September 21, 2010
From the first chapter of The World is Made of Stories:
If the world is made of stories, stories are not just stories. They teach us what is real, what is valuable, and what is possible. Without stories there is no way to engage with the world because there is no world, and no one to engage with it because there is no self.
The world is made of our accounts of it because we never grasp the world as it is in itself, apart from stories about it. We do not experience a world and then make up stories to understand it. Whenever we try to peel them all away, to discover the reality behind, whatever becomes exposed immediately transforms into story, like excavated artifacts that disintegrate as soon as uncovered.
The same is true of ourselves, but that is getting ahead of the story.
This is not to deny (or assert) that there is a world apart from our stories, only that we cannot understand anything without storying it. To understand is to story.
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Image: From the flikr photostream of Sugar Pond