Suspension of Disbelief.
The concept that you can pick up a work of fiction (a book, movie, show, game, etc.) that YOU KNOW FOR A FACT is a lie, and yet you will your brain to believe it. Media that is outright labeled ‘Fiction’, indicating to everyone that is false, made-up, dishonest, fraudulent- a lie, and yet we pretend the characters and situations and places are all real.
It’s not because we’re stupid. We believe a lie so we can enjoy it. Even if that means believing our beloved protagonist is harmed, mutilated, or even killed. This doesn’t mean we’re sadistic (well, maybe a little), it means we’re human. It means we want to relate to someone and care for them, even if the person isn’t real. It’s really quite lovely.
We’re willing to believe Chris Pratt is really just about to be eaten by dinosaurs. We’re willing to believe our toys come alive when we don’t see them, or you can make your house float with enough balloons. We’re willing to believe zombies are all around us. We’re even willing to feel that same fear and love and excitement vicariously.
We get to experience the most unbelievable situations and circumstances while sitting in a comfy chair, eating popcorn and drinking Coke.
And if we didn’t have this psychological phenomenon- if we weren’t completely willing to believe a lie, even when it is labeled as such, then we wouldn’t have fiction.
There is a common misconception that must be put to rest. Since the development of the modern New Age movement, the mentally-stable did their best to syphon these “New Agers” to California in hopes the state would break off from the rest of the country before causing any cultural harm. Unfortunately, California hugged on with an ectoplasmic grasp, superimposing their “élan vital” onto our realism. Because of this catastrophic phenomenon, our “life forces” have incorporated unwelcomed terms into our vernacular, such as “Qi”, “Feng Shui”, and “spiritual energy”. As preventative as I can be in protecting my patois, I have still managed to acquire the minimal meaning to such modernisms (modern at least in terms of American culture).
The first main problem is the physical complication.
As therapeutic it may seem to devour exotic plants and stab small pins into your back, the placebo effect is far less effective than proven medical practices.
The second main problem is the mental complication.
Sure, meditation and stress management are great skills, but emotional (not physical) energy is a detrimental hoax.
Happiness is not an energy- it CAN be created and it CAN be destroyed.
In order for me to be happy, I must create happiness.
In order for my happiness to not be destroyed- leave me alone.
* The irony of this post may be overwhelming to certain people. Please use extreme caution. Do not listen to Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic” while reading.
I have always felt the devastating sense of uncaring when attempting to communicate with others. Despite the prejudiced truth I believe to be behind my aforementioned, and currently mentioned, words, I cannot help but insist to my mouth that an audience will not listen, even if it is consisted of my closest crowd. Perhaps most would describe this as timidity, introversion, shyness, or even apathy, but my bias mind would have me agree that it is merely realism. I would be inclined to agree with you if you thought this was actually pessimism, but after over 20 years of theory, practice, and application in the field, I have found this to be true: those who actively engage in conversation are much more interested in their turn to speak than listening to what you have to say. This idea may seem cliche, at least to those familiar with the notion, but do not let that taint the accuracy of it.
Let us give a toast to those who not only know this to be true, but fall victim to this regularly, for those people are the ones who turn their attention to creativity; specifically the arts. Brains are an open container: they are filled with everything from the outside and inside, and when they have to stay inside instead of exiting through speaking or acting, the brain overflows. When you see an original painting, those paint strokes are the unspoken words to a friend. When you hear piano notes ringing in your ears, those are the sounds of unheard compliments to a lover. When you read lines of creative fiction, those are the unexpressed non-fiction words to a family member. So when you inspect a work of art, listen to what is being said, either implicitly or explicitly, because those thoughts and emotions did not come from nothing.
The difficulty comes when attempting to return to the creator, as they will deny it wholeheartedly. They have distanced themselves from their own work and use it symbolically, not personally. Do your best to comprehend the meaning, then adapt your relationship accordingly. Best of luck to artists and their contemporaries.