Monday, November 28, 2016

The House Advantage in Story

For the longest time after we are taught or teach ourselves to read, we proceed with the notion of language as representing the limits of experience and existence. But soon enough, we hear at least one voice from within, expressing yet deeper, more personal meaning.

Through at least the early years of our formal education, we read through theory and presumption in psychology and philosophy, doing the equivalent of highlighting cultural beliefs about the self, its limitations, and its subsets of awareness. 

We are asked as we read to accommodate ourselves to these idealized positions, somewhat as we are later asked to accept advertised pictures of products, clothes to wear, places to visit as tourists, and homes to purchase.

At some point, a process you like to think of as Reader's Cynicism creeps in, allowing us to see, as it were, into the future, to predict outcomes, and most important of all, to become aware of our deepest feelings about the targeted results.

Reader's Cynicism describes for you the need to see beyond boundaries of experience to the point of having a feeling of the probable outcome of a given situation and a simultaneous understanding of what we would like the actual outcome to feel like. 

We often live with the fear of the former, the probable outcome, being as much as we can hope for, while the latter, the idealized outcome, intensifies,. In consequence, most of us are making adjustments to actual outcomes while nursing some stronger emotions relative to things we perceive as things we cannot have.

Text and subtext; what is said versus what is actually intended; what is broadcast to the outer world as our sincere response versus our actual inner response. Thus runs the world of reality for us as individuals and, when we turn to concocting story, what outcomes await the characters we bring out of the shadows and into the glaring light of Inquiry.

One way of looking at this binary is to consider an individual trying to bridge the internal chasm within herself, exemplified as taking a risk as it pertains to her professional life or electing for the relative safety of a comfortable-but-not-satisfying conservative position.

Another way of setting this inner argument forth is to have the same person discuss the same problem with a peer or a mentor, which brings the fulcra out of her secret life and in consequence gives her peer or mentor some additional power.

There may well be a free lunch somewhere, one our character invests with considerable culinary skills and satisfactions. Other persons known to our character may dine with regularity at such a free lunch, but for our character, ourselves, and most other readers, the small print under the sign on the buffet trencher speaks to the how, what, and where of the price.

The moment we reach the level of understanding where we accept Reader's Cynicism and the awareness that our true loss of innocence has nothing to do with sexual matters but rather with the awareness that linear meanings belong to our childhood. The game we're in now is different, not so much rigged or compromised as it is modeled on the Business Plan of Reality known sooner or later to all of us as House Advantage.

Of course the House is Reality. The best we can do is attempt a negotiated settlement.

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