Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Real Writers Write Real

In one of her posts this morning on Silent Bounce, Holly wrote about writing real. Real not meaning realistic, but real as in meaningful in a fundamental way. That really struck a chord with me.

Reality is a somewhat slippery concept. The "concrete" reality that we see around us, material objects, is ultimately an illusion. Just ask any Buddhist or quantum physicist. This reality is really empty space inhabited by probabilities. Or maybe possibilities. When you get right down to it, the "fact" that we exist at all is really not a fact, just a supposition based on the way our observations affect the probabilities around us. It is easier on us to assume that reality is actually real, though, so we ignore the real facts and accept the illusion. Always, though, there is that tiny itch way in the back of our minds. What is real? What does that mean?

Descartes wrote "Cogito ergo sum". I think, therefore I am. As Mad Magazine pointed out in a comic of some (ahem) years back: "But am I thinking, or do I just think I'm thinking?" Dangerous ground. Here be tygers.

Luckily, some of us are in touch with a reality that is more real than Reality itself. This is the Reality of the Mind. This is the reality where thoughts and dreams live and breed and sweat and bleed and die and are born again. This is a reality that we all share, the Jungian collective unconscious, inhabited by archetypes.

As a writer, I dream of touching that reality in my readers. I don't want to force my vision an anybody, I want to share our common vision, speak our common archetypical language, explore our common dreams and nightmares. That's what writing real means to me. That's what I want to do. This is my answer to Holly's question from April 3. That is why I write.

Thank you, Holly for opening that door and kicking my butt through it.


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