Most of my posts have their roots in the thoughts and writings of other authors that I have encountered and accepted. When I say accepted I mean they actively influenced my beliefs and how I understand myself and my world. I incorporate them into mine and turn them into my own words. I have been taught to do this and to look for this kind of value. A persuasive argument that challenges firm beliefs and opens them to questioning. I find these types of writing are usual about meaning. As convincing as a text may be if it has not risk or reward I am unaffected.
I think that when we read other works we are exposed to our own sense of values and what we accept as meaningful answers/arguments/whatever. Reading demands an active mind that contemplates the author’s ideas and potentially their mode of analysis. And as the reader, you choose what is applicable to you.
I want to dwell on the thought of application today by beginning with how I came to this thinking.
It started semester when I was thrown head first into three seminar courses. Each ran once a week for 3 hours. Two were art history and the third was just convenient for me. It was “Science Fiction Religion” and truly I tell you; it remains the most life altering course I have taken. We discussed sci-fi and religion, a lot of their overlap but mostly about their system(s) of belief. Belief has a lot to do with worlding. Worlding is the staging or set up a story/universe that gives meaning and relation to everything else. That can also be an absence of meaning though.
My professor, Sha, often reminded us of two things the first was “All learning is deferred” and the second that “meaning isn’t out there”. I will focus on the second because the first is happening all the time – even now. To say meaning isn’t out there has changed how I considered the world. It’s part of why I am so stubborn I imagine. Meaning is in *here*. In me. I decide meaning for my life and you decide for yours. My worlding defines the world differently and gives abides by different axioms than yours.
I want to talk about it in the terms I learned from Samuel Delany’s article on the topic. Science fiction storytelling focuses on the believability/reality involved in worlding. Evolutionary explanations or other scientific explanations move the story out of mystification/fantasy. I understand the difference of fantasy to rely on blind faith or overwhelming acceptance from the audience to a certain worlding. Sci-fi cares more about explaining and convincing you of their brand of “truth”.
All of this is to say I write more about other’s writings because I haven’t thought it out fully myself. I find various ideas and philosophies more rewarding than some of my current beliefs. I also don’t know yet what I consider as incompatible beliefs.
And the more I learn the more I realize I am one of the people who is overjoyed at philosophies of existentialism. I don’t know enough to talk about it today but I imagine I will one day soon have a large post or series about in relation to me and my work.
Talk to you tomorrow!