The more stories I know the less I am certain that there is a grand story to make sense of all the stories that have played out on earth from the smallest creature to the most complex. No grand story only a trillion trillion stories. How many untold stories in the universe!
For humans it is about relationships not arguments. It is about love not logic. It is about family not facts.
Relationships, experience, and imagination are more powerful in shaping ideology than arguments, facts, and knowledge.
Relationships are more powerful than arguments when it comes to ideology.
Imagination is also important. If you spend your imagination resources on thinking about a god man on a cross 2000 years ago versus thinking and imagining the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 millions years ago, depending on which one you highlight and meditate on can make a difference in shaping your ideology.
Your family, your community, your experiences, and your relationships can be much more powerful than the naked facts of reality in shaping your ideology. In fact human society was built to protect us from the harsh reality. We war against nature’s reality to the very end.
"Reason is the slave of the passions"
"She (nature) destroys us--coldly, cruelly, relentlessly, as it seems to us, and possibly through the very things that occasioned our satisfaction. it was precisely because of these dangers with which nature threatens us that we came together and created civilization, which is also, among other things, intended to make our communal life possible. For the principal task of civilization, its actual rasion d' etre, is to defend us against nature."
“the tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just because it grew from the hardiest acorn; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
On the streets broken minds and broken bodies crawl. Those up above look down in disdain supported by beams and structures they cannot see all the while they think “it was all me.”
“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.”
"I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction’s job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I guess a big part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves. Since an ineluctable part of being a human self is suffering, part of what we humans come to art for is an experience of suffering, necessarily a vicarious experience, more like a sort of “generalization” of suffering. Does this make sense? We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside. It might just be that simple.
I just think that fiction that isn’t exploring what it means to be human today isn’t art."
David Foster Wallace
Ronit was an artist in the sense DFW was talking about. She gave voice to the voiceless in many regards. She made visible the invisible. She gave power to the powerless. Her characters were usually outcasts, unseen, invisible, and yet empowered by their realness and authenticity.
Today the empty air no longer mourns,
no longer recognizes your clay feet,
has forgotten your jugs that filtered the sky when it was slit open by the knives of lightning
and the mighty tree was devoured by the fog and cut by the wind.
It held up against a hand that fell suddenly
From the heights to the end of time.
You are no more,
hands of the spider,
weak Threads, entangled web:
what you were fell away:
customs, frayed syllables, masks of dizzying light.
Pablo Neruda, The Heights of Macchu Picchu
There is a legendary story that when Alexander the Great was dying on his death bed he stated that his empire would go "to the strongest". It may be better to say it goes to those who can adapt to change.
"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter"