We tell our stories in the way we understand things.
Our understanding is changing all the time but sometimes we forget to update our stories.
I see the world totally differently now to how I saw it when I was twenty. Think about how our knowledge about so many things has changed since 1979.*
I cannot say, “I am who I am.” Perhaps I am being more accurate if I say, ” I will be who I will be.”
At least this is true if I am attentive, something Iris Murdoch encourages us to be in our everyday lives in “little peerings”:
‘The task of attention goes on all the time and at apparently empty and everyday moments we are ‘looking’, making those little peering efforts of imagination which have such important cumulative results. […] Will cannot run very far ahead of knowledge and attention is our daily bread.’**
Paul Cezanne intuitively knew that we see are the lines and our brains add the details:
‘Whenever we open our eyes, the brain engages in an act of astonishing imagination as it transforms the residue of light into a world of form and space that we can understand. […] Reality is not out there waiting to be witnessed; reality is made by the mind. […] This is Cezanne’s genius: he forces us to see, in the same static canvas, the beginning and end of our sight. […] The painting emerges from somewhere inside our mind.’^
Attentiveness leads to increasing knowledge, adding more “lines,” and we then have to figure out how to fill in the details:
When we refuse to see that this is how it is we create personal and social bubbles. When it comes to the bubbles that most threaten our world, Peter Senge writes about how it will take the coming together of many people to both share what they see and listen to what everyone else sees:
‘In shaping life beyond the Bubble, many visions will be needed.’^^
When this happens we need to change our stories.
(*I picked on 20 because I happened to mention Tina Seelig’s What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20.)
(**From Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good.)
(^From Jonah Lehrer’s Proust was a Neuroscientist.)
(^^From Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution.)