personal allegory: time-locked fictional journals

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Even anemically ignoring the perspectives of neuroscience, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology, Wikipedia acknowledges that, “the relationships between the imaginary worlds of fiction and the ‘actual’ world in which we live are complicated” (inner quotes mine).

I’m continually surprised by the power of narrative and perspective-taking in assisting communication between system one and system two. While narrative has lowwwww compression, with respect to, say, mathematical formulas or nonfictional exposition, the degree to which narrative can tap into and align with deep human values and concerns is just flabbergasting to me. I mean, have you gotten past your resistance sometime (non-trivial) and played with a few characters interacting within a setting of your choosing?

If you can tap into that dreamlike, allegorical, allusional state of childlike play, woven through with adult values, perspectives, and concerns… So quickly, sometimes, do fictional, seemingly unrelated characters and scenarios, through sophisticated, oblique mappings, perfectly cover aspects of your own cares and concerns in the world…

Seemingly, your world and your actions can become enchanted, that is, your actions in the world become imbued with deeply cherished, lived values that were perhaps previously inaccessible in realtime interaction…

I’m currently experimenting with keeping a “time-locked” journal of a fictional character interacting with other fictional characters in a fictional world. I say, “time-locked” because one day in this world is one day in their world. I’m using a 2015 hardcover diary that has full pages for each day of the year, including Saturday and Sunday.

(I use angle brackets <> if I’m “backfilling” a day with more information, and I use curly brackets {} if I’m the character exploring what might happen on future days.)

As alluded to above, it’s fascinating how the inside of a fictional character in a fictional place comments on my cares and concerns, paced precisely as I live things. And the planning of that character, on future time-locked pages, facing superficially very different situations–that planning is oblique, powerful planning for me (of course by my semi-intentional but oblique, dreamlike design).


See: Reading Other People’s (Fake) Diaries

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