Posts tagged “experience

What Now

Now doesn’t last long. It becomes a memory, a story, too soon. The actual is short lived. Our reality is that of an ever-shifting potentiality not a stability.

Ideas move forward and jump from one moment to the other. Christianity has been doing this. Christianity has a backpack full of ideas: love, forgiveness, perfection, altruism, sacrifice…

One gets the feeling that at present, today’s potentiality has a completely different structure and that the ideas Christianity brings with it are no longer ideas people can relate to – except maybe love but that no longer belongs to religion, it is now a social idea. In fact we can keep all the ideas that originally came with Christianity, without religion. This means that Christianity is left with just its own unique story: Humanity’s innate sinfulness redeemed by Jesus who offers himself as a sacrifice and dies on the cross to save us.

So, what now?

If we are to live in a religion-less future, as some predict, how will we guarantee social cohesion? How will individuals be guided and kept from falling into chaos? In a meaningless world, nothing is good or bad, everything is indifference. In a religion-less world, we are alone. If we survive as a species or die-out makes no difference to anything but ourselves. Of course, if that is our reality then inventing a God or religion and maintaining the illusion won’t change anything.

Christianity may have lost its power but I don’t think the idea of the existence of a God is dead. In fact, understanding the nature of reality as being innately meaningful is not a stupid or naive idea. In my mind, believing in God is not grasping at straws. It is bridging the gap between our experience of the world and the ultimate nihilistic idea that we are not really alive, that we are not really here – like a flower that blooms in an empty garden where no gardener has ever existed and no spectator will ever exist to see the bloom.

Seeing reality as meaningful, in a non-religious way, is not unreasonable. It is hopeful.

Return to Self-World

When you have lived in the presence of a powerful narcissist you will get dragged into their world. In other words you will be living in their narrative and not your own. To function properly as your own person, you must be allowed to create and maintain your own self-story – your life-story. The only place you can realise your true nature – your hopes and dreams – is in a world that you understand, feel comfortable in and enjoy. That is because it is your living place, a place you have created.

Your own world is much the same as everyone else’s. It’s made up of the same people, cities, situations, societies as the rest of the population. But inside your head there are subtle differences. You will experience the world in your own unique way. I’m convinced that each person experiences the world in a way that is as individual as a fingerprint.

I have been living with and continue to live with, a very powerful narcissist. My abilities to be the person I want to be have been subdued and pushed to the side-lines. My work on the PhD and my writing have suffered because of my relationship with this person. It is likely that my submissive nature empowered the person even more. Narcissism is a mental-health issue and not the sufferer’s fault. I blame nobody for the situation only myself maybe, for having fallen into the narcissist’s trap.

I write this to help others. If you are a creative who is in a similar relationship, you must make sure that your world remains your world, otherwise you will cease to be able to work effectively in it. Create boundaries in your mind and in your personal space which will enable you to leave the world of the other person, preventing them from overrunning your world. A narcissist will overrun your world because they don’t want you to have your own space. They must occupy every corner of your experience otherwise they will feel abandoned and mistreated and you will have to suffer for your unacceptable behaviour.

Words

Writers make words their own. Most things have been said before and need to be said again and again. Most writers climb the same cerebral hill many times, each time using a different path; a different approach, often discovering something new.

Can we sperate an author from their words? Post structuralists say that an author is lost from his/her text; that the reader becomes more important than the writer. Is the interpreter more important than the thing being interpreted for which the writer is not only its vehicle but also its voice?

A writer is their words.

Does this mean that a writer is alone in the world of their words? We all are. Writers are inviting readers in through open doors. They do this not so that their words can be appropriated by another’s mind but so that they can be used to share an experience: a particular experience of a moment had by the writer whose living, loves and laughter has shaped the way they experience the world.

Of course, a reader will never truly know what a writer intended. We are, after all, islands in a big sea of outsideness. An outsideness that is populated by so many weird and wonderful things including other people’s minds. Entering the open door of an author’s mind is like being invited into a stranger’s house and given the chance to explore the furniture and ornaments that make a stone-shell of a house into an individual’s home.

Writers make words their own.

People make words their own because we all tell our lives in narrative. We tell stories about ourselves. Nobody likes to be misunderstood. We tell our lives in objects to, in the furniture we buy and the ornaments we collect. The unique way an individual uses words leads words to become ornaments for them.

We share experiences, we hold hands, we share what is said and unsaid and yet mystery always remains and thank goodness for that. An author’s work is never a closed door; there is always room for the reader to reside for a while in the text. But even when the author is long gone, the text will never belong to the reader. The reader is not the most important part of a text. Neither are they the least important. Words will always be the home of the speaker or writer.