world the world leaves its mark on you and you on it. Like two ponds touching each other and both rippling in response. If relationship is an approaching, then how are you in relationship with relationship? How do you approach approaching? You judge and interpret the world and the world judges and interprets you. You try to change the world and the world tries to change you. Traces left on each other by lovers or gladiators.
I say that all narrative is doxography, point of view. Research shows that we memorize facts by stringing them together with a narrative, a sutra, a suture, a stitch. That string is our personality, the narrative that we are telling ourselves about how the world works. It creates our sense of self. Are we pessimistic? Are we hyper vigilante?
Imagine that when you listen to a person speaking that you are driving by a very long fence next to a road. Beyond the fence is a castle, but you can only catch a tiny glimpse each time you pass a slat in the fence. If you let your eyes focus on the castle it starts to take shape and the fence disappears. You can’t see the forest because the trees are in the way.
When a person’s world starts to take shape, you begin to become aware of who is speaking and what they are actually saying. This can be quite troubling for people that conceal what they are. It drives them crazy, like they are always naked in front of you and clothes were never invented.