The question raised by #FPQ

“Do you believe that anyone can really experience anything objectively? Why or why not?”

The first reaction was almost shock. Objective? Humans? Not influenced by personal feelings? Not only is that unlikely, I think it’s impossible. Why do I feel that?

First, how do we learn?

Is it through the force-feeding of facts and figures, details and data? No. Not even fully structured paradigms created to seek a specific answer can meet the criteria of objective. Impossible because the person who sets up the study has an idea, something in the sights, to reach for – to seek an answer to a question requires that the question be meaningful. They have an agenda, a bias toward the reason for the question. The methodology may appear to be objective, but the underlying reasons? Not at all, or there would be no reason to ask the question.

Something I learned a long time ago, a few words that keep popping into my head on a regular basis:

Discourse creates and shapes perception: A Fact of Life

What we interact with shapes the way we respond to, accept, strive, and believe. We don’t believe things that are beyond our understanding of how the world is – to our level of understanding at that time.

Dogs don’t talk – but some will tell you that dogs can communicate. Is talking the same as communicating? It can be, or it won’t be, depending on how the person hearing and interpreting the meaning behind the words believes – based on their own version of fact and reality and understanding. Do living creatures think? Feel? Do they communicate? Can they use tools? Questions that need asking will find a discourse for widening the view of intelligence and the use of intellect.

Discourse creates and shapes perception: Facts, incontrovertible, or …

What we discuss with our peers is based on an understanding of how the world is, how we use language to impart our beliefs and feelings, how we live in this moment to achieve or learn or grow.

There are no tidal flows on Earth without the moon. Of course, I believe that – do you? Have you been in places where it was important to know this bit of information? Gone fishing, perhaps? Work with weather and the movements of oceans? Travel the seas, study wind or seasons?

A warning here: [begin] normalisation of abuse is one of the studies I undertook to test this theory. I’m not going to say more on this issue, but suffice to say that only in a few rare instances does a child escape the confines of the cage built from the suffocation of the prevailing discourse. [end] All it takes for evil, [etc.].

Discourse creates and shapes perception: Stories

Stories are a special case. We suspend a little of our beliefs gained through the ‘normal’ world so we can learn something, feel something, participate in something, that is separate from our normal shapes of daily discourse.

We open the book and live for a moment in a space out of time while we indulge in a lesson that someone else lives for us. We feel something, learn something …

Perhaps. And maybe that’s the most important reason for stories – to create discourse with the reader to alter a tiny speck of perception, to open the mind to possibility, to regain or lose or initiate a change in how the mind creates and shapes a bit of reality.

And that’s my opinion. At this time. Of course, I reserve the right to change it at any time …

And that pic? I was learning to fly in the mighty southern winds (Yorke Peninsular) that did their best to assist my dream! What dream was that?

Can I fly? We’ll see …



15 thoughts on “Discourse

  1. Pingback: Discourse — Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales – Tao Talk

  2. Well yes, Foucault developed such a keen interest in discourse analysis such was his belief that discourse shapes our thinking, ergo our behaviour. I like the way you’ve answered this Cage.

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