241/365 POTD

“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
― Philip K. DickDSC_0855


4 thoughts on “241/365 POTD

  1. ​Thought-provoking, tfs.

    My thoughts on this: a breakdown in communication may occur between like-minded and like-thinking individuals as well, not necessarily those with differing realities. As much as possible, one must make concessions to see the other’s perspective but when there is no reciprocation one must know when to stop. The breakdown in communication is sometimes not so much due to the perceived problem at hand in differing viewpoints or realities, but in the unwillingness for people to let go of their egos.​

    • Very interesting, thank you for sharing as well! The author of this quote is writing about mental “illness” and the perception that there is a “normal” way to perceive reality and everyday life and many “abnormal” ways to do the same. Or is there no normal at all? My mind has been occupied with this of late as I recently spent time visiting a patient on a psych unit of a hospital. It was fascinating and often overwhelming to try to bridge the gap in perceptions between his reality and mine. But he is a very persistent, articulate person and he accomplished this to a great extent, helping me to understand not only how he sees the world but also how the other patients on the floor were perceiving the world. In spite of his own issues he spent extensive time with his fellow patients, listening to them, trying to understand them, reaching out to them. He has been sharing all this with me over the last few weeks. It’s been a very powerful experience.

      • TFS. It seems like these ought to be two separate conversations altogether on two separate topics: that of mental illness (with or without quotes), and that of interpersonal relations.

        To your point, research has shown that many individuals with behavioral health conditions may be gifted in many ways, and the brain has the capacity to function at impressive levels. I am sure it must have been eye-opening to see this at close quarters as per your recent experiences. Again, TFS.

        On a related note, nice picture. A lot of life in all that muck. Good for growing morels too? (of course, I can spot the frog.) And high marks for your skills in framing the composition.

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