Our Perception is Flawed

“Hey I found this interview in a magazine that seems to work against your theory of reality being story.”

Let me see that. Wired Magazine, eh? An Errol Morris interview. (He starts reading)

Q: But don’t you think that we manage to keep up a coherent narrative of who we are and where we’ve been?

A: No! We remember things selectively. We experience things selectively. We live in a kind of incomplete, patchwork-quilt universe. A bric-a-brac. Assembled in some higgledy-piggledy way.

This quotation doesn’t work against my thesis. It actually backs up my theory that we actually edit our lives through our use of what we choose and choose not to remember. We also edit our lives by experiencing things selectively too.

“But he admits that we don’t keep up a narrative. He more or less says that it’s not story.”

That’s not what he says at all. He actually admits that we don’t have the whole picture. We can’t possibly know the entire story. We live in a limited point of view story but our stories can connect to other stories and create a quilt.

I don’t think the universe is incomplete or put together is a haphazardly way. I don’t think Morris believes this either. He is merely talking about our experience of the world.

I think that Story can explain why we don’t know everything and cannot come to the ultimate truth of the universe. Of course, characters in a story never know everything. They seldom ever realize that they are a character in a story. I can’t really think of an example where a character realized this but I am sure there are stories that can be interpreted as such out there.

“That character in Stranger than Fiction did.”

Great movie. Yeah, you’re right but this is the rare exception. I think Morris is right too and our perception of reality is flawed. But that is only because we don’t perceive the nature of reality to be Story. If we did, we would have a new perception in which to see the world. And upon seeing it with these new eyes, perhaps we can come to some important truths. It makes sense to me.

“Yeah, I guess it does.”

Hey, keep trying to trip me up. But you must admit that you are starting to come around to my theory aren’t you?

“I don’t have to admit anything.”

No I guess you don’t. See you next week then?

“I’ll be here. And maybe I’ll scare up some more damaging info then this.”

4 thoughts on “Our Perception is Flawed

  1. Hi Chase,

    I see you’ve added another chapter. This is an interesting one. I like that the part where you wrote “our stories can connect to other stories and create a quilt”.

    It reminds me of how many make “friendship” quilts, each person supplying a block to tie in with the others.

  2. I think that people play many different roles. We might be the star in our own story but only a supporting character in someone else’s.

    I like to think that we are all connected to one another. I have always thought this. It makes sense to me that we be connected through story.

  3. Chase,

    Hello! Nice read!

    Stephen King’s Gunslinger series has his major characters meeting him and understanding that they are characters in a story. It was an interesting twist, but I took it more that it was King’s exploration at playing god (little g).

    I’ve run into many with ‘selective memory,’ but also know quite a few that are honest with themselves to recognize their storyline. The trick seems to be finding purpose and the meaning that purpose nets in life.

  4. Thanks for the comment Theresa. I haven’t read that series. Perhaps it is worth a read. I really respect Stephen King as an artist. His book On Writing: Memoirs of the Craft is a must-have for any writer.

    I wonder about selective memory too. Do people really forget or do the just choose not to acknowledge certain parts of their life? And if the do that long enough, do they then forget?

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