Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"The two hemispheres in my brain.....are competing?"

This is an old post I put up on MySpace a while back. I like it, so I've decided to repost it here:

Reading "A Scanner Darkly" by Philip K. Dick, I came across this passage. The main protagonist, Bob Arctor, is sitting in his living room with a book, and a sort of arbitrary enlightenment or reflection hits him:

“ ‘Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that little precious fragment as well. A portion of him turns against him and acts like another person, defeating him from inside. A man inside a man. Which is no man at all.’”

Quite the despairing mentality. According to this insight, there really isn't anything we can "grip"; that we can call undoubtedly real (of course, I believe the realm of ideas and things of a spiritual nature can be this). Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and we can't even perceive that tiny portion with any genuine clarity.

This kind of thought brings into question the nature of our historical record, our daily interaction with people you meet, the more intimate relationships we have......everything actually. A here-and-now person would probably say that expressing concern over what we really know and don't know is just a waste of time, and that we should enjoy the ride while it lasts. But for others who continually look for something concrete; something they can rely on; a basis on which the world turns and humanity progresses in some grand design, this is quite troubling.

Does it really matter if nothing is real or not? I guess it depends on what you want to do with yourself. I personally think everyone asks themselves this question at some point in their life. No one can live in a world where everything, including things in the personal life, is constantly changing. You'd never have anything to look forward to. No hope.

In one kind of situation: you can continue to sleep every night in bed with your husband or wife peacefully, with the feeling that you've found that someone with whom the path of the rest of your life has been carved, until you find someone else that arouses a new passionate emotion in you and you conclude that your old relationship was just based on years-long lust or staying together just because it's traditionally the honorable thing to do. Based on nothing real.

And you start the new relationship with the next person..........and the proverbial wick burns out on that candle as well. This is when the question hits you.


  1. Don't Feed The PixiesMarch 26, 2008 at 9:38 AM

    Our perception of reality is affected by our personal bias and upbringing - get two people to walk down the street at the same time and they would both probably describe totally different things.

    This doesn't mean that the outside world doesn't exist - just that our experience is unique, which is no bad thing.

    Philip K Dick was an odd writer - i tried a couple of his, but it's not what you would call enjoyable

  2. Good point "pixies".

    This is actually a subject I have debated with a few of my friends. What is real? Is there any truth? Etc. etc.

    I came to the conclusion that there is truth and that there is a reality, haha. But of course, my theory is based on my faith and that is not a valid reason, according to some.

    After all, for one to state that there is no truth, is a truth in itself...therefore, there is truth...truthfully.

  3. The Clandestine SamuraiMarch 27, 2008 at 8:14 AM

    Yes, there is an outside world. But since we're all plagued with personal biases and upbringing, can anyone perceive it? If not, then how do we know there's an outside world?

  4. The Disturbed OneMarch 27, 2008 at 1:20 PM



    How about you tell us what you think... personally?

    Come on Samurai

  5. The Clandestine SamuraiMarch 28, 2008 at 8:24 AM

    You wanna fight??!?!???!???

  6. *cracks knuckles*

    Lets Do This Son!

  7. That is one awesome quote. I have been meaning to read that book...I shamefully saw the movie. I'm a huge fan of Philip K. Dick. I've read most of his books.


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